Updated: May 3
Hey, Wholesome seekers, I am on a mission to support as many people as I can to go more plant based and heal their bodies from the inside out.
If you know me personally, you know I have been a vegetarian most of my life. I believe eating primarily plants has so many health benefits. It has been shown to lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to those who consume meat. Research has also shown that those who maintain a plantbased or mostly vegetarian style diet tend to lose weight more successfully, and not only that, but also keep it off better!
In the first of many healthy recipe posts, I am sharing my favourite vegan salad bowls to inspire you to try eating more plants. If you add just 1-2 bowls per week to start, I promise you, you will soon see just how tasty and easy going fully plant-based can be. Let's tuck in!
1. Spicy Tofu "Halloumi" Salad
This bowl of goodness (pictured above) combines baby spinach leaves with roasted sweet potato and brussel sprouts, pear, pomegranate and a kick of spiced tofu.
Spicy Tofu "Halloumi" Salad Recipe
1 cup of baby spinach
1 pomegranate, deseeded
1 large pear, chopped finely
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup organic walnuts
1 block of firm organic tofu, chopped into strips
Begin by lightly stir frying the red cabbage in a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Set aside once cabbage hue deepens and is wilted. In the same pan, add your favourite spice mix ( I like to just use a 1 tsp of tumeric, 1 tsp of crushed garlic and chili spice). Sizzle with a spot of oil, then add the tofu strips and cook each side as you would regular haloumi. Set aside.
For the roasted veggies, follow these instructions:
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1/2 cup brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
1/2 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Roasted Sweet Potato
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (as hot as you like)
1/2 tsp rock salt
In a bowl, toss the brussel sprouts with seasoning and oil until fully coated. Add to one end of a baking tray lined with wax paper making sure each sprout halve is laying face down. Reuse the bowl (or rinse it) and do the same with the sweet potato and listed spices. Add to the other end of the baking tray. Bake on 180c until the sprouts are getting crispy on the outside but soft in the centres. Remove and continue baking the sweet potatoes until you can easily press a fork through them. Let cool.
To assemble the salad, sprinkle the greens across the bottom of your serving plate. Add the pear, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, red cabbage, tofu sprouts and sweet potato. This salad is flavourful on it own but a tangy dressing like this one or this soy ginger also gives it a nice zip.
This delish summery salad recipe by Lindsay Surowitz is refreshingly light and the perfect lunch or dinner for those wishing to lose weight while going plant based. I especially love Lindsay's use of edible flowers!
Another favourite by Lindsay Surowitz, is this salad bowl which beautifully combines the sweetness of watermelon, refreshing hint of mint and a tangy dressing. I swap the feta she uses for a vegan version such this one by Brittany Angell which is so tasty, or this one by Sunnyside Hanne.
4. Skinny Beetroot Detox Salad
Not everyone is a fan of beetroot but I am here to tell you that you definitely want this root vegetable on your fork.
The blood red veggie is low in calories and a fabulous source of essential nutrients, including fibre, folate and vitamin C. Beets also contain nitrates and pigments that lower blood pressure, aid detoxification and improve athletic performance.
I usually make this salad with fresh beets chopped into cubes, but it's just nice with shredded if you are new to beets or not a huge fan.
Skinny Detox Salad Recipe
1/2 cup fresh, organic beetroot, chopped or shredded
3 sprigs of fresh, organic coriander (cilantro)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegan feta by Brittany Angell
In a bowl, combine the above ingredients and toss well to blend flavours. This salad is lovely with a side of homemade hummus and gluten-free pita bread.
In the cooler months, sometimes you just crave a hearty meal. Without relying on meat can be tough for some, but when you arm yourself with delicious bowls like this Winter Well Bowl made up of flavour falafel, nutritious kale, beets, and carrots topped with a mouthwatering herby tahini sauce, you've got a winner! Full recipe, click here.
This peach spinach salad paired with avocado, toasted almonds and goat cheese makes a fabulous barbeque companion. In going plant based, try it with grilled veggie burgers like these and vegan feta by Brittany Angell or this one by Sunnyside Hanne. Full salad recipe, click here.
7. Health Coach's Gut Friendly Buddha Bowl
Another favourite of mine and created quite by accident really. I threw a bit of this and that together and came up with a fibre-rich feed that is brimming with gut-friendly goodness.
Gut-Friendly Buddha Bowl Recipe
1 cup cooked quinoa (can use brown rice as an alternative)
1/2 cup shredded organic, English spinach or kale
1/4 cup red cabbage ( I prefer it raw but you can briefly stir fry it first)
1 handful fresh, sunflower sprouts
3 tbsp homemade hummus
1 lime quarter, for the juice
1 tsp black sesame seeds
drizzle of Creamy Vegan Buddha Bowl Dressing (or your own favourite)
In a generous serving bowl, add the ingredients in sections as pictured. Place a blob of the hummus on top and sprinkle with the seeds. Chili slices optional.
This is such a versatile recipe that you can easily swap ingredients for what you have on hand. Try using brown rice, couscous or zucchini "pasta" spirals for quinoa; shredded cucumber or beets for the carrot, or combine all three! Mix up which sprouts you use and go for mung bean, alfalfa, broccoli sprouts or mixed seed. Add a plant based protein like chickpeas, tofu, tempeh or peas. You can literally create a fresh, brand new bowl for each day of the week just from rotating the ingredients.
This delicious, creamy vegan Caesar salad will have you wondering how humble cashew nuts can create such a fabulous dairy replacement! Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows, is a longtime favourite of mine; I've followed her since her first cookbook and love the wholesomeness of her recipes. Full recipe, click here.
Ashley Melillo of Blissful Basil, makes a deliciously divine vegan salad made with protein-rich edamame beans, refreshing cucumber, cabbage and a tangy sesame dressing. It pairs nicely with veggie burgers or on its own as a meal. Full recipe, click here.
10. Peach Sunburst Salad Bowl
This salad is a sunburst of colour and flavour with fresh peaches, red and yellow capsiscums and juciy cherry tomatoes.
Sometimes the best salads are the simplest. I love making this one with nectarines or fresh peaches. It almost needs no dressing, and if served with a poached egg (for those vegetarians or flexarians) provides a high-fibre meal balanced with protein. I prefer to keep in full plantbased and use a big blob of hummus instead.
Peach Sunburst Salad Bowl Recipe
1 cup of sweet rocket leaves, rinsed and torn
1/2 cup mini roma or cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 yellow capsicum. thinly chopped
1/2 red capsicum. thinly chopped
1 peach or nectarine, chopped
pesto dressing (I love this recipe)
2 tbsp hummus (optional)
1 poached egg (optional)
1/2 handful of popcorn, lightly seasoned (try these recipes)
On a serving plate, lay down half the rocket leaves and begin layering the capsicums, tomato and fruit. Add a few blobs of the pesto dressing and centre a spoonful of homemade hummus, or omit and add the poached egg instead. Sprinkle with the seasoned popcorn.
HEALTH COACH'S TIP: If you have been thinking of going plantbased but are worried about it being too hard, adapt to this way of eating slowly by making 1-3 healthy vegan swaps per week to your current diet. Try new recipes or the ones above.
Put it into action ...which of these recipes will you try?
Wishing you health + happiness,
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