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Ideas For Salads?
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We've been on a salad kick lately. My sister-in-law introduced us to the concept of putting peppers and onions on our salad, which we really like. Tonight we're having romaine, spinach, pepper, onion, and cucumber salad.

But I'd really like some new ideas for lettuce salads. I finally have my mom eating vegetables, and I'm afraid we'll get tired of the same salad all the time.

Ideas, please? And I'd love salad dressing recipes if you have them.

Thanks! :)

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I like color in salad. Many of these items are among my current food intolerances, but I still add them for the family.

yellow, orange, red bell peppers

red onion

carrots - we like grated

celery - we like diced small

broccoli

corn - set a handful of frozen kernals out early or rinse with warm water

apples - all variety

grapes - red or black

pears - if firm

dried fruit diced - cranberry, apricot

pinenuts

walnuts

cheese - any but we use small cubes of cheddar or grated parm

Also, If you make too much salad put some aside in a tupperware for lunch the next day BEFORE adding dressing. You can add some slices of leftover chicken, fish or meat if you have them.

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Don't forget cucumber, celery, feta (or other of your choice) cheese, avocado, marinated artichokes, herbs like mint and basil and parsley or corriander.

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I like warm spinach and egg and bacon salad. You don't see it much anymore, but I love it. Here's an example.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/spinach-salad-with-warm-bacon-dressing-recipe/index.html

I would fudge it and use bacon grease (I keep drippings in my fridge) and whatever meat I have: chicken, etc.

I also like to lightly boil red onions - takes the bite out of them. Just slice them as you would use them and toss them in boiling water for two minutes then drain and cover with cold water. Love them in salads.

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oh yes, we make chopped spinach, red onion, hard boiled egg and bacon salad too - never tried it warm - something new :)

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oh yes, we make chopped spinach, red onion, hard boiled egg and bacon salad too - never tried it warm - something new :)

The warmth comes from the hot egg and/or dressing when I make it.

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Spread nut butter on a large lettuce leaf and roll it up. Different, but yummy.

Diana

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I'll put just about anything I can find in the produce section on my salad along with just about any protein that flips my lid that day. While I am very cautiously introducing new foods, spinach is what threw me into this tyramine spin so it may be the last food I ever try to add back, if at all. It was my very favorite salad green though. I highly recommend just experimenting with all sorts of things. I like all kinds of lettuces and used to use all kinds of greens before those got eliminated for me. My only personal restriction is that I won't go near iceberg lettuce. Ick!

I usually do either a fruit or veggie salad, but not both at the same time. With veggies I haven't found yet that I've ever mixed any that don't work. Usually for the sake of my wallet I stick with cucumbers, peppers, carrots and tomatoes. (blah blah blah tomatoes are technically a fruit... whatever) I've never met a protein I didn't like on a veggie salad, but personally prefer meats, bacon or eggs.

With fruits I love love love berries. Just a handful of mixed berries thrown on top. I've never met a fruit though that I won't put on a salad with the exception of kiwis which I just don't eat. Fuzzy little suckers. I prefer nuts with my fruits, which I am so glad I am discovering aren't bothering me in ever so small amounts. Toasted almonds, chopped walnuts, pistachios, even macadamia if you do tropical fruit can be fun and exotic.

Really, just have fun. You'll have flops where you sit down and are like why did I think this was a good idea?! But generally it all turns out okay. I also watch for sales on the "good" dressings sold in the produce section of the store. They're way better than any of that shelf stable stuff and if you can find a bogo sale or something they're really a great option. I always try to keep a few on hand so I have options or I'll get too bored to eat my salads.

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Cook up some dried beans.... mix several kinds for color/flavor & protein. Mushrooms of any kind. Baked squash cut in cubes... any variety you enjoy & again mix various kinds. Roasted together various veggies like beets, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts... whatever suits your fancy. Toasted pecans, cashews, almonds, pistachios & yes, even peanuts if you can have them.... they all are are awesome on salads whether mixed or if using just 1 kind. Hard boiled eggs... if you don't like the yolk then chop up just the white for additional protein. Agree apples chopped are divine & even tiny pieces of fresh pineapple goes well with about any mixture of veggies. Shaved fennel lends a lovely freshness.Think outside of the box as you'll find most veggies & even a fair share of fruit/veggie mixes make a very nutritious wonderfully tasting salad... each having it's own divine flavor. :) Also, if acid isn't an issue for you then try using just plain balsamic vinegar as your dressing... it heightens & melds the flavors like nothing else. Plus it's uber low in calories! :) Enjoy!

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Oh my gosh Estella I totally forgot about beans since I'm bean free currently! I used to love me a good taco salad. Beans, salsa and sour cream with tortillas and olives. Mmmmmm... hopefully one day I'll have beans again.

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I am lucky that I can have beans as being ovo-vegetarian who can't have soy it's one of my sources of protein. I'd be totally vegan since I can't have dairy but need protein sources as can't digest meat anymore. Have to avoid goitrogens due to thyroid issues as well. Quinoa is good on salads & is a whole protein however for some reason I personally react to it. I've used some cold cooked brown rice on salads & that was good while adding some protein. I love a good jimaca chopped into my salad as love the crunch & earthy undertones it gives while taking on flavors of other parts of the salad. Hubsters enjoys broccoli & cauliflower on his salads but since they're goitrogens, I personally need to avoid them. Olives... green or ripe are good chopped up on salads too. For a "crunch indulgence" I've been known to take the "crumbs" from the bottom of the bag of baked Tostito's Scoops or Lays chips to sprinkle on top of my salads. :) My main salad dressing is balsamic vinegar but I've used salsa, citrus juice (orange, lemon, lime as well as combos of them). Also have occasionally used a little left-over homemade mayo as a major indulgence when in the past. My rule of thumb for salads is nutrition, taste & variations of textures... actually try to use those 3 guidelines for anything I eat. So many things out there to add into a salad but we're so accustomed to what restaurants offer that our vision tends to be a tad narrow. For me, salads are an awesome way to be creative while using left-overs or trying new foods.

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Thanks for all the ideas! I love the idea of those warm spinach salads. I've never had fruit on a salad, but I have a pomegranate right now that I'd like to try. I've also been experimenting lately with marinating and grilling vegetables, so I'm thinking I could put grilled veggies (peppers, onions, broccoli, carrots, etc.) on a salad and top with vinaigrette. I'm willing to try just about anything, as long as it's not too odd (like squid). :) And I'm not usually a big vegetable eater, so these salads are getting me eating my veggies--and liking them!

Oh, yes, and I have a box of quinoa in my pantry that I've never gotten brave enough to try. So maybe I'll cook up some of that to put on.

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Yes do give quinoa a try! There isn't tons of flavor to it but it picks up flavor of the other things plus adds texture. Just make sure to rinse it REALLY WELL before cooking to prevent a bitter taste after cooking. Also, don't forget dried fruit if you like it......craisins, raisins (dark, golden or mix the 2), apricots, dates, figs, etc. Doesn't take a lot but they do add some dimension to flavor. Would suggest you also head over to Google & type in something like "tossed green salad ideas" or any other word combos that come to you. Up will come sites with some great ideas you likely never considered. Also sites like food.com , allrecipes.com & tasteofhome.com can provide inspiration for new ideas. Can also find salad dressing recipes on these sites as well. Enjoy!

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Taste of Home (Oct/Nov 2012 issue) had some salads featured, which I found interesting. All start with 12 cups of greens; toss with 2/3 c. bottled dressing...am sure the quantities could be adjusted to suit your needs.

Beets & Greens

Spring Greens, 3 roasted and sliced beets, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds and champagne vinaigrette

Apple & Cheddar

Spinach, sliced apples, cheddar, garlic croutons and honey-Dijon salad dressing

Pear & Blue Cheese

Torn romaine, sliced pears, blue cheese, glazed pecans and balsamic vinaigrette

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I make ranch dressing from Simply organic ranch dip and a big tub of yogurt. Gets me eating salad even if it's just plain romaine lettuce. But my favorite is baby romaine, avocado, shredded mozz, and ranch dressing.

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Caprese Salad

Shaved asparagus with shaved Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, crumbled goat cheese and shallot vinaigrette

Roasted baby potato salad with crispy capers and caramelized onion

Endive, roasted pear and gorgonzola with a grapefruit vinaigrette

Roasted figs, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and honey vinaigrette with prosciutto and melons

Spinach salad with warm pancetta vinaigrette and toasted almonds

Shaved cucumbers with a soy, mirin, miso, etc. vinaigrette and Thai red chile pepper

The ubiquitous feta, watermelon and fresh mint salad but it is superb with alleppo pepper if you can find it (or even sumac).

Arugula, grilled nectarines, lardons, toasted nuts of some sort with buttermilk dressing.

Strawberry, mango and blueberry salad with poppyseed lime honey.

I never, ever purchase salad dressings or vinaigrettes just because they are so easy to make, taste far better and you know what is in them. But then my stash of vinegars alone is nearly 30 kinds. I teach classes on vinaigrettes and dressings alone!

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So for lunch today I had spinach with dried cranberries, raisins, chopped apples, pomegranate, and a Dijon vinaigrette. Oh, my--I think I'm hooked. It was so good! I made my mom try some (she put romaine on hers), and she liked it too. I'm so proud of myself for eating plain spinach. :)

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My hubby and I love salads and I guess I would call this a garbage disposal salad since I put everything in it.

Black Beans

Canned beets

Shredded cheese

Cucumber

Red Bell Pepper

Mushrooms

Tomato

Avacado

1 boiled egg (per salad)

2 pieces of turkey bacon

Red Onion

The white part of green onions (hubby loves these)

I no longer include lettuce with this salad. I started to pick out all of the lettuce lol, so I stopped buying it.

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A good trick to lower the calorie count of your salad dressing is to reverse the proportions of oil and vinegar. I use 1/4 cup oil to 1/2 cup tarragon or white balsamic vinegar. Add a little garlic, salt and pepper and the dressing is really good. Try this on mixed greens with whatever you like... tomatoes, artichoke hearts, green onions, celery, carrots, whatever. A little blue cheese and a few bacon bits (real bacon) are good, too.

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Today we had a salad with romaine, red cabbage, chopped carrots, sliced onion, and mandarin oranges. I put an Asian ginger dressing on it... SO good! We'll definitely be making this again.

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