The term salad doesn’t just mean some lettuce drizzled with a dressing or vinaigrette. Instead, think of it as a meal that has multiple layers of flavor (sweet, spicy, and savory), texture (crisp, crunchy, and creamy), and color (green, red, yellow, purple, you name it!). Honestly, salads are the most wonderful blank canvas to let your creativity run wild. So have fun with it. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Build layers of flavor. Start with a vegetable base, mix in seasonal ingredients, add filling protein, toss in some healthy fats, and drizzle a tasty dressing or sauce.
- Get creative with textures. Aim for a variety of textures with every bite… it makes the salad more interesting! For example, start with a soft spinach base, then toss it with crisp bell pepper, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy nuts and seeds.
- Make your salad colorful. While green may form the base of your salad, remember that nutrient variety comes from color variety. So try to make your salad as vibrant as can be. The more color the better!
EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SALAD RECIPES
Let’s start with some of my top salad recipes that everyone always comes back to. They’re crazy good, perfect for any occasion (from large parties to an easy weeknight dinner), and are so darn easy to make.
- Broccoli Salad: This is everyone’s go-to salad, no matter what time of year it is. It’s perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or summer barbecue salad. Plus, it holds up well in the fridge as the perfect meal prep salad.
- Tuna Salad: If you love my chicken salad, this tuna version is a no brainer. And all you really need is canned tuna, mayo, dijon mustard, and some fresh greens and herbs.
- Salmon Salad: Swap tuna for juicy baked salmon! Large flaky chunks get mixed with crisp celery, red onion, radishes, herbs and a creamy, lemon dressing.
- Chicken Salad: When the warm weather hits, this chicken salad is a must. It’s deliciously creamy, crunchy, fresh, and will convince you to never buy store-bought chicken salad again.
- Caprese Salad: I’ll gladly eat layers of fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil on repeat. Just drizzle a little balsamic glaze for a summer classic that never fails to please.