12 Healthy Salad Recipes on a Mission to Eradicate the “Sad Desk Lunch”
Good to the last leaf.
Published Apr 26, 2019 7:00 AM
No one has to tell you that you should eat salads—you are aware, thank you. But what you could perhaps use some help with is figuring out how to find healthy salad recipes that aren’t terribly boring. While it’s common knowledge that this meal is good for you, it isn’t as routine to encounter ideas for colorful, filling, and energy-boosting greens. If that were the case, then you would whip up salads regularly, right? Right.
You know that greens should be a part of your diet, but if you’re not exactly sure where to find dishes that’ll keep you hungry for more, then look no further than these 12 healthy salad recipes. These vibrant options are loaded with the nutrients that come from ingredients like grilled green beans, shredded romaine, ripe grapefruit, artichoke hearts, and sliced persimmons, and their flavors make it easy to keep your fork busy in every bowl. Once you try them, you’ll be the one with more concrete advice on which salads to actually eat.
Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad
This creative rice noodle salad from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is also worth keeping in mind for a crowd—even if that group is simply your immediate family. Portobello mushrooms are marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, and then seared on a grill. Later, they’re added to a bowl of rice noodles, shredded romaine, chopped green onions, sliced cucumbers, and fresh cilantro.
Tropical Kale Salad
We all know that kale is a healthy ingredient, but that’s doesn’t mean that it can’t be a little bland. If you need inspiration on one way to dress it up, then look to this recipe from Natalie Mortimer at The Modern Proper. She mixes this green with the tropical flavors of mango, mint, macadamia nuts, and a coconut curry lime dressing.
Greek Cobb Salad
Heidi Larsen at FoodieCrush takes what’s beloved about cobb salads—like plum tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, romaine lettuce, and sliced red onion—and brings in Greek flavors to add depth. Artichoke hearts, olives, cucumbers, and feta are tossed in with marinated garbanzo beans, and the entire large salad is served with pita bread on the side.
Grilled Zucchini and Green Bean Salad
If you’re looking for a salad recipe that most barbecue guests won’t see coming, then this one from Taylor Kiser at Food Faith Fitness will do the trick. The namesake vegetables are coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning before they’re grilled, and after, they’re added to a bowl with chopped tomatoes and sliced basil. It’s exactly what a cookout needs.
Pomegranate Avocado Salad
Gerard at Half Baked Harvest also recommends this equally inventive salad, which combines baby arugula, sliced persimmons, mustard greens, and the title ingredients in a bowl with candied walnuts. It’s sweet, crunchy, and filling all at once.
Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad
If you remember anything from this recipe by Holly Erickson at The Modern Proper, let it be this: Blackberries should be a salad staple. In this instance, they’re mixed with arugula, goat cheese, and pistachios, and their tart flavor blends perfectly with the other rich ingredients.
Spicy Couscous Chicken Salad
There’s also a spicy element to this salad from Abbey Rodriguez at The Butter Half, since she mixes spinach, green leaf lettuce, and kale with shredded chicken that’s been tossed in cayenne and chili powder. Cooked couscous, corn, and black beans add in more texture and flavor.
Southwest Salmon Salad
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats provides another example of how to use Southwestern flavors in a healthy salad bowl, and this time, it’s done with a chili-lime salmon, black beans, corn, cotija cheese, and tomatoes over a bed of lettuce.
Roasted Tomato and Burrata Caprese Salad
Heidi Larsen at FoodieCrush also updates a classic caprese salad by first roasting the tomatoes in garlic and then adding them to arugula and burrata while they’re still warm. The salad is drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and then topped with fresh basil.
The Mean Green Detox Salad
This last recipe from Half Baked Harvest will help you regain your wits after a particularly draining—or decidedly fun—evening. Thanks to the purple cabbage, broccoli florets, Tuscan kale, ripe grapefruit, and firm avocados, this salad is loaded with healthy ingredients that are then dressed up with spices, herbs, and a lemon tahini dressing.
Curried Cauliflower Quinoa Salad
This last example of a healthy salad from Mortimer at The Modern Proper takes the ultra-popular vegetable cauliflower and gives it a twist. By baking it in curry powder, the roasted cauliflower brings a rich spiciness to a bowl that also includes arugula, cilantro, quinoa, red cabbage, cucumbers, and raisins.
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