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Warm salad recipes

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It’s that weird time of year again; it’s not really winter any more, but it’s certainly not spring. The change in season messes with your nutrition too; it’s too mild for hot dinners every day, but still too chilly for cold salads. At this time, we need a transitional food to match the transitioning seasons. For the best of both worlds, why not try a warm salad?

With all the colors, greenery and lightness of a traditional salad and the added bonus of some cooked seasonal produce, warm salads could well be the perfect transitional meal as we move from winter to summer. Here are a few of our favorite warm salad recipes.

Roasted carrot and lentil salad

A perfect meal for when there’s still a lingering chill in the air, this salad forms a base to which you can add other seasonal vegetables, nuts and even fruits!

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 450g carrots
  • 100g puy lentils
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of coriander

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Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Rinse the lentils, boil them in a pan, then simmer gently for around 20 minutes before draining and setting them aside.

  • Cut the carrots into pieces of medium thickness, around 3 centimeters long. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and pour over the carrots, ensuring that the carrots are entirely coated in oil. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with chopped coriander stalks and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the carrots have softened slightly.

  • After removing from the oven, transfer the carrot mixture to a bowl and mix in the lentils, vinegar and coriander leaves and mix until well-combined.

  • Add seasoning to taste and serve with wholemeal bread or a sprinkling of pine nuts.

Warm goat’s cheese salad

One for the cheese lovers. Add more dried fruit for a sweeter taste or try a sprinkling of walnuts to add some healthy fats.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 140g green leaves (spinach, kale or lettuce work great)
  • A handful of sliced red cabbage
  • 70g blueberries
  • 250g goats cheese
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened tahini
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

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Preparation

  • Finely chop the dried cranberries, add them to a bowl with the sesame seeds and combine well.

  • Take around 2 teaspoons of goat’s cheese, roll it into a ball then roll this in the cranberry/sesame mix, making sure to cover it well. Repeat this with all of the cheese and set the resulting balls aside.

  • For the dressing, mix together the sesame oil, tahini, honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a cup until well-combined.

  • Heat a non-stick pan over a very low heat, add a dash of olive oil and a dash of honey before adding the cheese balls. Rotate constantly to ensure that they’re evenly cooked and remove them from the heat just before they start to become misshapen.

  • Wash the lettuce and cabbage and add to a large salad bowl along with the cheese balls. Add the blueberries and dressing and combine well before serving.

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Eggplant and chickpea salad

Salads don’t always have to mean copious amounts of green leaves; a salad can be anything you want it to be! In this recipe, eggplant and chickpeas form the base, whilst fresh tomatoes add extra healthy goodness.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1cm thick rounds
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 140g Greek yoghurt
  • 5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 600g plum tomatoes sliced into 0.5cm rounds
  • 70g pomegranate seeds
  • 40g fresh coriander leaves
  • Pinch of salt to taste

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Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, brushing both sides with olive oil.
  • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt. Sprinkle over the aubergine slices, along with the drained chickpeas.
  • Bake the eggplant and chickpea mixture for around 30 minutes, or until brown and tender, flipping part way through. Add the tomatoes for the final five minutes.
  • In a bowl, combine the yoghurt and garlic and season with salt.
  • When cooked, combine together the eggplant, chickpeas and tomato in a dish. Drizzle some oil over the salad and garnish with pomegranate, coriander and seasoning to taste. Serve with the yoghurt dressing.

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The great thing about warm salads is that you don’t have to rigidly adhere to a recipe to guarantee a great taste. Fancy some extra protein today? Try adding chicken, turkey or tofu. Want a vitamin booster? Add berries or apple slices? Need something more filling? Add a handful of nuts or seeds. The possibilities are endless when it comes to warm salads. For even more healthy, nutritious recipes, download the Freeletics Nutrition app now.