This fresh Spiralized Zucchini Panzanella Salad is made with zucchini, mushrooms, vine-ripened tomatoes, and homemade crouton dressed in a zesty Lemon Vinaigrette. This recipe can be easily adapted to suit both gluten-free and dairy-free lifestyles.
Zucchini Panzanella Salad
Plant-based eating continues to be a popular trend in the health and wellness space, and for good reason. Not only is plant-based eating better for the environment, but it is better for your overall health as well.
Studies show that consuming more whole, plant-based foods on a daily basis can help to reduce the risk of several chronic illnesses.
I always tell my students that the best way to enjoy more plant-based foods is to swap some of the traditional ingredients in your favorite dishes for plant-based options for a fresh and nutritious twist.
This summer at your family BBQ, try this fresh Zucchini Panzanella Salad instead of your traditional anti-pasta salad made with white pasta and processed meat. This delicious twist that will help you to enjoy a mouth-watering plant-based salad swap with an extra serving of veggies!
Heart Healthy Ingredient Swaps
One message I am passionate about is that everyone – regardless of their health – should enjoy their food and lifestyle while being mindful of their wellness. By making heart-healthy ingredient swaps, you can make a popular dish better for your heart.
By swapping this Fresh Zucchini Panzanella Salad for the traditional anti-pasta salad made with white pasta and processed meat, you are deciding to support your heart heath. Some other delicious heart healthy ingredient swaps include:
- Using plant proteins rather than meat – think tofu, tempeh, or beans
- Replace cow’s milk with hemp milk, sunflower seed milk, or almond milk
- Use whole grains rather than refined grains
- Load up on fresh herbs and spices to give your meals a little extra kick of flavor
- When in need of sweetener, use a natural sugar substitute such as maple syrup, honey, or stevia
- ¼ loaf (or 2 slices) day-old bread of choice*, torn into 1" pieces
- ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 small zucchini, spiralized
- ½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup diced roasted red peppers
- 4 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 whole scallions, white and green parts, sliced
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella
- ¼ cup Lemon Vinaigrette
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the torn bread pieces in a single flat layer. Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, and parsley. Toss gently to coat.
- Bake the croutons for 10-minutes, stirring once halfway through. The cooked croutons should be toasted and golden brown. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- If you haven't already, spiralize your zucchini into 'zoodles'. If you do not have a spiralizer, simply use a vegetable peeler to make thin strips of zucchini 'noodles'.
- In a large mixing bowl add the spiralized zucchini, grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, sliced mushrooms, scallions. Toss well.
- Add the Lemon Vinaigrette to the bowl and toss well until all ingredients are lightly coated.
- Gently toss in the homemade croutons and fresh mozzarella. Serve immediately.
*To make this recipe gluten-free, start with a gluten-free loaf of bread instead of French bread, and follow the same process. Ensure all of your other ingredients are gluten-free as well including your soy sauce and other dressing ingredients.
**To make this recipe dairy-free, eliminate the mozzarella or opt for a plant-based cheese alternative.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 21g