Sometimes, there's nothing you crave more than a healthy yet satisfying salad. Maybe you don't want a heavy meal because you’re going somewhere after and you don’t want to feel too full or bloated, or perhaps you're trying to follow a particular way of eating as a lifestyle change, and it requires more greens and veggies. Maybe you just want to make a big salad to take to your next dinner party or potluck event, because they are quick and easy to throw together!
Whatever the reason, salads are delicious and packed full of nutritious and tasty whole foods. The trick to making a salad that truly satisfies your hunger, and doesn't feel like merely a snack, is to load them up with yummy extras like fruits, quinoa, veggies, and healthy fats. With that said, here are four healthy salad ideas that pack a satisfying punch. Try making one for your next meal or starter dish!
If you're in the mood for something a little sweet, yet also a little tart, you won't want to miss trying out this cranberry and Fuji apple buckwheat salad. Loaded down with crunchy apples and flavorful cranberries, plus pumpkin seeds, chopped parsley, minced chives, and baby spinach, it pairs perfectly with the earthy flavors of buckwheat.
Top it with delicious homemade apple dressing made from Granny Smith apples, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. You’ll want to toss the dressing together with the cooked buckwheat, diced apples, and other ingredients, and then mix in your spinach just before you're ready to serve for the best results.
Or you can serve the buckwheat mixture on top of a bed of spinach leaves. Either way, you will walk away feeling full and satisfied with a salad like this.
This is another salad that is loaded down with healthy goodness, making it super satisfying with lots of texture and flavor. The vinaigrette dressing is made from apple cider vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, toasted dark sesame oil, and more, and is paired with organic quinoa. This makes for a nice blend of sweet, citric, and earthy flavors.
Veggies like fresh red pepper, tomato, cucumber, avocado, minced green onion, plus cilantro, mint leaves, and kidney beans give this salad plenty of bulk and texture. It makes a great dish when paired with a protein and a side of grilled veggies or as a light lunch dish all on its own.
Sometimes you just feel like having a salad with a little ethnic flavor, such as this traditional Peruvian recipe. Yellow corn, green lima beans, and red quinoa give this salad lots of color and pizzazz, while queso fresco, cilantro, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, and white wine vinegar, plus lime juice, salt, and pepper season it up to give it a healthy dose of flavor. You can serve this salad either chilled or at room temperature--either way, it's delicious.
When you're looking for a salad that is gluten free, and that can easily be made vegan too, if you skip the cheese, this roasted cherry tomato, arugula, and gluten free sorghum grain salad is just the ticket.
You can convert the salad into more than just a side dish by adding a protein such as chickpeas, and it makes for great leftovers as long as you keep the arugula separate and add it in separately with each serving.
Plus, sorghum grain makes this a hearty salad that will stick to your ribs, while sweet cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, crumbled feta, and grated Parmesan load it with flavor. Red pepper flakes and lemon juice add a zesty bit of zing, and of course, you can add sea salt and ground black pepper to suit your taste buds.
Salads aren’t just “rabbit food.” When made properly, they can be amazing main dishes all on their own and delight your guests, as well as friends and family. You can even try making a grain salad out of farro or quinoa for a different variation on lettuce. Salads also make great starters and sides, and it’s easy to make one that can feed a crowd. So however you decide to incorporate them into your life, you definitely won’t be stuck for ways to do it!