What’s gluten free, dairy free, vegan, lettuce free, delicious, filling, and takes minimal cooking?

These three salads!

Not that I am vegan, but I can certainly appreciate vegan cuisine and I’ve found all of these salads delicious and great for lunches. And people go crazy for them. My husband is a kayak guide and he and our guide friends make all of these for their guests, and they go insane. With delight, that is.

So without further adieu, here are the recipes.

Note that all of these make very large portions that can feed many people, or feed you with leftovers for days. A great idea to solve the dilemma of what to take to school or work for lunch is to make a huge batch of one of these on Sunday and eat it for lunch every day that week. 

Curry Lime Quinoa Salad

People really do go nuts over this one. I recently made this for my honeymoon kayak trip and my wedding and my friends couldn’t shut up about it! And these aren’t people who are normally into things like quinoa. And personally, I like this one so much that I made it all the time to the point where I got sick of it.

The Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 can chick peas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups tamari roasted almonds (or just roasted almonds), chopped
  • 1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 10 inch chunk of cucumber, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • Optional: 5 inch chunk of zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Juice of 2 limes

The Instructions

Rinse and cook dry quinoa (google instructions if you don’t know how), and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, chop up almonds, cucumber, carrot, and zucchini into medium sized chunks. This may be easier in a food processor (especially the almond chopping which can be arduous). Place in a large bowl.

Add cooled quinoa, chick peas dried cranberries, curry powder, salt, olive oil, and lime juice. Mix thoroughly.

Brown Rice Salad

This one is a family relic, passed down from my new mother in law. It’s her shining dish for family gatherings and potlucks! So I hope I’m not letting go of a top secret Raftl legacy here and will be ostracized from the family… but anyway… I don’t think she’ll mind and this salad is too good to keep secret anyway:



1.5 cups dry brown rice
1 red pepper, diced finely
6 sprigs of large green onion, diced, or 10 to 12 small sprigs
1 cup dried currents
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped finely
2 cups roasted cashew nuts, chopped roughly


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons gluten free tamari (aka soy sauce)
1 clove of raw garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon

The Instructions

Rinse and cook your brown rice and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, chop the red pepper, green onion, parsley, and cashews… add all of this along with the cooled dried rice and currents to a large bowl. Mix together.

In a blender, blend all the dressing ingredients together (note that you might have to double or even triple the dressing recipe just to cover the blades in your blender and get it to blend). Pour over salad and mix thoroughly! Enjoy!

Also – you may find the next day that the salad leftovers lose a bit of their flavour kick. If this is the case, add a little bit of tamari to your serving and you’re good to go. You may also choose to not put the dressing over the whole salad right away – instead keep it separate in a jar, and just put the dressing on the salad as you eat it.

Mango Black Bean Salad

This one, my friend Jackie makes for her kayak tours and claims that it gets her the big tips. She says she’s tried making other things for lunch and when she does, the tips dry up! lol!

Well, whether that’s an exact science or not, I enjoy this salad, and I hope you do too (I will forward any $$ tips to Jackie when you are overwhelmed by the party in your mouth):


  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 medium to large ripe mangos, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
  • Optional: 1 cup corn kernals, roasted
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped finely and roasted, or 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste


Dice mangos, red pepper, red onion, cilantro and add all to a large bowl. Add the drained and rinsed black beans to the bowl too.

If you are using corn and fresh garlic, add them to a frying pan with a little coconut oil and lightly sautee until browned. Add to bowl.

Add cumin powder, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder (if you didn’t use fresh garlic) to the bowl. Mix thoroughly and you’re done.

Hope you enjoyed these recipes as much as I do. Until next time, friends – happy dining! ๐Ÿ™‚