At first thought, the idea of eating a salad for lunch or dinner may seem unappealing, considering salads have a bad reputation for being boring. But there are countless healthy salad recipes that are so delicious, you'll instantly forget you're having a plate full of leafy greens. The key is knowing how to make an easy, healthy salad that is full of flavor but not empty calories.
"For salads you want to think about color, adding in a variety of veggies so that you get in that wide range of vitamins — think of the rainbow," Brigitte Zeitlin, registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition, tells Woman's Day. "Then, you want to add in a protein, like chicken, salmon, tuna, shrimp, tofu, edamame, chickpeas, or beans." Finally, she suggests topping it off with two tablespoons of two different healthy fats, like avocado, nuts, cheese, or dressing.
Once you have the basic combo down, it's easy to fall into a salad rut. To avoid that, Atlanta-based registered dietitian nutritionist Marisa Moore suggests adding seasonal produce to your salad, giving you an even more diverse pool of ingredients. "You might start with salad greens, and add in citrus segments with an orange vinaigrette in the winter or apples and nuts with an apple cider vinaigrette in the fall," Moore tells Woman's Day. "Taking this approach helps boost the flavor factor while getting in those extra nutrients." Types of salad range from warm, roasted vegetables ones, to chickpeas, or even pasta salads, she adds, all of which are hearty, filling options that work well for meal prepping or daily healthy dishes. So, whatever your palate wants, your palate gets with any one of these healthy salads.
Vegan Bratwurst-Apple Salad With Caraway Vinaigrette
Perfect for Meatless Monday, this recipe is packed with mixed greens and hearty Impossible sausage.
Fresh Corn, Tomato, Herb, and Israeli Couscous Salad
Bring a little summer flavor into your meals year-round with this delicious, meatless salad. And if you want to add a few extra flavors, throw in some grilled zucchini and onions.
Crunchy Turkey Salad with Oranges
Dress this quick and delicious salad with homemade sesame vinaigrette that goes perfectly with shredded turkey breast or rotisserie chicken.
Beet, Tangerine and Steak Salad
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to cut all red meat from your diet to be healthy. Leaner cuts, like sirloin or skirt steak, keep your meals light and still satisfying.
Warm Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad
The warm roasted cauliflower gives a cozy feeling to your go-to salad and adding a hint of pumpkin pie spice makes this dish even more comforting.
Herbed Pork Meatball and Farro Salad
The pork meatballs and the farro in this salad perfectly complement each other and make for a great, family-friendly meal.
Steak Salad with Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette
Seared sirloin steak, a bed of fresh arugula, and cauliflower. What could possibly be tastier? If you're still not convinced, the honey-lemon vinaigrette is a true delight.
Lemon Marinated Herb Pasta Salad
This pasta salad may not follow the typical definition of salad, but that doesn't make it any less of one. And it's great for barbecues!
Red Citrus Salad with Berries, Pears and Pomegranates
The greek yogurt and honey perfectly complement the tart citrus in this salad from the vitamin C-filled blood oranges and grapefruit.
Pear & Walnut Salad
If you're in the mood for something light that'll help you sleep better, look no further. According to Healthline, some researchers claim that eating walnuts helps improve sleep quality, because they're rich in melatonin. Those with a hint of apple pie spice make for the coziest possible dinner.
Mexican Skirt Steak and Avocado Salad
"Avocados are a good source of fiber, which adds bulk and can help you feel fuller faster," Moore says. Pair those with some steak and plum tomatoes, and you have a quick, yummy salad.
Watercress Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
Green veggies are some of the healthiest foods out there because they're packed with nutrients like fiber and iron. So, it's safe to say this green salad is one of the most nutritious recipes.
Roasted Squash, Pork, and Kale Salad With Cherries
This hearty salad is another great option to promote restful sleep, due to its melatonin-rich ingredients, like cherries and cheese, according to Healthline.
Tomato and Cucumber Farro Salad
Though these ingredients may be most popular in the summer, you can probably get them year-round at your local grocery store. So take a bite and transport yourself to warmer days.
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