Delicious and nourishing garden salad with and incredible lemon vinaigrette dressing that's oil-free, dairy-free, super creamy and delicious.
Crunchy, fresh and packed full of goodies, this salad is a fabulous side dish or a healthy, protein-rich, vegan lunch!
Sometimes my body literally craves high vibrational, healthy, crunchy, fresh food; and I just feel like a BIG salad. I love the versatility of salads - add a bit of this and a bit of that, raw, roasted, beans, grains, cheese, tofu, a few nuts and seeds, a tasty salad dressing and presto - you're all set.
Why this Rainbow Salad Works
- Healthy - loaded with colourful veggies each with its own nutrient profile.
- Quick and Easy - a great nourishing lunch or dinner depending on the add-ons that can be ready in 10 minutes. Easy to take for lunch - add the dressing right before serving.
- Adaptable - choose a variety of colours and textures, add in leftover baked veggies, beans, tofu or tempeh from earlier in the week.
- Customizable - add a zesty, creamy, spicy, sweet or cheesy salad dressing each day of the week. Switch the beans and toppings to create a different salad every day.
Homemade Salad Dressing (oil-free)
More than five years ago, I gave up buying commercial salad dressings. I mean let's be real, they take up a lot of real estate on the fridge door (especially when you've got six, half used bottles hanging around!). They can be expensive (for the same reason), and they usually aren't super healthy. Plus salad dressing is a cinch to make so making my own seemed like a no brainer.
Lemon Vinaigrette takes 3 minutes to make is creamy and tangy made with Dijon mustard and lemon juice. It's oil-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. This is a family favorite.
Creamy Red Wine Vinegar Dressing (or balsamic) is a quick and easy, dairy-free dressing that's one of my go-to, oil-free salad dressings.
Salad Add Ons Suggestions
This salad is super delicious just as a regular garden salad especially with a creamy salad dressing; but depending on the add ons, you can make this a full meal salad bowl. Here's some ideas to get you started:
- Grains - warm rice, quinoa or lentils
- Beans - baked or raw chickpeas, black beans, brown beans, pintos, etc
- Leftovers - baked veggies (cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli)
- Vegan Meat Replacement - Gardein Crispy Tenders, Field Roast Chipotle Sausage, Pepper Crusted Tofu,
- Something Sour - pickles, hot peppers, capers, olives
- Berries or Fruit - blueberries, raspberries, pears, apples
Tips for Keeping Salad Greens Fresh
- Place a paper towel or clean kitchen towel in the bag or container with leafy greens to keep extra moisture away.
- If you buy leafy greens in large containers at the grocery store, remove them when you get home.
Place a paper towel in the bottom of the container then add back half the greens. Add another paper towel and the remaining greens.
- If they are packed super tight, place half the produce in a separate container or bag. Air circulation will help keep the greens fresh longer.
- Store fresh herbs in a paper towel to keep them fresh and crisp. Remove any tags or twist ties from herb bunches - especially cilantro - before storing.
Fluff the herbs to ensure they are not tightly packed. Loosely wrap in paper towel, and place in container or bag.
What to Serve with Salad Bowls
Did you make this Ultimate Garden Salad recipe?
Please leave a comment and rating below - thank you for your support!
Show me your photos on Instagram, I love to see your food!
NEVER MISS A RECIPE: Sign up for my email NEWSLETTER
Ultimate Garden Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (oil-free)
Salad Dressing options below
- greens of choice
- purple cabbage (or green)
- tomatoes, halves
- radish, coins
- cucumber, ribbons
- carrots, grated
- 1 avocado, slices or chunks
- chickpeas (or beans)
- nuts and seeds, toasted
- sprouts or fresh herbs
Optional Add Ons (full list in post)
- Gardein Tenders, crispy tofu, vegan sausage
- If including crispy tenders, sausage or tofu (and you don't have leftovers), pop them in oven now.
Dressing Options (oil-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. If using avocado, pop everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust to personal preference.
- Drain and rinse the beans.
- For the salad, use a variety of greens (spinach, kale, arugula, etc), shredded purple cabbage, shaved Brussels sprouts, cherry tomato halves, thin cucumber ribbons, radish coins, sweet bell peppers, avocado chunks, and your favourite beans (I used chickpeas this time).
- Add a sprinkle of toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and garnish with fresh herbs or sprouts.
- I enjoy a handful of fresh blueberries in this salad as well.
This recipe is from simplyceecee.co food blog. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or republish this recipe without prior permission. Thank you.