How To Make The Perfect Plant-Based Protein-Rich Salad Recipes
Salad is one of the easiest dishes to make at home. After all, anyone can dice a few vegetables, add some protein, and drizzle on dressing.
However, just because it is easy, doesn’t mean you are wowing your family. If you want to make a perfect salad which is plant-based, protein rich, and impresses everyone around you, you’ve come to just the right place.
Here is where you can learn the basics:
What Every Salad Needs
The key ingredients of the salad are given below:
- A base
- Crunchies or flavor boosters
This doesn’t mean you have to use every single one of these ingredients. You can opt to leave out one or two ingredients and switch things up
The main ingredient in a green salad is usually a lettuce, like iceberg, romaine, green leaf, or red leaf, or a base like spinach, arugula, asparagus, or mixed greens. These are best eaten raw and can give you a variety of textures from soft to crunchy.
Even though these leafy greens can make a salad all by themselves, it can be a little dull, so you need to add more ingredients to your dish.
You can add crunchy vegetables like kohlrabi, carrots and cucumber or go for usually-cooked ones like squash or beetroot. Some vegetables like eggplants, alliums and squashes can be grilled to lend a hint of smokiness to your salad. If you want a funky, fermented note to your salad, veggies like cauliflower, cucumber, mushrooms, green beans and bell pepper can all be pickled.
A classic dressing of vinaigrette works well with all kinds of salads. The most popular options include olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. However, you can also add thicker creamier dressings like Daiya ranch dressing.
Fruit does not just include berries. You can add everything and anything in your salad that provides a complementary flavor to the other ingredients. These include fresh fruit like avocado, peaches, mango, apples, pineapple, oranges, kiwi, and grape as well as dried fruits like raisins, dried cranberries, and prunes.
People who don’t like to eat meat for various reasons can take advantage of other high-protein sources or faux meat like tofu, seitan, tempeh, Gardein Chick’n, Impossible burger, or Beyond Meat.
To add a bit of a texture and flavor to your salad, you have infinite options like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, nuts, croutons, granola and tortilla to add to your salad.
Check out This Fun Guide to “How to Make the Perfect Salad”
Check out these Fun Recipes:
Chickpea & Pasta Salad
- Chick peas: 1/4th can
- Spiral or penne pasta: 1 can
- Baby arugula: 1 ½ cans
- Small onion: 1
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Red wine: 2 tbsp (optional)
- Grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes: 1 can
- Olives: 2 tbsp
- Crumbled feta: 2 tbsp
- Gardein Chick’n: ½ cup shredded
- Salt and pepper: 1 pinch
- Microwave Gardein Chick’n for 2 minutes on high. Then bake for 10 to 12 minutes to cook.
- In a mason jar, pour oil and red vinegar, shake the onion and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add chick peas and Gardein Chick’n and shake gently to coat.
- Add the pasta, veggies, and feta.
- Before serving, turn the jar upside down and let it sit for two minutes so that the dressing properly coats all the ingredients.
- Straighten the jar and enjoy.
Red Cabbage Salad With Seitan
- Seitan: 8 oz, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Shredded cabbage: 6 cups
- Cucumber: 1, sliced into half moons
- Garlic: 3 cloves
- Green onions: 3, thinly sliced
- Mango chutney: 1/3 cup
- Natural peanut butter: 1/3 cup
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp
- Curry powder: 1 tsp
- Blend the mango chutney and peanut butter with some water to make a dressing.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté seitan until it browns.
- Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds
- Add curry powder and sauté for 2 minutes
- Toss the veggies in a large bowl and top it with the cooked seitan.
Tofu Amaranth Salad
- Gem Lettuce: 2-3 heads
- Garlic: ½, small
- Chili flakes: ¼ teaspoon
- Salt: To taste
- Tofu: 12 oz
- Sunflower oil: 1 tbsp
- Coconut milk: 160 ml, full fat
- Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
- Amaranth leaves: A handful
- Avocado: 1, thinly sliced
- Basil leaves: 1 small handful
- Make a paste of garlic, salt, and chili flakes.
- Add oil to the mixture and whisk in coconut milk and lemon juice.
- Toss the lettuce, amaranth, and tofu in a bowl
- Add the dressing gradually, making sure all the ingredients are coated
- Top with avocado.
As you can see, making a salad does not take more than 20 minutes and often a whole lot less than that. Not only are these salad high in protein and nutrition, they are also extremely delicious. Pick one of the above recipes to try or make up your own salads by mixing the five key ingredients above.
Let us know how it goes for you.
Written By: Elevate Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone