5 Fancy Pants Meatless Picnic Salads for the Summer

Image source: Kale Waldorf Salad

Isn't it a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning, pack up a picnic basket, find a park with a beautiful shady tree, where you can enjoy a refreshing summer meal with family and friends? These recipes below (all meatless and dairy-free!) are ideal for such a day and are dressed to impress. Each one is unique and pretty fancy, because of creative combos like spices and multicolored potatoes, pesto and quinoa, as well as unique ingredients like fregula and harissa. Happy Summer!

1. Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes (multicolored if available), peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • Dressing Ingredients
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potatoes in the vegetable oil, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bake on an aluminum foil-lined sheet for 20-25 minutes, turning once. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the cooked corn, scallions, bell pepper and jalapeno and toss to combine.
  3. To prepare the simple citrus dressing, simply whisk together of all the ingredients.
  4. Add the potatoes and dressing to the bowl and toss everything together. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!
2. Pistachio Pesto Quinoa
This yummy salad dish can be eaten hot or cold, by itself, or on a bed of spinach or mixed greens. The pesto is vegan and raw, flavored from fresh basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and pistachios instead of pine nuts. The cherry tomatoes, artichokes, and salty kalamata olives all lend themselves to this Mediterranean-themed dish. The quinoa adds a protein punch that regular pasta lacks. For more quinoa recipes, visit here.

3. Fregula with Butternut Squash and Sage
Here is a recipe for our favorite way to enjoy fregula. Made with butternut squash and sage, this soul-satisfying dish also features saffron, another popular Sardinian ingredient, although the saffron can be omitted if you don't have any on hand. Green baby peas add complementary color and a burst of sweet flavor.

4.Quinoa with Veggies, Cashews and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Need we say more?

5. Moroccan Potato Salad with Corn and Kale

Grilling season is here! Everybody loves potato salads, but sometimes it's fun to rock tradition. With that in mind, give this Moroccan Potato Salad with Corn and Kale a try! Be sure to add any other vegetables that you can't resist at the farm market, such as those gorgeous radishes that are now in season. This sensational (and so easy!) potato salad is the perfect side for any dish. The harissa (a spicy red pepper paste from North Africa) in this is what really makes it special.

Enjoy more vegan, dairy-free, meatless summer recipes by One Green Planet on Yahoo! below:

1. 6 Easy Breezy Meatless Summer Salads
2. 15 Greatest Veggie Burger Recipes
3. 25 Cool Summer Vegan Dessert Recipes. Hell Yeah!
4. 8 Amazing Ways to Use Coconuts This Summer (With Recipes!)
5. 15 UNBELIEVABLE Raw (No-Bake) Dessert Recipes for Summer