Oh, salads. They should be easy to throw together for a healthy mid-day meal, but they’re actually pretty easy to screw up. Add too many toppings and you’re eating way more than you planned for; don’t add enough and you’re absolutely starving again by the time 2 o’clock rolls around. What’s a hungry vegan to do?
When it comes to building a healthy, nutritious salad that will fill you up and keep you satisfied for hours – turn to protein. In addition to fibrous veggies and healthy fats, experts recommend squeezing at least 15 grams of protein into every meal. While this may sound like a lot, there are some easy ways to sneak more hunger-fighting protein into you salads with little-to-no extra effort or prep.
Instead of wimpy iceberg lettuce, go with spinach (1 gram of protein per cup) or kale (2 grams of protein per cup). Add some chia seeds to your vinaigrette (1 gram of protein per tablespoon) and instead of croutons, top your greens with roasted chickpeas (7 grams of protein in ½ cup). For an extra layer of crunch, add two tablespoons of chopped almonds (another 4 grams of protein.) Toss in ¼ cup of cooked quinoa and you tack another 2 grams of protein onto your salad.
Have you been adding? If you sat down to eat the hypothetical salad above (1 cup of kale, ¼ cup of quinoa and ½ cup roasted chickpeas, topped with a chia seed vinaigrette and chopped almonds), you’d be looking at a whopping 16 grams of protein – and not a single animal product in sight. Victory!
If you’re inspired to kick your salad routine up a notch, keep reading. We rounded up a whole bunch of protein-packed vegan salads that promise to keep lunchtime interesting, delicious and satisfying.
15 Delicious Protein-Packed Vegan Salads
Vegan Italian Chopped Salad
This Vegan Italian Chopped Salad is a riff on a Midwestern favorite - Portillo's chopped salad. With plenty of fresh veggies, roasted chickpeas, pasta (yum), and a crowd-pleasing balsamic vinaigrette, this one is going to be a hit at your summer potlucks!
Curried Chickpea Avocado Salad
Give your tired lunch a little kick with our curry chickpea avocado salad! It's the ultimate gluten-free, vegan lunch with curry, almonds, golden raisins and avocado.
From Contentedness Cooking
Blackened Tempeh and Charred Corn Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
From My Darling Vegan
Warm Acorn Squash, Lentil, & Quinoa Salad with Sage Dressing