Too hot to cook? Get creative with these salads and take advantage of the new types of produce that are in season this summer. It is time to wow your family with these refreshingly vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free recipes.
Summer is finally here, and with it, a chance to show off at the next family barbecue or dinner. Going vegan doesn’t mean that you have to bring boring food to the table. As a matter of fact, vegan recipes are colorful, vibrant, and filling. By simple definition, a salad is a combination of different types of food brought together with a dressing or a sauce. All the necessary ingredients could already be in your kitchen pantry.
Grilled Corn Salad
Growing up, grilled corn has been a childhood favorite. This salad brings those memories to life with just the right amount of Sunday afternoon barbecue. This recipe uses grilled corn, charred cherry tomatoes, and black or pinto beans. Other ingredients include marinated shallots, juice of one lime, fresh avocado, cilantro, and jalapenos for that extra kick.
Black Bean Mango Salad
Mangos are refreshingly delicious tropical fruits. They are pretty versatile too. You can bake them, drink them, use them as a salsa, or simply slice it up for a quick snack. This recipe brings together busting flavors of sweet, savory, and spicy all in one bite. Ingredients include mangoes, black beans, jalapenos, red cabbage, and fresh cilantro. This vibrant salad has a lot of texture and is the perfect topping for a burger or as a movie snack with tortilla chips.
When Helen Corbitt first served this dish at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, in the 1940’s it was popularly nicknamed Texas Caviar as a humorous comparison to the salt-cured fish roe. However, cowboy caviar has nothing to do with fish but everything to do with protein. This gluten-free recipe is made from black beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, red onions, corn, avocado, and cilantro with a honey lemon salad dressing.
The Southwestern Pasta Salad
Most people will tell you that pasta cannot be reheated. What happens if you make too much pasta for your family dinner? Will you throw away the leftovers, or will you make this creamy and filling salad instead? All you need is a large bowl, cold pasta, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lemon zest, black beans, and lime dressing. It is best served cold.
Spinach, Avocado, and Strawberry Salad
I know how it sounds, but it is delicious. This salad is also a great way to introduce the unlikeables, such as spinach, to your growing child. Vegetables have powerful antioxidants, minerals, and iron that are key to helping children fight opportunistic infections and diseases. All you need to do for this recipe is wash, dice, and slice! You can also add vegan bacon bits, toasted pecans, or any other nuts of your choice for that extra crunch. Serve it with creamy balsamic dressing to add some tanginess.
Peach Salad with Maple Balsamic Glaze
There is an exciting combination of flavors brought to life by this recipe. According to the Lazy Cat Kitchen, the glaze alone is quite addictive. The base for this salad is baby spinach and arugula topped with sliced peaches (or nectarines), red onions, and a small fennel bulb. The glaze is made by combining maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Pro tip: grill the peaches beforehand for a more flavorful experience.
Mango Cucumber Salad
This salad serves best as a side dish for your plate of carbs. It is the perfect representation of sweet, salty, and tangy and only takes 10 minutes to prepare. To prepare this dish, dice your cucumbers, peel and dice your mangoes, and julienne your red onion. Add some sliced red and yellow bell peppers and some fresh basil or cilantro for more color and flavor. The dressing combines salt, sugar, rice vinegar or lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.
Tomatoes are mysteriously cool vegetables. They could be sitting in your fridge or kitchen pantry, but they are always cool. With this summer heat, when you need a cool and refreshing salad that is also guilt-free, think of tomato salad. It only takes eight ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare. You will need tomatoes (as many shapes, colors, and varieties as you can get your hands on), red onions, red wine vinegar, olive oil, flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, gremolata, and fresh basil.
Beetroot and Lentil Tabbouleh Salad
Beetroot and lentil tabbouleh is a middle eastern vegetarian salad that can serve as a side dish or as the main meal. It is healthy, gluten-free, and easy to prepare using beetroots, chickpeas, lentils, and red apples.
Kohlrabi, Fennel, and Blueberry Salad
Kohlrabi is a milder, sweeter, and crispier version of broccoli stems that is served raw and thinly sliced. It has the longest preparation time of all the salads listed here. However, 30 minutes is quite a bargain when you know how good a snack it can be. Most chefs recommend pairing it with white wine considering that all the ingredients are strongly flavored.
Cooling off in the summer does not mean you have to make unhealthy food choices. All of the vegan salads listed here are low-calorie, low-carb, and guilt-free alternatives for you and your family. Give one a try today.