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Hearty Summer Salad Entrées

Black Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh

Beauty Buzz/Blog Biz | Summer Salad Entrées


Hearty Summer Salad Entrées

These salads are a full meal. Seriously!

These hearty summer salad entrées include a variety of essential nutritional ingredients. Plus, they are packed with vegetables!

Eating a variety of vegetables ensures that you “eat the rainbow.” Vegetables provide lots of nutrients and phytonutrients that protect your health through antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Tips for Making Quick, Easy Salads

With some preparation and planning, you can create a system to easily bust out a hearty, satisfying salad in minutes!

It can seem like a salad would take a long time to assemble, but you can simplify your process by using ready-prepared or ready-cooked vegetables like these:

  • Pre-shredded cabbage and/or carrots
  • Pre-cooked beets
  • Canned or frozen artichoke hearts, and frozen peas (if frozen, warm in the microwave)
  • YOUR leftover cooked vegetables! (hot, cold, or room temperature)

Template for a satisfying salad

Hearty Summer Salad Entrées: Chickpea salad with roasted carrots and lamb sausage
Chickpea salad with roasted carrots and lamb sausage

What makes a salad into a satisfying meal? Protein, carbohydrates with energy and fiber, and non-starchy vegetables!

This basic template will give you structure so that you can get creative with your salad entrée. Use these 5 elements as a template to build your own salad entrée, and personalize the template to your preferences.

  1. Lettuce / Green leafy vegetables
  2. Hearty vegetables (high in fiber!) e.g. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, beets, carrots, snap peas, artichokes, (raw) white button or enoki mushrooms, or cooked mushrooms.
  3. Protein: e.g. Beans, lentils, edamame, quinoa, farro, or animal proteins
  4. Vinaigrette / Salad Dressing
  5. *Optional Flavor Additions: e.g. fresh/dried herbs, nuts, seeds, olives/olive tapenade, sprouts, cheese, bacon (or meat-free “bacon”) bits, or nutritional yeast.

For Optional Flavor Additions like cheese, nuts, seeds, and olives, be cautious: these are extras! They are nutritionally dense and high in calories, and they add up quickly. If you’re using 3 of these, opt for just a sprinkle of each. Or you can use only 1-2 of them.

Adding animal protein to your salad:

These are delicious, vegetarian, stand-alone salads! If you want to add meat or fish, add 1-2 ounces of roasted chicken, wild salmon, or sardines. Some salads may benefit from a hard-cooked egg or poached egg.

Summer Salad Entrée

Makes 1 serving.
In a large bowl, add the following:

  • Lettuce (about 2-3 cups or handfuls) A mixture of the following:
    • Romaine
    • Arugula
    • Chopped red, green, or Napa cabbage
  • Hearty Vegetables (1-2 cups or handfuls, raw or cooked) A mixture of the following:
    • Asparagus
    • Radish (raw & sliced, or roasted)
    • Snap peas
    • Artichoke hearts
  • Protein
    • ¼ cup Fresh or frozen English peas (if frozen, heat them up first)
    • If desired, substitute ¼ cup cooked quinoa for peas.
    • ¼-½ cup Black beans
    • 1 Hard-boiled egg or poached egg
  • Citrus vinaigrette In a small bowl or jar, mix:
    • Juice of ½ lemon or ½ lime, or a combination of the two
    • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch Sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional:
    • Add ½-1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, or sherry vinegar, if you prefer a little more vinegar in your salad.
    • Adjust vinaigrette to taste.

Start by using just some of the vinaigrette on the salad. Toss, taste, and see if you need to add more.

  • Optional Flavor Additions, to top your salad:
    • 1 Tbsp or less, pumpkin seeds
    • A sprinkle of raw scallion/green onion, or 2 grilled caramelized green onions, or about 6 chopped chives.
    • Sprinkle 4-8 fresh, torn mint leaves.

Black Bean and Quinoa Tabbouleh Entrée Salad

Black Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh
Black Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serve this salad on greens, for another hearty entrée option.
Makes 1 serving.*

Start by following the recipe for Black Bean and Quinoa Tabbouleh.
In a large bowl, assemble:

  • 2-4 cups or handfuls Earthbound “Power greens” or spinach/arugula mix
  • 1-2 cups Black bean quinoa tabbouleh

Toss, and taste.
Add more vinegar or lemon juice if the salad needs more flavor.

*Note: If you have a specific health goal in mind, it’s best to work one-on-one with a dietitian like myself to give you personalized information for your goals.

Want more salad ideas? Check out Chickpea Salad with Roasted Carrots and Lamb Sausage.


By Alicia Connor, MA RDN & Chef

Author Bio:

Alicia Connor a pretty brunette with short-cropped hair wearing a denim jacket with a white tee.
Alicia Connor

Alicia Connor is a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef who lives in San Francisco. She is passionate about healthy cooking, with a focus on simplifying meal planning and making healthy eating easier. Alicia built a successful career as a chef, working at one of the top restaurants in San Francisco. But as her vision declined due to a hereditary condition, she decided to focus on a career with longevity and returned to school to become a dietitian.

In her current role as a registered dietitian nutritionist and chef, she is always passionately working towards peoples’ health. In February 2019, she founded Quick & Delish, a video cooking series on YouTube, where she presents easy recipes with minimal steps, for flavorful, balanced meals. She’s writing an e-cookbook and gives virtual meal planning workshops year-round. And she works with clients one-on-one to build good habits, simplify meal planning, and create an actionable plan to meet their health goals. You can read more about her passion for health in Today’s Dietitian. 

Image Descriptions:

  • The header image is Black Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh.
  • Chickpea salad with roasted carrots and lamb sausage.
  • Black Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh is identical to the header image.
  • The author’s bio photo is an upper-body shot of Alicia Connor a pretty brunette with short-cropped hair wearing a denim jacket with a white tee.

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