Are you having a hard time trying to find good eats with the summer heat? Try these awesome, meal-sized salads on for size. Though some of these recipes require an oven or stovetop for just a bit, it’s preparation that can be done ahead of time, leaving you with the ingredients for a quick, wholesome dinner. And don’t worry- none of these are the typical wilted-iceberg-lettuce-with-ranch-dressing salad- these are serious salads for hearty vegan appetites.
First up is a Summer Panzanella- an Italian-style bread salad with buttery garlic bread, flavorful mixed greens, and marinated vegetables. Second is a Green Soba Salad- a great meal-sized salad featuring earthy soba noodles, greens, and a rich avocado dressing. Finally, a Green Slaw with Pumpkin Seed Dressing- an easy version of cabbage salad with a creamy dressing made with pumpkin seeds, fresh herbs, flax oil, and miso. These meals are best enjoyed on the prettiest of summer days, and definitely need to be eaten outside!
¼ cup vegan margarine
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
6 slices bread of choice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sundried tomatoes, soaked one hour
½ cup sliced Kalamata olives
½ cup chopped artichoke hearts
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly
4 cups mixed greens (spinach, arugula, lettuces, etc)
- In a small saucepan melt vegan margarine over medium low heat. Add garlic, and simmer on low until garlic is browned, about five minutes.
- Layer bread slices onto a rimmed baking sheet and brush with warm margarine mixture. Broil or toast until very brown, about 5-8 minutes. Flip, and cook on second side, 3-5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Cut or tear into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegars, dried basil, and salt/pepper. Toss in sundried tomatoes, olives, artichokes, and walnuts. Toss to coat, and let marinate half hour, up to overnight.
- In your largest mixing bowl, gently toss salad greens with basil, marinated vegetables, and bread chunks. Divide evenly between four salad bowls. Serve immediately.
- If serving later, keep all components separate until just before serving. Enjoy your salad al fresco while dreaming of Italian summers!
Yield: 4 large salad servings
Green Soba Salad
2 medium-sized avocados
1 cup fresh basil
½ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
1 (8-10 ounce) package soba noodles
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
1 cup shredded kale
- Blend all Green Dressing ingredients together in food processor until very smooth. Add salt/pepper to taste, and add water to thin as necessary. Set aside.
- Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cool water, and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss noodles with 1 cup Green Dressing until all noodles are coated. Add vegetables and remaining dressing and toss to combine.
- Best served immediately, in the sunniest spot available! Enjoy!
Yields: 3-4 servings salad
Green Slaw with Pumpkin Seed Dressing
2 cups pumpkin seeds
⅓ cup flaxseed oil
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons white miso
½ – ¾ cup filtered water
1 teaspoon dried garlic (optional)
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced cucumber rounds
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup sunflower sprouts
1 cup tamari-roasted sunflower seeds
- For the Pumpkin Seed Dressing: grind pumpkin seeds into a powder in food processor. Add flaxseed oil, lemon juice, parsley, miso, ½ cup water, and garlic if using. Blend until totally smooth, adding more water if necessary.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together all vegetables. Drizzle with Pumpkin Seed Dressing and toss until all vegetables are coated. Enjoy immediately! Otherwise, salad can also be saved in an airtight container and taken to the beach, while playing hooky from work!
Yields: 4-6 servings