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5 Genius Ways to Totally Overhaul Your Salad Game

The Salad Shake-Up

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With veggies taking on a new role as culinary stars these days, the basics of building a salad deserve a refresh. Here, chef Tieghan Gerard the queen of greens, blogger behind Half Baked Harvest, rewrites the rules for a modern, inventive upgrade to our favorite healthy meal.

First up, the greens. All leaves are not the same. Experiment with these six lesser-known options. (Hint: here's your guide for how to use them in smoothies and juices too.) Keep reading for recipes that pair them with the perfect toppings.

Sorrel: It has a lemon flavor that adds tang, and it's full of vitamin C. Use the smaller leaves, which are best for eating raw.

Mizuna: This bright and earthy mustard green has a slightly spicy taste and is packed with vitamin C and iron.

Radicchio: Rich in bone-building vitamin K, it adds a hit of sharpness. Toss radicchio with a balsamic vinaigrette to balance its slightly bitter taste.

Dandelion Greens: Their strong flavor pairs well with rich ingredients like cheese and bacon, as well as with fruit. Dandelion greens are high in calcium and iron.

Baby Swiss Chard: Delicate and sweet, these leaves are loaded with antioxidants. Unlike the larger varieties, baby Swiss chard can be tossed whole in your salad.

Frisée: Bitter curly, and crunchy, frisée is the perfect backdrop to the strong flavors of meat and fruit and to creamy dressings. It's also an excellent source of folic acid.

Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Deconstructed Chicken-Mango Summer Roll Salad

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Don't toss, compose! Summer rolls are always delicious, but switch it up and make it a salad instead. The flavors of each ingredient will shine if you leave them separated in the bowl, instead of shaking it all togther. (And if you like this one, you'll absolutely love these healthy Buddha bowl recipes.)

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Grilled Kale and Summer Veggie Salad With Avocado Caesar Dressing

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The ultimate tip: everything doesn't have to be raw. Add steamed, roasted, and grilled vegetables for a mix of tastes and textures. Top off the mixture with an avocado Caesar and you have a bowl that's anything but boring. (And we promise, kale isn't overrated. Here, all the health benefits you'll get for using this green.)

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

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Who says you need lettuce to make a salad? Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern vegetarian dish traditionally made with bulgur, a type of wheat cereal. We swapped it with cauliflower to make it a bit more healthy, but just as tasty.

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Farmers' Market Salad with Ribboned Goat Cheese Omelet

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We know that salad doesn't always fill you up. But it can still be your meal of choice by adding a sliced omelet or another protein that ups the fullness factor.

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Photo: Ted Cavanaugh

Savory Granola

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Every salad needs a little bit of crunch. Whether you toss this granola on as a healthy crouton substitute or you're bagging it for an on-the-go snack, it's the perfect choice when you're craving spice.

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Photo: Half Baked Harvest

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