Plenty of veg, filling whole grains, and plant-based proteins. Whether you’re meatless on Mondays or going all-in, look no further than these vegetarian main dish salads for your dinner plans this week.
Whether you choose to go plant-based for health, environmental, or ethical reasons, it can be tricky to create filling meals as a vegetarian newcomer. Luckily, it’s not as hard as it seems. These substantial salads are packed with vegetables and bulked up with whole grains and plant-based proteins for a hearty meal in no time.
If you’re still looking for more, CSPI’s resident Healthy Cook Kate Sherwood has a new book out just for you! Check out The Healthy Cook’s Kitchen: Main Dish Salads now in the NutritionAction store.
Crispy Tofu Salad
Delicious as-is, this salad also provides the building blocks to make any number of satisfying plant-based meals. The irresistible crispy tofu can be thrown into stir-fries, made into other salads with whatever greens and grains you have on hand, or simply eaten as a snack with a simple dipping sauce. Don’t miss the miso ginger dressing, either — try it on roasted or raw vegetables to get your 11 daily servings of fruit and vegetables.
Looking for more plant-based protein recipes? Check out The Healthy Cook's Kitchen: Tofu and Tempeh
Fattoush Salad with Zesty Herb Dressing
Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, radishes: summer on a plate. With a zesty herb-tahini dressing and pieces of pita studded throughout, each bite of this fattoush is filled with flavor. Use whatever summer produce and fresh herbs you’d like to make it your own.
For more meatless mains, try NutritionAction’s Veggie Nice! Recipe Book
Mango Rice Salad
Perfect for a summertime picnic or potluck, as an accompaniment to a plant-based protein such as tofu, or eaten on its own right out of the bowl. Nutritious brown rice makes the perfect base for a vibrant mango salad with quick-pickled red onion — one of many Healthy Cook techniques you can learn from our recipes!
Find more lightning-quick meals in Healthy Recipes: Fast and Fresh Main Courses
Kale and Tempeh Salad
While most of us have heard of tofu by now, tempeh might be new to some. The dense cake made of fermented, cooked soybeans is nuttier and more flavorful than its better-known soy cousin, but it just as easily works as a blank canvas for your favorite flavor profiles. Here it’s crumbled, tossed with a punchy parmesan dressing, and crisped in a hot pan before joining a bed of kale and butternut squash.
Round out your weeknight dinners with The Healthy Cook's Kitchen: Whole Grains
Tomato Basil Bulgur Salad
Bulgur works particularly well in this celebration of summer’s favorite dynamic duo, tomato and basil, but any other cooked whole grain is just as tasty. Once your grains are cooked, it’s truly just a matter of tossing everything together to get dinner on the plate. Another Healthy Cook tip: To cool grains quickly, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet.
For more satisfying, veggie-forward ideas, check out The Healthy Cook's Kitchen: Spring & Summer Vegetables
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