Are you a vegan? Or perhaps not, but just trying to shed some pounds after all the holiday indulgence? Or even simply trying to cut back on the meat and aspire to a healthier lifestyle, like me? Tight for time? Well, if any of these applies to you, this quick, delicious vegan raw salad is for you, my friend! It's a true razzle-dazzler -- for both the palate and the eyes!
Our vegan raw salad involves no cooking, can be prepared in 10 minutes or less, is low in calories, and is high in fiber and protein. It is made with fresh mixed greens, cucumbers...
... grape tomatoes...
...either vegan cheese or regular feta for the non-vegan -- and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.
It's a dish with different textures and a combination of varied flavors such as bitter, salty, sweet, tangy, and spicy. I am hooked!
Believe it or not, 8% of the Brazilian population (more than 15 million) identify themselves as vegetarians as of 2012. That number may have increased even more by now, and includes all the different groups of vegetarianism such as veganism, ovo-vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, macrobiotic, and so on. Vegetarianism, the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meats and/or animal by-products, is on the rise all over the world. My home country of Brazil is no exception! Its percentage of vegetarians places it behind only a handful of other countries such as India (31%), Taiwan (13%), Italy and Sweden (10%), Germany and Austria (9%), and the UK (7-11%).
That is saying a lot considering that we have the largest commercial herd of cattle in the world (more than 200 head per person) and a huge tradition of beef consumption and grilling of meats (barbecue or churrasco).
If you are a vegetarian planning a trip to Rio for the upcoming Olympic games or to the rest of Brazil for other purposes, don't worry! You will have great options there -- from sit-down and buffet restaurants to fast food chains. Yes!!! You heard me right.
Of course, the reasons for the growth of vegetarianism in Brazil -- as in the rest of the world -- vary from person to the next. Some include health-related, political, religious, ethical, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, or economic reasons. Studies have shown that compared to omnivores, vegetarian dieters have lower overall mortality rates and benefit from a reduced incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cerebrovascular disease. Many also look to this lifestyle as a way to cut back on the fat and get or stay slim.
Are you a vegetarian? Why? Or why not?
I confess that I am not. I love a good chunk of beef and especially churrasco (barbecued meats). But still I have cut back my meat consumption considerably for health reasons.
Still, vegetarian or not, I hope that you give our vegan raw salad, this creamed spinach recipe , and also this keto coleslaw a try and enjoy all the benefits it will bring to you.
May this be the year of your best self!
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Vegan Raw Salad
- For the vegan raw salad:
- 3 oz Organic spring mix and baby spinach (Half & Half Mix) or other fresh greens of your choice
- 1 medium to large cucumber washed and sliced into rounds
- 1 large watermelon radish washed, sliced into rounds, and then quartered
- 12 or more grape tomatoes washed
- ½ to 1 cup soy feta cheese dairy-free almond feta cheese, tofu, or other of your choice, crumbled or chunked (Cooked quinoa also makes a great substitute for vegans. If you are not vegan, you can use regular feta cheese, shaved Parmesan cheese or other of your choice)
- A few leaves of fresh basil to garnish optional
- For the citrus vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or other vegetable oil of your choice
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange or lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar (if you are not vegan you can use a pinch of sugar instead if desired)
- Place greens on a serving plate, and arrange the other vegetables on top of the greens as follows: cucumber rounds along the upper-rim of the plate, quartered radish distributed on both sides, and tomatoes along the lower-rim.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by placing all ingredients into a small jar with lid securely fastened and then shaking well until homogeneous. Alternatively, place juice, salt, pepper, and maple syrup into a small bowl and whisk while pouring in the oil slowly. Whisk well until mixture is homogeneous.
- This vegan raw salad should be dressed right before serving, or served on the side. Yield: 2 if served as main dish, or 4 if served as a side dish.
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Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
Love that watermelon radish, unfortunately I have never seen any around here. I don't eat a lot of meat but I am not a vegetarian, I could never give up chicken.... 🙂
Denise Browning says
Hi, Adina! I understand. I'm not a vegetarian either, but I have cut back my meat consumption a lot because of health reasons. My husband also loves chicken. I added grilled chicken to his salad and he was as happy as one can be. There are a few protein protein suggestions in the recipe note.
It's true! Not many supermarkets carry watermelon radish. I bought mine at Whole Foods. But you can use common radish instead such as Easter egg radish. This type is available at Walmart and other local supermarkets. Thanks a lot for stopping by and happy eating!
Such a vibrant, elegant and merry salad, Denise. I am sure it tastes incredible too. I am loving the honey-citrus vinigrette and the soy feta cheese. 🙂
Love love the radish pictures, so stunning. Love a good clean salad, it's always nice to clean out our system a bit and eat clean after all the holiday indulgence.
Great looking salad my dear.
Not a vegetarian either, but I could be. My Mr loves his meat and it is an excellent source of protein. That said we are big salad and vegetable consumers. A wonderful salad, so many flavors and textures to enjoy.
Yummy ! Loving this
Denise Browning says
Thank you! Good to see you here, Chef!
Little Cooking Tips says
VERY interesting, delicious salad dear Denise! We aren't vegetarians ourselves (as you already know), but we do try to consume less red meat. The traditional Greek diet had very little meat after all. We used to consume mostly dairy products, seafood, eggs and -once in a while- chicken. Lamb, goat and pork were consumed in festive dinners and beef was rarely on the table. Nowadays this isn't the case anymore, and this has led to an increased percentage of people with heart disease,cancers,diabetes etc. All these illnesses were rare back in the old days.
So, the traditional Greek diet is mostly a vegetarian diet (contrary to popular belief), with lots of cooked vegetables and legumes/pulses.
We try to follow it as much as we can, and thanx to the internet and the amount of available dietary information, many Greeks are going back to their roots in the last few years. Let's hope this will be a continuous trend.
Again, thank you for the yummy idea!
Lots of hugs!
All That I'm Eating says
This looks great, I've not seen watermelon radish before either!
Denise Browning says
This was my first time eating watermelon radish and I got hooked instantly. It has a spicy/peppery aftertaste. I bought mine at Whole Foods but you can use the common type, Easter egg radish, instead as it is available at most local supermarkets. I know watermelon radish are quite pretty but most markets don't carry it unfortunately. Thank you for stopping by!
John/Kitchen Riffs says
I could easily be a vegetarian -- so many tasty flavors that don't require meat Vegan is harder, though. And although we don't eat that much meat, we do eat it -- more as an accent to a dish than as the main course. Anyway, this is terrific -- great recipe. Thanks.
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Those radish, far out they are beautiful, I wish I could find them here. Love your salad, it would be like biting into summer.
I made this vegan salad recently. It was fresh and delicious! But I did sub the watermelon radish for the regular one because it was easier to find and more affordable. Still it was delicious!