As you get to know me, you’ll soon realize that I LOVE a good salad. They’re such a great opportunity to cram a bunch of veggies into one meal, while delivering on flavor. Bonus points for a salad that can hold-its-own at any time of year. This hearty antioxidant salad certainly makes the grade!

The other day, I was craving tabbouleh. Yet, it was about 50 degrees outside and I called ‘crazy’ on myself. Tabbouleh and all of its parsley-filled goodness is truly a summer salad (hello, ripe tomatoes). So I cobbled together some ingredients that could potentially fit the bill.

Parsley served the parsley role. (Duh) Then, I substituted beets for tomatoes. Instead of bulgur, I opted for higher protein and antioxidant rich hemp hearts. From there, feta and almonds just felt right.

My Favorite Salad Ingredient Strategy

I think you’ll agree with me that this hearty salad does a fantastic job of checking a lot of yummy boxes. To me, each salad needs to have a great balance of ingredients, without overdoing it, Achieving that balance typically means a base (greens or grains), ‘hero’ veggie, texture and savory touch.

This salad’s breakdown is as follows:

  • Base = Parsley
  • Hero = Beets
  • Texture = Almonds
  • Savory = Hemp Hearts (nutty) & Feta (creamy/salty)

If you add too many more things, then it becomes confusing to your palette. Too few, snooze.

Bonus: A Universal Dressing

This recipe includes one of my favorite yummy-on-everything salad dressing. So if anything, make sure to take note and save it to your recipe file. I’ve used this dressing as a household standard on so many salads. It delivers once again on this hearty antioxidant salad.

Olive oil and lemon juice are a phenomenal partnership for any dressing recipe. You can make it as-is, or feel free to add fresh herbs, red pepper flakes or other seasoning to adjust for nearly any salad.

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  • Author: Nichole Banducci


  • 8.8oz beets (I use ‘Love, Beets’ pre-cooked)
  • 2 bunches curly parsley
  • 1 cup feta crumbles (I love ‘Follow Your Heart’ vegan Feta)
  • 2 cups shelled hemp seeds (or hemp hearts)
  • 1/2 cup chopped marcona almonds (almost any nut would be delicious… pecans, walnuts, cashews)
  • juice of two lemons (about 6 Tbsp or 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder


  1. Dice beets into 1/2” pieces (note – if you want to keep you cutting board beet-juice-free, you can dice the beets in the same large bowl where you’ll be mixing the salad.)
  2. Chop the parsley into pieces smaller than 1/4” (aka ‘fine chop)
  3. Rough chop almonds
  4. Put beets, parsley and almonds into a large bowl
  5. Add feta and hemp seeds to the same bowl
  6. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and mustard powder to a jar. Shake well and pour over salad in bowl.
  7. Mix well and serve. (I love this salad with an amber ale!)

Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for about three days.