Tips for Making a Vegan Salad
If you think removing the meat and dairy products from a salad will leave you with nothing but a wilted lettuce leaf, a slice of tomato, cucumber and onion, it’s time to think again. A salad, sans the meat and dairy, can be filling, nutritious and delicious if you follow these simple tips for making a sumptuous vegan salad 🙂
Create your vegan salad with quality ingredients. Vegan salad offer more ingredient variety than a traditional chef’s or side salad, so build your salad around the best-looking, fresh ingredients of the day. Over-ripe, mushy strawberries or tomatoes can ruin a salad, so don’t be tempted to use them. Using an in-season, quality ingredient as the salad base will not only garner you the best tasting meal, but also save you money.
Top off those quality ingredients with even more quality flavor by making your own dressing. You control the amount of salt and sugar and ensure there is no animal fat in the bottle when you make the salad dressing. Sometimes a simple squeeze of fresh lemon juice is all that’s needed to enhance the flavor of a salad, other time you may want to whisk together a simple dressing with a heart-healthy oil like olive oil.Flavor Profile
A salad is much more than a bed of lettuce topped with a few slices of vegetables, it can be anything you want it to be. A black bean salad, corn salad or three-bean salad are lettuce-less, vegan and are hearty enough to be served as the main course. Experiment with various vegetable and fruit combinations, served on a bed of dark green leaves and topped with nuts, seeds or whatever else you like.
Use dark green leafy vegetables to build a healthy vegan salad. Experiment with different dark greens, like spinach, arugula and chard, that are packed with flavor and nutrients to create vegan salads the whole family will love.Texture
Texture is important in any food and the best vegan salads will span the gamut of textures and flavors. Hard carrots, soft mushrooms, cool cucumbers, crunchy croutons and chewy golden raisins provide a texture sensation that your mouth will enjoy.
Protein is needed to give that satisfied feeling after eating a meal, fuel your body and keep you feeling fuller longer. Protein is also easy to get in a vegan salad. Beans will provide flavor, texture and protein to a vegan salad. Garbanzo beans, black, red, brown or white beans are prefect additions to a salad.
A little fat is needed to enable the body to metabolize all the healthy nutrients a vegan salad provides, just make sure the fat used in the salad-making is the healthy kind. Olive oil is a well-known heart-healthy oil and pairs well with salad dressing. Coconut oil macadamia nut oil and several other purported ‘healthy oils’ are worth trying for their flavor and health benefits.