During my trip to the farmer's market this week, I found the most beautiful strawberries. Despite summer ending, I craved one last strawberry fling before fall took over. I love berries, and strawberries are my absolute favorite. So, I decided to make a vegan strawberry salad recipe for dinner tonight. And with that vegan strawberry salad, I also made a strawberry vinaigrette dressing which tastes just like summer.
As many of you know, I love salad, so coming up with unique ways to enjoy salad is one of my favorite challenges. Today's strawberries made my job a little easier. I also wanted to include various greens to include cruciferous vegetables to get a nutritional bang.
How to make a superfood strawberry salad
What is a superfood?
A superfood is defined as food rich in anitoxidants, fiber, and fatty acids. Here are some to name a few:
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dark leafy greens
To make a nutrient-dense base for a healthy salad, I like to combine various cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens with a variety of toppings.
Strawberry Salad ingredients
- Romaine Lettuce
- Red Cabbage
- Broccoli Stalk
- Crunchy quinoa
- Red onion
- Baby bell peppers
- Slivered Almonds (optional)
- Tofu Feta Cheese (optional)
What is toasted quinoa?
Recently, I learned how to toast quinoa rather than cook it in water for a crunchy salad topping. Now that I've toasted quinoa, I'm obsessed.
As crazy as it sounds, I've never heard of toasted quinoa. Then, last week, while eating at one of my favorite vegan restaurants, I ate this great nutty mixture on top of a casserole; when I asked what this wonderful nutty mixture was, I learned about toasting quinoa. So, I tried it myself. Now, I'm hooked.
Although most quinoa is prewashed, washing quinoa gets rid of a funky bitter-tasting substance called saponin. Since rinsing quinoa is the prequel to toasting it, washing it for toasted quinoa is part of the process.
However, if the quinoa is prewashed, rinsing quickly versus prewashing is a quick remedy to washing the quinoa.
- If using prewashed quinoa, measure it, transfer it to a medium-sized bowl, and fill it with water. Next, pour the contents into a fine-mesh sieve, then rinse the quinoa again with fresh water and set aside.
- When using unwashed quinoa, measure the quinoa and place it into a bowl. Then, fill it with clean water and allow it to soak for approximately 20-30 minutes. Now, use a wire whisk to swish the quinoa around to remove the soapy residue that comes from the quinoa. Next, pour the contents into a fine-mesh sieve, then rinse the quinoa again with fresh water and set aside.
Once washed and rinsed, toast the quinoa.
How to toast quinoa
- Using a large non-stick pan, heat the pan to medium-low. Put the rinsed quinoa into the saute pan, creating a thin layer. Shake the pan to level out the quinoa.
- Once the quinoa gets hot, the water is absorbed, and the quinoa starts making a popping noise.
- Keep moving the quinoa around the pan with a wooden spoon until the quinoa grains start to brown. It browns quickly, so don't leave it unattended.
- When the quinoa is brown and smells nutty, please remove it from the pan from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
- Store it in a container with a top in the refrigerator.
How to make strawberry vinaigrette salad dressing
Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients
- Organic Strawberries
- Maple syrup or date syrup
- Dijon mustard
- Champagne vinegar (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
Serving vegan strawberry salad recipe with strawberry vinaigrette dressing
Although making the vegan strawberry salad recipe ahead of time saves time, please don't dress the salad until it is time to serve. Serve the strawberry dressing on the side or toss the salad if intending to serve the whole salad.
However, separate leftover salad and dressing until ready to eat.
Also, the toasted quinoa and almonds, if using, should be added right before serving to prevent sogginess.
The Tofu Feta Cheese, for instance, adds a savory aspect to the salad mixed with the sweetness of the strawberries and toasted quinoa, nuts, and crispy vegetables.
- Prepare Tofu Feta Cheese ahead of time.
- Keep the toasted quinoa, nuts, and tofu feta off the salad until ready to serve.
- Make the dressing ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator until dressing the salad.
- Do not dress the salad until serving.
- Keep leftover salad separate from dressing, as well as toasted quinoa and nuts.
- Use a straw to remove strawberry stems.
- Always buy organic strawberries, as strawberries appear on the 2021 Dirty Dozen List.
What salad toppings pair well with strawberry vinaigrette dressing?
- A combination of savory ingredients, such as Tofu Feta Cheese, almonds, crunchy quinoa, and the sweetness of the strawberries and sharp red onions, tastes excellent with strawberry dressing.
What to serve with strawberry salad
- I served with whole-grain crusty bread and Split Pea Soup. But savory soup, a potato dish, or a side of pasta makes for a perfectly paired meal.
What is the best dressing to served with a strawberry salad?
- Any vinaigrette-based dressing works well with salads that include fruit. Combining the acidic components from the vinegar, mixed with the sweetness of fruit and seasonings, enhances the flavors of the fruits and vegetables in salads.
Do you need creative ways to make superfood salads?
- Asian Crunch Salad
- Chopped Kale Salad
- How To Make Mango Kale Salad With Cilantro & Lime Dressing
- Quinoa and Kale Salad
- Make Your Own Vegan Brussel Sprout and Kale Salad
- Good Earth Kale Salad
- Nectarine Salad Recipe
- Blueberry Salad Recipe with Blueberry Vinaigrette
- Spinach Strawberry Salad
- How to Make Superfood Salad With Oil-Free Dressing
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂