May is National Salad Month which provides a great opportunity to step outside the standard side salad and look at salads in a whole new way. The days of simple salads featuring a little iceberg lettuce, a few tomato wedges, and some carrot bits are gone. Today’s salads are showing up at all three meals and can even make up a whole meal by themselves. If you are looking for ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet or just want to make healthier meals, salad offers an almost endless array of options. This month, explore the exciting world of sensational salads with these helpful tips.
1. Build from the Bottom
A great way to experience salad in a whole new way is to start with a different base. If your standard salad starts with iceberg, try using romaine, mixed greens, or arugula instead. Not only will you introduce some new tastes and textures to your salad, you will also elevate its nutritional value.
2. Leave Out the Lettuce
We often think that every salad starts with some form of leafy green but you can also use other ingredients to form the base. Tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers can also be used as a base for your salad.
3. Pump it Up with Protein
If you are looking to make your salad into a meal, protein can take your salad from side dish to main course. You can always choose from a variety of common salad components like cheese, grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and ham but there are many other ways to add a little punch with protein. You can also use tofu, shrimp, pork, crab, nuts, and any other protein that pleases your palette.
4. Dress it Up
You likely have a bottle or three of salad dressing in the refrigerator but don’t limit yourself to those. Try a new dressing or make your own with your favorite spices and some extra virgin olive oil.
5. Try Something New
There are so many ways to make a great salad that the options may seem overwhelming. If you want to try something new this month but don’t want to spend a ton of time creating your own, you can pick and choose from these fabulous Fill Your Plate salad recipes.
- Apple Pear Salad
- Armenian Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Artichoke Chicken Salad
- Avocado and Tomato Salad
- BBQ Pork Salad with Summer Fruits & Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Big Party Chicken Salad with Medjool Dates
- Chopped Medjool Date Salad
- Chutney Melon Chicken Salad
- Country Garden Salad
- Crunchy Apple Salad
- Fettuccine and Ham Salad
- Golden Beet & Pomegranate Salad
- Golden Beet, Fennel, and Avocado Salad
- Green Salad
- Grilled Romaine with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Carrot Salad
- Join the Party Salad
- Melon Cucumber Salad
- Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese Dressing
- Orange Almond Salad
- Pistachio Salad
- Farmer’s Favorite Salad
- Tri-Color Penne with Cherry Tomatoes & Cheese
- Waldorf Salad
- Wheat Farmer’s Salad