It doesn’t have to be Caesar or chef to be a salad.
There are people who L-O-V-E salad and willingly have it as their main dish multiple times a week. There are people who don’t mind salad and try to include a simple side salad with their main dish every once in a while. And then there are people who hate salad. Or at least, they say they hate salad.
“Salad” is truly a massive category of food that can contain an unlimited combination of different fresh or cooked ingredients. Veggies tend to be most associated with salad, but you can also use grains, fruit, nuts, seeds, meat, beans … so basically anything.
If you “hate salad,” these unique and healthy creations might change your mind.
1. Cauliflower rice burrito bowl
Who said salads have to have lettuce on the bottom? Cauliflower rice has more nutrients to offer than iceberg lettuce anyway. A regular brown rice burrito bowl also works, but using riced cauliflower is a great way to sneak in another serving of veggies. (Here are other veggies you didn’t know you could rice.)
In a bowl, combine riced cauliflower, sauteed peppers, and seasoned black beans. Check out this recipe for cauliflower rice burrito bowls by Minimalist Baker.
2. Grilled peach salad with pesto
This salad has many good things going for it. For starters, if you’re not a fan of most salad dressings, try pesto instead. It escapes that vinegary taste that many salad dressings have, and instead, is rich with flavors of basil and garlic.
Then, it has the grilled peach. If you think raw salads are bland, a grilled peach is the perfect way to heat things up and add sweet, smoky taste to each bite. Find out how to make grilled peach and mint-basil pesto salad at Platter Talk.
3. Watermelon cucumber jicama salad
Hey, fruit salad is still salad, and this one is sweet, juicy, crunchy, and hydrating. If you’re not familiar with jicama, it’s a root vegetable that tastes like an apple crossed with a potato. This light and refreshing salad is a great side to heavier summer foods like burgers.
4. Caribbean jerk-seasoned shrimp salad
If you think salad is “blah,” you’ve never had spicy, flavorful, jerk-seasoned shrimp on a salad. For extra bang, drizzle on a little extra jerk sauce before serving.
5. Edamame sesame quinoa salad
If we’re all being honest, this is basically just a healthier stir fry in salad form. And who doesn’t love stir fry? But instead of your typical rice, try this “stir fry salad” with quinoa to give the dish an extra punch of protein and healthy fat (quinoa is a seed, after all).
You can enjoy this hot or cold, and you can serve it as a side or a main. Check out the recipe for edamame sesame quinoa salad from Veggie Chick.
6. Mexican street corn quinoa salad
Here’s another quinoa salad for the salad haters: It’s basically elote in a bowl.
What is elote, you ask? Elote is a beloved Mexican street food that covers corn on the cob with decadent toppings like mayo, butter, lime, chili seasoning, and cotija cheese. For a healthier twist, this recipe puts all the amazing flavors of elote in a lighter, mayo-free quinoa salad.
Find out how to make Mexican street corn quinoa salad here. (Psst … you can cook it in an Instant Pot!)
7. Deconstructed guacamole salad
Avocado, red onion, lime, and cherry tomatoes are all great diced up as guacamole, but they’re also fabulous tossed with greens. And for the dressing? Jalapeño lime vinaigrette, of course.
Build a healthy salad. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on September 26, 2019 at https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/snack-and-meal-ideas/healthy-salads.)