I’ve loved salads for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I wasn’t a vegetarian and I certainly wasn’t the healthiest eater, but when a salad was put in front of me, I’d happily polish off the whole thing (especially when drizzled with plenty of ranch!)
Today, my love and taste for salads hasn’t changed much – though I’ve finally opened myself up to different dressings and toppings. There’s just something about crisp and crunchy veggies mixed together, topped with a savory dressing, that’s so satisfying.
There have actually been periods where I’ve gone a few days without a salad and get mad cravings for them. Even if I eat plenty of other foods I love, I still feel hangry and undernourished. Almost always, when Jeremy asks where I want to go to eat, I’ll respond with, “Anywhere I can get a huge salad… with a side of fries (for good measure)!”
But, let’s face it, salads can get boring and easily become routine when making them day after day. They don’t have to be, though! That’s the beauty of a salad, there’s no one set way to make it – rather, there are thousands. I like to switch mine up by constantly swapping the base greens and toppings.
Another thing: In trying to limit my dairy intake lately, I frequently leave cheese and some of my favorite dressings off… which doesn’t bother me all too much with the right combination of ingredients. It has, however, caused me to consider dairy-free alternatives to my favorite ranch dressing, and I’ve finally found a recipe that fits the bill!
Here are twelve salads, especially perfect for chillier days, to help you shake up your routine. Scroll on for the dairy-free ranch and roasted veggie salad recipes.
12 Wintertime Salads to Shake Up Your Routine
Click each image for source and recipe!
Vegan Ranch Dressing + A Roasted Veggie Salad
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Yields 8-10 oz. // Dressing recipe via The Misfit Baker
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Pour the cashews into a bowl and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours.) This step is important – if they don’t soak long enough, your dressing won’t be smooth and creamy!
- Drain the cashews and place them in a food processor (or a high-performance blender.)
- Add in 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, , salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Process or blend several minutes, until smooth. You’ll need to stop every few minutes to scrape down the sides of your processor or blender.
- Add in remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, until dressing reaches desired consistency. This recipe creates a thicker dressing, so if you like yours a little thinner, simply continue adding water by the tablespoon until it reaches your preferred consistency.
- Sprinkle in the dill, chives, and parsley and give it a final pulse, until well incorporated.
- Place in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to combine. Will keep for up to one week.
I drizzled this dairy-free goodness over a bed of spinach and kale, topped with roasted brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, red onion, and chickpeas.
Roasted Veggie Salad
To prepare the roasted toppings, I simply cleaned and chopped the veggies into similarly sized pieces and rinsed, drained, and patted dry the chickpeas before placing them all on a foil lined sheet pan together. Then, I drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, pepper, a little garlic powder, and turmeric, and baked them at 400ºF for 30 minutes or so, flipping halfway through. They’re done when they begin to crisp and are easy to poke with a fork.
And now I’m craving this dish all over again.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy salads? Do you have any tried and true homemade dressing recipes? Do share!