Week One: Changing Vegan Perspectives
You do make friends with salad: A salad to win anyone’s heart.
Earlier this summer, I had a bit of a salad revelation. It is, perhaps, a bit embarrassing that it took nearly eight years of veganism for me to realize that you can make a salad with LITERALLY ANYTHING YOU WANT. Limiting yourself to raw vegetables only? How provincial. Throw in some roasted veg, some beans, some crispy chickpeas… there are no rules! Limiting yourself to a particular set of flavors is also unnecessary — you can mix and match flavors with abandon. Make every bite a surprise!
So today I present to you an extremely loose template for creating a salad that both empties your fridge and leaves you full. Customize it according to your tastes and available veggies (or… fruits?! Get crazy!) and munch away. Salads aren’t just for bunnies anymore.
Template for a Super-Filling Salad
- Greens (a few large handfuls): baby spinach, arugula, baby kale, romaine, mesclun… heck, even iceberg if you’re desperate!
- Raw veggies (choose 2-4): sliced carrots, chopped tomatoes, shredded cabbage, sliced mushrooms, chopped peppers, thinly sliced radishes, diced avocado, edamame, sliced cucumber, chopped celery (not recommended, but acceptable if you’re desperate to get rid of it)
- Roasted veggies (choose 1-2; optional but recommended): squash (delicata would be lovely), eggplant (I used cute Turkish eggplants in the salad shown above), cauliflower, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn kernels, diced beets
- Protein (choose 1-2): cubed and marinated tofu, crispy roasted/sauteed chickpeas, crumbled veggie burger, Beyond Meat (or other) chicken shreds, crumbled tempeh, beans
- Something sweet (choose 1; optional): dried cranberries, dried cherries, candied pecans/walnuts/other nuts, thinly sliced peaches/apples/pears, fresh berries
- Crunchy topping (choose 1): hemp/sunflower/pumpkin seeds, croutons, extra-crispy roasted chickpeas, chopped nuts
- Dressing (choose 1): classic olive oil + vinegar/lemon, Green Goddess, spicy almond (or peanut) butter, Caesar, lemon-tahini, turmeric-ginger
Basically, do whatever the heck you want when it comes to salad. And let me know your favorite combinations — I’m looking for inspiration!