It’s easy to eat healthy when your taste buds are happy with what’s on the plate. That’s especially challenging when it comes to salads. Because even if you hit the right balance of produce and protein, how do you keep your mouth interested without drowning your good intentions in high-calorie dressing? Here are 9 recipes that show you how to keep things tasty—and healthy—when salad’s what’s for dinner.
There’s a whole lot of crisp veg going on underneath those rice noodles and grilled shrimp. Fresh herbs and a ginger/garlic/Sriracha sauce liven things up, and peanuts add a satisfying crunch.
You can fool your mouth into eating less meat when it’s presented on a big pile of dark greens, fresh basil, and juicy tomatoes. Cut the mozzarella cheese into small pieces to keep calories in check.
Beans add extra protein and fiber, and a spicy rub amps up the flavor of the grilled chicken. Go easy on the sour cream or substitute yogurt for a creamy, tangy finish.
Crisp greens and crunchy vegetables play off luscious mango for a textural win-win. Tropical dressing cheers things on from the sidelines where it belongs.
When dressing on the side doesn’t make sense, just make sure it doesn’t smother your salad with fat. Low-fat sour cream or yogurt gives this curry dressing just the right creaminess to lightly hug everything together.
Cucumber, tomato, mint, and arugula meet a surprise guest in lemony purslane. An unusual sumac-laced dressing gives a hit of fruity, astringent flavor for a “wow, what’s that?” experience. Top with grilled chicken, shrimp, or chickpeas for protein.
Fresh seasonal berries are naturally low-carb and packed with nutrients. Toss them in by the generous handful; they play well with whatever protein you’ve got going, and their juiciness can take the place of salad dressing.
Quinoa’s been called one of the best plant-based protein sources out there. And it’s gluten-free, easy to digest, and soaks up flavors like a sponge. So, into the salad it goes.
Avocados fall squarely into the good-for-you column, and they seem to keep you fuller, longer. Instead of serving them on the side, go on and make them the salad bowls.
Check out our complete collection of Healthy Salad Recipes.
If you’re looking to eat healthier, you might like 26 Recipes That Have America Loving The Mediterranean Diet.