17 creative ways to add plant protein to your salad
are we craving salads yet?
As the nights become balmy and dressing half naked becomes socially acceptable, mother nature has our back and we tend to crave more fresh fruit and veggies. Yay!
This works out juuuust fine, as spring and summer are naturally good periods for cleansing, nudging us to (hopefully) let go of a few extra LB’s we were holding onto over winter.
HellooooOOoo salad season!
Caprese salads, pasta salads, FRUIT salads and more- what they are often missing in the plant-based world is some protein to keep you from looping back to the bread basket.
Long story short, having a good clean source of protein atop that glimmering bed of kale is key to maintaining stable blood sugar (energy!) preventing cravings and helping you stay on track with your summer health goals!
Years of a forever rumbling belly has taught me how to get creative with the plant-y protein I add to my salad of choice.
If we’ve been friends for a while you already know I don’t mess around with any measly salads.
check em out!
- marinated Tofu: Pefect for cool summer salads; you can use balsamic, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, barbecue sauces, hot sauces, spices and more. I’ve seen this done to replace the mozzarella in fresh basil and tomato salads….mmm.
- grilled Tofu: When you’re craving those char marks that meat-eaters boast about. Marinate your tofu in your favourite seasonings and pop on the grill for a barbecue worthy protein.
- Spicy Black Beans: Mashed or whole; for a mexican style salad you can add some black beans spiced with chili powder, cayenne and cumin.
- pan-fried chickpeas: Keep em’ simple with salt n’ pepper and garlic like in This Recipe or simmered in a savoury barbecue sauce like This One.
- roasted chickpeas: Crispy and golden brown. They make a tasty protein-packed replacement for croutons.
- Fava/White Beans: These creamy beans blend seamlessly into recipes that use cheese such as feta. Try them in this Italian Pasta Salad recipe.
- Quinoa ‘Taco Meat’: Credit for this idea goes to Minimalist Baker. Sprinkle quinoa with smoky seasonings like cumin, chili powder and salsa for a zesty kick to any salad.
- Sticky Tempeh: My favourite method of cooking tempeh is slow simmered until tender and juicy! Try our my Asian-inspired tempeh recipe here and let the drooling begin.
- Homemade ‘Burger’ Patties: make em ahead and freeze them! The amount of easy homemade veggie burgers online is insane! They make every meal a little more fun and filling. I also like to add them to veggie wraps. These Easy Vegan Burrito Burgers with a patty made from black beans and rice are my secret weapon for speedy salad toppers.
- Zesty Seed Mix: Make your own protein-packed salad topping by combining your favourite seeds like pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and spicing them up! Try my favourite zesty roasted pumpkin seeds here.
- Edamame: These powerful little beans go go beautifully with thai and Asian inspired dishes like this Tangled Asian Quinoa Salad. Try them with slaw or a raw pad Thai!
- Lentils: french, beluga or puy lentils hold a firmer texture and go SO well with peppery greens like arugula. You can even buy them sprouted for easier digestion!
- Portobello Mushrooms: Grilled or broiled, these meaty mushrooms pack a surprising amount of protein (roughly 3 g per mushroom) and go really well with other grilled veggies, leafy greens or even quinoa. Try marinating them in garlic and balsamic vinegar-heaaven!
- Snap Peas: Vibrant and crunchy, slice these peas in half and toss them in a quinoa salad for an extra shot of green protein.
- Hummus: And it doesn’t have to be chickpea! I love slopping a hefty scoop of this Golden Healing Hummus or Impossibly Smooth Hummus to my salad bowls.
- Falafel: If you love falafel in a pita, you won’t turn down hearty falafel balls in a salad with Mediterranean add-ins like cucumber, tomato, red onions and tahini.
- Grilled Corn: Especially for summer season, nothing comes close to the flavour of local organic corn off the cob. Pair this with other Mexican flavours and beans for extra oomph! Each ear of corn has a whoppin’ 9 grams of protein.