Salads add a level of freshness, colour, flavour and nutrients to any meal, but they don’t need to be the boring lettuce, cucumber, tomato formula.
They can be rich in flavour, texture and offer a satisfying mouthfeel with the right combination of ingredients and love.
In this blog, we’re going to elevate the humble salad to its rightful place as a table centrepiece.
We’ll give you three recipes for super simple vegan summer salads that will just hit the spot and complement any BBQ or feast.
Chickpea Pasta Salad
This is a nice vegan alternative to your chicken pasta salad. If you want it vegan, you can use vegan mayo. If you’re not vegan, you can use regular mayo. It’s simple, it’s satisfying and it’s moreish. Plus, it has all the nutritious goodness of chickpeas.
- Chickpeas are packed with nutrients including Manganese, Folate (vitamin B9), Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Selenium and Potassium.
- Chickpeas are high in protein, so are great for vegetarians and vegans to provide some of their protein requirements in the place of meat.
- Chickpeas may support brain health. They are high in choline and magnesium. Choline is needed for the production of certain neurotransmitters and magnesium is necessary for nerve function.
- Chickpeas are high in fibre, which aids digestion and may also promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut.
Asparagus and Pomegranate Salad
This delicious and fresh salad offers colour, crunch, flavour and goodness. It’s great with a vinaigrette or just with extra virgin olive oil and a grind of salt and pepper.
Asparagus is in the nobility of the green vegetables as it’s low in calories, high in nutrients and can hold its own as a veg side or as the hero of a dish like this one.
- Asparagus is packed with nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Phosphorous and Vitamin E.
- Asparagus a good antioxidant. Oxidation in cells leads to ageing, inflammation and chronic diseases. Antioxidants, such as the flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamins C and E found in asparagus, help to remove free radicals in the cells and lower oxidation.
- Asparagus helps to lower blood pressure due to its high levels of potassium. Potassium serves to relax the blood vessel walls and helps the body excrete excess salt, both of which help to lower blood pressure.
Watermelon and Apple Salad
Who says salads need to be savoury? We’ve sweetened the deal on this one with the time tested goodness of apple and the fun, succulent brightness of watermelon.
Watermelon may be 90% water, but the 10% pulp is rich in nutrients.
- Watermelon is an antioxidant. Much like asparagus, watermelon is great for clearing free radicals from your system, which helps to prevent many chronic diseases including cancer.
- Watermelon is great to rehydrate and is rich in electrolytes. So, next time you have one too many the night before and need to give your body a helping hand, maybe try some watermelon.
- Watermelon can act as a natural diuretic. People use diuretics to remove excess water and salt from the body.
- Watermelon may promote health skin, as it has a high Vitamin C content, which enables the production of collagen. Collagen is responsible for, amongst other things, maintaining skin elasticity.
We hope you enjoy making these summer salads and experimenting with different variations and flavours.
If you are in the Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha area, and you want healthy and delicious vegan frozen meals or vegan prepared meals, pop into our store at 25 Westbourne Road, order online or check your local Spar in the Eastern Cape.