Eco-friendly Salad Recipes to Save the Planet

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rustic salad

Written by Emily Abrams.

Have you heard of eco-friendly salad?

With earth-conscious ingredients, these delicious veggie offerings can help save the planet! 

These recipes are from my book, Don’t Cook the Planet: Deliciously Saving the Planet One Meal at a Time.

Sundance Salad by Robert Redford

actor, director, founder of Sundance Film Festival Sundance, UT


Artisan Greens
Soaked Dried Currants
Candied Pecans (see recipe)
Herbed Goat Cheese (Drake Family Farms)
Sherry Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Toss greens, currants and pecans with vinaigrette. Top with goat cheese.

Sherry Vinaigrette:

1 shallot, sliced
1 3-inch sprig fresh thyme leaves
1⁄2 cup sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup blended oil

Add all ingredients except the oil in a blender. While blender is on high, slowly add oil to emulsify.

Candied Pecans:

1 cup pecan halves
1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
Oil for deep frying 1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch salt

Blanch pecans in boiling water. Remove from water and place in mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and stir to coat. Deep fry pecans at 375°F until they no longer bubble, approximately 5-8 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with cayenne and salt.

Farmers Market Greens, Peaches & Pecan Salad by John Chiakulas

executive chef of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Chicago, IL


3 cups local baby lettuces and mesclun mix
1 cup sliced fresh local peaches
1⁄2 cup grilled sweet corn
2 ounces Market Vinaigrette (see recipe)
1 pinch kosher salt and pepper mix
Roasted pecans

Always wash and sanitize hands, work area and utensils prior to starting task.

Toss greens with peaches, grilled corn, Market Vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Pile salad high on plate, pulling out peaches and corn to scatter over top. Sprinkle top with roasted pecans..

Market Vinaigrette:

11⁄2 cups light olive oil
1⁄4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 pinch kosher salt and pepper mix
1⁄2 tablespoon sugar
5 to 6 turns freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients. Whisk to combine (do not blend). Place in a glass jar, label and refrigerate. Makes about 2 cups.

Cucumbers With Pasta by Tom Martin

former horticulturalist for the Illinois Governor’s Mansion, Springfield, IL

Cold Cucumber-Tomato Topping:

1 pound cucumbers
Salt and freshly ground pepper
White wine vinegar
11⁄2 pound very ripe tomatoes
1⁄2 cup red onions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 pound spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese

This topping can be made ahead of time and refrigerated but bring to room temperature before tossing with pasta.

Peel and seed the cucumbers. Dice the flesh into 1⁄4 inch pieces, and toss with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons wine vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes, and drain. Peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes, and combine with the cucumbers, onions, garlic, herbs and olive oil. Taste and add more vinegar, salt and pepper if necessary.

Boil the spaghetti in several quarts of salted water until cooked. Toss the hot pasta with the cucumber-tomato mixture. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Kale Caeser by Joshua Henderson

chef and founder of The Skillet Group, Seattle, WA

For the dressing:

2 small cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon coarse freshly ground black pepper

For the croutons:

4 cups day-old bread cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper

For the salad:

6 cups chopped dinosaur kale or organic kale
1 cup dressing
8 each boquerones (or fresh anchovies)
11⁄2 cups croutons

Toss bread cubes with olive oil and seasoning. Bake in 350°F oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Toss kale with dressing and place on four plates. Allow kale to stand tall as it is naturally fluffy. Scatter croutons and top with 2 boquerones in an X pattern.

If you have any eco-friendly salad ideas, share them in the comments section!


Listen to this Green Divas Foodie-Phile podcast for more on Veggie Love…

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~Asst. Ed. Green Diva Christine | Images via Shutterstock

Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Featured, GD Ticker, Going Local, Green Diva Meatless Monday, Green Divas at Home, Green Divas Foodie-Philes, Grow It, Healthy Living, Natural Health, Nature, Recipes, sustainability

About the author / is a community of women and men who believe in the power of inspiration. The power of storytelling. "We are Architects of Change: individuals who see a problem and instead of waiting for others to solve it, challenge ourselves to come up with a solution. We believe that each person has a story within them that can inspire another. And that those stories should be shared." #PassItForward & follow Maria on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn!

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