Salads can be super healthy and satisfying or pretty boring, so here is a simple recipe on how to create a poppin salad. What is a poppin salad? A salad filled with hearty, satisfying flavors and sustenance that provides long-lasting energy without that feeling of heaviness and fatigue.

The trick to a poppin salad is including lots of vegetables with variety of colors like a rainbow plus including three more whole plant-based food groups:

  • beans/legumes: lentils, edamame, chickpeas, black beans, etc.
  • whole grains: quinoa, brown or wild rice, bulgur wheat, etc.
  • seeds: roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

When you add beans, whole grains, and seeds to your salad, you are adding highly nutritious ingredients and actually feel like you ate a fulfilling meal. Plus adding these food groups creates a balanced meal since the salad includes four out of the five whole plant-based food groups.

Just eating a salad with vegetables is not going to cut it and usually what happens, you end up looking for something else to eat because it feels like the salad was lacking and that is because it was!

Organic shelled edamame
Organic shelled edamame is a type of legume for salads

So here is how to make a poppin salad that everyone will want to eat so be sure to make extra!

Poppin Salad

Poppin Salad

Beautiful and highly nutritious salad with greens, veggies, legumes, whole grains, and seeds.
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 100 kcal


  • Large salad bowl


  • 8 cups mixed greens choose arugula, kale, swiss chard, spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas or edamame
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • add the mixed greens to salad bowl
  • add the cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red cabbage and toss gently
  • add the quinoa or brown rice, beans or edamame
  • add basil, salt & pepper
  • add fresh squeezed lemon
  • gently toss
  • sprinkle the seeds on top


Why are some ingredients organic? Edamame is often genetically modified, unless organic. Kale, spinach, and cherry tomatoes are on the “Dirty Dozen” list of produce high in pesticides, and therefore organic is recommended. Check out Environmental Working Groups’s shopper’s guide to pesticides in produce.


You might be wondering where is the salad dressing, however, have you ever tried freshly squeezed lemon on a salad? It is so refreshing and delicious without adding a processed dressing or oil. Give it a try!


Check out what is in your refrigerator and you might find a yummy add-in for the salad. Here are some of my favorites:
  • Sliced avocado
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Tahini
  • Pesto (pesto is non-vegan unless purchase or make your own vegan pesto)
  • Fresh cilantro
Keyword quinoa, salad, seeds, vegan

Conscious Nibbling Tip: Add a poppin color to the salad with chopped red cabbage. It adds a beautiful, appetizing color.

Organic red cabbage adds color to the salad
Organic red cabbage adds color to the salad

Enjoy the salad! If you have any other ideas for add-ins or ingredients for a poppin salad, please share! Would also love to hear your thoughts if you tried the poppin salad!

Kim Raring

I am passionate about promoting a conscious lifestyle incorporating whole plant-based foods, sustainable food-related choices, and mindful eating practices. Want to learn about simple strategies to create a feel-good lifestyle? Check out all of the conscious nibbling tips.

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