Pressed for time? Looking to get in your 5-a-day? Or perhaps you’re trying to adopt a healthier diet? Salads are a great way to up your greens game and have a wholesome, nutritious meal.
A healthy salad doesn’t have to be bland or leave you hungry after an hour. You can get creative and add pretty much whatever you like in them. As a general formula to guide you, a tasty salad should have:
- A leafy base: Lettuce, kale , spinach, kale, etc.
- Some crunch: Anything from cucumbers, peppers, cabbage or croutons that will pack in some munching action Something soft: Think tomatoes, avocadoes, roasted sweet potatoes etc.
- Protein: To stay fuller for longer, your salad will need some protein. Choose from meat, dairy, eggs, tofu , beans or any vegetarian protein source you might prefer
- Dressing: Forget store-bought dressing, making your own is easy, healthy and cheap
Now that you know this winning formula, here are some healthy salad ideas to get you started.
Fish based salads
Warm Mackerel & Pea Salad
A warm salad may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but it works wonders when you’re after a quick, comforting meal. This healthy salad is packed with omega-3 oils and vitamins and can be prepared in less than 10 minutes.
Do you have some leftover smoked salmon from breakfast or brunch in the fridge? Chop up a few tomatoes, cucumber and peppers, cook a batch of frozen peas, toss them all together with vinaigrette dressing and voilà: lunch or dinner (or both) sorted.
Tuna is a great addition to a salad because it’s versatile and is a good source of essential nutrients like protein, omega-3 and vitamin D. Try it with a mix of peas, beans, cucumber and spinach, and boost the flavour by adding capers and a handful of parsley.
Peas, rice and everything nice! Adding a can of tuna to the scrumptious classic mix of rice and peas will make it more filling and boost your protein intake. This salad also works as a barbecue side dish.
Ok, so technically it’s not a salad, but we do have fresh vegetables and leafy greens on the plate. If you’re looking for a lighter side to your battered fish, this salad is easy to make and can go towards your 5-a-day.
Chicken based salads
Sometimes even the classics need a bit of sprucing up! A Caesar salad is a great option for a light lunch or dinner, but how about taking it to a crunchier level and swap the grilled chicken for some Birds Eye Crispy Chicken?
If you’re looking to add a dash of exotic flavours to your dinner or lunch, this simple Brazilian recipe will do the trick. Who thought mango, avocado and chargrilled chicken go so well together? For an extra punch, you can add some chili flakes in the dressing.
Having salad does not mean skipping on the carbs. This delicious salad has everything you need: protein, energy-boosting noodles, crunch from the Chinese cabbage and flavour from our peri peri chargrilled chicken and sesame seeds. Can’t get more wholesome than this.
You have to fire up the grill for this one (or the griddle pan) but trust us, these courgettes will be the star of your salad. The toasted pine nuts and pesto will elevate this salad to restaurant-level.
This salad is easy as 1, 2, 3, 4! Beans are a great source of protein, but the boost comes from the added edamame beans. If you want to add a bit more tanginess to it, try crumbling some feta cheese on top.
Watercress Pea and Mozzarella Salad
Creamy mozzarella is the star of this green, simple, 3-ingredient salad. It can also transform into a bruschetta if you serve it with some crusty bread.
Halloumi is a great substitute for meat, so of course we have to include on the salad list. Grill a few slices of this tasty cheese, cook some peas and broad beans, before adding two large handfuls of rocket and mix the dressing. Then you have got yourself a mouth-watering meal.
We couldn’t have a round-up of salad recipes with a potato salad, and the one we are suggesting comes with a twist. A flavourful twist, to be more specific as the dressing is a mix of Cajun spice, mustard, paprika and… well, we’ll let you discover the rest.
Couscous, parsley and tomatoes is a classic combination, but we’re suggesting taking it a step further by adding some nutritious peas. This recipe can work as a standalone salad or a side dish for some fish or chicken.
Mexican Beans Salad
This take on a classic Italian summer salad will get you hooked because of its flavour and low difficulty level. Using just a few ingredients, like our Mexican Bean Mix, bread, tomatoes, onions and coriander, this salad will be ready in no time. It’s a great vegan meal as well, if you don’t add the cheese.