Salads are healthy main dishes and an effective way to include more vegetables in our daily diet. If we also add proteins to make protein salads, we turn them into a unique and nutritious dish.
How to add protein to a salad
In these salad recipes we have followed some basic rules to make a single complete, healthy and nutritious dish:
- Vegetables and more vegetables, raw or cooked: The basis of any salad, even a protein salad, is vegetables. You can include green leafy vegetables (the darker, the more protein they are) and supplement them with raw vegetables (cabbage, carrots, beets, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower… .). They can also be steamed, fried or directly roasted vegetables.
- Legumes, without fail: We want our protein salad to be healthy as well, so we’re going to use plant-based protein. Legumes, being a source of protein, are a essential ingredient. The options are many: soybeans (tofu or tempeh), chickpeas, lentils, white beans, pinto beans, red beans… And you can add cooked, fried with spices or baked, which will leave them crispy. With legumes (or nuts) you can also prepare a delicious vegan tuna that will enrich your salads with its proteins.
- Experiment with dried fruits: Nuts are rich in protein and provide a crunchy touch. For this reason, it is advisable to incorporate them just before serving. Another option is add them shredded, or experiment with vinaigrettes and sauces based on nut creams, or with vegan cheeses.
- Whole grains? Yes! Whole grains also contain protein and the richest in this nutrient are: buckwheat, kamut, quinoa, spelled grains, wild rice, wheat pasta, teff or amaranth.
- A complete salad: To get a protein-rich vegetable salad without the hassle of counting protein in grams, one way to make sure is to add two protein components to vegetables. For example: tofu and tahini vinaigrette, quinoa with nuts… The serving is half a cup of legumes and 100 grams of this other protein-rich food per person.