We all know that a nice big salad is good for our health, but that doesn’t help much if you aren’t someone who enjoys the flavor and texture of a bowl of greens. Some people just find them too bitter, bland, or earthy. But salads are so important! The greens found in a typical salad offers up a variety of minerals and nutrients that are hard to get elsewhere.
So, it’s important not to cut salads out of your life altogether. Dumping a bunch of dressing on your salad is a decent start in transforming it into a meal that you’ll actually enjoy from beginning to end – but that isn’t the only way to dress things up for your taste buds. If you’re just starting out, you just need to explore some healthy salad ideas and find the ones that work for you!
Experimenting with the flavors and textures of your salads is all it takes to learn how to make greens taste tremendous enough that you actually look forward to eating them on a regular basis. Here are some easy and fun healthy salad ideas to make them taste better instantly!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Salad Archives!
Include Some Healthy Fat
Let’s face it, almost everything tastes better with a little fat added to it and there is no exception when it comes to salads. Including some avocado, olive or hemp oil, coconut meat or flakes, and nuts and seeds to your salad is a great way to bulk things up and to enhance the richness and satisfaction of every bite you take. Try your hand at an avocado kale chili salad or a pomelo salad with roasted coconut.
Get a Little Fruity
Perk your greens up with fruit! Adding sliced strawberries, peaches, or pineapple is a good start. Don’t be afraid to try frozen fruit or options that sound a little weird with greens, like bananas. All fruit tastes great with greens and tends to pair well with vinaigrettes as well as creamy dressings. Get in the kitchen and make yourself a wilted kale salad with fresh figs and oranges or Cajun hummus coleslaw with currants and green grapes.
Add Something Steamed
Adding some steamed vegetables or potatoes to the mix is an excellent way to bulk your salads up and to take away from the “grass-like” texture of salads that you might not be fond of. Corn, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are all tasty options. Steam your veggies just until they start to get tender so they don’t overpower the other ingredients that you add to your salads. Try an eccentric vegan Caesar salad or a tangy curried chickpea salad!
Wilt Your Greens
Make your salad taste and feel like a warming stir-fry without the need for cooking anything by wilting your greens. Simple cut your greens finely and add them to a bowl with your choice of marinade – soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinaigrette are all tasty options. Use your hands to massage the greens and let them sit in the marinade for about 15 minutes until they’re tender. That’s all there is to it!
Marinade Your Ingredients
You can also create a cooked effect for your salads by marinating some of the ingredients that you plan to combine with your greens. For example, soak sliced mushrooms in teriyaki sauce, or broccoli and peppers in olive oil and garlic. You can also marinade your dried fruit until it gets plump and juicy. Let your ingredients soak for at least 30 minutes before adding them to your salad. Your kitchen will look a lot brighter with a magical kale salad in it.
Introduce Some Grains and Legumes
Grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and millet are excellent additions to salad because they lend a nutty flavor and indulgent texture while also increasing protein intake at the same time. Cook your grains as you normally would and throw a half a cup of them right on top of your salad before you add the dressing. Legumes like lentils are also a heart healthy choice for salad toppings. Tickle your taste buds with broccoli and quinoa or curried kale and quinoa salad!
Use Some Savory Spices
If you prefer a savory salad, spices are sure to please your palette. They can be added to your dressing or tossed right into your salad just before eating. Create the flavors of a taco salad with the help of cumin, or turn your greens into an Indian feast by adding a little curry. Chinese 5-spice, Cajun seasoning, and garlic salt are all effective choices to consider too. You are sure to love sinking your teeth into an Asian black rice and greens salad.
Implement Lots of Color
Making a colorful salad will instantly brighten up your senses and create a bounty of textures to please your palette. Making sure that you have lots of different vegetables in your salad keeps things from getting boring, and significantly bumps up it’s nutrition value too. Use a variety of cutting techniques like chopping, dicing, and mincing to create a variety of texture to enjoy. Bell peppers, carrots, beets, cucumbers, and even squash all make a beautiful salad. Go for a cleansing quinoa and carrot salad or a grilled beet salad with almonds and dried cranberries.
Blend it All Up
If you really can’t handle the texture of salads, you can blend them up into soup! You’ll still get all the nutrients a good salad has to offer without having to deal with the texture. Just throw all the ingredients you plan to make your salad with into a blender and mix away until everything is smooth and creamy. Adding some fat like nuts or avocado will help create a decadent texture that you probably won’t be able to get enough of. Maybe you’re in the mood for some creamy Thai coconut soup, or a little tomato and red pepper soup? The options are limitless!
Cleanse the Palette
One of the most important things you can do to ensure that you’ll enjoy the flavors of your salad is to cleanse your palette before you start eating. Drinking a nice fresh glass of water will make your taste bugs forget about the indulgences of your day and prepare them for the crisp, fresh flavors of your evening salad.
There you have it! Use these ten easy methods to turn your salad into a tasty treat that you actually look forward to eating every day. If you want some more inspo, check out 15 Super Light, Delicious, and Refreshing Salads You Need to Try This Summer, We Promise You Won’t Get Bored of Summer Salads With These 15 Recipes, and 15 Salads That Are Hearty Enough to Be the Main Course!
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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