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3 Tasty Salad Recipes for Spring

3 Tasty Salad Recipes for Spring

Are you ready to celebrate spring with a big, healthy salad? Check out these delicious salad recipes that are as satisfying as they are good-for-you.

Spring is here!! Not that I’m doing a happy dance or anything (OK, I am!). Don’t you just love those transitional seasons? If our CSA baskets are anything to go by, we’re still in for at least a few more weeks of fresh, local lettuces, and around here that means salads.

The Ron Swansons out there might think of salad as boring “rabbit food,” but with the right toppings and dressings, you can whip up healthy salads that are anything but.

Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by photofarmer

Creating Killer Salads

To make a salad that feels like a meal, it’s important to combine textures, colors, and even temperatures.

Related Reading: 10 Ways to Spice Up Your Salads

Of course salad’s going to seem boring if you picture a dull bowl of iceburg lettuce with maybe some carrot and cucumber all drowning in ranch dressing. Yuck! Who wants that for supper? I like to compile my salads by choosing ingredients from each of these categories:

  • Something crunchy – a nice helping of lettuce, some chopped, raw veggies, etc
  • Something fatty – sliced avocado, a handful of toasted nuts, or maybe a tahini dressing instead of a vinaigrette, etc
  • Something warm – diced baked potato, baked tofu slices hot out of the oven, caramelized onions, etc
  • Something proteiny – beans, tofu, tempeh, nuts, etc
  • Something oniony – shallots, diced onion, chopped scallions
  • Something sweet – berries, citrus pieces, dried fruit, etc

You don’t have to combine all of these in every salad, but mixing it up like this makes sure you mouth has a surprise with every bite!

 

fresh cilantro

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jfinnirwin

1. Banh Mi Salad

Serves 2

Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich featuring delicious pickled veggies and fresh herbs that translates beautifully into a salad!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu, cut into strips
  • 1″ piece of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon organic soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup daikon, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups of fresh lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Directions

In a shallow bowl, toss the tofu with the ginger, Sriracha, and soy sauce. Set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Heat the vinegar, water, and sugar in a small saucepan, stirring just until the sugar all dissolves. Pour the vinegar mixture over the carrots, daikon, and onion, and set that aside to marinate as well.

By now, your tofu should be about ready to go. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat and saute the tofu, until it’s browned on both sides.

In a large bowl, toss together the remaining ingredients. Top with the cooked tofu, hot out of the pan, and use a slotted spoon to dish up marinated veggies over the whole thing. Serve immediately.

 

black beans

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Risager

2. Hearty Taco Salad

Serves 2

Taco salad is my go-to for a quick, weeknight meal. It’s easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can  (or 2 cups, cooked) black beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 cup veggie broth
  • 4 cups mixed field greens
  • 2 green onions – green and white parts – chopped
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Haas avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (defrost the corn by running water over it in a colander and letting it drain)
  • 1/2 cup black olive, sliced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 handfuls of organic tortilla chips (optional)

Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the oil on medium, and add the shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the shallots begin to brown ever so slightly at the edges. Add the beans, cumin, and 1/4 cup of the veggie broth, and simmer until the beans are heated through. If things get dry, you may need to add the additional 1/4 cup broth.

Meanwhile, toss the remaining ingredients (except the chips) together in a large bowl. Use a slotted spoon to top the whole thing with the beans. If you’re using the chips, crush them a bit (you want chunks, not crumbs) over the top of the salad, and serve!

cubed tempeh

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Stacy Spensely

3. Tempeh Dinner Salad

Serves 2

Hearty tempeh and a tahini-miso dressing make this salad filling and delicious – perfect for a blustery spring day!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package tempeh, cubed
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce (or whatever salad greens are in season where you are)
  • 2 handful shredded carrots
  • 1/2 Haas avocado, sliced
  • Tahini Miso Dressing (recipe below)

Saute the tempeh and onion in the olive oil, seasoning with salt and white pepper. Fry the tempeh and onions until they start to brown just a bit.

On each plate, divide up your lettuce, carrots, and sliced avocado. Top with the cooked tempeh, and drizzle each plate with the Tahini Miso Dressing.

Tahini Miso Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cups tahini
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, dried (Italian seasoning would probably work in a pinch)
  • 1-2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (or your favorite hot sauce. Adjust depending on how spicy you like things!)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Whisk it all together, adding water a little bit at a time if you feel like it’s too thick. This makes more dressing than you’ll probably need for the salad, but it stores well for about a week in the fridge.

 

Related
6 Ingredients to Keep Off Salads
12 Healthy, Easy Recipes for Salad Dressing
10 Tasty Ways to Spice Up Your Salads
8 Healthiest Leafy Greens

Read more: All recipes, Food, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

281 comments

+ add your own
12:34AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

past desires !

12:13AM PDT on Jul 16, 2014

great loved it

12:27AM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

gud ides for my project :)

11:31PM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

useful information !!!!!!!!!

12:56AM PDT on May 20, 2014

they look really nice

12:34AM PDT on May 20, 2014

great idea

2:48AM PDT on Apr 12, 2014

major substance

4:28AM PDT on Apr 11, 2014

thanks

4:22AM PDT on Apr 11, 2014

Some interesting recipes here, but I will pass on the soy as so much of it is GMO these days.

12:52AM PDT on Apr 11, 2014

lovely designer skills

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