Salads are all in the toppings, but your typical add-ins will only take your taste buds so far. So to help you mix things up, we tapped Terry Hope Romero, author of the newly released Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love (Da Capo Press), for her favorite, most flavor-filled salad toppings. Trust us, your leafy greens will never be the same.
5-Spice Tamari Almonds
To make these, coat almonds with dark agave nectar, tamari (you'll find it near the soy sauce at the grocery store), Chinese 5-spice powder, and coarse salt. Then roast the nuts at 325°F for about 16 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a sticky glaze forms. They're seriously addictive—good luck saving them for your salad!
Roasted Hemp Seed Parmesan
Mix hemp seeds with lemon juice, white (shiro) miso, dried oregano, and salt, then roast them at 325°F for about 45 minutes (breaking up any clumps that form about halfway through) for a perfect addition to any Caesar salad.
"Pickled" Red Grapes
Marinate grapes in vinaigrette for at least two hours to give them a sweet and sour flavor.
Red-Hot Saucy Tofu
These are anything but bland. Make them by searing tofu cubes incoconut oil and then tossing them in a mixture of hot sauce, lemon juice, and agave.
Massaged Red Onions
Give red onions that have been sliced paper-thin a rubdown: Add a splash of lime juice, salt, and a pinch of sugar, then massage them with your fingertips for two to three minutes, until they're bright pink in color. They add a fun tang (and a bright color!) to any summer salad.
Tempeh Bacon Bites
All the bacon flavor without the grease: Cut tempeh into bite-sized pieces, and toss them in a marinade of maple syrup, tamari, ketchup, vegetable oil, and liquid smoke (you can buy it online). Let sit overnight, and then pan fry in olive oil.
Source: Article by K. Aleisha Fetters and published on womenshealthmag.com