I headed home from Minneapolis in my rumbling Honda yesterday morning. Once my iPhone directed me through the tangle of Minneapolis highways, I zoomed straight south on I-35 through countless Midwestern farms. One coffee stop and seven long hours later, I arrived in Kansas City just in time to pick Cookie up from the boarder. I hate to arrive at an empty house, so I always try to plan my travel schedule so I can pick her up on my way home. This place feels empty without her seventeen pounds of infectious energy.
My refrigerator, however, is a different story. It’s about as empty as it ever gets. In fact, I’m about to improvise a salad out of half a cabbage and a few carrots. After filling up on desserts and soaking up spring sunshine up north this weekend, I thought it was about time to highlight some of my favorite fresh and filling salads. Each salad is vegetarian, of course, and many are vegan and/or gluten free. For my full list of salads (it’s a long one!), check out my salad archives here.
I’ve decided to highlight recipes from the archives more often, so please let me know what you’d like to see next. And, since I so appreciate your feedback, I thought I’d post a reader’s review of each recipe rather than providing my own summary. I probably don’t say it enough, but I love reading your comments. I get excited every time I see a new one pop up in my inbox. Thank you!
1) Asian Raw Kale Salad with Red Pepper Dressing
Vegan and gluten free
“Made this salad tonight to go with an Asian-y salmon dish. It was the perfect compliment. I use kale a lot this time of year, but have never tried it raw. Thanks for the scrunching tip!” – Liz
2) Lebanese Lemon-Parsley Bean Salad
Vegan and gluten free
“This recipe for bean salad is amazing! I’ve tried replicating the salads that I have at Lebanese restaurants but I think I’m always off with the amounts of ingredients and it never turns out quite right. You got it bang on with this one!!!” – Juliana
3) Strawberry, Quinoa and Chopped Spinach Salad with Balsamic-Maple Dressing
Gluten free (vegan if you skip the goat cheese)
“I made this for lunch today and it was absolutely one of the best salads I have ever made. Wow, so much great flavor, texture, and awesomeness. I am already looking forward to having it again for lunch tomorrow! Thank you so much for sharing this and all of your lovely recipes.” – Jenny
4) Greek Farro and Chickpea Salad with Herbed Yogurt Dressing
Vegetarian (gluten free if you swap brown rice for the farro)
“This was just so delicious, thank you Kate! My husband is used to the practice of meatless dinners by now, but I don’t often just serve a salad as an entree. Both of us had happy, satified bellies and tastebuds :) I know he really loved it because he requested leftovers for his lunch. So many good flavors here and everything together was just amazing texturally, and so colorful! This will become a regular. I used cilantro and parsley for the yogurt because at my grocer, the other herbs looked quite wilty/brown/expensive. It was so good!” – Sophie
5) Raw Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing
Gluten free (vegan if you skip the Parmesan)
“Kate… I could just kiss you for this recipe. I’ve made it several times now and with several modifications just for fun. To the comment on parmesan vs. raw… it’s absolutely great without the parmesan, or you can sprinkle in some nooch [nutritional yeast]. I’ve added shredded chicken, and if you’re into that sort of thing it’s a great add on. AND, I now always add avocado. Lots of avocado. That being said, it’s mind blowing exactly like you’ve created it. :)” – Mindy
6) Arugula, Carrot and Chickpea Salad with Wheat Berries
Vegetarian. You could probably substitute brown rice or quinoa for the wheat berries for a gluten-free salad.
“Ok, I made this salad for dinner tonight and it knocked my socks off! I added grape tomatoes because I had them on hand and it was the perfect addition. Loved the colors, textures and flavors… one of my favorite all-time recipes for sure!” – Holly
7) Watercress and Forbidden Rice Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette
Vegan and gluten free
Alright folks, this recipe is one of the most overlooked on my site. I can’t find any comments from those who have made it so I’ll tell you about it myself! It’s one of my very favorite salads—peppery watercress tossed with crunchy bell pepper and celery in a refreshing tamari-ginger vinaigrette. Hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!
8) Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Raw Squash and Feta
“I made this two nights ago. The verdict: absolutely delicious and so full of colour. It tasted even better on day two. We’ll definitely be having this one again and again. Thank you!” – Simone
9) Peanut-Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles
Vegan (gluten free if you use gluten-free noodles or omit the noodles altogether)
“WOW. Oh my gosh. Kate… this is actually my new favorite food. I’m not even kidding. DANG! I had never tried soba noodles before and they are soooo good! That peanut sauce though! I want to swim in it pleaseandthankyou. There is no way I will ever not have some ungodly quantity of this slaw in my fridge/mouth ever again. You are a goddess. The world thanks you.” – Ella
10) Greek Salad with Crispy Baked Falafel and Tahini Dressing
Easily vegan (skip the feta) and gluten free (omit the pita chips)
“I just made the baked falafel and loved them! I cut down on the olive oil and blended the mix with an immersion blender because I don’t have a food processor. It turned out great. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.” – Rena
More resources you might appreciate: 13 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, 16 recipes that pack well for lunch and 14 simple weeknight dinners. You might also like my monthly seasonal produce guides and healthy kitchen essentials. View all roundups and resource posts here.
I’ve saved some of my favorite bloggers’ spring dishes on my spring pinterest board, too!