I used to hate lettuce. Seriously. The only thing my parents could get me to eat was cucumbers and tomatoes. It probably took me until after I graduated college to eat an actual salad with lettuce and dressing. That’s another area I’m super picky about – salad dressing. I really don’t like ANY, except olive oil and vinegar. I’ll dig into Caesar dressing, but I know it’s not healthy so I pretend it’s not an option.
That’s where my creativity comes in with making “salads” without lettuce. Below are three really simple salads, using healthy ingredients like olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice for the dressing. Let me know which salad is your favorite!
The ABC Salad
Recipe from Tone-It-Up Nutrition, you need this salad before a beach trip or pool day. I promise you, you need to start eating beets. Even if you hate them. Coming from one of the world’s pickiest eaters, I’ve adapted my taste buds to actually enjoy them. The acidity of the lemon juice really helps break up the bitterness, and I focus on all the health benefits while I’m eating to help them go down. Okay, I hope I’ve convinced you to add beets in your life – they are one of the best foods to combat bloating. After eating this daily for a week before Mexico, my stomach has never felt more flat.
Ingredients & Recipe (recommend all organic):
·1 Apple – your preference, I like red apples so Gala or Honeycrisp
·2 Beets, roasted**
·1 cup carrots – make it easy & buy shredded carrots
·2 tbsp sunflower seeds
·Dash of Olive Oil
1)Cut all produce (cube beets & apple).
2)Combine in bowl with shredded carrots
3)Add a drizzle of olive oil and lemon. I usually put the beets on top to soak up the majority of the lemon juice – as the acidity of the lemon helps the beets taste better.
4)Sprinkle with sunflower seeds for healthy fats to make the meal more complete.
5)Eat!! To help with the beets flavor, I recommend making sure each bite of beet has an apple with it. The pairing is the best!
**TIP on purchasing beets: buy them pre-steamed, peeled, and packaged. Beets are messy and hard to cut. Avoid that time consuming mess by buying the packaged versions. You can find them at Trader Joe’s, or a brand called Love Beets at Whole Foods, Kroger, and Publix.
Simple Greek Island Salad
Tomato, Cucumber, Feta, Red Onion
When I was on the Greek island Leidos, whenever we ordered a salad there would never be lettuce in it! It was
cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and red onion.
Ingredients & Recipe (recommend all organic)
·3 Campari tomatoes (depends on size)
·Handful of feta (I don’t like a lot so I only sprinkle a little)
·Handful of chopped red onion (optional)
·Olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper all to taste
It’s so simple you don’t really need instructions! Just cut up the cucumber and tomato, mix in a large bowl with rest of the ingredients!
Crab, Avocado, Tomato
My aunt made this for me and I fell in love! I love anything cold, so this was a perfect way to stay cool in the summer and avoid cooking a hot meal. When I went to make this myself, I wasn’t sure where to find the crab meat. Sure enough, Kroger sold wild caught fresh crab meat cooked, so nothing needed to be prepared.
Ingredients & Recipe
·½ cup wild caught lump crab meat, precooked
·15 grape tomatoes (approx.. I didn’t measure)
·A lot of lemon and lime juice (I’m not really a measurer and just poured a lot on until it was covered)
·A tablespoon or 2 of olive oil (again, didn’t measure, it just depends how much dressing you like)
·Salt, pepper to taste
1)Peel and cube avocado
2)Half grape tomatoes
3)Open the container of crab meat and pull apart into small chunks
4)Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl
5)Add olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste!
I love all these recipes because it’s as simple as adding all the ingredients to a bowl and mixing together. There’s a little chopping to do, but other than that and washing the produce it isn’t time consuming!
Which one are you going to try first?