Awesome salad recipes for people who think they hate salads

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Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

Now before you all start chanting “You don’t win friends with salad!” at me in a conga line, understand that I too was once perplexed at the idea that salad could be delicious. No longer. I’m going to share my salad recipes with you and hopefully you’ll have the same tasty epiphany that I did.

For me to eat salad, it has to be delicious and easy. These recipes are actually just ingredient lists. Get the ingredients, chop what needs to be chopped into bite-sized pieces, and throw it in a bowl. Nice and easy and also tasty. Please note though, that I still don’t like salad dressing. I know this is blasphemous to many. I’ll link a suggestion I’ve found online with each, and feel free to share your suggestions in the comments. But I’m just saying that it might be worth it to try these babies sans dressing before you make up your mind.

Oh, and I named them all silly things because these are my recipes and I have that kind of power.

Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

The Razzmatazz

  • the green: baby spinach
  • the cheese: feta, crumbled
  • the fruit: raspberries (I added some cucumber too)
  • the nut: pine nuts
  • the dressing: raspberry balsamic

Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

The Pearly Beloved

  • the green: baby Romaine
  • the cheese: Stilton, crumbled
  • the fruit: pear chunks
  • the nut: walnuts
  • the dressing: white wine vinaigrette

Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

The Santa Monica, Probably

  • the green: kale
  • the cheese substitute: avocado chunks
  • the fruit: strawberries
  • the nut: pecans
  • the dressing: lemon poppyseed

Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

The Hip Granny

  • the green: Romaine
  • the cheese: shredded cheddar
  • the fruit: Granny Smith apple chunks, dried cranberries
  • the nut: almond slices
  • the dressing: balsamic

Salads for people who think they hate salads on @offbeathome

The Roman Holiday

  • the green: basil leaves
  • the cheese: bocconcini
  • the fruit: Roma tomatoes
  • the nut substitute: croutons
  • the dressing: olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzles (this is the one I use dressing with)

Salad haters: What are your favorite non-threatening salads?

Comments on Awesome salad recipes for people who think they hate salads

  1. I am of the school of thought that all recipes need a good name, and not just some boring explanatory name (this is why my butternut squash soup is called Magical Golden Soup).

    So I will share the AMAZING salad recipe my husband invented for a university potluck. It is called Jason’s Sweet and Spicy Salad.

    -Baby spinach
    -Jalapeno havarti cheese (although pepperjack would also work here)
    -Red onions
    -Raspberries
    -One tin of mandarin orange slices
    -Rasberry balsamic dressing

    …and now I just realized we haven’t eaten in a long time so I need to go grocery shopping.

  2. Could this be? Is my heart really going pitter-patter over…salads?! These look incredible.

    It’s always the lettuce that gets me, so my versions of “salads” are more accurately described as “vegetable plates.” Basically making it lazier by taking the tossing out of the equation. I would ABSOLUTELY step up to the salad plate, effort-wise, for these.

  3. Awesome! Here are my two recipes that have taught me to not hate salads any more:

    Spinach, shredded chicken, red bell pepper, raisins, shredded carrot, chopped walnuts, and feta if you have it

    Shredded balsamic chicken, spinach, walnuts, raisins, goat cheese, diced pears. [For balsamic chicken, you can marinade it and then cook it in a pan or do it in a slow cooker with vegetables, whatever floats your boat]

  4. There is a restaurant in my hometown that has a pear salad like the one above, except it’s made with amazing creamy goat cheese instead of stilton. It’s basically the only thing I order when I eat there. Yummy!

  5. I’m also a fan of turning regular meals in to salads. I often make a salad made of: rotini with marinara sauce, topped with corn salad/mache, parmesan cheese, and a heavy dashing of ground pepper.

    • Me too! You can serve a helping of pasta salad over a layer of baby spinach for…salad inception?

      Also the classic taco salad. Anything really where you drastically increase the ratio of veggies to the rest of stuff.

  6. We signed up for a CSA farm share this summer, and each week we’ve gotten TONS of greens. Like, yesterday we picked up two heads of lettuce (red and green), a big bag of kale and chard, and another big bag of mixed salad greens. Plus carrots, beets, summer squash, two pints of snow and snap peas, and five heads of broccoli. Generally, my salad of choice is to just put a bunch of whatever greens in a bowl, and then adding whatever veggies we have on hand (ie, a big ol’ garden salad). Maybe I should try to limit my add-ins and try to make an actual “recipe” salad. The tricky part is that I want to use up what we have on hand, rather than drive to the store to buy different produce than what we’ve already got.

  7. These are awesome! I love the green/cheese/fruit/nut/dressing formula. I think we’re going to start eating a lot more salads in our house.

  8. All of these salads have hit on what is, IMHO, the key to a tasty salad: going beyond just vegetables. Because, honestly, when we think salad most of us immediately jump to “plate full of raw, bite-sized vegetable pieces”. Once you add some cheese, nuts, fruit, or meat it’s a total game-changer. 🙂

  9. I adore all kinds of salad, but this post reminds me that I really need to step up my cheese game. To Trader Joe’s!

  10. Finally someone else who doesn’t like salad dressing! I would definitely like salads better if they weren’t dripping with dressing.

    These look delicious!

      • Allow me to come join your boat. I finally broke down and starting having a tiny bit of Caesar dressing*, but always ordered ON THE SIDE. I hate how they pre-make salads dripping with slimy dressing. On the other hand we always teased my sister asking if she wanted any salad to go with her Ranch dressing.

        *before I discovered allergy to garlic and onion, which are in every dressing – now only homemade dressings for me

      • My wife doesn’t do dressing either. She was all “seeeee, it’s not just me” when I showed her this. By the way, The Santa Monica, Probably is my fav.

  11. My favorite are Asian salads (oddly unrepresented here so far):

    Thai-ish: Shredded napa or green cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, cold soba noodles, and crispy onions. For dressing, I like soy sauce, mirin, and peanutbutter mixed to taste.

    Vietnamese: Romaine or other lettuce, cold rice noodles, cucumber, tons of cilantro, mint and basil, peanuts. For dressing I like light coconut milk, sochu, ginger, muddled mint or basil, and a dash of soy sauce.

  12. These all look delicious. :3 I made a lovely salad the other night for a BBQ my boyfriend and I went to:

    – Spinach
    – Tomatoes (ours were from my mom’s garden, and were several heirloom varieties)
    – Fresh Basil
    – Mozzarella
    – Balsamic Vinaigrette (Balsamic, Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard, Shallots, Salt, Pepper)

  13. I love a good Burmese fermented tea salad, but I don’t have the recipe. A good Thai salad would be shredded green papaya, shredded carrot, tomato, roasted peanuts, cilantro and/or basil, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, maybe bean sprouts, green beans, some hot red chili, some raw garlic.

    I also like tabbouleh: fine bulgur (cooked of course), a shit-ton of parsley and mint, finely chopped (more herb than bulgur is best), tomato, cucumber, shallot or green onion, tomato paste, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, a spice mix of cumin, cracked black pepper, paprika, cayenne (a touch), allspice and cinnamon (a touch), some lemon zest never hurt anyone either. I also sometimes add bell pepper, carrot, pine nuts etc.

  14. Yum. A couple of these are things I make pretty regularly, sans nuts.

    One of my favorites: spring mix, red onion, grilled peaches, and burrata, dressed with a honey white wine vinaigrette. Add croutons if you need more crunch than the onion, and it’s easy to add grilled chicken on top for protein.

  15. I made a fabulous Greek(ish) salad on Monday — mixed baby lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and grilled chicken with an oregano vinaigrette (fresh oregano, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper).

    Your “Roman Holiday” is nearly identical to an Italian salad commonly known as “Caprese” (Ca-pray-say) — so you know, if you want to sound fancy and Italian, you can always go that route, too.

  16. Saucy dressing are mostly unheard of and sound quite gross (sorry) to the majority of Italian population – we normally only use olive oil (extra virgin of course), salt, pepper and vinegar, with few simple additons sometimes. You practically have a nation by your side 🙂
    I, too, have a salad to share! It’s called Milena’s salad and it’s a full meal:
    -the green: valeriana – corn salad? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerianella_locusta it’s sweet and tender, a bit like baby spinach
    -the fruit: cubed mango and cherry tomatoes
    -the chicken: grilled chicken breast, seasoned with curry powder, salt and pepper
    -the cheese: mozzarella or feta
    -the nuts: walnuts or Brazil nuts
    -the “dressing”: EV olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar; some more curry powder if you like it or if you used leftover chicken (sans curry)
    -optional: croutons (home made stir-frying leftover bread cubes)
    I really loved it! Haven’t made it in a while. Thanks for reminding me!

    • YUS! I knew it! When I was in Italy, the only “dressing” we ever used was olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzles. Your recipe sounds delicious!

  17. Hooray for salads! I made this amaze-balls salad last week to use up fresh mint I’d bought for another recipe:

    1 bag kale
    1 cup fresh mint
    1 cup walnuts
    peanut sauce
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    Chop the kale, mint, and walnuts really, really fine…you want them almost minced. Stir in the red pepper flakes and as much peanut sauce as you like.

    So good!

  18. Ooh, I’ll have to try that first one! (And ick, salad dressing- I’m glad other people dislike it!)

  19. So this is more of a strategy for salad rather than a salad in of itself, but I hope Homies will like it, too.

    Warm brown rice (barley or quinoa can also work) and melt some cheese on top – mozzarella works well because it isn’t *too* flavorful and melts nicely. But basically your favorite melty cheese will do.

    Apply salad ingredients as normal (literally any of the above suggestions would work great!)

    Voilà, that “side dish” has officially become an actual meal with filling, fiber-rich grains rather than just fruits and veggies. The brown rice adds a really nice slightly nutty flavor, and the warmth with the melty cheese makes it feel like dinner when a fully-cold dinner just won’t cut it.

    Also, this packs up really well for lunch, especially if you’re going somewhere with a microwave. Just bring the rice and cheese separately from the rest of the salad, pop it in the micro for a bit, and then mix it all together.

    • That sounds really good. One place near my work also sells them with pasta tossed in pesto as the bottom half. A lot less healthy and you’re still missing the heat (which I also really like to have to make it feel more like a meal, unless it’s the middle of summer), but it also somehow makes the salad seem more substantial.

    • ahhh I used to do something like this for work lunches but stopped for some reason, thanks for the reminder!!
      Here I found microwave steam-in-bag rice which also has either quinoa or chia in it which I was using, I swear I still have some in the back of the pantry…

  20. My favorite salad is one we used to get at the frutería near our old apartment in Atlanta, Lottafrutta (http://lottafrutta.com/). It’s really easy to make.

    Your favorite greens (I like the herb mix from the store, I’m in it for the occasional bit of cilantro, won’t lie),
    strawberries (halved or quartered)
    grapes (whole or halved)
    sunflower seeds
    a little feta (doesn’t need a lot!)
    hummus
    lemon vinaigrette (so good and easy to make, but raspberry works also)

    I plop the spoon or two of hummus in last after everything is mixed.

    So hungry now

  21. Awesome salad that my MIL makes, that I’ve adapted:

    broccoli florets, in bite size pieces
    diced red onion
    dried cranberries
    feta cheese
    balsamic or creamy poppyseed dressing (whichever floats your boat)

    I also like to add whatever nut/seed I have on hand in the house to this (usually almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds)

    It is delicious, plus you don’t get little bits of leafy things stuck in your teeth.

    • My grandma makes something similar, but also has shredded carrot, and uncooked ramen noodles (crunchy!).

  22. The salad that transformed me was actually at a chain restaurant: California Pizza Kitchen. I always go for the Moroccan spiced chicken salad. Avocado, butternut squash, beets, dates, toasted almonds, cranberries… it’s the salad of my dreams. As are these!

  23. I’m not a big fan of lettuce, so I’m all about the carb salad – rice, potato, pasta… yum.

    One of my favourites is a moroccan style salad:
    Base – either couscous or brown rice, flavoured with paprika, cumin and turmeric or curry powder
    Veges – grated carrot, chopped spring onions, avocado… whatever else you feel like chucking in there!
    Fruit – chopped dates, sultanas
    Cheese – feta or haloumi

    Sometimes I stir through just a handful of greens, I can do them in small bits!

    Also, my favourite dressing if you like something creamy but not too rich, is natural yoghurt with a teaspoon of crushed garlic and some curry powder. Or yoghurt and chopped mint. Nom.

    Oh oh, and I just have to add my favourite simple salad for taking to bbqs/potlucks: Orange and sweet potato (kumara in NZ).
    2 peeled and chopped oranges, 2 small chopped and cooked sweet potato, cooled. Mix together with chopped red onion and stir through a dressing of half-yoghurt half-mayo (or just yoghurt) mixed with curry powder. SO FREAKING GOOD.

  24. Bookmarking these lovely salads for my grocery list!

    Ok, I do love salad dressing, but I make one I call “the French dressing” bec. it’s kind of like the generic dressing that comes on a standard-issue salad you get in bistros in Paris (nothing like the orange “French” dressing in the U.S., btw). Whisk together a spoon of zesty brown mustard with few glugs each of olive oil & white wine vinegar &, if you have some open, add a splash or two of good white wine. That’s it, done! Dress this lightly over whatever greens & veg you like, a little nuts, meat, & even bits of hearty cheese. Maybe a little dried fruit too, but I think it might clash with sweet fruit.

  25. My favourite salad – one I’d probably choose for my last meal – is Greek salad. No lettuce – just chunks of tomato, peeled cucumber, green pepper, and sliced red onion, kalamata olives, and feta. Add lots of chopped fresh oregano and olive oil and then just let it sit at room temperature for a few hours. The smell is unbelievable. All the juices will run to the bottom, which you then mop up from your plate with fresh crusty bread.

    I SO wish it wasn’t winter.

    • I have a texture issue with greens, so Greek salad is the only salad I can actually eat! I tend to eat around the olices but everything else is amazeballs. I had one at a restaurant where I used to live that had a little bit of a feta-based dressing along with chunks of feta and grape tomatoes instead of chunks. Yum yum yum yum.

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