If your idea of a “salad” involves tossing a few greens in a bowl and drizzling on some dressing … well, you’re missing out. Salads can be colorful. They can be exciting. They can make your taste buds dance.
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Salads can even be made without traditional lettuce. (Gasp!)
It’s time to up your salad game and expand your exploration of the produce aisle. Consider the following recipes a map toward culinary adventure.
Make asparagus the star
This bright, lemony salad is best made with fresh asparagus, which is dressed and eaten raw. (Pro kitchen tip: When buying asparagus, look for stalks that are bright green with firm, tight tips.)
Purple kale is a vegetable that rises above the ordinary with its beauty and texture. It’s the star of this salad recipe. Purple vegetables and fruit, by the way, are rich in heart-healthy anthocyanins.
Add a citrus kick
The sweetness of navel oranges offers the perfect complement to the texture and slightly bitter taste of baby spinach in this recipe. Don’t limit yourself, though: Experiment with other fruits such as pears, apples or berries.
And for another citrus-forward option, try this salad featuring shredded red cabbage and orange zest.
A bit of bacon, anyone?
This recipe for California Kale Cobb Salad includes artichoke hearts, avocado and turkey bacon. It’s a hearty offering loaded with healthy fats and plenty of protein.
Lentils: Small but mighty
Don’t let their diminutive size fool you — lentils pack a serious nutrition punch. Experience the benefits in this knockout recipe for a lentil salad loaded with vitamins, minerals and plenty of crunch.
Bottom line? Get creative!
There are endless combinations of fruits, vegetables, proteins and other foods that you can use to add interest, nutrients and taste to your salad. Try the recipes above as an inspiration starting point.
Want more tips? Consider these salad-building basics from a dietitian that promise to add color, crunch and healthy extras to your plate.