Vegetarian Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

There are a host of ways to make vegetarian interesting. Here are five salad recipes to give you some fresh ideas.

Photo courtsesy of Cyd Converse
Tomato and mozzarella barley salad. Photo courtsesy of Cyd Converse

1. Tomato and Mozzarella Barley Salad

Meal or side-dish, warm or cold – it’s anything you want it to be

Bring 2 cups of uncooked barley and 5 cups of vegetable stock to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover. Remove the lid after ten minutes.

Cut 450g of mozzarella into bite-sized chunks and dice 2 cups of cherry tomatoes.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the barley and throw in mozzarella and tomatoes.

Chop up and add ten basil leaves and cracked black pepper to taste.

Meditteranean basil salad. Photo courtesy of Leigh Bausch

2. Mediterranean Basmati Salad

Light, fresh and full of healthy unsaturated fats and fibre

Soak 1 and a 1/4 cups of uncooked basmati rice in 2 cups of water for thirty minutes.

Soak two sun-dried tomatoes in 1/4 cup of hot water for ten minutes. Drain and dice.

Put the rice into a small saucepan, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring frequently and letting it boil for five minutes. Cover and leave on leave low heat for ten minutes.

Spoon the cooked rice into a bowl and let it cool completely.

Stir in diced tomatoes, 2/3 cup of feta, 2 tablespoons of dried currants, two tablespoons of chopped fresh mint, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of  black pepper.

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts.


Photo courtesy of Kate Taylor
Raw kale and brussel sprout salad. Photo courtesy of Kate Taylor

3. Raw Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

Simple and filling, with a creamy sauce that won’t go straight to your hips

De-rib one bunch of curly green kale with a chef’s knife, chop into small, bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with a dash of sea salt. Massage to combine (wash your hands first!) until the kale becomes darker and more fragrant

Chop off and discard stems of twelve brussel sprouts, slice thinly and add to kale

Whisk 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of white miso. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Whisk in 1/4 cup water until the mixture is smooth and creamy, pour over kale and sprouts and mix well

Toast 3 tablespoons sliced almonds in a small pan over medium heat and stir frequently until golden. Toss mixture into salad, add 1/4 cup shaved parmesan and serve immediately


Photograph courtesy of William Abranowicz
Citrus salad with fennel. Photograph courtesy of William Abranowicz

4. Citrus Salad with Fennel

Crunchy and seed-y, this salad is juicy and just what you needed

Whisk a large egg white in a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 ground nutmeg and toss to coat with 1 cup ground sesame seeds

Spoon mixture in clumps onto baking sheet, bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and then let cool

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat and add 1/4 finely chopped small fennel bulb, a finely chopped shallot, 2 tablespoons chopped and peeled ginger and 1 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds. Cook and stir for ten minutes until tender

Add 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons honey, season with salt and pepper, then let cool

Cut all white pith and peel from 4 oranges and discard.Cut segments into bowl

Toss 10 cups mixed hardy salad greens (e.g. radicchio, friseée, endive), 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, 1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds, citrus segments and dressing in a large bowl

Top with 1 teaspoon orange zest and sesame clusters

Photo courtesy of Two Peas
Asian quinoa salad. Photo courtesy of Two Peas

5. Asian Quiona Salad

It’s brightly-coloured and it’s healthy. What more do you need from a salad?

Add 1 cups water, 1 cup quinoa and 1/4 teaspoons salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat for five minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes, remove from heat and fluff

Add 1 cup chopped red cabbage,  1 cup shelled and cooked edamame, 1 chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup diced cucumber to quinoa mixture

Whisk 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons chopped green onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl

Pour dressing over salad and stir to combine

Do you have a favourite vege dish?


Yael Brender

I am a freelance writer, dreamer and booklover. I write, rewrite, bang head against keyboard. Edit, re-edit, bang head against keyboard. I write for Bondi Beauty, Eat Drink Play, Warhol's Children and ZOS Magazine. Coffee is just as important as breathing, plus it makes me type faster! We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

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