Salads often become the trash can of our veggies. We just pile in whatever peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce we happen to have left in our fridge, resign ourselves to slathering the heap in dressing, and hope it satisfies our rumbling stomachs. The list below reveals that salads can be so much more than a dumping ground of ingredients. These healthy, hearty, and delectable recipes will completely reinvent your idea of what salad can do for you and your family!
1. BBQ Chicken Salad: This delicious salad gives you the zesty flavors of Southwest food without all those greasy calories. The battle of sweet versus zingy is on in this protein-packed, savory barbeque dish. It will leave your family full, satisfied, and completely unaware that they have stocked their stomachs full of healthy ingredients.
2. Skinny Cobb Salad: Don’t let the word ‘skinny’ deceive you – this salad is an incredibly substantial meal for you and your family. With 35 grams of protein, this baby is practically overflowing with nutritious fuel for your body. The chicken, eggs and low-fat bacon in this salad will pack you full of energy, while still maintaining a healthy, low calorie option for your family.
3. Asian Layered Salad: This recipe packs seven layers of delicious and nutritious ingredients into one salad that is sure to be a giant success at the table. The combination of chicken, nuts, fruits and veggies pretty much covers all angles of a healthy diet, while still satisfying that end-of-the-day need to splurge. (via Nosh and Nourish)
4. Shrimp Caesar Salad: This recipe does away with any not-so-healthy assumptions you may have about Caesar salad, while still maintaining that rich, hearty flavor. The light, creamy dressing and succulent shrimp provide a high protein, low carb alternative for your family’s dinner table.
5. Greek Farro and Chickpea Salad with Herbed Yogurt: Ready to throw a little culture into your meal? This salad will take you out of your comfort zone and into a world of fresh ingredients bursting with authentic Greek flavors. The herbed yogurt is easy to make and offers an unexpected twist to this recipe that you will not be able to resist! (via Cookie + Kate)
6. Cowboy Caviar Chopped Salad: Looking for a healthy take on a hearty Mexican meal? This recipe packed with avocado, black beans, a spritz of lime juice and more offers a delightful vegetarian dish perfect for the whole family. Plus, with no chicken or shrimp to grill, it takes only minutes to throw together! (via What's Gaby Cooking)
7. The Ultimate Fall Wheatberry Salad: This recipe proves that salad is not just a summer dish. The butternut squash and dried wheatberries make for a meal that will leave you full and satisfied, no matter what season it is. Plus, the cranberries contribute a sweetness that is mouthwatering! You could even throw in some chicken or salmon for some added protein. (via Kath Eats Real Food)
8. Tandoori Chicken and Spinach Salad: The combination of the tandoori seasoning and the Greek yogurt on the chicken may have you so head-over-heels for this recipe that you forget it’s a salad! This is a wonderfully filling (but low calorie, don’t worry!) take on the Greek palate that you will not be able to resist. (via Good Life Eats)
9. Quinoa Mexi-Lime Salad: This tangy vegetarian option utilizes the high protein punch of quinoa in a dish that is sure to keep you full. If you're looking to add a little more protein, some diced chicken or shrimp wouldn't hurt! The chopped jalapeno also offers an added boost to your taste buds and your metabolism!
10. Grilled Shrimp and Squash Salad: This salad is perfect for the summer, with the yellow squash and juicy shrimp creating a low calorie dinner stocked with protein and light ingredients. The Skinny Mom Sweet and Sour Dressing offers a refreshing, tangy twist that is sure to keep your taste buds buzzing!
11. Skinny French Country Salad: This nutritious take on the Cheesecake Factory’s French Country Salad contrasts asparagus, beets, and reduced fat feta cheese with the crunchy sweetness of pecans. This salad tastes great with a filet of salmon or the added protein of some diced chicken. Then again, the combination of all these great flavors just may be enough to fill you right up.
12. Skinny Taco Salad: Are you sick of stuffing taco after taco into your stomach in an attempt to satisfy that craving for Mexican food? This recipe is a wonderful, healthy substitution that the whole family will love. Just lay out the ingredients, pass out the bowls, and let everyone create their own version of a Mexican classic!
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About Author, Kaitlyn Olson: As an English major at the University of Iowa, Kaitlyn has developed a passion for writing and researching. She has also completed the Entrepreneurial Certificate through the business school and intends to pursue her interests in writing, business, health, and fitness.