Meatless Monday – Summer Salads

Well summer has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere! And where I am the weather has followed suit: heat, humidity and sun. Eating seasonally for the summer means eating lighter food, i.e. less cooked and more raw, as well as an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables plentiful during this time of year.

Salad is a great way to make a seasonally summer meal that includes all macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and the accompanying micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Today’s Meatless Monday gives you a few ideas for some substantial salads.

The following are guidelines only. Feel free to double, triple or quadruple the recipe and adjust the amount of seasonings to your taste. The goal is for your salad to be palatable and plentiful with a wide variety of food that doesn’t require much cooking time or heat to prepare.

Cold Pasta Salad

Start with 1 cup of dry penne. Boil some water with a pinch of salt, then add the penne. Cook until ‘al dente‘ then set aside to cool. Make the vinaigrette by whisking 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and some salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Set aside and prepare the vegetables.
Cut into bite-sized pieces some artichoke hearts, steamed asparagus, raw red pepper and spinach. Mix with the cold pasta, a handful of peas and cooked kidney beans. Toss mixed salad with vinaigrette and top with fresh basil and chopped walnuts. You can add some sun-dried tomatoes and olives if you wish. No need to measure the amount of vegetables; just throw in as much as you like of what you have or just use whatever is in season.

Yield: 3-4 meal-size servings

Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015

Deconstructed Sushi Salad

Rinse ½ cup of dry quinoa then add to 1 cup of boiling water. Turn heat to medium-low then cook for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Chop some green onion, shred some carrot and dice some cucumber. Add to cooked and cooled quinoa along with some roasted nori (seaweed). Prepare dressing by mixing 1 teaspoon of low-sodium soy or tamari sauce with 2½ teaspoons of apple cider/rice vinegar. Mix into salad then top with avocado slices and roast sesame seeds. Additions can be some roast sweet potato, red pepper or tofu.

*Quinoa is an easy-to-prepare alternative to rice. It is a complete protein that contains fibre. Sushi rice is typically white (i.e. stripped of its nutritional goodness) and higher on the glycemic index than quinoa.

Yield: 2 decent-sized meals

Photo by Kimberley (c)2015
Photo by Kimberley (c)2015

 

Related
Meatless Monday posts:
Salad Anatomy

The Tortoise or the Hare (Easter)
Icebergs Belong in the Ocean

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