3 Tasty, Hearty, Vegan Salad Recipes That Break the Sad Salad Stigma

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

While some salads leave you wanting more, protein-packed vegan salad recipes energize you for your busy day. Along with being healthy, filling, and delicious, vegan salads made at home produce less waste than prepackaged options. Here are a few two-serving recipes for vegan salads with protein that harness the power of a plant-based diet.

Faux Chicken Caesar Salad

Stock up on these ingredients for your dressing and salad base:

  • 2 servings faux chicken, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 cup cubed, day-old bread
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ¼ cup ground cashews

Cook faux-chicken per packaging instructions. Once cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces.

Next, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the sliced garlic. When the garlic begins to sizzle, it means it's time to make some croutons. Add the cubed bread and a pinch of salt to the pan and toss to toast. Continue tossing until the bread looks golden and crunchy. Then, set aside your croutons and mince the roasted garlic.

In a resealable container, combine the minced garlic, hummus, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, then shake until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Toss the romaine lettuce with the dressing in a large bowl and top your salad with the faux chicken, croutons, and ground cashews.

Arugula and White Beans Salad

This salad is perfect with just a squeeze of lemon juice and spoonful of olive oil—plus, you can put that can of beans in your cupboard to good use.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 cups arugula, packed
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful of sliced almonds

Simply toss the arugula, white beans, tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a large bowl, then top with sliced almonds. Voilà!

Bed of arugala for vegan salad

Garden Salad with Marinated Tofu

For this tasty salad, start by making the dressing, using these ingredients:

  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine your dressing ingredients in a resealable container and shake until everything is incorporated. Reserve ¼ cup of the mixture to top the salad. The rest will be used to marinate the tofu.

Now, get to work on your salad base, using these ingredients:

  • ½ block tofu, cubed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 cups green leaf lettuce, chopped and packed
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

Soak up as much of the moisture from the tofu as you can using a paper towel. Next, chop the tofu and place it in a large bowl. Cover the cubes with the non-reserved dressing and let it marinate for at least an hour.

Preheat a large pan on medium-high heat and coat the pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Next, add the marinated tofu and cook for approximately 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Finally, add the sesame seeds and remove the pan from the heat.

Combine your veggies in a large bowl and toss them with the reserved salad dressing. Add the tofu and dig in!

Tofu blocks and chickpeas sit on a dinner plate

You can customize any of these recipes by swapping greens, proteins, or veggies for your favorites. Quick and easy is the name of the game!

What are your favorite vegan staples? Let us know on Twitter!

Image Sources: Pixabay | Max Pixel | Wikimedia Commons

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Why It's Good

Vegan salad recipes are nutritious, delicious, and filling when packed with your favorite plant-based proteins. From tofu to faux chicken, beans to nuts, there are endless options to make meat-free, filling meals.