Four Vegan Salad Recipes Packed with Protein
Cooking isn’t easy. Plus, who has the time? Especially when, in the midst of lockdown, you just discovered there’s an entire channel dedicated to Gordon Ramsay! And while binging that wired up Scotsman call people donkeys for six hours straight might not sound exhausting, it sure builds up an appetite. To counter all of this vegging out with some actual vegetables, I decided to check out some protein-packed vegan salads. I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, she learned all this just from watching TV?” Of course not. Being productive and learning something would totally contradict the entire institution of television. Instead, during a rare lapse in quarantine-induced laziness, I rounded up some of my favorite vegan salad recipes that are so tasty and easy to prepare, even you could serve them up to Chef Ramsay without being called a fucking donut.
Red Quinoa Salad with Corn, Avocado, and Black Beans
It might have taken me years to learn that quinoa is not pronounced kwa-noah but it took me no time at all to throw together for this terrific light lunch that’s bursting with flavor.
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can black beans, 15 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen, roasted if available; thawed
- 1 avocado, ripe, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup cilantro , chopped
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 to 1 lime
- Before cooking, make sure to rinse the quinoa in cold water.
- Put your quinoa and broth into a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Lower the heat until it’s just a simmer, then cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, which should only take about 10-15 minutes.
- When it’s all done cooking, toss in the rest of your ingredients. All that’s left to do is toss the salad and enjoy.
With help from Well Vegan for their ingredients and preparation steps.
Vegan High Protein Salad
This one makes me feel like a real chef because it involves making your own dressing from scratch! But don’t worry, it’s as easy to make as it is to eat.
For the salad:
- 15 oz (400 g) canned green kidney beans (or red ones, if greens aren’t available)
- 15 oz (400 g) canned lentils
- 2–3 handful arugula
- 4 Tbsp. capers
For the dressing:
- 1 Tbsp. caper brine
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. tahini
- 1 Tbsp. tamari
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. hot sauce
- For the dressing, simply take all your ingredients and whisk them together until it looks like, well…until it looks like salad dressing. Told ya it was easy!
- Then for the salad, same thing. Put all your ingredients in a bowl and toss’em around.
With thanks to Contentedness Cooking!
Lentil Salad with Tomatoes and Cucumbers
This tasty salad is full of protein and fiber and one of my favorite things to eat after an intense workout—but don’t worry, the workout isn’t necessary.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. your favorite vegan smooth mustard (yellow mustard is vegan, but Dijon and honey mustard are often not, so check before buying!)
- 1 Tbsp. coarse seeded mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into 1-inch long slices
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (I like multicolored heirlooms)
- 1 Persian cucumber, sliced into half-rounds
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
- First, prepare your lentils by rinsing them and removing any bits of debris.
- In a medium saucepan with the lid tilted, simmer the lentils with 4 cups of water for 20-25 minutes until tender.
- Drain and cool.
- While the lentils are simmering, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustards, and salt in a small-medium bowl.
- Once the lentils are finished, mix them with the mustard vinaigrette, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and if you choose, olives. You can serve this either alone or over your favorite greens.
With thanks to Yummy Mummy Kitchen for the great instructions!
Buffalo Chickpea Salad with Ranch
Let’s see, how should I put this? Sometimes you just want a salad that’s less salad and more taco!
- 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
- 1 can chickpeas , (14.5 ounces) rinsed and drained (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce
- 1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or use larger tomatoes chopped)
- 1 avocado, sliced or cubed
- Other vegetable toppings such as black olives, sliced green onions, cilantro, etc., (optional)
- 1/2 bag of chips in your favorite flavor
- Vegan Ranch dressing, homemade or store-bought
- First, you want to melt your vegan butter in a skillet at medium heat.
- Then throw in the chickpeas and cayenne pepper sauce and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
- Once the sauce is thickened, take it off the stove and set it aside.
- Now get started on the actual salads. Get a large bowl, put your lettuce on the bottom, and top it with tomatoes, avocados, and the rest of your vegetables.
- Add your chickpeas, sprinkle in some crushed up chips, drizzle on your ranch, and you’re ready to eat.
Thanks to Veggies Save the Day for the amazing instructions!
Written by: Ada Wofford