Say goodbye to boring salads! This Italian Power Salad will make your taste buds sing!
Whether served as a main course or family style side, this Italian Power Salad is a winner. It’s plant-based and protein packed, but the real triumph is the intense flavor.
I posted this delicious Vegan Creamy Italian Dressing yesterday and today I’m bringing you the ULTIMATE, healthy, plant-based salad to pair with it. But believe me, this protein-packed salad is even more yummy than it is good for you.
I’m calling it an Italian Power Salad. It’s sort of a mash-up of a panzanella salad and a Tuscan white bean salad… but it’s designed with winter in mind. Not that it wouldn’t be great all year, but many salad ingredients are too expensive or hard to find during the winter months.
I mean, winter tomatoes are AWFUL! But sun-dried tomatoes are the perfect substitute. And in truth, they make this salad. And don’t just take my word for it. Kevin, who isn’t a tomato fan, raved about the intense flavor the sun-dried tomatoes impart.
But as much as the sun-dried tomatoes are the star, there are some solid supporting performances. The pan-grilled zucchini and eggplant are a savory twist on raw veggies, the croutons provide crunch and the olives add that salty goodness.
I’ll admit the white beans are the least sexy ingredient in this salad, but they make this vegan dish extra filling. They also double the protein and fiber content. And let’s not forget about the iron-rich spinach. It’s the perfect, nutritious base for this Italian Power Salad.
But what salad would be complete without a tasty dressing? Our homemade Creamy Italian Salad Dressing is just the right, garlicky, herb-y accompaniment to this power salad.
This plant-based, protein packed salad is a perfect dinner salad, but also makes an excellent family style side salad.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large bunch spinach
- 3/4 cup white beans
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup olives, sliced
- 1 cup croutons
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons Creamy Italian Salad Dressing
Slice eggplant and zucchini and toss with oil, salt and pepper
Spray a grill pan with cooking spray, and preheat on high.
Grill vegetables until they are tender but still firm.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss.
I prefer to use sun-dried tomatoes in oil because they are softer. If dry-packed tomatoes are used, soak them in the dressing for a little while before tossing the salad.
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