Summertime has to be hands down my favorite season when it comes to food… perfect example, these plant based salads. It’s my happy place walking the isles of all of the fresh produce selections. I LOVE creating dishes with fresh ingredients…fresh herbs. It’s that time of year when we are headed to outdoor parties or having friends over. As always, It’s sometimes hard for me to go to parties because not only am I plant based, I am gluten free too. Makes eating out hard!! Anyway, 4th of July is that time of year where friends are getting together and I don’t want to be left out not being able to eat. I decided to make some easy plant based salads for 4th of July parties.
It was really hard to reign in the amount of salads I wanted to show you. I know when someone says salad, all we think about is green lettuce. Some of my favs are all veggies and fruit!
Cantaloupe Summertime Salad
One of my favorites every summer, is this easy Cantaloupe salad by Minimalist Baker. The fruit, paired with the fresh vegetables and herbs, make this so stinking delicious. If I need to make ahead, I make the dressing and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and then add this right before I serve. I also add the fresh mint last minute as well.
Tomato Caprese Salad
Nothing is more delicious to me than a Tomato Caprese Salad. This is one of the things that I thought I had to miss out on when I went plant based. You can have all the goodness of cheese and not be eating dairy! I promise it’s delicious. Good news, Myokos Kitchen came out with the most delicious plant based Mozzarella, perfect for slicing right up!
To start, I take 3 different colors of bell peppers (I use red, orange & yellow) and I broil them until the sides are black. I keep flipping them in the oven until all sides are done. When they come out of the oven, I start pealing the outside layer of the skin off. This makes the pepper beautifully soft and easy to eat. I chop those up and set aside. Then, I start slicing my tomatoes and mozzarella and layer those. I then chop up my fresh basil and add the chopped peppers to the top of everything. It gives the MOST beautiful color! I mix, 1Tbsp balsamic, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper. I usually double this to make sure the entire salad is coated. Then serve!! SO YUM!
Quinoa Herbed Salad
Could Quinoa be any easier to make? NO! It’s one of those last minute foods that you can cook and have a protein packed meal. I love the combination of flavors in this. Most importantly, if I take this with me to a party, I can guarantee that I have my protein for that meal. It is packed with so many rich ingredients. Here is how I make it:
Bring 1 Cup vegetable broth to boil. Then add 1 Cup of dried quinoa to the stock. In 12- 15 minutes, once the liquid has evaporated, you can set this aside to cool. While the quinoa was cooking, I took 1/2 cup of raw cashews and toasted them on the stove. Once these have cooled, you can chop those up and set aside. In a large bowl, place 2 stalks of celery chopped, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1 C grapes halved. I use the red ones…better color. Then, I add 2 Tbsp olive oil and the juice of 1 lime. Mix this all together and then add the cooked quinoa, the chopped cashews and crumble 1/2 C vegan feta over it. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir and enjoy!
Watermelon Mint Salad
Another one of my favorite summertime plant based salads features watermelon. There is something so fresh about watermelon. You can literally slice it up and put it on a plate and it gorgeous all by itself! I make this easy flavor dish all the time at home. My whole family enjoys it. I chop up however much watermelon you need for a sitting. Mine is usually half of a watermelon. Then, I chop up fresh mint and add to the bowl. I usually use one of the whole containers of organic fresh mint.
Here is where you can get creative… I sometimes add chopped cucumber and vegan feta and then drizzle olive oil and lime juice over it. So delicious! But for todays purpose because my cantaloupe salad has the same topping, I am going to skip the cucumber, skip the olive oil and lime and I am going to add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to it. So, I add my fresh mint, vegan feta, and the balsamic. I also add a little black pepper and sea salt to it. The flavors come alive!
I hope you all enjoy these Summertime Plant Based Salads! Also in another blog post, I had a fabulous fruit salad easy to take or make for any party and then my marinated beets. Soooo good! Check those each out below.
Thanks for reading along with me everything I find fabulous,
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