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7 healthy and tasty salad dishes

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Introduction

Whilst eating salad is generally considered to be a healthy food choice, too many people associate it with eating piles of lettuce without much enjoyment.  That, however, is a misconception, as there are many salad dishes that are easy to prepare, packed full of health benefits and are delicious into the bargain.

Here are seven salad dishes to try.

1. Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

Preparation Time:10 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad

  • 6 cups mixed salad
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (such as Diamond of California)
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup oil

Directions:

  1. Core and chop the apples (thin slices or 1 inch chunks). Toss the lettuce, apples, walnuts, feta, and cranberries together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, and toss with the salad immediately before serving.

2. Fajita Chicken Salad

Preparation Time60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chili flakes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, cored and chopped
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, cumin and chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Ziploc bag or glass baking dish, combine the chicken and half the dressing. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
  3. After marinating, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a grill pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and grill until fully cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. Let cool, then chop into strips.
  4. Wipe out the grill pan. Then, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the same pan over a medium-high heat. Add the peppers and onions and cook until charred and slightly softened, for 10 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, add the romaine, chicken, peppers, onions and avocado. Toss with the remaining dressing until evenly coated.

3. Greek Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup halved Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and red onion. Gently fold in the feta cheese.
  2. Make the dressing in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano and season with the salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking to combine.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.Greek salad

 4. Guacamole Salad

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup. corn
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing in a small bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, and then toss with the dressing until everything is combined together.

5. Mediterranean Salad with Lemon-herb Vinaigrette

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole-wheat pitas, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 cup cucumber, roughly chopped and seeded
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the pita quarters on a baking sheet and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool.
  2. In a food processor, combine the mint, parsley, basil, lemon juice, and sugar, then pulse until combined. With the motor running, slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil in a steady stream until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roughly crumble the pita crisps into a shallow serving dish, and arrange sections of tomato, cucumber, feta, olives, and pita. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve immediately.

6. Niçoise-style chopped salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon. red wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts, sliced
  • 8 oz. oil-packed canned tuna, drained
  • 2 cup. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to boil over a medium-high heat, and then cook the green beans until crisp-tender for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water, then transfer the beans to a paper-towel lined plate to dry. Return the water to boil and gently lower in the eggs with a slotted spoon. Cook the eggs for 9 minutes, then drain and run under cold water. Peel eggs and quarter lengthwise.
  2. Whisk the oil, mustard, vinegar, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the romaine and toss to combine. Divide between serving bowls and top with tuna, tomatoes, olives, green beans, and eggs, dividing evenly.Salad

7. Quinoa Salad

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon. honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, avocado, feta and parsley.
  2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey and garlic. Season with salt, red pepper flakes and oregano and whisk until combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over salad mixture and toss until the salad is coated in dressing. Garnish with more parsley and serve.