It is possible to make salads taste nice! And there are good reasons for eating them too. In this post I am going to tell you how you can benefit from eating them, some golden rules for making them taste nice and give you 5 recipes that will blow your mind!
Benefits to eating salad:
- Quick to prepare
- No cooking involved
- Easy portable meal
- Full of vitamins, fibre and minerals
- Good way to bulk out a meal without adding starchy carbs
- Nutrients aren’t destroyed by cooking
How to make a salad taste nice:
My number 1 golden rule is to chop everything as small as possible so that you can get a bit of everything on one forkful.That way all the flavours combine together to create a party in your mouth rather than eating a lump of cucumber and a lump of tomato which, lets face it, are going to taste like a lump of cucumber and a lump of tomato.
Fresh herbs and citrus fruits create amazing flavours, creamy dressings can be created with avocados or tahini and I am not adverse to mayonnaise as a little can go a long way.
To help inspire some creativity in the salad department here are 5 recipes that I have to say are delicious!
1) cleanleanbean Fattoush Salad
This recipe is :
Add a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts
Its salad…you cant life hack salad! It will keep in the fridge for 2 days minus the dressing so make enough
Spinach can be used instead of lettuce in sandwiches, salads and wraps. It can also be used instead of Kale in my Green Zinger recovery drink, found here or try my
- Grain Free Egg and Bacon Breakfast Wrap
- Grain Free Bacon Sandwich
- Eat Clean Grain Free Breakfast of Stir Fried Mushrooms Topped with the Perfect Poached Egg
Coriander can be used in Spicy Chicken Wraps with a Cooling Avocado Cream
Mint and Coriander can be use in my Protein Smash-Fest Stir-Fry
Mint can also be used in fresh mint tea or infused in chilled water with cucumber and strawberries
cleanleanbean Fattoush Salad (serves 2)
- 2 large handfuls of spinach shredded
- 1/2 cucumber diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 packet of fresh mint shredded
- 1/2 packet fresh coriander shredded
- 1/2 lemon
- Salad oil of your choice – I used walnut as that’s what I happened to have but olive oil and avocado would work just as well
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine everything in a bowl with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste
2) Mayo Free Fruity Coleslaw with Tahini Dressing
Served here with chicken, avocado and pumpkin seeds, this was a great lunch and would have worked as a packed lunch as well.
This recipe is:
Substitute the tahini for peanut butter, use dried herbs instead of fresh
Mix in some cooked brown rice or serve with a Jacket Potato or crusty bread to mop up the juices
Serve with fried halloumi, fish or meat
Add in extra oil and serve with avocado
This salad will keep for 2 days in the fridge so make extra
Mint can be used in fresh mint tea or infused in water with strawberries and cucumber for a refreshing drink. It can also be used in my Fattoush Salad above or my Protein Smash-Fest Stir-Fry
Parsley can be used in my Spicy Chicken Wraps with a Cooling Avocado Cream
Radish is a good crunchy sandwich filling and can be used in side salads
Tahini is a great substitute for peanut butter. Have it on toast or bananas and use in Overnight Oats. A quick google search of what to do with the rest of the jar came up with this : What to do with Tahini and this Top 10 Tahini Recipes
Mayo Free Fruity Coleslaw with Tahini Dressing (serves 2)
- 150 gr carrot grated
- 75 gr radish grated
- 1 apple grated
- 1/2 packet of fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 packet of fresh mint chopped
- 1 tbsp cider, white wine, red wine or raspberry vinegar (what ever you have in the cupboard)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp of tahini
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp of sesame seeds (toasted gives a really nice nutty flavour but if you are short of time chuck them in as they are)
- Heat a dry, non stick pan and toast the sesame seeds on the hob
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well
3) Tangy Chicken and Quinoa Salad
This simple salad is a protein packed powerhouse and I often make enough for 2-3 lunches to save time and faff!
This recipe is
Omit the chicken and use nuts of your choice
Use rice instead of quinoa
Drizzle with the oil of your choice. Olive, walnut or avocado oil would be nice. Include the chicken skin in the salad.
Use rice or pasta instead of quinoa
Boil a whole chicken (pressure cookers are great for this), freeze the stock for soup and casseroles and use the meat for salad and snacks. Or buy ready cooked chicken breast. You can buy quinoa ready cooked so that all you have to do is open the packet.
Fresh mint and coriander can be used in my Fatoush salad and Protein Smash-Fest Stir-Fry
Tangy Chicken and Quinoa Salad (serves 2)
- 2 cooked chicken breasts diced
- 10 cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 cucumber diced
- 1 tbsp fresh mint chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- 1/2 lemon or lime
- 1 packet of ready cooked quinoa or 250 gr cooked quinoa
- Put all the ingredients into a bowl with a squeeze of lemon or lime, toss and serve!
4) Sunshine Salad
This is not any old egg salad, it’s a cleanleanbean sunshine salad, guaranteed to brighten up a dull day!
This recipe is:
Chop some cooked new potatoes into the salad or used tinned
Use dried herbs instead of fresh
Make enough for 2 days as it will all keep in the fridge. I often keep a stash of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge as they are easy, portable, high protein snacks.
Spinach can be used in smoothies, sandwiches and Grain Free Egg and Bacon Breakfast Wrap or Eat Clean Bacon Sandwhich with Aubergine Bread or Eat Clean Grain Free Breakfast of Stir Fried Mushrooms Topped with the Perfect Poached Egg as well as the salads above. Mint can be infused in water with cucumber for a refreshing drink or used in the Fattoush Salad above. Tarragon tasted great added to Grain Free Tuna and Courgette Fritters with Creamy Avocado Dip. Use the other half of avo in my Purple Power Protein Smoothie. Celery can be added to soups, stews or cottage pie.
Sunshine Salad (serves 1)
For the salad:
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
- Handful of spinach shredded
- 50 g cucumber diced
- 1 stick of celery diced
- 1/2 Avocado diced
For the dressing: (double up for 2 days on the trot)
- 1.5 tbsp oil of your choice. I used walnut as I had some in the cupboard but
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
- Combine all the dressing ingredients
- Combine all the salad ingredients
- Drizzle on the dressing and go!
Chicken and Mango Salad
Salad doesn’t have to be boring! Bright, fresh, crunchy, full of flavour and protein.
This recipe is
Omit the chicken and increase the nuts and/or add some avocado or diced Feta Cheese
Serve with a side of brown rice or jacket sweet potato
I bought ready cooked chicken breast from the supermarket and used frozen mango chunks – it couldn’t be quicker!
Lots of my recipes use spinach and lime so you will not be short of ideas. Why not try Spicy Chicken Wraps with a Cooling Avocado Cream
Chicken and Mango Salad with Lime (Serves 1)
- 1 cooked Chicken Breast diced
- 1 large handful of raw spinach
- 4 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup of diced cucumber
- 1/2 red pepper diced
- 1/2 cup of diced mango
- 1/2 cup cashew or pine nuts
- A drizzle of your favourite salad oil – I used walnut but olive or sesame would work well
- A squeeze of lime
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve!
I am always on the lookout for new salad recipes, what is your go to favourite? Comment here to let me know and I will feature my favourites on this blog.