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Main-Dish Salads

Beets and Mint Tartar

Today, the recipe that I propose is a tartar of beetroot with mint. It’s an entree that is both pretty and very light. But beware not to use canned, but fresh beet!

In fact, this beetroot tartar and mint is more of a salad. What we are going to do is cut the cooked beetroot into small pieces, then season with mint vinaigrette.

Beetroots are rich in B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. A diet rich in these things is believed to result in improved blood pressure, improved cognition, and reduce accumulation in your liver.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 to 40 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 lb yellow and red beets (6 or 8)
  • 2 small cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/4  tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. Dip the unpeeled beets in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook until tender—20 to 40 minutes. While still warm, remove them with a cloth or paper towel, remove the stem, and remove the skin by simply sliding.
  2. Slice the hot beets into rings and arrange them on a serving platter.
  3. Before they cool, sprinkle with garlic, mint, salt, and pepper, and let them sit for 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle with vinegar and oil. Stir gently.
  5. Serve this dish warm, at room temperature or cooled.

French Lentil and Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese

Lentil and arugula salad with herbed cashew cheese

This arugula salad is inspired by that traditional combination of Le Puy lentils, walnuts, and goat cheese, with crisp radishes adding a welcome crunch and a peppery kick. In place of the goat cheese, I use tangy, salty Herbed Cashew Cheese. Making the cashew cheese requires some forethought, so if you don’t have any on hand or time to make it, you can omit it or substitute a chopped avocado. Reprinted with permission from Food52 Vegan by Gena Hamshaw © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs © 2015 by James Ransom. Continue Reading…

Curried Potato Salad with Lentils and Tomatoes

Potato and lentil salad recipe

This curried potato salad is a luscious combination of potatoes, lentils, and tomatoes — an offbeat change-of-pace from the standard varieties, and gets a nice protein boost from the lentils. It’s hearty enough to serve as a summer main dish with fresh corn on the cob. Add a cold summer soup for a larger meal. Photos by Hannah Kaminksy. Continue Reading…

Indonesian-Style Vegetable Platter with Peanut Sauce

Indonesian-Inspired composed salad with peanut sauce

This composed platter is inspired by the Indonesian dish gado-gado. Translated literally as “mix-mix” that’s just what this dish is — a mélange of raw and cooked vegetables, arranged in separate mounds and served with a rich peanut-coconut dressing. Characteristic ingredients include cooked potatoes and green beans; mung bean sprouts, green cabbage and cauliflower. With tempeh (or sometimes tofu) as the usual protein on the platter, this is meant to be a one-dish meal, and not the kind of salad that’s served on the side. Though entirely optional, plain cooked rice is often served with gado-gado. If you do so, an aromatic brown Basmati is very nice. Continue Reading…

Southwestern-Style Salad in Tortilla Bowls

Southwestern salad in tortilla bowl

Here’s a colorful Southwestern-style salad that’s made even more enticing by serving in its own tortilla bowl. It’s a bit awkward to pick the whole thing up, so it’s best to cut or tear pieces off as you eat it. Double the recipe for more servings; these are substantial main dish-sized portions. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Chinese-Style Shredded Cold Vegetables and Tofu

Chinese-syle shredded salad

A friend from Shanghai described this to me as a typical dish that comes as close the definition of  salad in both the Eastern and Western interpretations of the word. Its name, literally translated, is the less-than-descriptive “cold mix.” This veganized version features matchstick-cut vegetables and a chewy baked tofu. Serve with a simple noodle or rice dish for a delightful meal. Continue Reading…

Thai Composed Rice Salad (Kao Yum Pahk Dai)

Thai Composed Rice Salad (Kao Yum Pahk Dai)

Though you won’t find this on domestic restaurant menus as often as you would traditional green papaya salad, the basic ingredients for this southern Thai composed salad are more readily available to the home cook. Central to this gorgeous composition is a mound of rice, which is surrounded by a variety of veggies plus one fruit — usually pineapple or green apple. A feast of flavors, textures and colors, what really pulls it together is the toasted coconut. Continue Reading…

French Lentil Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

French Lentil Salad by Sharon Palmer from Plant-Powered for Life

Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up—no soaking required—in only 15 to 20 minutes. A French ami shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day. Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, © 2014 Sharon Palmer. Reprinted with permission from The Experiment.

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Vegan Niçoise-Style Salad

Vegan Salad Niçoise

Salade Niçoise is a beautifully composed salad of French origin that looks fancy but is incredibly easy to make. The traditional version is often made with tuna, but here the fish is replaced with baked tofu, which makes a great stand-in. And the array of ingredients—white beans or chickpeas, slender green beans, tomatoes, and olives—makes it a splendid main dish salad for a summer meal, either on busy weeknights or festive occasions. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.   Continue Reading…

Wheat Berry, Baby Kale, Grape, and Orange Salad

Straight from the Earth_Wheat Berry Salad

Baby kale is mild and convenient to use because the whole leaf is edible. If you can’t find it, you can substitute full-size kale by removing the stem and slicing the leaf very thinly: 1⁄4 inches wide and not longer than 2 inches. The wheat berries take a full hour to cook, and another 20 minutes or so to cool, but they can easily be cooked a day ahead of time. Recipe contributed by Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman, from Straight from the Earth* © 2014. Photo by Sara Remington. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pear, Cranberries, and Vegan Parmesan

brussel sprouts salad

I love fresh salads for lunch or sides, and frankly the bigger the better. I wanted a little bit of everything in here; crunch, sweetness, cheesiness, and something that can be prepared ahead of time and thrown together later. I think we all typically boil or roast brussels sprouts, but have you ever had these amazing little greens raw? They have a similar texture to shredded cabbage, but much more flavorful. Shaved Brussels sprouts, chewy dried cranberries, toasted almonds, fresh pear, and vegan Parmesan cheese make this salad irresistible. Recipe and photos contributed from Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils.  Continue Reading…

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

This vegan and gluten-free salad, with the unusual central feature of cauliflower enveloped in barbecue sauce, make a fantastic summer main dish salad, though it would be welcome year round. Once the cauliflower is done, the rest comes together in a flash. Recipes and photos contributed by Cara Reed, from Fork and Beans.

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Vegan recipes by VegKitchen