The New Year is upon us! Now is your chance to take charge of your health and wellness. Make 2016 your year by either building on already established healthy habits or by starting fresh with a clean slate. The key to a fitter you is two-fold: exercise is important, but so is your diet. The following salads are proof that diets don’t necessarily have to mean deprivation. Food that’s good for you can be delicious, hearty and satisfying. Happy 2016!
According to Health.com, this colorful salad from famed chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s new veggie-centric cookbook, Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi is good enough to convert salad haters. You can either serve with fish and roasted potatoes, or turn this side into the main course by adding more parsley and some cooked fregola pasta.
From: Southern Living
A warm vinaigrette will soften these sturdy greens, according to MyRecipes.com, but their structure will hold up for up to an hour or two on a holiday buffet. You can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, and store in individual plastic freezer bags in your refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. And the best part is that you can enjoy this salad all winter long.
From: Foodie Crush
If you’re screwing up your face at the thought of a kale salad, there are two things you should consider. Firstly, this is a very hearty salad and the sweetness of the butternut squash will balance the bitterness of the kale. Secondly, you can always replace the kale with another dark leafy green, such as Swiss chard or spinach. The real star of this salad, and what turned our heads, is the tahini dressing. It adds a mellow, sesame nutty taste that’s sweetened with a bit of honey and yet tarted up with a bit of vinegar. We agree that it’s a nice change up from the usual lemony flavored dressing commonly found on kale salads. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as we’ll see with the next salad…
From: Budget Bytes
You can adapt this already adapted, yet delicious, recipe even further. You can substitute quinoa for couscous, which is cheaper and takes about 10 minutes to cook instead of 15, or even orzo. Of course, you can substitute the kale if it just isn’t your jam. And the best part is that you can enjoy this tasty and filling salad either warm or cold.
From: Gimme Some Oven
The star of this salad show is the seedless red grape. Lots of them. If you like a hint of fruity sweetness in your salad, then you’ll love this refreshing treat of a recipe. It’s light and tasty and perfect to enjoy for lunch.
From: Two Peas and Their Pod
For this recipe, you chop up fresh — that is, uncooked — Brussels sprouts and mix them with dried cranberries, toasted pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle with a simple apple cider dijon mustard dressing and voila! Instant hearty salad goodness.
From: Cooking Classy
It’s hard not to make a salad look festive with pomegranate arils, those gorgeous red gems that add color and crunch to any salad. But it’s the combination of ingredients, chief among them those Bartlett pears, that makes this salad a must-have. Bonus: the dressing is made with apple cider vinegar, which is great for easing stomach troubles.
From: Averie Cooks
What’s not to love about this hearty salad? You have beans, corn, tomatoes and creamy avocado lightly covered in a tangy but sweet vinaigrette. Averie Cooks recommends making the salad 4 to 8 hours in advance and allowing it to remain covered in the fridge because it helps the flavors marry beautifully.
From: Reluctant Entertainer
Balela, explains the Reluctant Entertainer, is a Middle-Eastern chickpea and black bean salad drizzled with an oil-based spiced vinaigrette. Look at it. It looks good enough to dive into. Enjoy a large bowl of it or serve as an appetizer in small shot glasses with mini forks. Eat in a wrap or as a dip for crackers or chips. You can feta cheese, but you won’t even miss the lack of cheese.
From: Lazy Cat Kitchen
You can’t go wrong when combining beets and apples, but when you add the warm hint of cumin, garlic and walnuts to the mix, you add another dimension of crunch. The Swedish turnips are optional, but you should also know that this salad pairs remarkably well with falafel and hummus.
From: Carlsbad Cravings
This salad is packed with black beans, red bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh sweet corn, pepitas and Pepper Jack cheese. The creamy avocado salsa dressing its covered in is out of this world. Carlsbad Cravings suggests adding chicken to make it into a full meal, but we bet you won’t need it. All that protein is sure to keep you filled and satisfied. Hey, we’re all about budgeting calories smartly!
From: Mom on Timeout
This easy, light recipe calls for three cans of beans. Any beans will do, but this particular one uses black beans, kidney beans and garbanzos. Sure, this is the type of salad that is perfect to serve at a summer barbecue. But with all that protein, it’s perfect for lunch or dinner in wintertime. Think of it as a gorgeous bowl of comfort food.
From: Pinch of Yum
This winter bowl is really filled with bliss: falafel, greens, roasted veggies, spicy peppers and nuts stopped with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and honey. And the recipe is adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand. Pinch of Yum recommends doubling the roasted veggies. Prepare everything, store it all in separate containers in the fridge and assemble at lunch or dinnertime.
From: Rachel Cooks
The salad is tangy, chewy and crunchy. Sure, it’s perfect for summer but we’re betting that filling farro and beans topped with feta will hit the spot on a cold winter’s night as well.
Just look at that panzanella. It’s absolutely mouthwatering. Like many, if not all, of the salads in this roundup, it’s perfect for either lunch or dinner. And you can customize it however you want. Don’t have fennel on hand? Try grilled onion or Brussels sprouts. But do try it.
Here’s to a healthier you in 2016!