Top Healthy Salad Recipes

It’s time to set those resolutions and typically, salad becomes a big part of that.  If eating healthier is one of your top new year priorities, that’s great. But “I’m going to eat healthier this year” is one of those well intentioned, but too-hard-to-define goals that isn’t nearly as easy done as said. You’ll have better success if you break it down in to bite-sized mini-goals.  For instance, eat 3 salads/week for lunch is an easy and doable goal…..until around week 3 when you run out of good salad recipes and your taste buds are screaming at you for some variety. The truth is, when you set one big giant goal, it can be hard to know where to start and easy to lose your momentum. ESPECIALLY if your goal is food-related and your food is boring, yucky, or not varied enough.  We have compiled our top 2 salad recipes to make sure you don’t ruin your resolution before it even gets started. Both recipes can easily be changed with the substitution of one ingredient. The list of variations is endless! Click here for the full list of healthy salad recipes.  Keep reading!

1.    Cucumber/Tomato/Avocado Salad

Ingredients

Cherry tomatoes

Cucumber

Avocado

Red Onion

Basil

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt & Pepper

Probably the easiest salad you’ll ever make and if you take one look at the ingredients, you’ll know why it’s delicious and healthy.  How can anything taste bad with that combination? Put the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red onion, and fresh basil in a bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve! So easy and beautiful and also goes great as a side with any meal.  This salad chills well and also transports well, so it’s super easy to bring to work. You can mix it up and vary the taste by using different flavor oils (coconut, avocado, olive, almond) or by using different herbs (rosemary, tyme, cilantro) or by adding different cheeses (feta, goat, cottage).

2.    Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup quinoa uncooked
2 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth/stock)
4-5 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Optional: fresh basil, to taste


Lemon Vinaigrette
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard, do not use regular mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large lemon (3 tablespoons juice)

This sweet potato quinoa salad has it all – perfect textures, delicious flavors, and it’s so simple to make! Not to mention how healthy quinoa salad is! It’s packed with good for you ingredients that will keep you fuller for longer.  The lemon vinaigrette is light, fresh, healthy, and tangy. There’s dijon mustard, lemon juice, dried herbs, vinegar, and olive oil. All great ingredients and together, they pack a punch! Make this dressing weekly and it will be gone within 3-4 days!

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and coarsely (but evenly) chop your sweet potatoes. Place on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt + pepper (to taste). Toss everything to coat and place in the preheated oven. Let roast for 15 minutes and then flip the potatoes and roast for an additional 10-20 minutes or until desired tenderness.
Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter coating. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa with water (or broth/stock). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover the pan with a lid.
Turn heat all the way to the lowest setting and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the water has completely absorbed in the quinoa.
Turn off the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa gently with a fork. Set aside.
Toss the cooked quinoa and sweet potato in a large bowl. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, prep the dressing. Whisk the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) together in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking briskly. Whisk in the lemon juice. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge while you finish the salad.
Remove the stems and coarsely chop the spinach. Add to the salad along with the chopped avocado and cranberries. Toss everything together. If desired, ribbon some basil and top the salad with the fresh basil.
Toss the salad with desired amount of dressing (you might have some leftover depending on how dressed you liked your salads!) Enjoy immediately.
Do not dress anything you don’t intend to eat that day. This salad is best eaten immediately after being dressed, so if you want leftovers, only toss what you will eat with the dressing.

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New York Style Summer Salad

Food Network’s recipe is the perfect summer salad for a backyard patio party.  This no-hassle, no-fuss recipe pulls a punch when set up buffet-style.  Lay out the greens and toppings in small, ornate dishes and have everyone prepare their own salad by throwing whatever they want, and in whatever amount, into their own bowl.  Set out several dressing options at the end of the table and everyone is happy!  BONUS: use Food Network’s recipe below for a creamy, homemade ranch.

Salad Ingredients

3 cups mixed salad greens
8 whole romaine leaves
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
One 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 4-ounce can pitted mixed olives
2 red bell peppers, sliced
2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
2 avocados, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 English cucumber, halved then sliced
1 bunch asparagus, blanched and sliced into pieces
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
8 radishes, halved
Salt and ground pepper
Salt and ground pepper

Homemade Creamy Ranch Ingredients

Herby Ranch Dressing:
1 cup (real) mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk (more as needed to reach desired consistency)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
3 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and ground pepper

Ranch Directions:

Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, parsley, chives, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

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Skillet Steak and Wilted Kale Salad

 

If you are on the lookout for some quick fix salads, Southern Living has these 24 quick fixes that are sure to satisfy all of your healthy cravings. The one that really stood out to us was this skillet steak and wilted kale salad. So not only is it on the healthy side, but you get some delicious red meat as well- not to mention it only takes twenty minutes to make and serves up to 4 people!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 2 (3/4-inch-thick) beef strip steaks
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°. Chop kale. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Cook steaks in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side. Place on a wire rack in a jelly-roll pan, and bake 6 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, wipe skillet clean, and melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

Step 3

Remove steaks from oven, and loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Add kale to onion mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Stir in vinegar and honey; season with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced steak.