Simple salad made with white beans, plump tomatoes, cucumbers and a creamy avocado broccoli pesto dressing. This vegan salad is easy to put together and the perfect plant-based meal to detox and build lean muscles.
A delicious light and healthy salad with Italian ingredients ready in as little as 15 minutes!
Recently we have been trying to cut our family food budget down BIG time. With two growing boys I know it is only going to get bigger later?. I try to do my grocery shopping every Friday, with one stop during to week for any extra little things. If we are out of milk or orange juice by Tuesday, we wait until Friday to restock.
This also means that I am working hard to use up everything in the house before shopping on Fridays. Sometimes I can extend the weekly shopping an extra day or two by doing this.
Last week we were down to diddly-squat in the fridge with random vegetables to use up. A cup of tomatoes here, one cucumber there, not enough broccoli to feed a family of four, and an avocado that was about to turn brown. With a can of cannellini beans in the pantry, a basil plant sitting on the counter and a bit of romaine lettuce left over, this salad was born?. Sometimes you must get really creative when trying to use up food before it goes bad or when it looks like there is nothing for dinner.
I think the creative part is mostly in this salad dressing. Broccoli, kale, spinach, basil, parsley and cilantro are excellent sources of vibrant green vegetables that can be pureed into pesto and salad dressings. Broccoli is added into this dressing along with an avocado for natural creaminess and thickness without any dairy.
Let’s talk salad ingredients…
Ingredients in This Simple Salad Recipe
Starting With The Base ~
Romaine lettuce is crunchy and light giving this salad wonderful texture. It is long with dark leaves that have firm ribs down their center. Romain is lower in iron than kale or spinach but more nutritious than iceberg lettuce (perfect for burgers too!).
Then Add The Toppings ~
Cannellini beans (white beans) have a rich, creamy texture and are flavorful in Italian-style meals. They hold their texture well and are excellent to add to creamy pasta dishes, minestrone soup, tossed in salads, and pureed into hummus dip. I always like to have a can of these at home for meals that I want to make vegetarian and add plant-based protein.
Grape Tomatoes are bursting with juicy sweetness! They add natural sugariness to this salad that compliments well with the dressing. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and essential for building a strong immunity.
Cucumbers are impeccably crispy (especially when chilled) and low in calories (YAY!). I love putting a few on my eyes in the morning to relieve under-eye puffiness. They are mostly water so help to push the fiber in this simple salad through the digestive system.
Avocados, which are a favorite around here! We eat avocados in almost everything- morning toast, served as guacamole, with eggs, in salad dressings, and topped on salads. They are filling and satisfying thanks to their high amounts of healthy fats. Avocados are a great supplement for cream in some dressing and sauces.
Plant-Based Protein Sources in Salads
Protein is crucial for building and repairing muscles. There are many ways to get plant-based protein in salads without using meat. Leafy greens and vegetables naturally have protein in it. You can also top your salad with foods such as:
- Tofu is highly used in vegan meals and can be warmed and seared on the stove in a marinade then topped on salads.
- Nuts such as cashews, almond slivers, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans and pistachios to name a few.
- Beans such as navy beans, cannellini beans, pinto beans, black beans and garbanzo beans are high in protein and rich in iron.
My children even enjoyed this salad! That is always a bonus to a meal.
This simple salad is healthy, detoxing, crunchy, vibrant, delicious, refreshing, clean and lean! It has a slight Italian-style twist with its creamy avocado broccoli pesto basil dressing. Enjoy this energizing meal for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish!
If you like this healthy salad recipe you might also enjoy:
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Kale Salad With Chickpeas, Cranberry and Persimmon
- Roasted Beet Kale Salad With Herb Greek Yogurt Dressing
- Vegan Cobb Salad by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
- Spinach Salad Recipe With Honey Mustard Dressing
- Mushroom Lemon and Lentil Salad by Deliciously Everyday
- Kale Salad With Fried Tofu and Miso Ginger Dressing by Healthy Nibbles and Bits
- Arugula Quinoa Salad With Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing
- 5-Minute Green Goddess Dressing
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 large cucumber, cut into slices
- 1 avocado
- edible flowers for garnish
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup sweet yellow onion
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 lemon, juice of
- ¾ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- First make the dressing.
- In a food processor add the basil, broccoli, onion, garlic, 1 avocado (peeled with seed removed), salt, lemon juice, water, olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Pure until smooth or desired texture is achieved.
- Make the salad.
- In a large bowl add the lettuce. Layer on top the tomatoes, cannellini beans, cucumbers and 1 avocado (peeled and seed removed). Pour the dressing on top and garnish with edible flowers.