6 healthy salad recipes that will actually fill you up

By | September 13, 2019

Hearty, healthy salad recipes are rare as hen’s teeth. Or at least they were. But now food writer Terry Hope Romero has changed all that with these creative, nourishing recipes, that will actually fill you up. Enjoy.

When you think of delving into a salad, what comes to mind? If you’re anything like me: a wannabe healthy eater with a love/hate relationship with greens, salads can be the last taste you fancy, especially during this seasonal change. They won’t fill me up, or they’re boring, are often the first thoughts that spring to mind, so why bother?

Well, thanks to best-selling author Terry Hope Romero’s new recipe collection, Show Up For Salad (£15.88 Amazon), these worries are over with this extract from her book.  We’ve got six of her nutritious leafy bowls, which will definitely fill you up, while satisfying any autumnal cravings for comforting carbs. What are you waiting for?

Hearty Breakfast Salad Bowl Recipes

Believe it or not, breakfast salads are a real option for fast-paced commuters and busy mums. They’re quick to prepare, filling and tasty – plus you’ve hit your five-a-day  before you’re even out the door.

You can’t go wrong with these two morning-bowl creations of taco salad and tofu scramble, plus protein-packed bites. So ditch the sweet cereals, and dig in— you won’t be disappointed.

#1 Healthy Salad Recipe – All Day Breakfast Nacho Salad

Makes two huge bowls or four smaller bowls

NB/ Prepare the tofu bites topping (recipe below) up to two days in advance.

NachoBreakfast

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound orange sweet potatoes or Yukon Gold or red waxy potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled, and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced or 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced chard, chopped romaine lettuce, or shredded green or red cabbage
  • 2 cups white, blue, or yellow corn tortilla chips or Toasted Wheat Tortillas
  • 1 ripe avocado, pit removed and sliced thin
  • 2 red ripe tomatoes, diced

Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and tear off two 12-inch squares of aluminum foil
  • Generously rub the dull sides of the foil with olive oil
  • In the center of one of the foil squares, pile the potatoes, onion, and diced peppers and sprinkle with oil, lime juice, and salt, and toss with your fingers to coat in oil
  • Lay the oiled side of the other piece of foil on top, and crimp the edges together to create a little package.
  • Slide the foil pouch into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes

Topping #1: Oven-Fried Breakfast Tofu Bites

  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, pressed for 20 minutes and drained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black salt (kala namak)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast Freshly ground pepper Kosher salt or a few twists from a salt grinder

 Prepare:

  • Dice the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients into a creamy paste.
  • Add the diced tofu and use a rubber spatula to gently stir to coat every piece with the marinade, but take care not to mash up the cubes.
  • Cover the tofu and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • Spread the tofu in a single layer, leaving a little space between the cubes to encourage browning.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the cubes halfway. The tofu is ready when the edges are browned and crusty. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

Dressing: Roasted Pico de Gallo Vinaigrette

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of white onion diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon  chipotle powder, 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teasppon of agave nectar
  • 1 teasppon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare:

    • Place a dry cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat it at a high temperature for one minute.
    • Pull out the the hot pan (don’t forget your oven mitt), add the whole cherry tomatoes and return to the broiler.
    • Broil for another 5-8 minutes to blister the tomatoes. The skins should look partially charred and some, if not all will have softened and split.
    • Turn off the broiler, remove the pan, and pour the tomoatoes into a blender.
    • Transfer the remaining ingredients except the oil to the blender and pulse until smooth. Stream uin the oil. For the best flavour, use as soon as possible, within a day of preparing.

Put it all together:

  • Prepare the Oven-Fried Tofu Bites and dressing first, up to 2 days in advance
  • You can also roast the tofu while you make the potatoes
  • It’s best to build individual servings of the salad nachos
  • Start each bowl with a little pile of the greens
  • Add a few spoonfuls of the warm roasted potatoes.
  • Add a few tortilla chips, then a spoonful or two of the tofu cubes, then a drizzle of both dressings
  • Keep building the bowl up with alternating layers of salad, potato, tofu, and dressings, ending with either the potatoes or a bit of the crumble
  • Garnish the top with avocado slices, cheesy crumbles, pickled red onion, some diced tomato, and perhaps a sprig of cilantro
  • Stick a few extra tortilla chips either in the center or on the sides of the bowl for some flair

#2 Healthy Salad Recipe – Protein-Packed Salad for Breakfast:

Makes 1 serving

ProtienBkfastSalad

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Dressed Lentils
  • 3 ounces Mighty and Flavorful Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan
  • Any flavor 2 ounces chopped spinach, kale, collards, mustard greens, or any mix of hearty greens
  • 1/2 ounce thinly sliced sweet onion, bell pepper, radish, kohlrabi, fennel, or blanched green beans
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted winter or summer squash
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed, hemp seed, or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper and sea salt (or a pinch of kosher salt)

Dressing: Keep it simple with vinaigrette

Topping: 1/2 ounce ‘Bacon’ Crunch Nuts and Seeds

  • 2 cups of pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or amber agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Pinch hot smoked paprika or cayenne pepper and sweet smoked paprika

Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Lightly spray the paper with olive oil baking spray, or brush with a little oil
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together
  • Stir aggressively to thoroughly coat all the seeds
  • Spread the seeds in an even, thin layer over the parchment paper
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Make sure to stir the seeds on the edges of the sheet toward the center, as these tend to brown much faster than the seeds in the middle of the sheet
  • Watch carefully toward the end of the roast to prevent over-baking
  • Remove from the oven promptly once they are golden brown and shiny
  • Cool completely on the sheet before storing in an airtight container
  • Use within 2 weeks for the best flavor, if they even last longer than a few days.

Put it all together:

  • Place a single-serving salad bowl on a digital scale and set to the weight to zero (WHY?)
  • Add the lentils, tofu, greens, and, if using, sliced vegetables
  • Remove from the scale and sprinkle with the oil and vinegar and a little salt and pepper
  • Toss to coat the greens and soften them up slightly
  • Place the bowl back on the scale and top with nuts and drizzle with dressing

Hearty Lunch Salad Bowl Recipes:

Afternoon salads seem to be the go-to choice for many Healthistas, but it’s about time we revamped them. Remake a savoury Reuben sandwich with a plant-based alternative or satisfy your seasonal tastes with a bowl of fall’s homey flavors. Unique and flavorsome, these salads are sure to please those grumbling mid-day stomachs.

#3 Healthy Salad Recipe – Blackened Tempeh Reuben Salad

Serves 2 to 3

TEMPEH RUBEN SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups ruffled kale, washed, spun dry, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 sweet white onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 kosher or half-sour pickle, thinly sliced

 Dressing: Tahini French Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled (or minced if mixing by hand)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • A few twists of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sesame tahini

Prepare:

  • Add 3/4 cup of water, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, lemon juice, agave, mustard, garlic, salt, and paprika to a blender and pulse until very smooth
  • Stream in the oil, pulsing/whisking and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  • Add the tahini a spoonful at a time and only pulse enough until blended and smooth; do not over-mix with a blender (if whisking by hand, mix until smooth)
  • Chill for 20 minutes before serving for the best flavor

Topping #1: Whole-Loaf Blackened Tempeh Pastrami

Prepare first: Pastrami Rub

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced dried garlic
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Prepare Second: Tempeh

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 8 ounce package tempeh

Prepare:

  • In a spice grinder (or pound in a mortar and pestle), pulse together the black pepper, coriander, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds just to coarsely ground. Don’t pulverize to a powder; you’ll still want a gritty texture to the mix
  • Transfer to a small container and stir in the paprika, dried onion, dried garlic, and salt
  • Spread half of the spice mixture on a dinner plate
  • In a 10-inch stainless steel skillet, combine the brown sugar and kosher salt with 2 cups of water
  • Bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat, add the tempeh, and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Flip the tempeh over and simmer another 5 minutes and turn off the heat
  • Use a wide spatula to gently lift the tempeh (careful, that’s hot, wet tempeh!) from the simmering water and place it onto the bed of spices, and layer the other half of the spices over the tempeh
  • Pat the spices into the surface of the tempeh
  • Flip over and continue to pat the tempeh with a thorough coating of spices
  • Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat
  • Wipe a thin layer of high-heat cooking oil (such as canola or high-heat safflower) over the pan and add the tempeh
  • Cook without flipping over for at least 5 minutes, or until this side is charred
  • Flip over and repeat on the other side. It will get smoky in the kitchen, so crank the fan or open a window!
  • Use the large spatula to carefully lift the tempeh off the pan and transfer to a plate
  • Slice thinly and enjoy

 Put it all together:

  • Prepare the dressing and chill until ready to dress the greens
  • Keep the prepared vegetables chilled until ready to serve
  • Prepare the blackened tempeh and slice into thin strips
  • In a large bowl, toss the kale, cabbage, and onion with half of the dressing
  • Pile into large serving bowls
  • Garnish the top of the bowl with fans of the sliced tempeh, and garnish with pickles and croutons

#4 Healthy Salad Recipe – The Big Crunch Autumn Vibes Salad

Serves 3 to 4

AutumnVibeSalad

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups mix of romaine lettuce and curly kale, cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups thinly sliced radicchio
  • 1 cup diced ripe pear or red or green apple, unpeeled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half 4
  • Fresh figs, sliced in half

Dressing: Maple Mustard Shallot Vinaigrette

Topping #1: Crispy, Cheesy Almond Crunch

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup blanched, sliced almonds, roughly chopped

 Prepare:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the almonds into a paste
  • Fold in the almonds and stir to completely cover the almonds with the paste
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Spread the coated almonds in a thin layer over paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Roast until the almonds look dry and are toasted on the edge
  • Watch carefully while roasting and promptly remove from the oven if they get too dark to prevent burning

Topping #2: Herbed Cornbread Crunch

  • 12 ounces (about 4 cups) day-old vegan cornbread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a large baking sheet with foil
  • Dice the day-old cornbread into 1-inch cubes
  • Spread out onto a baking sheet and gently toast the cubes to dry them out and firm them up, about 20 minutes
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients
  • Add the croutons and use a rubber spatula to stir the cubes and coat with the marinade, then spread again on the foil in a single layer
  • Increase oven to 350°F and roast for another 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cubes are crisp and golden
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely before using

Put it all together:

  • Prepare the dressing, almonds, and croutons in advance
  • Keep these chilled (except the croutons, which will be fine on the counter) until it’s time to serve the salad
  • When it’s time for the salad, in a large mixing bowl, combine the croutons, lettuce and kale mix, radicchio, pear or apple, celery, and cranberries or grapes with 2 tablespoons of dressing
  • Use tongs to vigorously toss together to combine
  • Portion out the salad into large serving bowls.
  • Scatter the nuts and garnish with the figs. Drizzle with any remaining dressing and serve pronto!

Hearty Dinner Salad Bowl Recipes

Forget side-salads with your evening entrée, these leafy fixes are the main event. From Lebanese classics and signature tastes to creamy goodness and family-style portions, Romero’s diverse evening bowls feature a little bit of everything for all foodie preferences. And who knows, you might even forget it’s a salad…

#5 Healthy Salad Recipe – Roasted Niçoise Salad

Nicoise salad

Makes 2 generous entrée salads

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • A few twists of freshly ground black pepper 1 pound small (or tiny!) red, blue, or yellow waxy potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound green beans, stems trimmed away
  • 4 cups mixed greens, mesclun salad mix, chopped Boston or romaine lettuce, or other fluffy, tender greens
  • 1/3 cup niçoise, Kalamata, or other nice European olive, pits removed
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds or toasted chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers

Dressing: Maple Mustard Shallot (recipe below)

 Topping #1: Roasted Lemon Pepper Chickpeas (recipe below)

Put it all together:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper
  • Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper
  • Dice the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and spread on the large pan (or one smaller pan), drizzle with half of the oil-and-vinegar mixture, and toss to coat
  • Roast the potatoes 20 minutes, remove the sheet from the oven and push the potatoes to one side of the pan, add the green beans, and drizzle and toss to coat with the remaining mixture
  • Roast for 15 minutes, stirring the beans and potatoes occasionally
  • The green beans and potatoes are ready when they are tender and lightly browned
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you jump into the last steps
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the salad greens with a big spoonful of Maple, Catalina, or Balsamic dressing; use long-handled tongs to dress the greens
  • Divide among serving plates, then pile on the potatoes, chickpeas, and green beans over the greens and casually flourish the olives, nuts, and capers on top
  • Drizzle on the dressing and eat

#6 Mustard Greens Tabbouleh with Almonds and Roasted Chickpeas

Mustard Greens Tabbouleh

Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds mustard greens, washed and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat, cooked according to the package directions
  • 4 scallions, white parts and tender green parts, thinly sliced
  • 11/2 cups flat-leaf parsley, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced, or 2 medium red ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing: Maple Mustard Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons mild olive oil

 Prepare:

  • In a small mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together everything except the oil
  • Then drizzle in the oil a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is smooth and emulsified

 Topping #1: Roasted Lemon Pepper Chickpeas

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepare:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet, or two smaller rimmed baking sheets, with parchment paper for speedy cleanup
  • Drain the chickpeas well, and shake to remove any excess canned liquid. No need to rinse; we’ll take advantage of the coating of protein-loaded chickpea water encasing the beans to bake in a hearty coating.
  • Transfer the beans to a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and stir to coat
  • Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, for softer chickpeas, or for 35 to 40 minutes for crunchier chickpeas. But watch closely and be careful not to burn the chickpeas at this longer roasting stage
  • Remove from the oven promptly once they are well browned to prevent burning

Put it all together:

  • Roast the chickpeas first
  • While that’s cooking, whisk the dressing in a small bowl and keep chilled until ready to use
  • Bring a 2-quart pot of water to boil over high heat, and fill another large bowl with cold water and keep it close by
  • Add a tablespoon of kosher salt to the boiling water, then add half of the mustard greens and blanch for about 30 seconds; the mustard leaves and stems will turn bright green
  • Use metal tongs or a spider skimmer to immediately transfer the greens to the bowl of cold water; this stops the cooking process by cooling down the greens, keeping them firm and green yet tenderized by the quick dip in boiling water
  • Repeat with remaining greens
  • Drain the greens and gather in your hands to squeeze out excess water
  • Finely chop the mustard greens and transfer to a mixing bowl
  • Add the cooked bulgur wheat, scallions, 1 cup chopped parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes, almonds, and half of the roasted chickpeas, and drizzle with half of the dressing
  • Scoop into a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining chickpeas and parsley, and drizzle with the rest of the dressing

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