No More Boring Salads
Salads are a simple, easy way to pack a lot of nutrition into one bowl. Depending on the ingredients you use, they can be loaded with vitamins and other nutrients your body needs, plus fiber to make you feel full. But it’s easy to get in a salad rut, with the same old cast of ingredients appearing every time. If you find yourself bored with your salads (or even skipping them altogether because you’re just so over them), you can bring back the love with these simple tips.
1. Shake Up the Dressing
Sure, store bought dressings are handy for when you are in a hurry. But if you want to try something fresh and different, try making your own dressings at home. It doesn’t take long to pull a dressing together. Still short on time, but craving a better dressing? Add a little Greek yogurt to make it both thicker and tangier.
Homemade Dressing Recipes:
2. Switch the Greens
We all have our go-to greens for salads (confession: mine is baby spinach). That said, there are so many options out there that offer a world of flavors to explore. Kale is earthy and can be slightly bitter. Spinach is mild and a great costar for other ingredients with much stronger flavors. Arugula is spicy and peppery. Romaine and leaf lettuces are delicate. Mustard greens are bitter. Bok choy is too, but milder. Butter lettuce is just as creamy and sweet as the name implies. There’s a lot of specialty greens out there too. Look for watercress, mizuna, escarole, dandelion greens, endive, radicchio, and others to switch up the base of your salad.
Salad Green Recipes:
- Goddess Chickpea Salad with Kale
- Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese
- Grilled Romaine Salad
3. Ditch the Greens
Salad doesn’t just have to have greens as a base. We are all familiar with the traditional pasta and potato salads, but you can also go for the grains and beans to ditch the greens. Wheat berries, quinoa, farro, and wild rice all make perfect beds for a variety of other ingredients. So do black beans, chickpeas, and other legumes. Don’t discount pasta completely, though. Orzo makes a mean salad along with traditional semolina pastas in a variety of shapes. Finally, veggies make a great foundation for salads (and you can even use a spiralizer to make noodles from your produce).
Grain, Bean, Pasta, and Veggie Salad Recipes:
- Wheat Berry Salad
- Santa Fe Black Bean Salad
- Orzo Pasta Lunch Salad
- Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad
4. Add Texture
Most vegetables tend to be on the crunchy side of the texture scale. You can add even more crunch by tossing in nuts, seeds, and croutons. To balance out all that crispiness, add some creamy, smooth ingredients to the mix. Soft cheeses and avocados are the easiest choice to give salad a good contrast in textures.
Crunchy and Smooth Salad Recipes:
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad
- Strawberry, Beetroot, and Feta Cheese Salad
- Summer Salad with Cottage Cheese
5. Chop It
Speaking of texture, you can’t get any more texturey than a chopped salad. Chopped salads are both easier to eat and more visually appealing. They involve cutting all of the ingredients into similar, smaller sizes.
Chopped Salad Recipes:
- Easy Summer Herb and Chickpea Chopped Salad
- Mexican Chopped Salad with Greek Yogurt Cilantro Lime Ranch
- Rainbow Chopped Salad