If you’re looking for an easy, vegan, inexpensive sandwich (or just the salad) that’s healthy…
This is a fantastic way to close out summer and hurricane season! A light, yet cozy, salad that is full of veggies and protein – perfect as a side or whole meal!
I’ll admit, this salad was low key addicting the first time I made it. So much so that I shoveled it into my mouth for lunch a whole week straight alongside grilled chicken and extra salad greens. I probably could have eaten this for breakfast, lunch and dinner and would have been completely satisfied with that decision. It had me feeling super healthy, and full, all from a simple salad.
The best part of the salad (aside from its deliciousness) was that it was super easy to make and toss together. For those of us who stocked up on canned goods during hurricane season, this is one way to use some of your stockpile and make canned goods look fancy. It came together in minutes and lasted in the fridge for days without compromising the flavor.
If you’re a meat eater, vegan (nix the cheese), vegetarian or a“just trying to budget and eat well” kind of person, this recipe is for you. No doubt in my mind it pleases so many crowds as a side or a full meal. With fiber, protein, good fats and tons of nutritious ingredients (most of which you probably have on hand), it really is the best of all worlds. Even if you pair it with steak, chicken or lean pork – it’s the perfect side of veggies for your last summer get-togethers!
What you need & how you can improvise:
I love the way I made this because I really was going for a semi-Italian, Mediterranean vibe, but this is another one of those versatile recipes where whatever you have on hand should work (for the most part).
- Artichokes – It’s hard to swap this ingredient when making an“artichoke” based salad but let me know if you find something comparable. Frozen or canned all work well. There’s no need to go through the process of fresh artichokes for this one.
- Beans – White beans were the way to go on this recipe for a lot of reasons. The biggest being their subtle flavor and light color that shows all the other goodness going on in the recipe. If you don’t want to use white beans you can substitute white kidney beans or chickpeas.
- Dressing & Herbs – This is where you really can use what you have on hand that goes with the overall flavor. Italian dressing, Ceasar dressing, or any herby vinaigrette is a great choice in this salad. Same goes for herbs like parsley, basil, thyme or chives. Nothing crazy but it adds flavor and color. Avoid cream-based or overly sweet dressings for this recipe. *I used Wishbone’s Garlic Basil Vinagrette – the best!*
- Vegetables – In this recipe, tomatoes are vegetables. So is arugula (or spinach) as the bed and the onions I added. Feel free to bulk it up with roasted vegetables like zucchini, onions, peppers and/or mushrooms.
- Cheese – Parmesan on the top is divine but I can almost promise you that feta throughout would be a game-changer. Little balls of fresh mozzarella would work too or just go all out and cut a piece of burrata and place that on top of every serving…yes, please!
- Seasonings – If you know me, I’m adding spice. Red pepper flakes are usually a must. Add more garlic if desired but DEFINITELY add lemon!
If you’re anything like me, beans are a staple in my house. It’s a great protein and fiber source, super inexpensive and versatile for a lot of different dishes. I eat some sort of beans/legumes every week for added protein and fiber because it’s so quick and simple. Plus – it’s great for your gut…and you know why. Pairing beans with some other vibrant ingredients and flavors allows them to take on that flavor profile and just becomes a great hearty meal.
Now, if you’re the person who has to have the meat IN the salad then that’s perfectly fine. Another great canned ingredient to add is tuna (preferably albacore), canned salmon or even canned chicken if you’re into that. Fresh roasted chicken or seafood can go into this too. Another not-as-light but great meat option would be turkey or chicken sausage. Again, you don’t need to add these to the salad, but instead serve this salad on the side of your protein. If you’re not into the meat additions then know you can build this into a meal by adding a whole wheat pasta to the salad. This will give it more bulk and be perfect for meal prep!
Roasted Artichoke & White Bean Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 15 ounce can artichokes quartered
- 1-2 15 ounce can(s) cannelloni beans drained, rinsed
- ½ cup vinaigrette salad dressing Italian or your choice
- 1 ½ large lemon zest and juice
- ⅓ cup parsley and/or basil or combo, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ pint cherry or grapes tomatoes halved
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 cups arugula
- ½-⅓ cup parmesan cheese shaved or shredded
- olive oil (optional, drizzle)
- Drizzle olive oil onto a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the oven while preheating to 400°.
- Drain, rinse and pat dry canned artichoke hearts. Once oven is preheated and the baking sheet is hot, remove from oven and add artichoke hearts to hot sheet. Place back into the oven for 20-30 minutes until the artichokes become crispy and golden.
- In a large mixing bowl add roasted artichokes, beans, dressing, lemon, tomatoes, onions, herbs, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.
- Toss gently and pile salad onto a bed of arugula (preferably on another serving tray). Top with parmesan cheese.