I often make a salad for lunch at work and since switching to vegan cooking at home, it’s been a little harder to come up with ways to make them filling on their own. For a while, I was always pairing our salad with some leftovers or a side-dish I’d make in advance (like a lentil soup or quinoa salad). Side dishes, however, take time and often I don’t have one available (in a pinch Trader Joes has some good vegan soups that are filling and not too expensive). My current salad obsession began with the simple idea of just adding plain cooked quinoa to my salad. One morning I decided instead to just cook some quinoa while I was getting ready in the morning and then add it to my salad. I’d make an extra-large batch and save it for future salads. The hummus-balsalmic combination of dressings ensures that the quinoa is tasty and not dry.
You can modify this salad as you wish by adding or subtracting your favorites/least favorites or whatever you have in your fridge but here’s how I do it.
Vegan Protein Salad
- Arugula (if I have it on hand, this really adds flavor to the salad!)
- ¼-1/2 avocado, depending on the size of the avocado
- As much cooked quinoa (cooled) as you want (I probably put ½ -3/4 cup on mine and more like 1.5 cups on Mike’s salad)
- Chopped red onion
- Chopped red bell pepper
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped tomatoes
- ¼ ish cup of frozen peas (they will defrost by the time you eat it if you bring this to work and stick it in the fridge)
- Pepitias or nut/seed of choice
- 1-2 tbsp hummus
- Vegan balsamic vinaigrette of your choice
Although it sounds like a lot of ingredients, it doesn’t take that much time to prepare and offers a wide variety of nutrients and especially plant based protein which helps keep me full. It can easily be made the night before and refrigerated (don’t add the quinoa when it’s hot though) so that you can save time in the morning.
This is a great salad especially for days like the Monday after Thanksgiving when you are stuffed full of rich foods and want something lighter!
Thanks for the yummy quinoa idea! I’ve been trying to introduce more vegan meals into my diet but have had a hard time getting the protein I need. My current go-to lunch salad is spinach, fresh seasonal fruit, seeds, almond slivers, chopped onion, and homemade vinagrette. Sometimes I’ll add salmon or tuna if I’m planning on lifting weights that day.
Abby @ Change of Pace
We’re big salad for lunch people, too! Kelly sometimes takes soup with his (Amy’s brand). But lately we’ve just been adding nuts to ours. Occasionally I add beans or rice. I don’t know what I’ve never thought to add quinoa! Thanks!