Sweet & Crunchy Chickpea Salad –

Crunchy chickpea salad with spinach, chickpeas, pepitas and vegetables

This colorful chickpea salad is full of Mediterranean flavor. I love loading up my salads with vibrant ingredients and this crunchy salad is both visually appealing and filling.

I originally created this recipe for my Autumn Cleanse guide. It is one that always surprises people, so if you’re on the fence about this salad give it a try!

ingredients for a crunchy salad

Tips for a Delicious Chickpea Salad

Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans so look for either name on the label. Drain and rinse well before using.

I love using Mediterranean-inspired flavors and ingredients since the Mediterranean contains blue zones, or places on Earth known for longevity. You can definitely add in the vegetables of your choice, or add even more cucumber, pepper or carrot to this chickpea salad.

tahini dressing homemade in a glass jar

The Key to the Perfect Dressing

To brighten up the veggie-fest that is this crunchy salad I created a Citrus Tahini Dressing. The tamari and apple cider vinegar brings the zing while the orange sweetens. The tahini wraps it all up in a creamy package.

Depending on how thick your tahini is you may need to add a bit of water to ensure this dressing is perfectly pourable. Use coconut aminos if you need a soy-free option in place of the tamari. The dressing tastes great yet also adds extra healthy fat to my chickpea salad.

Plant-Based Protein Options

To support my plant-forward lifestyle, I’m always looking for protein-powered plants to keep me energized. Chickpeas contain protein, healthy fat, fiber and tons of nutrients. This salad actually has 20 grams of protein per serving!

If you’re looking for ways to keep up your protein intake while eating more plants, then check out this helpful guide to plant-based protein.

easy lunch recipe with filling protein from plants

Chickpea Salad FAQs

Are chickpeas good for weight loss?

They can be! Chickpeas are a wonderful plant protein, healthy fat and high in fiber. They are loaded with nutrients like manganese and folate. So they are filling as well as nutritious.

Can you eat chickpeas raw?

Nope! Chickpeas should be cooked before eating. Canned chickpeas are already cooked, so just rinse well before using.

What pairs well with chickpeas?

I paired chickpeas with spinach, carrot, red bell pepper, cucumber, pepitas and sunflower seeds and topped it all with a bright tahini dressing. It’s loaded with protein and healthy fat and 100% plants.

easy salad recipes

Great Salad Recipes

While you can add meat to many of the below salads, they can certainly stand on their own plant legs just fine. It’s much easier to find meat-filled recipes than meatless recipes. So I’ve set out to create incredibly tasty + plant filled recipes just like these:

Don’t forget to rate + review this sumptuous Chickpea Salad. I love hearing your feedback and how you like these salads!

chickpea salad recipe

Chickpea Salad

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Protein power your afternoon with this delicious, Mediterranean-inspired Chickpea salad. It’s super crunchy + filling. Plus this tahini dressing is IT. I love it and know you will too.

Total Time15th minutes



  • 1 cup spinach (fresh)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ carrot (diced)
  • ½ cup cucumber (diced)
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper (diced)
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Citrus Tahini Dressing

  • 2 . tahini
  • 2 . orange (juiced)
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 2 test apple cider vinegar
  • 1 test tamari
  • ½ test garlic clove (minced)


  • Whisk together Citrus Tahini Dressing ingredients. Add extra olive oil or water if dressing is too thick.

  • Place spinach, chickpeas and veggies on a plate. Pour dressing on top and sprinkle with seeds.


  • Swap spinach with the leafy greens of your choice.
  • Feel free to load this salad up with as many veggies as you want.
  • Chickpeas add healthy protein, swap with black beans if you aren’t a fan of chickpeas.
  • Swap seeds with chopped cashews and almonds.
  • Swap tahini with the nut butter of your choice (though texture + thickness will change depending on the nut butter used).
  • Use coconut aminos instead of tamari to make this soy-free.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 604kcal (30%) Carbohydrates: 30g (10%) Protein: 20g (40%) Fat: 49g (75%) Saturated Fat: 6g (38%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g Monnounsaturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 262mg (11%) Potassium: 799mg (23%) Fiber: 10g (42%) Sugar: 6g (7%) Vitamin A: 4637IU (93%) Vitamin C: 40mg (48%) Calcium: 119mg (12%) Iron: 6mg (33%)


Citrus Tahini Dressing – Bold and Creamy Salad Topper 100% Nut Free

tahini dressing in clear glass jar surrounded by ingredients used to make this recipe

Veggies taste better when covered with a bright n creamy dressing. My tahini dressing recipe is incredibly simple to create, and can turn a variety of vegetables into saving treats. I originally created this tahini salad dressing for my Chickpea Salad. Yet feel free to use it on the salad of your choice!

It’s too good to limit to just one salad recipe.

whisking tahini salad dressing recipe

Tips for the Perfect Tahini Dressing

Use quality olive oil. Homemade dressing is the perfect time to pull out that high end olive oil in the back of the pantry. You know, the one you found at the artisan oil shop but just can’t bring yourself to use on veggies? I can tell the difference when using different olive oils in dressing, since the amounts are so much more concentrated. So find a good one (you don’t need a big bottle of it!) and enjoy.

Find a brand of tahini you like. Tahini is slightly bitter and definitely has a flavor. So make sure the one you use is one you like! I prefer Trader Joe’s brand. It even comes in a cute jar.

The end consistency should be pourable, not a dip. My tahini dressing recipe would honestly make a great dipping sauce if you cut back slightly on the liquid to thicken it. Yet to make it work well with salads, it has to pour easily. So if you whisk the ingredients together and still can’t get it to run slightly, then add just a bit more oil or water until the proper consistency is achieved.

Great salad dressing is worth the effort!

Easy Ingredient Swaps

If you’ve never tried tahini before then this is the perfect recipe for your first taste test. Tahini is a healthy fat made from ground sesame seeds in Mediterranean dishes. Yet if you know tahini isn’t your thing or you don’t have it on hand just swap in almond, sunflower or cashew butter. Know the end result will vary in consistency + thickness.

Orange juice is used to bring a bit of sweetness to this dressing, yet can be swapped with a Meyer lemon or tangerine.

Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce. So if you are trying to avoid soy ingredients then swap this out for coconut aminos.

ingredients for a nut free dressing

How to Make A Simple Salad Dressing

All you really need to make salad dressing is an oil + an acid. This typically comes in the form of olive oil + some kind of citrus juice. Then go crazy adding your fav seasonings and flavor enhancers to achieve the result you want. I use fresh orange juice in this tahini salad dressing to provide a sweetness to all the savory ingredients.

Tahini Dressing FAQs

How do you make tahini dressing?

My dressing uses tahini, fresh orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari and a bit of minced garlic. It’s citrus-y and super creamy.

What goes well with tahini dressing?

I love the Mediterranean-inspired flavor that goes into this dressing and primarily use it on a my Sweet & Crunchy Chickpea Salad- full of chickpeas, cucumbers, bell pepper, spinach, carrots, and seeds.

What does tahini taste like?

Tahini is made from sesame seeds. It looks like peanut butter but isn’t sweet. Instead it’s got an earthy, slightly bitter taste.

Homemade Dressing Recipes

Pretty much all of my dressing recipes have the same base: oil + acidic. Then I play with seasonings and flavors until I get the perfect combo for that particular salad. Feel free to tweak these recipes to fit your tastebuds, you’re the one who’s gonna eat these!

tahini salad dressing

Tahini Dressing

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This simple dressing is bursting with bright citrus flavor paired with a nutty tahini cream. It is both oh so good and oh so good for you. Use it as a gorgeous charcuterie dipping sauce or salad dressing. I originally created it to top my Crunchy Chickpea Salad from my Autumn Cleanse.

Total Time10 minutes



  • 2 . tahini
  • 2 . orange (juiced)
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 2 test apple cider vinegar
  • 1 test tamari
  • ½ clove garlic (minced)


  • Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Add extra oil or water if dressing is too thick.

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


  • Tahini can be replaced with sunflower butter, almond butter or cashew butter (though final texture will change).
  • For best results use a good tasting olive oil as you will notice a difference. This IS the time to break out that fancy oil you got on vacation or as a gift!
  • To make this soy-free replace tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) with coconut aminos.
  • This dressing is a great topper for my Sweet & Crunchy Chickpea Salad.
  • Store up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Shake well before using.
  • Tamari is very salty on its own, so no need to add extra salt to this recipe. It might feel weird to omit it, so just tell me you’ll try the dressing before adding in extra salt!

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 228kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 22g (34%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monnounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 7mg Potassium: 118mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 44IU (1%) Vitamin C: 9mg (11%) Calcium: 31mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)


Kale Caesar Salad – Flavorful Salad Made with Real Ingredients

vegan caesar salad

If you shy away from salads because you find yourself hungry 45 minutes after eating one, you aren’t alone. This Kale Caesar salad is not your average salad. It’s actually filling, creamy and crunchy. Plus, this is a vegan caesar salad, so no bloating, cramping or bathroom runs from a dairy-filled lunch.

This combo of flavors is worth packing in your lunch.

ingredients for a kale caesar salad

Kale Caesar Salad Tips

Kale is clearly the star of this salad and it’s no wonder! This superfood is hearty and a bit more filling than romaine lettuce. If kale isn’t your favorite then swap for dark romaine or do half romaine, half kale and enjoy!

The Garlic Lemon Aioli is super easy to make, remember to give your cashews time to soak. If you forget to soak them ahead of time, pour hot water over them and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. The drain and add to the recipe.

The last time I made this kale caesar salad I actually roasted the chickpeas with some olive oil and seasoning and you have to try this! It gives them a crouton-like texture to add extra crunch to your lunch.

garlic lemon aioli in a glass jar

How to Make a Caesar Salad Vegan

I’ve got two drool-worthy secrets to making a vegan caesar salad and still enjoy it. First, I smother the whole creation with my Garlic Lemon Aioli. It is seriously good and super easy to make. If you forget to soak the cashews ahead of time then just pour some hot water over them and let them sit for 10 minutes before draining and using.

Second, I have a recipe for vegan Parmesan Cheese that totally tastes like the real deal and yet is completely dairy-free. I keep a jar of this wonderful creation on hand at all times since it goes with almost everything.

Vegan doesn’t have to be gross, less flavorful or boring. This kale caesar salad still has the creamy dressing and the crunch. It fills me up and doesn’t give me the uncomfortable side effects that dairy does.

delicious homemade salad with all plant based ingredients

Vegan Caesar Salad FAQs

Is caesar salad good for you?

It depends on what’s in it. The one you get at a restaurant, drowning in dressing and covered in croutons probably isn’t. Yet my version is 100% plant-based, creamy and filling.

What is in a vegan caesar salad?

Vegan Caesar salad omits the cheese and dairy-based dressing, replacing them with vegan ingredients. My salad has a vegan cheese sprinkle (that’s wonderful!) as well as a dairy-free dressing that you might need to double because it’s so good.

Why is caesar dressing not vegan?

Caesar dressing is dairy-based, which makes it vegetarian yet not vegan. My Kale Caesar salad has a cashew garlic aioli that is super creamy and flavorful and 100% vegan.

Tis’ The Season for Salads

With Spring rapidly approaching I know many of us are starting to plan our kitchen gardens. What is a kitchen garden? Well, it’s the perfect place to grow and harvest the ingredients you use daily. I’m talking leafy greens, herbs and your favorite veggies. Then toss them into one of these epic salads. Trust me when I say everything tastes better when you know you grew it yourself:

Simple Salad Dressings

A great salad has a great dressing. And a great dressing doesn’t come from a store. Here are some super simple recipes that will have you cleaning out your fridge to make room for all your new creations:

Don’t forget to leave a comment and review to let me know how your Vegan Caesar salad turns out! I love sharing my favorite recipes with you.

kale caesar salad with garlic lemon aioli

Kale Caesar Salad

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This simple salad is the perfect filling lunch. It’s made with 100% plants and is both creamy and filling. I love the flavor and bit of the kale paired with the creamy aioli.

Total Time1 hour 15th minutes



Garlic Lemon Aioli

  • ¼ cup cashews (soaked 1-4 hours)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • ½ test Dijon mustard
  • squeeze of lemon

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups kale (stems removed and thinly sliced)
  • 1 . olive oil
  • 1 . lemon (juiced)
  • ½ cup canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 . pepitas
  • dash sea ​​salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 . vegan parmesan cheese


  • In a food processor, puree the Garlic Lemon Aioli ingredients until creamy. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water. The mixture should be thick and creamy.

  • Place the kale in a large serving bowl and drizzle it with oil. With clean hands, gently massage the kale until tenderized (5 minutes, at most). Squeeze the lemon juice over the top.

  • Mix in the chickpeas and Cashew Garlic Aioli until well combined.

  • Serve with pepitas and Vegan Parmesan Cheese.


  • Soaking the cashews is necessary to get the aioli creamy.
  • Massaging the kale helps relax the leaves as well as takes out some of the bitterness.
  • If you don’t have kale on hand, swap with spinach or romaine lettuce.
  • Kale does have a bite, so if you’re new to kale then use half kale, half romaine to start.
  • Toasting the chickpeas slightly before adding gives them a croton-like texture.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 281kcal (14%) Carbohydrates: 18g (6%) Protein: 11g (22%) Fat: 20g (31%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monnounsaturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 157mg (7%) Potassium: 591mg (17%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 1g (1%) Vitamin A: 6703IU (134%) Vitamin C: 84mg (102%) Calcium: 129mg (13%) Iron: 4mg (22%)


Crunchy Carrot Salad – A Refreshing Take on a Classic Side Dish

easy grated carrot salad

The salad recipe I’m sharing today is small but mighty. It’s not loaded with leafy greens. In fact, it’s quite a simple salad. My crunchy grated carrot salad is the perfect snack or side dish.

I created this salad for my Autumn Cleanse as a snack recipe since the healthy fats give you an afternoon refresh. The lemon and orange also brighten it up because we could all use a little extra sunshine in our lives.

grating vegetables for a healthy snack

Simple Carrot Salad Tips

The hardest part of this recipe is deciding whether to peel the carrots or grate them thinly. You do you!

I turn to this salad for an afternoon pick-me-up instead of veggies and dip because, well, it’s healthier. But the dressing does elevate this dish to more than just peeled carrots and some greens.

Extra Topping Options

Feel free to up the protein in this salad with chickpeas or black beans. Use toasted sunflower seeds for a different flavor and feel free to add in some spices of your choice. The classic French carrot salad also includes fruit, so add that as a topping.

fresh garden carrots

Carrot Nutrition

Everyone knows that carrots are healthy. The beta carotene that makes them orange is great for eye health. They are naturally sweet yet low in natural sugar. The nutrients in carrots have been shown to protect the body from several kinds of cancer.

Carrot Salad FAQs

Who invented carrot salad?

The carrot salad you knew as a child is probably a French Carrot salad. It often includes fruit and is used as a side dish. Feel free to add fresh apples or raisins to my version!

How long will carrot salad stay fresh?

While this salad is at its best eaten right away, you can refrigerate it for a day or two without the dressing on it.

plant based recipes using carrots

More Carrot Recipes

If you love this grated carrot salad, use the rest of the bag in your fridge or pull some more from the garden to use in these recipes:

Crunchy Carrot Salad

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This is my plant-powered take on a classic recipe. It is lighter, brighter, and not weighed down by mayo. Serve as-is for a wonderful side dish or double and enjoy as the main event.

Total Time10 minutes



  • 2 carrots (peeled into strips)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • dash ground black pepper
  • dash sea ​​salt


  • 2 . orange (juiced)
  • 2 . lemon (juiced)
  • 2 . olive oil


  • Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside.

  • Combine carrot strips, cilantro and sunflower seeds on a plate.

  • Drizzle dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  • You can grate the carrots for this salad instead of peeling them into strips.
  • Swap out the sunflower seeds with hemp hearts (still nut-free) or sliced ​​almonds.
  • Does cilantro taste like soap to you? If so, use parsley instead.
  • Feel free to use the carrots of your choice. When I created this salad for my Autumn Cleanse, I used rainbow carrots because they’re fun!

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 257kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 12g (4%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 23g (35%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monnounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 45mg (2%) Potassium: 356mg (10%) Fiber: 4g (17%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 10368IU (207%) Vitamin C: 18mg (22%) Calcium: 41mg (4%) Iron: 1mg (6%)


Healthy Pasta Salad – Easy Lunch Recipe to Enjoy All Year Round

healthy pasta salad

I have a hard time eating leftovers for lunch every day. Instead, I’m always on the hunt for easy yet tasty lunches that don’t take much prep work. I know that sounds like a unicorn, but it’s not! My healthy pasta salad checks all the boxes (and has a good amount of protein as well). Feel free to keep it a vegan pasta salad with the vegan feta or toss in your favorite cheese if you can tolerate it.

I set out to create this healthy pasta salad after Rawkstar Jennifer told me she was looking for quick and healthy recipes that her high schooler could take to school. I love how the different flavors mix in this recipe without meat or dairy.

Healthy Pasta Salad Recipe

vegan pasta salad

Follow cooking directions on pasta package, allowing pasta to remain slightly undercooked. This will help keep the pasta from falling apart in the salad. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is completely cool, then drain well again.

mixing ingredients for delicious meal

While the pasta is cooling, mix all the Basic Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

plant based pasta salad

Place cooled pasta into a large bowl and add the vegetables and herbs. Gentle toss. Drizzle Basic Vinaigrette over the pasta salad and gently toss again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

If meal prepping, transfer the salad to airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

meal prep salad recipe

While I created this healthy pasta salad with lunch in mind, it works great as a shareable side at a potluck or family meal as well.

Tips and Tricks to the Best Pasta Salad

Toss the salad well in the dressing as this helps it keep well in the fridge. Store in individual serving airtight containers to grab when you need to quickly. If you like your greens extra fresh, then wait to add those until you’re ready to eat, so they don’t wilt.

ingredients for healthy lunch

Ingredient Swaps

Probably my favorite part about this healthy pasta salad lunch is how much you can customize it to your taste preferences! Here are a few swaps I suggest if you want to try them:

Swap olive oil with avocado oil.

Swap red wine vinegar with the vinegar of your choice.

Use your preferred pasta type, or use gluten-free.

Cannellini beans can be swapped with another kind of legume (black beans, kidney beans or chickpeas are great swaps).

Add the veggies of your choice! Radisses or cucumbers are great additions.

Feel free to add nuts or seeds for an extra crunch.

I have a hard time eating the same thing over again, even when it’s as delicious as this vegan pasta salad. So you’ll find mine with a slight variation every time I make it, and that’s totally fine.

Commonly Asked Pasta Salad Questions

Is pasta salad bad for you?

It doesn’t have to be! Ditch the store-made pasta salads made with additives and processed ingredients. Home make one instead with loads of fresh greens and a light, oil-based dressing.

How long does pasta salad stay fresh?

My salad should stay fresh in the fridge up to 5 days since it is oil-based. Dairy or mayo-based salads will keep fewer days.

What is the best healthy pasta salad?

Choose a pasta salad that is oil-based instead of dairy or mayonnaise-based, has plenty of fresh veggies and leafy greens and a good protein source like beans or tofu. This recipe’s got it all!

meal prep salad

Easy Vegan Lunches

If you don’t use leftovers to fuel your lunch, you need to make or buy them every day. I love batching easy recipes for lunch that we can grab throughout the week. Here are a few of my favorites, along with the healthy pasta salad below:

  • Thai Lettuce Wraps- make the filling and cut the veggies ahead of time, then portion out into containers.
  • Tomato Soup- This recipe pairs so well with a variety of sandwiches or can be eaten on its own.

Take the guesswork out of lunch when you double or triple a recipe, then save it for the days ahead. The vegan pasta salad below is filling and doesn’t even need to be heated up to enjoy. Don’t forget to tell me how you like it!

healthy pasta salad

Healthy Pasta Salad

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Whether you’re in need of an easy week of lunches or a delicious potluck recipe to share, this vegan pasta salad is for you!

Total Time25 minutes



Basic Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
  • 1 . maple syrup
  • 2 test Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
  • test sea ​​salt (to taste)
  • test freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Pasta Salad

  • 16 ounces dry pasta
  • 3 cups arugula (pre-washed)
  • 15th ounces canned cannelini beans (drained and well rinsed)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 green onions (diced)
  • 1 can sliced ​​black olives
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (drained well if packed in oil) (julienned)
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs (finely minced (basil, mint, parsley, etc))
  • ¾ cup Basic Vinaigrette
  • vegan feta (optional)


  • Follow cooking directions on pasta package, allowing pasta to remain slightly undercooked. This will help keep the pasta from falling apart in the salad. Drain and rinse with cold water until pasta is completely cool, drain well again.

  • While the pasta is cooling, mix all the Basic Vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl until combined.

  • Place cooled pasta into a large bowl and add the vegetables and herbs. Gentle toss. Drizzle Basic Vinaigrette over the pasta salad and gently toss again. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • If meal prepping, transfer the salad to airtight containers and store in refrigerator until ready to use.


  • Use the pasta of your choice: bowtie, fusilli, shells, etc.
  • Arugula has a strong, peppery flavor. You can swap with kale or spinach.
  • Cannellini beans can be swapped with the legume of your choice.
  • I love using basil, oregano and chives yet you can any fresh herbs.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 483kcal (24%) Carbohydrates: 42g (14%) Protein: 12g (24%) Fat: 23g (35%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monnounsaturated Fat: 15thg Sodium: 1652mg (72%) Potassium: 733mg (21%) Fiber: 8g (33%) Sugar: 9g (10%) Vitamin A: 1535IU (31%) Vitamin C: 28mg (34%) Calcium: 117mg (12%) Iron: 5mg (28%)


Lemon Arugula Salad – A Delightful, Plant-Based Meal with Flavor

arugula salad

Hearty salads bring a whole lot of nutrition and fill me up so I’m not searching for a snack an hour after lunch. Just like with green smoothies, a good salad needs a balance of carbs, protein and healthy fat. My Lemon Arugula salad is definitely loaded with hearty plants and could arguably be the best arugula salad you’ll make.

I’d rather drink my greens over chewing them, so if I make a salad it’s got to be great. Trust me when I say this salad is #worthit.

best arugula salad with walnuts, snap peas and fennel

Best Arugula Salad Recipe

This salad was created with both presentation and flavor in mind. I wanted a beautiful dish as well as something to fill me up.

Make sure the barley is cooked before adding it to this arugula salad. If you know you won’t have time to cook it day-of, cook it beforehand!

My tarragon dressing can also be made ahead of time, just give the jar a good shake before pouring it over the finished salad.

If you want to add even more flavor to this dish then toast the walnuts before adding them.

ingredients for a filling lemon arugula salad

What is Arugula?

Arugula is in the same leafy green family as kale, and is not a mild veggie. It is however loaded with health benefits since it’s high in calcium, potassium, folate and vitamins C, A and K.

I love using arugula in salads, on top of pizza and even in pesto. If it’s a bit too strong for you to use as the only base in this salad then don’t toss it altogether! Pair it with mixed greens or spinach and enjoy its peppery addition to your lunch.

simple tarragon dressing

Tips for Tarragon Dressing

If you want a super simple dressing then this one is for you! Simply toss all the ingredients into a jar with a good lid then shake to mix. You can refrigerate until ready to use.

I recommend using fresh tarragon since dried tarragon has a completely different taste and flavor. I know it’s easy to swap fresh for dried when using something like basil, however that’s just not the case with this unique herb.

If you want to keep this dressing vegan, swap in maple syrup for the honey.

simple lunch recipe made with plants

Arugula Salad FAQs

What goes well with arugula?

I chose crispy fennel and walnuts along with a lemon tarragon dressing for my arugula salad. The dressing especially helps tone down the bite from the arugula.

How do you make arugula less bitter?

Pair it with flavors that help balance it out. I pair arugula with a zesty tarragon dressing and use fennel to help tone down the bitterness and boost the flavor.

Is arugula a lettuce?

Arugula is actually in the cruciferous family along with kale, broccoli and bok choy. It’s got a strong flavor so you could try half arugula, half spinach (or lettuce) until you get used to the flavor and kick.

easy and delicious salad recipes

Delicious Salad Recipes

Ready for more incredible salads? Then try out another one of my creations below:

arugula salad

Lemon Arugula Salad

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This lemon arugula salad is a feature on any table. It’s got unique (yet findable!) ingredients + an elevated flavor profile that makes me feel like I’m at a fancy restaurant. The perfect salad to mix up your lunch routine.

Total Time20 minutes



  • ½ cup barley (uncooked)
  • ½ fennel bulb (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ cup sugar snap peas
  • ¼ cup Walnuts (chopped)
  • 2 . green onion (thinly sliced)

Lemon Tarragon Dressing

  • 2 . lemon (juiced)
  • 1 test honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 . tarragon (fresh)
  • ½ test Dijon mustard
  • dash sea ​​salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 1 . chives (chopped)


  • Cook barley according to package. Allow to cool.

  • Prepare fennel by cutting off the green stalks. Halve the white bulb and carefully remove the core. Place the cut side down on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife, thinly cut or shave the fennel.

  • Place The fennel in a bowl with arugula, barley, pea pods, walnuts and green onions.

  • For Dressing: Place all ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Refrigerate until ready.

  • Drizzle Dressing over the salad, gently toss and serve immediately.


  • Swap barley with cooked quinoa.
  • To make the dressing vegan, swap in maple syrup for honey.
  • The dressing will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
  • Barley can be cooked ahead of time then refrigerated until ready to be used in salad.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 573kcal (29%) Carbohydrates: 51g (17%) Protein: 12g (24%) Fat: 39g (60%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g Monnounsaturated Fat: 21g Sodium: 68mg (3%) Potassium: 963mg (28%) Fiber: 13g (54%) Sugar: 6g (7%) Vitamin A: 1728IU (35%) Vitamin C: 39mg (47%) Calcium: 220mg (22%) Iron: 6mg (33%)


Bright Berry Salad – The Perfect Breakfast Salad Recipe

breakfast berry salad

Berries are my jam. They’re antioxidant superstars and are low in sugar while totally hitting the spot when I get a sweet tooth. If you’re a berry lover too then this berry salad is for you. Take a bunch of fresh seasonal berries, top them with some naturally sweet n’ tangy plants and finish them off with a little crunch. Voila! You’ve got a rawkstar breakfast berry fruit salad to share (or not!).

I love bringing fresh fruit to the party, potluck or dinner. This berry salad elevates the fresh fruit offering to a gorgeously yummy dish. It’s super simple to make, so grab those berries and let’s get started!

ingredients for berry fruit salad

Breakfast Fruit Salad Recipe

Make sure to wash and dry all the fruit before adding it to your bowl. You can either keep all the berries whole or slice the strawberries, your choice. Add a pink or yellow grapefruit that’s been peeled and segmentedagain keeping the slices whole or chopping them in half.

After you drizzle the orange juice and maple syrup over the fruit, very gently mix it all together. You don’t want to smash the berries yet you do want to distribute the ‘dressing’ evenly.

I love the addition of mint yet if it’s not your favorite flavor then omit it. Sprinkle the sliced ​​almonds and your gorgeous berry salad is ready to enjoy.

Antioxidant Feast

If you aren’t already convinced that berries are the best, read on:

  • Though berries are known for their sweetness, they are typically low in sugar and can help control blood sugar.
  • Berries are especially high in fiber, which many Americans are lacking.
  • Benefit from all the anti-inflammatory properties when you include berries in your diet.

Enjoy the deliciousness that comes from berries along with incredible health benefits designed to help you live your best life.

fresh fruit + mint for an easy recipe

Easy Ingredient Swaps

I chose berries that are fresh at the same time in Central Florida. Feel free to swap out any of these with berries that are local and seasonal for you. Don’t forget to tag @SimpleGreenSmoothies so I can see your incredible creations!

If nut-free is what you need, then swap out the almonds with hemp hearts to keep the nutty flavor and crunch. Coconut flakes also pair well with this fruity concoction in place of almonds.

Honey can replace maple syrup, or omit altogether to keep this lower in natural sugar.

Berry Salad FAQs

How long will this berry salad stay fresh?

Try to make it and eat it the same day so all the fruit is fresh. If you wash and dry the berries well before mixing together, this salad can be made in the morning, then refrigerated until ready to enjoy.

What fruits pair well with berries?

I added grapefruit and fresh-squeezed orange juice to my bowl of berries to balance out the sweetness and add a bit more color.

Which berries are best for a berry fruit salad?

Honestly, choose local, seasonally fresh berries for your salad. These might change depending on your location and that’s fine! I follow EWG’s Dirty Dozen when choosing which organic produce to buy.

plant based breakfast recipes

More Breakfast Recipes

If you’re looking for an entire breakfast spread made with mostly plants, then I’ve got some great recipes for you to add to your menu:

Berry Salad

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This is the perfect dish to bring to Sunday brunch. I try to enjoy all the fresh berries I possibly can while they’re here, and this salad brings them alive.

Total Time5 minutes



  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • 1 grapefruit (peeled and segmented)
  • 3 . orange (juiced)
  • 1 . maple syrup
  • ¼ cup mint (fresh)
  • ¼ cup almonds (sliced)


  • In a serving bowl, combine the berries and grapefruit.

  • Drizzle the orange juice and maple syrup on top.

  • Sprinkle with the mint and almonds.


  • If this won’t be served right away, squeeze fresh lemon juice over top and store in the fridge with an air-tight lid.
  • Swap grapefruit with an orange.
  • Swap maple syrup with honey (turns this vegan dish into a vegetarian one).
  • To make this nut-free, swap almonds with hemp hearts or sunflower seeds.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 262kcal (13%) Carbohydrates: 43g (14%) Protein: 7g (14%) Fat: 10g (15th%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monnounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 4mg Potassium: 581mg (17%) Fiber: 11g (46%) Sugar: 26g (29%) Vitamin A: 1872IU (37%) Vitamin C: 94mg (114%) Calcium: 135mg (14%) Iron: 2mg (11%)


Strawberry Arugula Salad – Loaded Spring Salad with Berries and Lemon

strawberry arugula salad

Nothing rings in Springtime like strawberries, fennel and arugula. I originally created this strawberry arugula salad for my cookbook, Simple Green Meals, and it is definitely a favorite.

While this salad recipe may contain a few plants you aren’t familiar with, give it a try! These were new to me at one time too, and I got to discover just how incredible they are. Trust me.

Fresh, homemade dressing to top a homemade salad

Strawberry Arugula Salad Recipe

For an extra creamy dressing, combine all dressing ingredients (except for the poppy seeds!) in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. You may need to add a bit of water to help it blend well. Hand mix in the poppy seeds, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Slice the fennel bulb, Meyer lemon, strawberries, almonds and orange, then toss with the arugula and berries. Once you’re ready to eat, shake up that homemade vinaigrette and pour over the salad.

I won’t judge if you lick the bowl on this one. It’s ridiculously good. I love Meyer lemons so much I started growing them in my yard and eating them like apples. If this is your first time trying one then I dare you not to immediately fall in love :-).

fennel, lemon and arugula for a delicious meal

Easy Ingredient Swaps

While Meyer lemons are definitely preferred (they have the best flavor) in this strawberry arugula salad, you *can* swap them out for regular lemons. Just know they will be tarter and smaller. You can swap fennel for white onions as well as the berries for any berries you have on hand.

If you need this salad to be nut-freethen swap the almonds with hemp hearts or sunflower seeds, and swap the cashews in the lemon vinaigrette with the same.

perfect spring recipe that is 100% plant based

Strawberry Salad FAQs

What goes well with arugula?

Arugula typically has a stronger, peppery flavor. I like to pair it with lighter, sweeter ingredients like berries as well as tangy fruit like oranges.

What dressing is best on a strawberry arugula salad?

My Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is the perfect pairing for this salad. It’s sweet, tangy and creamy.

How long does a strawberry arugula salad stay fresh?

If you mix up this salad without the dressing it can keep up to 48 hours in the fridge. For the best results though, I recommend eating it right away.

ingredients for strawberry lemon arugula salad

The Best Salad Ingredients

This strawberry arugula salad will leave you feeling great inside and out. The rawkstar ingredient list includes antioxidant-rich fruits, peppery leafy greens and a beautifully creamy salad dressing.

Arugula– This leafy green is in the same family as kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts, with the same powerful health benefits.

Fennel– A super-fiber bulb that is lightly licorice-flavored and crunchy.

Orange– A vitamin C powerhouse.

Berries– All the berries in this arugula salad are bursting with antioxidants that fight cancer, aid in cell repair and taste heavenly.

Mayer lemon– Lemons can help lower blood sugar through their pectin.

more fresh recipes made with plants

Leafy Salad Recipes

Salad lovers unite over these decadent recipes. If you’re looking for new salad inspiration then I’ve got you covered. I like a beautiful plate, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in these recipes:

Don’t forget to let me know how you like my strawberry arugula salad below! It’s got many of my favorite fruits and veggies, so I hope you love it too.

Strawberry Arugula Salad

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Total Time10 minutes



  • 4 cups arugula
  • ½ fennel bulb (very thinly sliced)
  • 1 orange (peeled and segmented)
  • ½ cup strawberries (sliced)
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ Mayer lemon (seeded and very thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup sliced ​​almonds

Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 2 . cashews (soaked for 1 to 4 hours)
  • 2 . Mayer lemon (juiced)
  • 1.5 test honey
  • ¼ test sea ​​salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 1.5 test poppy seeds


  • Combine the cashews, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add a teaspoon of water if needed. Mix in poppy seeds and set aside.

  • In a separate bowl, combine the arugula, fennel, oranges, berries, lemon and almonds.

  • When ready to serve, drizzle dressing on top.


  • Store dressing in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • Swap in whatever berries you have on hand.
  • Hemp hearts or sunflower seeds can be swapped in for almonds in the salad and for the cashews in the dressing.
  • Meyer lemons are less tart and much sweeter (and larger) than regular lemons. You can swap in regular lemons if you can’t find Meyer lemons, yet it will change the flavor of the salad and vinaigrette.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 488kcal (24%) Carbohydrates: 41g (14%) Protein: 12g (24%) Fat: 35g (54%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g Monnounsaturated Fat: 22g Trans Fat: 1g Sodium: 336mg (15th%) Potassium: 952mg (27%) Fiber: 12g (50%) Sugar: 20g (22%) Vitamin A: 1213IU (24%) Vitamin C: 89mg (108%) Calcium: 253mg (25%) Iron: 4mg (22%)


Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette – A Tangy + Brightly Sweet Salad Dressing

lemon vinaigrette

For me to choose salad over other options, it’s gotta be great. I don’t eat “dry” salad. It needs a dressing that ties all the ingredients together perfectly. So you better believe I perfected this lemon vinaigrette before sharing it with you! This lemon dressing pairs well with berry-filled salads as well as those with peppery arugula.

I’m talking a sweet, tangy punch of flavor that shines. This vinaigrette isn’t a silent dressing, it is the star.

fresh lemons for fresh lemon juice

Lemon Dressing Recipe

I’m not kidding when I say this recipe takes five minutes to make. Squeezing the lemon takes more time than blending up the ingredients.

lemon vinaigrette recipe

All you need to do for fresh salad dressing is measure the ingredients below into a blender or food processor, secure with a lid, then blend it up. Pour directly onto your salad or store in the fridge until you’re ready to us it.

Don’t have one of the ingredients listed? No problem! Swap honey for maple syrup, olive oil for avocado oil, cashews with soaked almonds or macadamia nuts.

Vinaigrette FAQs

What’s the difference between a dressing and a vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette needs something acidic and an oil, while dressing is a broader term. A vinaigrette is typically used as a marinade or salad topper.

What’s in a lemon vinaigrette?

My recipe has Meyer lemon juice, honey, soaked cashews, sea salt, black pepper, olive oil and poppy seeds. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

How long does lemon vinaigrette stay fresh?

I recommend using this dressing within one week of mixing. The fresher, the better! And definitely give it a good shake before using.

ingredients for lemon dressing

Power Ingredient List

Fresh Meyer lemon juice– You can use a regular lemon, yet the sweetness and flavor of Meyer lemons in this vinaigrette are out of this world.

HoneyLocal, raw, seasonal honey provides great health benefits (think allergy help) as well as a unique flavor depending on the type of honey. Lemon dressing can be super tart, so honey helps keep the balance.

olive oil– Use high quality olive oil when making dressing because you’ll taste it. This is the time to break into that gorgeous bottle you were gifted. #worthit

Cashews– A unique dressing ingredient and thickens up this recipe perfectly.

Poppy seeds– Provide a delicious flavor, slight crunch and a host of antioxidants.

homemade dressing with poppy seeds

Fresh vs Store-Bought Dressing

Have you ever found it a bit weird just how long store-bought dressing can stay ‘fresh’ in your fridge? Once I learned how easy it was to make dressing at home, I all but stopped buying it from the store. It’s super easy to make, and you probably have the basic ingredients on hand already.

If you want to buy your vinaigrette from the store then READ YOUR LABELS. Don’t be fooled by the healthy photos and pretty jars and instead make sure you can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients on the label.

plant based salads

Seasonal Salad Recipes

I’ve got a host of delicious salad recipes coming your way! The next time you’re in the mood for a plate of fresh plants, try one of these great recipes:

Salad doesn’t have to be boring, nor does it have to be your whole meal. Load it up with flavor and crunch, pair it with your favorite plant-based meal and fall in love with salad.

lemon vinaigrette for salad

Lemon Vinaigrette

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This bright and fresh dressing was originally created for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet can be used in a variety of Spring salads. Be sure to use fresh squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.

Total Time3 minutes



  • 2 . cashews (soaked for 1-4 hours)
  • 2 . Mayer lemon (juiced)
  • 1.5 test honey
  • ¼ test sea ​​salt
  • dash ground black pepper
  • 2 . olive oil
  • 1.5 test poppy seeds


  • Place cashews, Meyer lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.

  • Mix in poppy seeds by hand. Refrigerate until ready to drizzle over salad.


  • This dressing is best when fresh, use within one week of mixing.
  • Swap honey with maple syrup to make this dressing vegan.
  • If Meyer lemons aren’t available then use regular lemons.
  • I created this dressing for my Strawberry Arugula Salad, yet you can use it on any salad!

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 211kcal (11%) Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 19g (29%) Saturated Fat: 3g (19%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g Monnounsaturated Fat: 13g Sodium: 293mg (13%) Potassium: 106mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 3IU Vitamin C: 8mg (10%) Calcium: 41mg (4%) Iron: 1mg (6%)


Glowing Greek Salad Recipe – Mediterranean-Inspired Fresh Dish

greek salad recipe with vegan ingredients

My fav salads are loaded with toppings, full of flavor and filling. I don’t want to chew my way through lunch only to be left hungry and hour or two later. This Mediterranean Greek Salad recipe is both filling AND a flavor party. Plus it’s 100% plants.

Feel free to use this salad as a refreshing lunch feature or a grand side dish for pizza night… you really can’t go wrong! Mediterranean cuisine always show cases veggies the right way, and that’s def true in this tasty salad.

small bowls of ingredients for mediterranean greek salad

Mediterranean Greek Salad Recipe

People who live in the Mediterranean live longer, healthier lives than many of the rest of the world. It’s considered a ‘blue zone’ and I want in on their secret! Since food seems to be a key component of this longevity lifestyle, I love incorporating Mediterranean-inspired recipes into my diet.

My version of the Greek Salad includes washing + drying a few cups of mixed greens as the base. Then I top with a colorful array of chopped fresh veggies as well as kalamata olives and artichoke hearts (oh the flavor!).

I often top this salad with fresh herbs like basil, oregano or mint… or all 3! Then I dress it with a simple olive oil + fresh lemon juice dressing. Since the olives and artichokes are brined, I taste the salad before adding additional sea salt, as to not over salt it.

Mediterranean-inspired salad ingredients

Salad Toppings

While this greek salad recipe is loaded with ingredients, you can never have too many toppings. I love using my vegan Parmesan cheese sprinkle to bring a cheesy flavor + a little extra texture.

Pick your fav fresh herb (I suggest basil, mint or oregano) to chop and sprinkle. You can also add vegan or regular feta depending on what your body tolerates.

Easy Ingredient Swaps

If fresh tomatoes are hard to find then swap with ½ cup julienned or chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Chickpeas can be swapped with cannelloni beans, or you can omit altogether if using this salad as a side dish.

simple dressing in a glass bowl to pour over greek salad

Greek Salad Dressing

I’m keeping the ‘dressing’ for this super simple salad recipe: olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. That’s it! No need for a complex dressing as this salad’s already exploding with flavor.

Honestly, the olives and artichoke hearts will bring a bit of salt from their brine, so you might want to taste this salad before adding salt… then add to taste.

mediterranean dishes including a plant based pizza recipe, homemade hummus and stuffed portobello mushrooms

What to Serve with Salad

What are you pairing with your greek salad? Let me know in the comments below!

Greek Salad Recipe FAQs

How do you make Greek salad dressing?

Soooo easy… olive oil + fresh lemon juice. Feel free to add a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you want. Dressing done.

Is Greek salad healthy?

It can be! Skip the restaurant dressing and opt for a simple olive oil + lemon + seasoning dressing. Read the labels on the jarred olives and artichokes to make sure they are simple without any weird additives. Swap feta cheese with a vegan cheese sprinkle then top with protein powered chickpeas.

What do I serve with salad?

I like pairing salads with warm foods (anyone else?!). My top picks are pizza, stuffed mushrooms, savory tofu nuggets, or a delicious and creamy soup. You can also pair it with a lovely hummus… or just toss a few scoops of hummus on top of the salad!

Mediterranean Greek Salad Recipe

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Total Time10 minutes



  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • ½ medium cucumber (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • ½ cup marinated artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
  • ½ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives (pitted)
  • 3 . olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, oregano or mint (chopped)
  • ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • pinch sea ​​salt (to taste)
  • pinch fresh ground black pepper (to taste)


  • Wash greens and spin or pat dry. Place in a large serving bowl. Layer the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, red onions and kalamata olives over the greens.

  • Drizzle the olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, fresh ground pepper and fresh herbs. Gentle toss.

  • Serve with vegan parmesan cheese.

Nutrition (estimated)

Calories: 498kcal (25%) Carbohydrates: 42g (14%) Protein: 11g (22%) Fat: 33g (51%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monnounsaturated Fat: 20g Sodium: 752mg (33%) Potassium: 877mg (25%) Fiber: 12g (50%) Sugar: 12g (13%) Vitamin A: 4261IU (85%) Vitamin C: 128mg (155%) Calcium: 116mg (12%) Iron: 4mg (22%)