We are constantly on the lookout for small steps we can take to impact the environment. Interestingly, some of the most effective changes start on the dinner plate. Taking care to buy ingredients that are low in emissions, require less water, and need fewer pesticides can help the overall health of the planet.
This hearty dinner salad is exactly the kind of thing we start to crave when the weather gets warm. Totally vegan and packed with protein, crisp broccoli and peanuts, and a kick of sesame, it proves that caring for the planet can be simple–and delicious.
Enjoy it al fresca in your home garden, and raise a glass of (sustainably-produced) wine in support of the planet!
Go organic. Organic ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, which can be harmful to the planet in commercial farming. If you are purchasing your ingredients from a grocery store, try to be organic when possible. This is less important when shopping for local produce grown on smaller farms.
Fresh is best. Some of the ingredients in this recipe, such as the lemon juice and the grated garlic, can be bought prepared. It is typically better for the environment to buy these ingredients whole and do the extra work at home, so to avoid the plastic packaging the premade stuff usually comes in.
Choose high-quality tahini. Tahini is a great ingredient for adding flavor and complexity to salads. The higher quality brands will typically be grown with a bit more care for the planet.
Get creative. This is a great recipe to make your own. We’ve already suggested one of our favorite flavors boosts, sesame oil, but there are many more you can throw in for your spin. More eco-friendly vegetables include tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
Earth Friendly Dinner Salad RecipeCourse: SaladsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Vegan and packed with protein, crisp broccoli and peanuts, and a kick of sesame, this salad recipe proves that caring for the planet can be simple–and delicious.
One head organic broccoli, cut into florets
One organic onion, sliced thinly
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
¼ cup tahini
Juice of one organic lemon (about 1 ½-2 Tbsp.)
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tsp. Sesame oil (optional)
2 cups organic spinach or locally-grown salad greens
One cup white beans, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp. peanuts, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
- Roast the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the broccoli and sliced onion in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, give the pan a good shake, then cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on your desired crispness. Remove from the oven.
- Make the dressing: Pour tahini, lemon juice, garlic clove, and sesame oil, if used, into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together until combined, then slowly drizzle in olive oil, whisking vigorously. Thin out with water until the
- Build the salad: Place the spinach salad greens in a large bowl. Top with the warm roasted vegetables, white beans, and chopped peanuts. Drizzle over the dressing, then toss to coat. Serve immediately.