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Easy dinner recipes: Three rich chopped salad ideas for Meatless Monday

It's Meatless Monday and with these tempting chopped salad recipes, you won't even miss the meat

It's Meatless Monday. Even if you have no intention of going vegetarian full-time, there's no reason you can't give it a try once a week. And with these tempting chopped salad recipes, you won't even miss the meat.

Fresh vegetable chopped salad: BLD tosses its homemade dressing -- fresh, lightly herbal, sweetened with a touch of honey and with just the right amount of tang -- with a wonderfully bright and colorful salad of crunchy fresh corn, edamame, roasted bell peppers and green beans, along with diced avocado and toasted cashews. They top the salad with fresh sprouts and a drizzle of nutty hemp seeds.

Kale chopped salad: Chopped kale and romaine are tossed with quinoa, almonds, raisins and parmesan cheese, with a bright lemon vinaigrette added just before serving.

Kale and quinoa salad: Dark green julienned strips of kale are tossed with nutty quinoa and sunflower seeds, colorful bell pepper and red grapes, then dressed with a bright Champagne vinaigrette. Parmigiano and manchego cheese lend a subtle richness; the preserved lemon strips add a salty tang.

You can find the recipes below.

For more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight! page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

BLD’S FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from BLD in Los Angeles. Hemp seeds can be found at select well-stocked markets as well as at most health food stores.

SALAD DRESSING

1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped shallots
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sweet rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup canola oil

1. In a blender, grind the ginger, shallots and rosemary to a paste.

2. Add the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and lemon juice to the ginger mixture and blend until fairly smooth.

3. With the blender running, slowly add the oil. This makes about three-fourths cup dressing, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The dressing will keep, up to three days, covered and refrigerated.

FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD

2 cups shelled edamame beans
1 cup raw fresh yellow corn
2/3 cup diced avocado
2/3 cup toasted and salted cashews
1/2 cup sliced or diced roasted and peeled red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups French green beans (haricot vert), blanched, shocked and chopped
2 cups diced jicama
1/2 cup salad dressing, more as desired
1 cup daikon sprouts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

In a large bowl, combine the edamame, corn, avocado, cashews, peppers, green beans and jicama. Add one-half cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste, and add additional dressing if desired. Divide the salad among four plates and garnish with the daikon sprouts and hemp seeds. This makes about eight cups of salad. Serve immediately.

Each of 6 servings: 387 calories; 14 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams fiber; 26 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 10 grams sugar; 306 mg sodium.

NAPA VALLEY GRILLE’S KALE CHOPPED SALAD

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
Note: Adapted from Napa Valley Grille in Westwood

LEMON VINAIGRETTE

Juice of 3 lemons and grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 anchovy fillet, minced
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 basil leaves, cut in thin strips
Sea salt
Finely-ground pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, shallot, anchovy, cheese and basil. Season to taste with one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper. This makes slightly more than one-half cup vinaigrette, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to one week.

KALE SALAD

1/4 cup quinoa
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 head green kale, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cool running water to remove the outer coating of the quinoa (if not rinsed, the coating can give the quinoa a bitter flavor). Place the rinsed quinoa in a dry saute pan and toast, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry, lightly colored and has a nutty aroma.

3. Place the toasted quinoa in the saucepan with the water, reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa until it is translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, 12 to 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Drain the quinoa and spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.

4. In a large bowl, combine the romaine, kale, quinoa, almonds, raisins and parmesan cheese. Add one-fourth cup vinaigrette and toss to lightly coat. Add additional vinaigrette as desired, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Each of 6 servings: 170 calories; 5 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 153 mg sodium.

LA GRANDE ORANGE CAFE’S KALE AND QUINOA SALAD

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 2 to 4

Note: Adapted from La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena. Preserved lemons can be found at select well-stocked grocery stores as well as cooking and gourmet markets.

CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon chopped chervil
Ground black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots and salt; set aside for 20 minutes to soften the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the oils while whisking to emulsify the vinaigrette. Whisk in the chervil and pepper. This makes a scant one-half cup vinaigrette; the vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to four days.

KALE AND QUINOA SALAD

1/2 cup quinoa
Salt
4 cups loosely packed julienned kale, from a large bunch
Champagne vinaigrette
3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
2/3 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese
10 to 12 strips finely julienned preserved lemon

1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a simmer. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well, then drain and add to the simmering water. Cook the quinoa until the grains are translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, about 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet to cool. The quinoa can be made ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated, up to three days before using.

2. In a large bowl, place the kale and one-fourth cup of the vinaigrette. Using your hands, massage the vinaigrette into the kale until the kale is softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. To the bowl, add the cooled quinoa, the sunflower seeds, bell pepper, grapes and Parmigiano Reggiano, tossing to combine.

4. Divide the salad among serving plates, evenly sprinkling over the Manchego cheese and garnishing with the preserved lemon strips. Serve immediately.

Each of 4 servings: 375 calories; 9 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 26 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 9 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 219 mg sodium.

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