When it’s hot outside (it’s getting there, I promise) there is nothing I love more than a crisp, refreshing salad. It just hits the spot. And I’m not talking about a few leafs of iceberg lettuce topped with sliced tomato. That’s rabbit food. When I’m hungry – and I’m always hungry – I want a salad I know is going to fill me up and curb my hunger until it’s time to eat again. Oh, and it has to taste good, too.
I realize these are pretty lofty expectations for salad – especially when adding meat to the mix isn’t an option. But this is where things get interesting (and really tasty). When you follow a vegan meal plan, you have to train yourself not to think of protein solely in terms of chicken and beef. There are tons of plant-based foods that contain the protein, fiber, and healthy fats you need to feel good and keep hunger pains at bay.
If the idea of eating a salad for lunch already has your stomach growling in disapproval, be prepared to be amazed. We’ve listed a few of our favorite vegan salads that will fill you up without slowing you down.
Protein packed quinoa and fiber-rich black beans combine to create a filling vegan salad that will leave you scraping your plate clean. As always, I suggest going wild with the avocado – you can never have enough.
Falafel is made from chickpeas, which are low in fat and salt and contain no cholesterol. If you’re pressed for time, Trader Joe’s has frozen falafel that cooks in minutes, as well as a hummus salad dressing that can replace the homemade tahini sauce.
Tempeh is high in protein and also contains a fair amount of iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. We put it with quinoa and roasted cauliflower for a salad that comes together quickly if you’re up for a little multitasking.
Every bite of this vegan taco salad is like a fiesta in your mouth. The “meat” is made from walnuts, which packs a good amount of protein. In fact, this salad is so healthy that Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows likes to think of it as a vitamin in a bowl.
This is a vegan version of the classic BBQ chicken salad with ranch dressing. I have to say, it’s pretty darn good. Who knew protein and fiber-filled chickpeas paired so well with tangy BBQ sauce? I’m definitely a believer, and I think you will be, too.