We often opt for salads because "they're good for us" -- they're loaded with nutrients and, if done right, can help keep us lean -- but they can get a little ho-hum with the same old veggies and toppings. An easy way to make a fresh, crisp salad more interesting is to add a little heat (as in temperature)! Here are 10 warm, plant-based salads that are full of fiber and nutrition. Enjoy them as a side salad or double up the portion and make them a meal.
1. Herby Tangled Carrot Salad With Tahini Vinaigrette
This warm carrot salad is rich in beta carotene, fiber and vitamins A, C and K. And the vibrant colors will brighten up even the gloomiest of days. The tahini vinaigrette is nutty and zesty and complements the earthiness of the orange root vegetable. CALORIES: 180
2. Roasted Red Cabbage Salad With Pomegranate
When lightly roasted, red cabbage softens just slightly and releases a subtle sweetness while still retaining most of its crunch. The vinegar lends the right amount of tang, and the pomegranate arils bring the perfect pop of brightness. This salad is wonderful to make in large batches, and it keeps well in the refrigerator all week long. When you're ready to eat, warm in a skillet for a few minutes before serving. CALORIES: 61
3. Stacked Beet Salad With Feta and Blood Orange Dressing
Root vegetables, particularly beets, are great because they're typically available year-round. Both red and golden beets are packed with phytonutrients and so much beauty that it's hard not to love them. This warm salad pairs both varieties of beets with a zesty orange dressing and salty feta cheese. CALORIES: 114
4. Ghee-Sauteed Mushroom and Grain Salad With Apricots
Mushrooms and ghee are a match made in food heaven. This warm salad pairs the two with the whole grain of your choice. Topping with chopped dried apricots adds a sunny finish and a sweetness to the dish. CALORIES: 196
5. Winter Panzanella Breakfast Salad
Panzanella salads are having a moment right now -- and for good reason. Because what's better than beautiful vegetables tossed with the right amount of dressing and greens and toasty bread? Nothing. Except if it has an egg on it, like this one does! And while we call it a breakfast salad, you can enjoy this any time of day. CALORIES: 361
6. Zesty White Bean and Arugula Salad
Have you heard? It's the year of the pulses. That means beans, lentils and legumes are getting their well-earned 15 minutes of fame. They're packed with fiber and plant-based protein. This warm bean salad is seasoned with plenty of citrus and finished with a fresh, peppery bite of arugula. CALORIES: 162
7. Roasted Potato Salad With Kale and Grainy Mustard
There's not many things more comforting than roasted potatoes. They're a comfort food that's actually good for you. Combine that with hearty greens and a grainy mustard dressing, and you've entered a warm-potato-salad utopia. CALORIES: 146
Sweet-and-Spicy Carrot and Lentil Salad
A little bit of sweet is balanced out with a little bit of spice in this hearty, warm carrot and lentil salad. It's loaded with plant-based protein and fiber to keep you full for hours. It's the perfect meal for weekday lunches. CALORIES: 143
Brassica and Leek Salad With Green Goddess Vinaigrette
Romanesco and Brussels sprouts are some of the best brassicas (that's the name of their plant family), and here they're paired with leeks and tossed in a zesty green goddess vinaigrette. Savory, umami magic. If you can't source Romanesco, cauliflower is a perfect substitution. CALORIES: 176
Wilted Kale Salad With Roasted Squash and Maple Dijon Dressing
Gently roasted kale is wilted down and topped with a combination of hearty squash, bright, sweet pomegranate seeds, crunchy pumpkin seeds and a drizzling of maple Dijon dressing. CALORIES: 200
What Do YOU Think?
Have you tried warm salads before? If so, what are some of your favorite flavor combinations? Which of these recipes are you going to try first? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.