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10 Delicious Vegan Salad Bowls To Try For Meatless Mondays

As a Nutritionist who is primarily plantbased herself, today I am sharing some of my favourite vegetarian and vegan bowls to try for next week's Meatless Monday. Every week we go plantbased inside the Eat Nourish Glow membership group, come join us it's totally free! For this week, I have rounded up a collection of deliciously good recipes to help get you started. Let's jump into all the goodness!

10 Delicious Vegan Bowls To Try For Meatless Mondays | Eat Nourish Glow
10 Delicious Vegan Bowls To Try For Meatless Mondays | Eat Nourish Glow

What Is Meatless Monday?

Meatless or "meat-free" Monday is a movement that encourages people to go meat-free for one day a week, usually on Mondays. It's all about promoting better health and at the same time, saving our farm friends and the environment. Whether you are politically motived or just want to eat better, even just one day of going meat-free can make a difference. A diet of mostly plantbased foods has been shown to lower the risk of chronic diseases, improve gut health and insulin balance, while helping to maintain a healthy weight and overall body. Going meat-free is a fun opportunity to explore new and healthy recipes made from delicious fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes.

Benefits of Meatless Monday

  • Nutrient Boost: plantbased meals are rich in essential nutrients, high in dietary fibre, and provide your body with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to a healthy body .

  • Weight Management: adding more plantbased meals into your week and diet can help support weight management. Plantbased foods are often lower in calories and saturated fats, and provide a great source of dietary fibre to help keep you feeling fuller.

  • Environmental Impact: going meat-free even for one day reduces your carbon footprint and supports sustainable food practices. Whether that is something you are passionate about or not, it's just another benefit of Meat-free Mondays.

How Practising Meatless Mondays Helps With Weight Loss

Ahhh, so if weight loss is the goal for joining Meat-free Mondays - I got you! Switching to a primarily plantbased diet can help you efficiently and safely lose weight for a few reasons. First off, plantbased foods are typically lower in calories and saturated fats, compared to their animal-based counterparts, making it easier to release those extra kilos going plantbased.

Second, the high-fibre content of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes is way more satiating than processed foods. Eating more wholefood plants will leave you feeling fuller for longer, and helps to curb those pesky mid-afternoon sugar cravings and energy crashes. Over a relatively short time just consuming plants, you can help reduce your overall calorie intake leading to a more slim waistline. It's a great reason to add one or two days to your week where you consciously choose more plantbased foods.

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What Can I Eat On Meat-free Mondays?

Before we get any further, please don't feel that Meat-free Monday means you have to adhere to a strict eating plan. In reality, it is a flexible initiative that simply encourages dining from vegan and plantbased sources of food. The rules are honestly few, and straightforward:

Every Monday, consciously exclude meat and animal products from your diet. This includes all types of meat, such as beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. You can also choose to exclude eggs and dairy products. Here are some general guidelines to help you adapt:

Plantbased Proteins:

Focus your plate on a palm-size serving of plantbased protein such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, and edamame. Be sure to add in some nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. These are also excellent protein options and a source of healthy fats.

Fruits and Vegetables:

Feast on a variety of fresh high-fibre fruits and water content vegetables. These provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and antioxidants. Opt for a colorful mix on your plate at each meal to ensure you get a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Whole Grains:

Choose whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, barley, and rolled or steel cut oats. Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre.

Dairy & Plantbased Alternatives:

If you choose to keep the dairy in, go for wholefood options like plain Greek yogurt, whole cow or goat milk, and cheese. Plantbased alternatives for dairy include almond milk, coconut or oat milk, soya milk, and vegan cheeses made from cashews, coconut or other vegan ingredients.

WARNING: A word of caution, just because it is plantbased, does not automatically mean its better for you. Many plantbased and vegan products can be filled with sugar, excessive sodium, additives, fillers and artificial flavours. Always read the ingredients lists to see what you are actually getting for your meatless swap.

Healthy Fats:

Be sure to include a small serving of healthy fats with your meals. Choose from sources such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These fats are essential for overall health and can add flavour and richness to meat-free meals.

Plantbased Meals:

These days there are an incredible selection of plantbased and vegan meals on the market. These include pre-made salads, stir-fries kits, pre-made soups, grain bowls, and pasta dishes. Again, I caution you to read the ingredients list to see exactly what you are getting. In many cases, it is better to attempt to make your own meal from scratch, and use the commercial offerings as your inspiration.

10 Delicious Vegan Salad Bowl Recipes

Get ready to bookmark this page and all these delicious vegan bowls to try for your first Meat-Free Mondays. Each one has been picked for its plantbased nutrition and to showcase an example of how delicious and easy making plantbased meals and salads can be!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito Bow | Cook Eat Live Love

1) Sweet Potato Black Bean Burrito Bowls

Skip the tortillas and make a gluten-free burritos bowl like this one made with wholefood vegan ingredients to create a super filling alternative to boring salad.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: black beans offer an excellent plant protein whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or just want something different to try. When paired with high-fibre sweet potatoes and the healthy fats found in avocado, the ingredients in this recipe by Lyn of Cook Eat Love Live provide a well-balanced Meat-free Monday meal that really satisfies.

Beans & Legumes

Beans and lentils are an excellent plantbased protein and a high-fibre carbohydrate. Adding them to a plantbased diet provides a healthy and filling vegan protein. To reduce the natural gas caused by eating lots of beans and legumes, I recommend soaking canned beans or lentils before eating them, and give them a thorough rinse a few times. Here's a few types to add to your meals:

  • beans: black beans, kidney, pinto, white beans, cannellini, chickpeas, adzuki, or lime beans

  • lentils: green lentils, black, brown, green, or red lentils

  • peas: green peas, split peas, yellow peas

  • soybeans and soy products: non-GMO soybeans, edamame, tofu, tempeh, or Miso

  • others: fava bean, lack-eyed peas, mung beans or bean

Legumes are not only rich in plant protein but also provide added nutrients like dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Including a variety of legumes in your diet is an great way to eat more variety and balance your plate with wholefood protein from non-animal sources.

What To Shop For: most beans and peas are found canned and dry form, with the except of sprouts, fresh peas and green beans. Look for beans and peas that are "low in sodium" or have "no salt added", so be sure to read those nutrition labels. Whether you buy canned or dry are both, remember to soak or rinse them well!

Vegan Chop Salad |

2) Easy Vegan Chopped Salad

Feast your tastebuds on this rainbow bowl made with bright, colourful fresh veggies and vegan protein from chickpeas.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: variety is the superstar of a healthy diet. This means eating a diverse and ever-changing selection of different coloured fruits and vegetables like you'll find in this recipe by Liz of I Heart Vegetables. Nourish on a rainbow of goodness!

Soy-Ginger Marinaded Tofu Salad Bowl by Connoisseurus Veg.

3) Soy-Ginger Marinated Tofu Salad Bowl

Enjoy a Meat-free Monday meal by swapping tofu for chicken or beef, and build yourself a super-loaded, vegan salad bowl made with fresh ingredients meant to nourish.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: tofu makes a versatile vegan swap for meat. It is naturally high in plant protein, and because it will easily absorb any marinade, sauce or herbal seasoning. Try the delicious combo of soy and ginger in this recipe by Alissa of Connoisseurus Veg. No one ever said that experimenting with Meat-free Mondays and salad recipes needs to be boring!

The Benefits of Adding Tofu

Tofu is a complete plant protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair tissues. This is important to note if you plan on going vegan. It is also the reason why tofu is such a popular staple meat substitute for many vegetarian, vegans and plantbased enthusiasts. With a mild, subtle flavour, tofu is incredibly versatile in cooking. You can marinate, crumble, bake, stir-fry, or scramble it, and it will easily take on the spices and flavours of your recipe allowing you to create a wide variety of delicious meals. Beyond the ease of use and it's protein content, tofu also offers a good amount of calcium, iron, and other essential minerals. It's low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free, making it a heart-healthy choice.

What Shop For: always choose soy products that are non-GMO and whenever possible organic. Read nutrition labels and keep any eye out for added sugars, fillers, and flavour enhancers that you don't need.

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Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad & Sunflower Seed Pesto by Regi of Nuts & Twigs

4) Vegan Orzo Pasta Salad & Sunflower Seed Pesto

Vegan salad bowls don't have to be Buddha-style, enjoy all the goodness of a side dish or main with a pasta bowl like this one by fellow foodie blogger, Regi of Nut & Twigs.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: orzo pasta is great high-fibre alternative to rice in any recipe.

Choosing Healthy Whole-Grains

Whole grains are an essential staple in any well-balanced diet, providing dietary fibre, essential macros, and a satisfying base for many salads and other dishes. You really only need a little whole grain to make a salad bowl filling and healthy. I recommend using 1/4 to 1/2 cup, sparingly. If you are gluten-free (like myself), look for high-fibre, gluten-free options (GF).

  • barley: a chewy grain that adds texture and added fibre to any salad

  • brown rice (GF):  a staple that works well as a high fibre base for salad bowls

  • buckwheat (GF): despite its name, it's gluten-free and works great in salad bowls

  • bulgur: precooked and quick to prepare, ideal for salads

  • farro: a nutty and chewy grain often used in salads; high in fibre

  • freekeh: roasted green wheat, offering a smoky flavour for various your salads

  • quinoa (GF): a complete protein, rich in fiber and versatile for various dishes

  • wild rice (GF): nutty and aromatic, perfect in your salad bowl

What Shop For: most whole-grains are found in the sauces and pasta aisle, or the baking aisle. You may also find a few options in the health food sections of the grocery store. Many lifestyle and health food shops stock a wide variety of different grains you can browse.

Vegan Mediterranean Buddha Bowl & Tahini Dressing by Sara of Clean Plate Mama

5) Vegan Mediterranean Buddha Bowl & Tahini Dressing

Another winner for Meat-free Monday is this bowl from Sara of Clean Plate Mama.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: this bowl is a well-balanced feed with a combination of healthy fats from avocado and olives, high-fibre greens, and colourful, vitamin-rich veggies. A blob of protein-rich hummus and tahini dressing provides everything you need in one deliciously filling vegan bowl!

Eat A Rainbow Every Day

Eating a rainbow is a fun and healthy approach to nutrition and is as easy as adding more plants to your menu - and lots of them! I shared an in-depth post on making rainbow bowls which are exactly as the name describes, a bowl filled with a rainbow of brightly coloured, plantbased ingredients. Each colourful ingredient provides a different set of primary nutrients and macros. When you are plantbased, your focus always needs to be on getting a full spectrum of nutrients from a wide variety of sources, and eating a rainbow salad each day is the easiest way to achieve this.

Easy Quinoa Edamame Salad by Our Plantbased World

6) Quinoa Edamame Salad

Eating more plantbased means you get to play and experiment with all kinds of veggies, and Gustavo & Joaquin of Our Plantbased World don't disappoint with this soy bean salad.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: edamame (aka soy beans) are a great source of plant protein, and are very easy to serve as might any other bean. They are perfect for cold or warmed salads, casseroles, stir-fry and fun to season and air fry for a super healthy and fun, crunchy snack.

Take Plain Salad Next Level With Roasted Vegetables

We all love roasted veggies during holiday meals, and they are the perfect dish to serve when entertaining a crowd. However, if you want to take your average salad next level, adding roast veggie to your salad is an excellent way to create a more filling meal and consume extra veggies. Whether you pan roast, air fry or grill them, roasted vegetables give salad substance, added flavour and provide extra dietary fibre. Three excellent reasons why I highly recommend using up your roast leftovers or purposely roast veggies for Meat-free Mondays and your salad bowls.

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Butternut Squash Quinoa Bowl & Tahini Dressing by Through The Fibro Fog

7) Butternut Squash Quinoa Bowl & Tahini Dressing

Something important happens when going plantbased, getting lots of extra plant fibre. Claire from Through The Fibro Fog shares a winner for Meat-free Monday and those wanting to up their dietary fibre intake.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: fibre is one of the most underrated macros; many of us don't eat near enough. Made with plenty of soluble fibre from broccoli, quinoa, red capsicums and butternut squash, this salad ticks all the boxes.

A Nutritionist's Hot Take On Salad Dressing

Ok, yes they may make boring old salad green more palatable BUT store-bought salad dressings can be sneaky saboteurs of your healthy eating efforts, even the oil and vinegar ones! Pre-made dressings are most often loaded with empty calories, unhealthy fats, hidden sugars, and excess sodium. It it almost always best to whip up your own dressing where you can better control the quality of ingredients and avoid consuming too much sugar and questionable ingredients.

There are many healthy alternatives to store-bought dressings, focusing on using wholefood ingredients such as olive oil, vinegar, herbs, spices, and a touch of citrus, fruit puree or crushed berries for sweetness. In my opinion, a vinaigrette is by far the simplest option, and provides that little touch of moisture and flavour to salads. Other options that get my tick of approval are homemade dips like hummus, tzatziki, or garlic bean dips. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons per serving. With a little awareness, you can enjoy a healthy and delicious salad without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

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Vegan Couscous Salad by Elena of Happy Kitchen Rocks

8) Vegan Couscous Salad

A fresh spin on the rainbow bowl, Elena of Happy Kitchen Rocks makes this well-balanced cous-cous salad bowl bursting with vibrant colours and flavourings.

NURITION BREAKDOWN: while not a complete protein on its own, couscous when combined with a plant protein like chickpeas or legumes, offers a very satisfying salad ingredient. If you're hungry after eating salad, definitely try this Mediterranean themed one! As if the salad itself isn't enough to satisfy, the lemon dressing finishes this bowl off perfectly with a tangy zip.

Vegan Primavera Pesto Pasta Salad by Sara of Better Food Guru

9) Vegan Primavera Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta salad just went next level with this vegan primavera salad recipe by fellow recipe creator Sara Tercero of Better Food Guru. It's a filling and perfect recipe for Meat-free Mondays!

NURTITION BREAKDOWN: if you choose wholewheat or high-fibre pasta, this recipe makes such a healthy, and budget-friendly way to enjoy eat that rainbow of colourful veggies.

Healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Bowl by Piper Cooks

10) Vegetarian Quinoa Bowl

If you still think salad isn't very filling, think again and run, don't walk to try this delicious vegetarian bowl b