High-Protein Bean & Corn Salad with Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing is a healthy and balanced vegan dinner. It's rich in fiber, B12, and healthy fats.
This vegan salad doubles down on plant-based protein. The silken tofu in the lemon pepper dressing, and the addition of white beans and pepitas, make this a high-protein meal.
- White beans (cannellini or Great Northern)
- Fresh basil
Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing:
- Silken tofu
- Unsweetened nondairy milk
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh lemon juice
- Onion power, Dried oregano, Ground mustard seed, Crushed peppercorns
- Nutritional yeast –adds a cheesy flavor, and essential B vitamins including B12
See recipe card for quantities.
The corn is prepared in two different ways to add a variety of textures to the salad. Half of the corn is charred (or boiled for oil-free), and the remaining half is added raw. The cooked corn adds a delicate sweetness, and the raw corn adds a delicious crunch to the salad.
To remove the corn kernels, leave a portion of the shank remaining, so you have something to grip when slicing. Place a smaller bowl inside a larger bowl. Lean the ear of corn against the small bowl and slice downward with a sharp knife.
Make the dressing while the corn is cooking. Add the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Mix the ingredients in a large bowl and add the dressing.
Hint: Mince the garlic before adding it to the blender. Garlic cloves don't blend well when added whole.
- Beans - instead of white beans, you can use most other types of beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, fava beans, navy beans)
- Pepitas - use sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, or omit for nut/seed-free
- Shallot - substitute for red onion if preferred
- Grain Bowl - add farro, barley, pearled couscous, or orzo
See this Orzo Salad with Oil-Free Pesto on my website!
Use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels. A chef's knife works great.
This dressing does not stand up well to refrigeration.
It is safe, and delicious even, to eat raw sweet corn. When corn is fresh and in season, it tastes like milky corn candy when eaten raw. Raw corn adds texture and variety to salads.
They are not the same, but can be used interchangeably. Both are white in color, similar in taste, high in soluble fiber and protein, and low in calories.
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High-Protein Bean & Corn Salad
- 6 medium ears of corn
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (optional)
Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing:
- 16 ounces silken tofu
- ⅔ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed peppercorns or freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- Salt to taste
- 15 ounces white beans cannellini or Great Northern, canned, drained and rinsed
- 2 small avocados cut into about ¾-inch pieces
- 1 small shallot sliced crosswise (about ½ cup), soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained
- 1 jalapeño deseeded, and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup pepitas preferably roasted
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Cook one half of the corn*: Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add three ears of corn, roll them in the oil, and cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom is lightly charred. Use a pair of tongs to rotate the corn, and cook each side for about 3 minutes, or until lightly charred. Set aside to cool. (For oil-free, simmer 3 ears of corn until just tender.)
- Make the dressing: Meanwhile, place the tofu, nondairy milk, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, ground mustard, oregano, black pepper, and nutritional yeast into a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add salt to taste.
- Remove the corn kernels: Place the corn upright in a large bowl and use a sharp knife to shave the corn kernels into the bowl. Repeat for all 6 ears.
- Combine ingredients: Add the beans, corn kernels, avocado, shallot, jalapeno, pepitas, and basil to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Add the desired amount of dressing and mix to combine. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
- One half of the corn is raw in this recipe. It is considered safe, and enjoyable to eat raw corn kernels. They are crunchy and add texture to the salad. You can cook all 6 kernels if preferred.
- I used unsweetened soy milk, but most unsweetened nondairy milk will work. Almond, cashew and oat milk are good alternatives.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.