Author Topic: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)  (Read 2667 times)

meerkat

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Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« on: April 23, 2019, 12:08:49 PM »
I occasionally try to make a salad and most of the time my husband gives it side eye. I think this is mainly because his family didn't do salads growing up (unless you count pasta salad or other non-vegetable having things) but also because I don't tend to follow recipes most of the time. The only salad he's made for dinner is a chef salad. I know there's a ton of other salads out there so I was wondering how other people do salads.

My usual approach is to take some combination of the following and throw it into a bowl:
Spinach
Bagged salad mix
Carrot peels
Thinly sliced celery
Raisins or craisins or diced pear
Thinly sliced mushrooms
Leftover meat, shredded
Diced walnuts or sliced almonds
Goat cheese or parmesan or some other cheese
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 01:44:55 PM by meerkat »

brute

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2019, 12:11:43 PM »
My destination for all things food, including salads

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/topics/meal/salads


mlipps

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 12:15:31 PM »
Two of my favorite combos:

Trader Joe's Pear Champagne & Blue Cheese Dressing
Good gorgonzola
Chicken (just simple rotisserie or whatever is fine)
Spinach
Blueberries
Optional Almonds


Italian Vinaigrette
Good feta
Salmon
Tomatoes & Cukes
Baby spring mix
Optional quinoa


You don't have to get fancy. I think my basic premise is just:
Flavorful but low cal dressing
Cheese<--spend the money here ;)
Protein
Lettuce-like base
Complimentary veg/fruit
An option for nuts or grains when I'm working out a lot & need to low cost bulk things up.

Tris Prior

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:25:29 PM »
My go to is:

Greens from my garden if the time of year is right; if not, then Aldi spinach and arugula mix
Some type of strongly flavored cheese (gorgonzola, blue, goat)
Cut up cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
Sometimes cut up sweet bell pepper
A small sprinkling of nuts
Dried cherries or cranberries
A good slosh of balsamic vinegar

TVRodriguez

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 12:26:23 PM »
My salads depend on my mood, but they usually involve fruit.  I grew up with iceberg lettuce, winter tomatoes, and bottled italian dressing.  I was enlightened as an adult and, in my twenties, was known to order salad at a club in Manhattan.  It was good, too.

My salads consist of:

Lettuce:
-Mixed greens OR
-Romaine OR
-Red Leaf OR
-Butter lettuce
(depends on what's on sale)

Fruit:
-Blueberries
-Strawberries, sliced
-Pear, sliced
-Used to include Apple or Mango, before I developed allergies to both

Crunch:
-Jicama (my favorite), diced
-Carrot (sometimes sliced, sometimes slivers/grated)
-Nuts (Almonds or Pine Nuts or Walnuts)

Cheese:
-Goat cheese crumbles OR
-nothing else, really, unless I have to add something like slivers of cheddar off a block

Dressing:
Best is Stonewall Kitchen Balsamic Fig, mixed with olive oil
Second best is Olive Oil and Lemon Juice or splash of vinegar with salt and pepper

mm1970

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 12:29:33 PM »
I eat salad for lunch every day.  My salad always has the following:

1. Greens.  Whatever we got in the CSA box
2. Vegetables.  See above.  Carrots, beets in winter.  Cucumbers, tomatoes in summer.
3. Olives
4. Cheese (blue/goat/feta)
5. Nuts/seeds (sunflower, toasted walnuts, almonds)

Other miscellaneous items that find their way in, depending on what we have
- avocado
- HB eggs
- deli meat or leftover meat
- leftover steamed or roasted veg
- slightly warmed homemade veggie burgers
- slightly warmed leftover beans and rice
- fruit

Because my salads seem to have a "theme", I usually use my own homemade parsley-lemon garlic vinaigrette, because it goes well with cheese and olives.

Very occasionally, I'll do something different, like make a Mexican-type salad, or an Asian type salad (with a different type of dressing and no cheese).

The key, for me, to a yummy salad (since it's my main course) is to go heavy on the fats (plenty of olive oil in my dressing, nuts, avocado, flavorful cheese).

LifeHappens

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 12:37:26 PM »
Your DH may need some carbs to feel full after eating a dinner salad. Peas, beans, croutons, cooked pasta, crumbled tortilla chips, etc might make it more of a meal.

lentil

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 12:50:42 PM »
I think taco salad for dinner works for most of the pickier eaters I know.

wenchsenior

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 12:52:05 PM »
I occasionally try to make a salad and most of the time my husband gives it side eye. I think this is mainly because his family didn't do salads growing up (unless you count pasta salad or other non-vegetable having things) but also because I don't tend to follow recipes most of the time. The only salad he's made for dinner is a chef salad. I know there's a ton of other salads out there so I was wondering how other people do salads.

My usual approach is to take some combination of the following and throw it into a bowl:
Spinach
Bagged salad mix
Carrot peels
Thinly sliced celery
Raisins or craisins or diced pear
Thinly sliced mushrooms
Leftover meat, shredded
Diced walnuts or sliced almonds
Goat cheese or parmesan or some other cheese

I can't fathom how anybody could side-eye that salad. It looks delicious (possibly b/c it's very close to our 'standard' salad).   

We usually have our meat on the side. We don't usually eat raw mushrooms, so none on salad (though we eat them cooked as part of dishes frequently), nor do we add cheese.  Our salads usually include diced tomatoes and avocados, sometimes include some sort of pepper or finally diced scallion.  If we aren't having a carb with the meal, we usually top the salad with crushed tortilla chips or sweet potato chips.  Sometimes we sub in mango, or apple, for cranberries or pears. Our standard dressing is balsamic and oil, with some herbs mixed in.

I occasionally try to branch out and do other types of salads b/c I love all kinds. But 90% of the time, yours is pretty much our go-to, taking up 3/4ers of our dinner plate probably 3 or 4 nights per week.

GuitarStv

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2019, 01:11:02 PM »
My favorite salad is mostly from stuff on your list:
- Spinach
- small cubes of mozzarella cheese
- Mandarin oranges (from a can - this is the only time I like mandarin oranges from a can)
- Walnut pieces

Toss with some oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

LifePhaseTwo

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2019, 01:27:28 PM »
A few of my favorites:
 - when strawberries are in season: strawberry spinach salad with toasted almonds, sesame seeds and poppyseed dressing
 - greens with tomato, peppers, cucumber, radishes, cubed mozzarella, cubed leftover ham, chick peas, simple vinaigrette dressing
 - salad Nicoise - lettuce, tuna, egg, green beans, vinaigrette
 - bagged sweet kale salad from Costco

OtherJen

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2019, 02:10:12 PM »
Your DH may need some carbs to feel full after eating a dinner salad. Peas, beans, croutons, cooked pasta, crumbled tortilla chips, etc might make it more of a meal.

This. My husband likes salad, but definitely prefers to include a starchy carb.

To the OP: your husband might also enjoy the salad more if it were stuffed in a wrap and eaten as a sandwich. Lately, most of my lunches have been wrap sandwiches filled with a couple thin slices of cheese, a few slices of deli meat or leftover chicken/fish from dinner, and a big pile of veggies mixed with homemade dressing. Yesterday, I used a big scoop of the previous dinner's leftover coleslaw: hand-shredded cabbage with thinly sliced radishes, orange bell pepper, cucumber, and pickled red onion, mixed with a simple homemade dressing (mayo, Greek yogurt [ran out of mayo], apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper).

seemsright

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2019, 02:49:55 PM »
I find the dressing the most important. I have many dressing ideas (they are never the exact same) But they have to be balanced. Two parts fat, one part sweet and one part tart. Then salt and pepper.

I also like fruit in my salads.

For a spinach and strawberry salad I would have spinach, strawberries, pine nuts and a dressing made out of Olive oil, a spoon full of strawberry jam and balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper all blended together then tossed with the salad...so good with some grilled chicken.

Change the strawberries (and the jam) for apricots or peaches or even blueberries all amazing.

Same dressing ratio (but 3/4 olive oil and 1/4 sesame oil and change the balsamic vinegar to rice wine vinegar with orange marmalade and instead of salt add a touch of soy sauce ) tossed with some chicken, almonds, mixed greens, and some cucumbers and tangerines ...very good.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2019, 03:04:29 PM »
Have you asked him why?  Maybe it's the sweet bits.  I personally hate fruit in my salad. I like fruit fine by itself, it just doesn't go in a green salad. I hate sweet dressings too.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2019, 04:42:51 PM »
I'm not into fruit in salads normally but I do make one yummy salad with fruit that i'd recommend:  sliced fennel bulbs, peeled and sliced oranges, small seeded black olives with a dressing of good olive oil and a bit off salt.  This only works when oranges are in season in the wintertime.  For some reason, it's a delicious combination.

Also salad nicoise - lettuce, tomatoes, olives, boiled eggs, anchovies, canned tuna, cooked string beans, spring onions and maybe some boiled new potatoes.  Dressing of home made vinaigrette.

Greek salad - lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, chunks of feta and red onions with oil and vinegar dressing or vinaigrette.

herbgeek

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2019, 04:17:52 AM »
Make your own salad dressings, it makes a huge difference.  Not hard (under 5 minutes) and keeps for weeks.  I even make one similar to Stonewall's balsamic fig:  3 T balsamic vinegar, 2 T fig butter (you get this at Trader Joe's with the jams), 1/2 c olive oil, 1 t. dijon mustart, 2 minced shallots (optional, but nice), salt and pepper to taste.

Éowynd

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2019, 05:10:34 AM »
Are there any items on that list that he dislikes (and maybe hasn't told you about)?  Personally, I like salads but I would avoid one that had raw mushrooms on it.  Also, celery can be a strong flavor in a salad; I don't mind it but my sister does.  My brother-in-law does not like bell peppers in a salad.  I love them!

jfer_rose

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2019, 06:05:57 AM »
Although a long-time vegetarian, I was never a fan of salads-- I just didn't enjoy eating them. But I joined a 60-day challenge at the beginning of 2018, and eating lots of greens was a big focus. So I went on a mission to make salads I wanted to eat. My solution: top the raw salad greens with cooked veggies, not raw. Most of the time, I even heat up the veggie toppings. I like it so much that I've been eating a salad for lunch most days since January 2018.

My favorite salad topping: caramelized onion sauteed with whatever other veggies looked good that week. (I batch cook the salad toppings for about a weeks worth of salads.)

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2019, 07:32:00 AM »
I hate salad and especially hate salad dressing, yet, I eat pounds of veggies every week.

Perhaps your DH genuinely dislikes salad?
Ask him what he doesn't like about it.

For me, I only cook vegetarian, so veggies are the focus of most of my meals, but they're never on their own in a bowl slathered in cold sauce, and I almost never eat cold, raw, wet leaves. Ugh. Gross.

I cook with a lot of kale and spinach, but I don't eat bowl fulls of them raw and wet.
Thanks, but I'll pass.

Today I have some hot Asian rice noodles and pad thai-ish sauce, topped with a heaping pile of raw veggies: red cabbage, shredded carrot, peppers, broccoli, avocado, and a ton of cilantro.

If I do eat a "salad", then it's a chopped salad and no dressing: tomato, cucumber, pepper, avocado, basil, and feta, or something like that.

The only "salad" I make with a dressing is a spiralized cucumber dish with a soy-sesame dressing. Or a spiralized carrot and massaged kale with lemon-pesto. (I will sometimes eat raw kale if it's massaged first. Tedious, but much tastier)

If the goal is to eat more veggies, that can easily be done without making bowls of wet leaves, if that's what he doesn't like.

Moonwaves

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2019, 07:32:49 AM »
There is a salad out there for everyone - you just have to find the one he likes. My first question would be have you asked him if he likes (your) salads or not? And if not, why not? If you grew up with and are used to meat, potatoes and veg for just about every dinner (with occasional forays into exotic stuff like bolognese) then it can be hard to get away from the feeling that without all of those components, a meal is just not complete.

As a child I insisted I did not like salad and refused to eat even the small amount we ever saw in our house (mostly if we were having a party and mostly something similar to but not quite as fancy as what wikipedia tells me a chef salad is). The only type of lettuce available when I was a kid was butterhead. I remember iceberg becoming available and considered to be the fancy lettuce and I disliked that even more than ordinary lettuce. And I loathe the taste of cucumber, which tended to be the other main salad ingredient.

It wasn't until the late 90s that things like bagged salads and baby leaf salads became available where I lived and it was a revelation to me. Started out with lambs lettuce and baby spinach, just adding a little bit to a sandwich. These days, once the weather gets warm, most of my dinners will be salads. My favourite is red oak leaf lettuce and I still don't like iceberg or butterhead. Wraps stuffed full of mostly salad were an important part of this process, too. Any chance you might be able to get him excited about salads by trying different types of lettuce? In my experience, fresh from a farmers market or similar is also a hundred times better than what you'll get in a supermarket. Can you grow a couple of things at home? Eating what you've grown is sometimes a good way to get people more interested. Apart from that, eating main course salads at restaurants was a big help in figuring out what I like and don't like. And trying to have at least a few leaves of something as a side-dish for dinner every day helped, too - it's a good aid to digestion, I find.

As for my standard salad, like jfer_rose, I often prefer to have something cooked or at least warmed through to top my salad with. Love onion, not a huge fan of raw onion. If I don't have time to fry up an onion, I'll use scallions or pickled. Cooked and then cold is also ok for lost of things - I'm just not a huge fan of raw food.

Leafy part:
Almost always oakleaf lettuce, or lambs lettuce when it's in season

Other veg:
Tomatoes (fresh in season, semi-dried when not)
Sautéed onion (or scallions or pickled onions) and/or leek

Another veg option is pumpkin chopped small and sautéed with leek - about two-thirds pumpkin, one-third leek.

Protein:
Cheese (cheddar or gouda or similar, chopped into small cubes, not slices)
or
Mozarella or feta
or
Chicken (really good sliced into strips and fried with a bit of balsamic vinegar)
or
Pulled pork
or
whatever leftovers I have from the night before

Dressing:

Equal parts olive oil, balsamic vinegar and water. Sometimes add a spoonful of mustard and some salt and pepper.
or
Olive oil, white wine vinegar and water. Especially like this with leftover chicken.
or
Olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard (recipe in comments of this old blog post - I use this dressing for chickpea salad and lettuce-y salad - it's really good with feta)


I do use other oils sometimes but that's the basics. I love seeds and nuts on salads but usually forget or am just too lazy to open up several different containers. Hmm, I should premix some seeds and leave that it a jar for easy access. Adding that to my to-do list right now.

I am also a big fan of bean or lentil salads. Add plenty of veg and a dressing and it's something different if I feel like I don't want to eat any more lettuce. And then end up adding the leftovers of a bean salad to lettuce a day or two later.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 07:36:13 AM by Moonwaves »

ElleFiji

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2019, 07:43:06 AM »
I like reading restaurants' salad menus and stealing ideas. But my go to is spinach, cranberries, sunflower seeds and hummus.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2019, 07:50:13 AM »
I occasionally try to make a salad and most of the time my husband gives it side eye. I think this is mainly because his family didn't do salads growing up (unless you count pasta salad or other non-vegetable having things) but also because I don't tend to follow recipes most of the time. The only salad he's made for dinner is a chef salad. I know there's a ton of other salads out there so I was wondering how other people do salads.

My usual approach is to take some combination of the following and throw it into a bowl:
Spinach
Bagged salad mix
Carrot peels
Thinly sliced celery
Raisins or craisins or diced pear
Thinly sliced mushrooms
Leftover meat, shredded
Diced walnuts or sliced almonds
Goat cheese or parmesan or some other cheese

Maybe your husband dislikes the bagged salad mix? I find that some bags contain salad leaves that are quite bitter. So I would only buy the bags with green leaves in them.

My simple green salad:

- Lettuce from a fresh bunch (e.g. crispy type, or rucola)
- Tomato with taste. As many tomatoes are tasteless I have started to buy the sweet cherry/snacking tomatoes.
- Real greek feta cheese in big cumbles.
- Cucumber
- Olives
- Good olive oil
- Some wine vinegar or balsamico
- Some spices, preferably greek salad herbs, but we don't always have those.

Sometimes I add other stuff like: pineapple cubes from a tin, diced mango, fancy ham, avocado, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds.

+1 for not using mushrooms raw.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 07:52:43 AM by Linea_Norway »

meerkat

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2019, 08:18:23 AM »
He dislikes that I use spinach so much (both quantity and frequency). But "normal" lettuce like ice burg or I think romaine makes me burp later and salad burps are not great. Other greens are available but then he does not like paying that much for a bagged salad mix (he does the shopping) and we have been failing at gardening the past few years. I will try another salad that's just bagged salad mix and no spinach, even though I actually like spinach. I'll try to remember to look at bagged salad options next time I'm at a store, the last time I payed attention at all was when there was a big scare about romaine lettuce and it turned out that romaine was in all the different varieties of bagged salad.

TVRodriguez

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2019, 08:48:02 AM »
I hate salad and especially hate salad dressing, yet, I eat pounds of veggies every week.

Perhaps your DH genuinely dislikes salad?
Ask him what he doesn't like about it.

For me, I only cook vegetarian, so veggies are the focus of most of my meals, but they're never on their own in a bowl slathered in cold sauce, and I almost never eat cold, raw, wet leaves. Ugh. Gross.

I cook with a lot of kale and spinach, but I don't eat bowl fulls of them raw and wet.
Thanks, but I'll pass.

Today I have some hot Asian rice noodles and pad thai-ish sauce, topped with a heaping pile of raw veggies: red cabbage, shredded carrot, peppers, broccoli, avocado, and a ton of cilantro.

If I do eat a "salad", then it's a chopped salad and no dressing: tomato, cucumber, pepper, avocado, basil, and feta, or something like that.

The only "salad" I make with a dressing is a spiralized cucumber dish with a soy-sesame dressing. Or a spiralized carrot and massaged kale with lemon-pesto. (I will sometimes eat raw kale if it's massaged first. Tedious, but much tastier)

If the goal is to eat more veggies, that can easily be done without making bowls of wet leaves, if that's what he doesn't like.

This had me laughing so hard.  I never ever thought of salad as "bowls of wet leaves," and now I can't stop!  Excellent.  Thanks for the chuckle!

OtherJen

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2019, 09:20:45 AM »
I hate salad and especially hate salad dressing, yet, I eat pounds of veggies every week.

Perhaps your DH genuinely dislikes salad?
Ask him what he doesn't like about it.

For me, I only cook vegetarian, so veggies are the focus of most of my meals, but they're never on their own in a bowl slathered in cold sauce, and I almost never eat cold, raw, wet leaves. Ugh. Gross.

I cook with a lot of kale and spinach, but I don't eat bowl fulls of them raw and wet.
Thanks, but I'll pass.

Today I have some hot Asian rice noodles and pad thai-ish sauce, topped with a heaping pile of raw veggies: red cabbage, shredded carrot, peppers, broccoli, avocado, and a ton of cilantro.

If I do eat a "salad", then it's a chopped salad and no dressing: tomato, cucumber, pepper, avocado, basil, and feta, or something like that.

The only "salad" I make with a dressing is a spiralized cucumber dish with a soy-sesame dressing. Or a spiralized carrot and massaged kale with lemon-pesto. (I will sometimes eat raw kale if it's massaged first. Tedious, but much tastier)

If the goal is to eat more veggies, that can easily be done without making bowls of wet leaves, if that's what he doesn't like.

This had me laughing so hard.  I never ever thought of salad as "bowls of wet leaves," and now I can't stop!  Excellent.  Thanks for the chuckle!

"Leafbucket" also works (credit to Nathan Pyle):

horsepoor

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2019, 10:15:05 PM »
Several years ago I put together salads that have become our standard.  We usually have them 2x a week, but they are huge salads, and can be scaled down if you want another dinner component with them (or I'll add whatever leftover protein).  The key to salad harmony is that we each dress our respective salads in the way we prefer.

Base is:

Big handful of spring mix or lettuce
Moderate handful of pre-shredded coleslaw
Finely sliced carrot
Small broccoli florets (maybe leave out until DH is a seasoned salad-eater)
Sliced celery
Sliced green onions
Cherry tomatoes when in season

For mine, I usually dress with a variety of oil and vinegar, maybe some avocado.  DH goes more overboard and puts on sunflower seeds, bacon bits, croutons and blue cheese dressing, so his is a calorie bomb, but at least he's getting his veggies.  We both grind black pepper on top.

I think the shredded cabbage is key because it keeps its body and helps distribute the dressing through the salad when it's mixed.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2019, 01:58:28 PM »
I feel like every time I read one of these threads, there's a sad idea that "salad" always means "wet, soggy leaves" and so people think they don't like salad. Anyone should be able to find a salad they like. If the goal is to eat more vegetables, pick ones you like and pick ways to combine them that are tasty.

A) If they're soggy, you're doing it wrong. After you wash the veggies, especially leaves, drain and DRY them. The dressing will adhere better, and indeed, nobody likes pools of water in their food.
B) Salad does not have to be full of raw ingredients.
C) Salad does not need to contain leaves of any kind! At all!

My boyfriend thought he didn't like salad because his idea of salad was: iceberg lettuce, thin slice of cucumber, thin slice of carrot, single cherry tomato, bottled dressing. I make my own salad dressings (super easy and customizable) and don't make the same salad twice and now he likes salads. I actually have a little spreadsheet to remind myself of all the different possible salad items (in case I feel stuck): think of a base, then add-ins like salty, crunchy, soft, sweet, cheesy, whatever you like. 

Some types of salad:
Bean (chickpea, 3 bean, black bean, navy bean) https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/black_bean_salad/
Grain (couscous, barley, rice, etc) https://laughingspatula.com/crunchy-mediterranean-couscous-salad/
Egg/Tofu/Seitan https://www.apinchofhealthy.com/vegetarian-chopped-salad-chickpeas-egg/
Meat (chicken, tuna, salmon, salami, ham) https://whatsgabycooking.com/loaded-sesame-ginger-salmon-salad/
Pasta (pasta, rice noodles, buckwheat noodles) - thick, thin, corkscrew, you name it! https://veggiechick.com/udon-noodle-salad-with-fresh-veggies-vegan/
Fruit (pear, apple, grape, strawberry, orange)
Vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, beet, carrot, potato, celery root, pepper) - chopped, sliced, shredded, roasted, raw, steamed. https://www.spendwithpennies.com/broccoli-salad/
https://www.loveandlemons.com/roasted-beet-salad-with-pear-and-walnuts/
https://www.davidlebovitz.com/carottes-rapee/

Pro tip for onions/garlic: if you make your own dressing, chop the garlic or onion first, then pour the vinegar over it and let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients, then add the oil and finish the dressing last. It helps take away the bite. Another way is to let the onion soak in ice water for 10 minutes, then drain.

brandon1827

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2019, 02:15:23 PM »
Perhaps consider leaving the salad components unmixed, and allowing him to "make his own" with the ingredients he likes best?

My mother-in-law brings this horrid 7-layer salad to several family gatherings per year, and she's the only one who eats any of it. I love salads in general, but if there's one item in there I don't like, I'm not eating it. When we have everyone over to our house, we do a "salad bar" and everyone puts together their own salad just how they like it. Just a thought.

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2019, 07:06:40 PM »

A) If they're soggy, you're doing it wrong. After you wash the veggies, especially leaves, drain and DRY them. The dressing will adhere better, and indeed, nobody likes pools of water in their food.

Dressing on leaves = wet leaves = gross = *barf*

Lol

I'm the one who mentioned wet leaves. I simply don't like eating leaves and I don't like salad dressing and I especially don't like leaves that are wet with salad dressing.

However, my entire first post was actually the exact same point that you made, which is that eating veggies or "salads" doesn't have to include anything that you don't like and that pretty much anything goes.

My whole point was that as someone who truly despises leaves in liquid (aka wet leaves), I still eat metric fuck tons of veggies in their many splendoured forms. Anyone who likes any form of vegetable can't dislike salad because salad is whatever you want it to be.

But seriously, there's no level of dry and crispy that can counteract the leaf dripping with liquid. That shit is wet leaves. Period.

habaneroNorway

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2019, 01:28:22 PM »
Lettuce, smoked duck breast in thin slices, hot dressing with honey, diced apple (Granny Smith or similar), chopped walnuts, salt and pepper.

Ruccola, tomatoes, fresh basil, parma ham / serrano ham / similar, mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, grated parmesan. Sourdough bread dipped in olive oil sprinkled with salt.

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2019, 01:44:21 PM »
Today's not salad:

Soy/sesame glass noodles with fried shredded cabbage, spiralized carrot, topped with fried egg.

Delicious, and no wet leaves.

meerkat

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2019, 05:46:40 AM »
Today's not salad:

Soy/sesame glass noodles with fried shredded cabbage, spiralized carrot, topped with fried egg.

Delicious, and no wet leaves.

So do you just cut up the cabbage and then pan fry it?

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2019, 05:58:44 AM »
Today's not salad:

Soy/sesame glass noodles with fried shredded cabbage, spiralized carrot, topped with fried egg.

Delicious, and no wet leaves.

So do you just cut up the cabbage and then pan fry it?

Yep.
Stupid easy.

brute

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2019, 08:15:19 AM »

Rosy

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2019, 12:46:38 PM »
Warning - foodie here - hope you can use some of the tips:)

Your DH may need some carbs to feel full after eating a dinner salad.

This. My husband likes salad, but definitely prefers to include a starchy carb.

To the OP: your husband might also enjoy the salad more if it were stuffed in a wrap and eaten as a sandwich.

OP - salads are one of those things that are highly personal - tastes and preferences differ greatly.
Leftover meat over the usual or current en vogue greenery and whatever cheeses are hip or presently considered healthy - does.not.do.it. for me:)
I can't stand the taste of Quinoa for instance, yeah well:).

While I like cheese and nuts and fruit in my salads, I am not a fan of doing this each and every time or throwing everything and anything together and calling it a salad.
You can get away with that occasionally and sometimes even discover a new combo you like, but a good salad is a well thought out and prepared meal, just like any other dinner.

Here is an old favorite that works well when you want your salad to have more substance - the oomph of a full meal.
Recipe for two:
Tuna or chicken salad - the pineapple slices are an unexpected twist but for whatever reason, they really work well with the tuna or chicken.
Try it - you'll like it:)
Hardboil three to four eggs, no more than five minutes, immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking process, let cool and slice into round slices to use like garnish on top - all around the side of the bowl later.
Rinse off and chop up a bit of fresh parsley and dill - just enough to later sprinkle on top of the egg slices.
Optional: lightly salt and pepper the egg slices and sprinkle with paprika powder right before you serve the salad.
Refrigerate a small can of full round pineapple slices - four slices - for the center of your salad bowl (surrounded by the egg slices).

Line your salad bowl all around with full-length lettuce leaves of your choice. Looks impressive if you use a glass bowl:)
In a separate bowl:
Combine two cans of tuna drained of juice or cubed cooked chicken, one teaspoon of mustard, half a cup of Hellman's Mayo (add more if you prefer), two-three stalks of fresh celery cut up superfine - so it is still crunchy but unrecognizable:), one small flat teaspoon of celery seeds, a quarter cup of chopped parsley and a few dill leaves if you have them,  two small or one large pickle also cut fine, a tablespoon of pickle juice if you have it or your favorite vinegar, one red bell pepper cut into small pieces, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with ciabatta rolls or french bread, lightly toasted if you like. Essentially a make your own dish. 
OPTION 1 ... forget the glass bowl fanciness and serve as a wrap (herb or tomato works well) line your wrap with the lettuce leaves, fill with your salad, add a couple of egg slices and cut the pineapple into bite size pieces or buy them that way.
OPTION 2 ... fix his favorite pasta, add one tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste, mix well - then top with the salad, eggs and pineapple - skip the lettuce.
OPTION 3 ... Use large Romaine lettuce leaves and fill each one with your salad - place only the eggs on some leaves and only pineapple on the other.
TIP - works great as lettuce cups - when you have a party - just slice in bite size pieces - voila, party food - sprinkle with red paprika or upend a slice of cucumber ...

I didn't grow up eating salads either, except for a big bowl of "green" salad shared by the family onto small plates. Green meant lettuce and green herbs from the garden, like dill, parsley, pimpernel and borage, cucumbers from the Saturday farmer's market.
Decades later, I've experienced awesome salads in various countries and have a whole new appreciation of how awesome a salad can taste.

Nevertheless, I like my salads either totally plain or as a full meal.
Plain like just fresh peppers from the garden with a sprinkle of salt or a dish of strawberries for dessert with a sprinkle of vanilla sugar or any of the holy trinities:) like fresh sauerkraut alongside fresh or pickled beets and shredded carrots.

I like it raw and flavorful and totally organic - sort of like the current clean food craze.
I'm happy with plain cucumber salad in a vinegary dressing of any kind, or just salt or with ranch. I do like the taste of greenery and the freshness of it.

Since I have a herb/veggie garden (actually more like a potager with lots of flowers too:), I always have fresh basils, fresh mints, lemon verbena, dill, lemon balm, three kinds of lettuces, different kinds of peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, cilantro, celery, nasturtiums, chives etc. to compliment whatever salad I make.

I wouldn't be happy to eat salad as a meal more than once a week, but a small plate alongside a dish that is complemented by whatever small salad would be perfect. Say you grilled or sauteed salmon or your favorite fish and made a cucumber salad with dill and ranch dressing which is a perfect compliment to the salmon, so much so that if you wanted to hide the appearance of a salad at dinner, you could just fix it as a topping to the salmon/fish - voila. Hidden salad.

Like someone already said, most guys like tacos, taco salads and things like the ultimate nachos - so so easy. If you do a little research you can turn them into a healthy meal and a salad in disguise:)
There are tons of variations on google - I like the ultimate nachos with lots of cilantro, green onions, salsa, cheese, colorful peppers, cherry tomatoes even some corn, refried beans and enough hamburger meat fried with onion and taco seasoning.
The next time you turn it all into steak fajita with lots of peppers and onion ...

I think you might want to ask him specifically what it is that he doesn't like about the salads you've fixed in the past, be specific and it will help you to know how to bring the salad goodness that you like to the table without it looking like the kind of salad that he isn't crazy about.

Have you ever made a Pina Colada salad with fruit and coconut? Awesome stuff:)
Mediterranean salad
Italian pasta salads - not the American versions that drown everything in mayonnaise.
Moroccan salad
Swiss salad
or just a simple summer salad made of golden beets instead of the red beets? pair with watermelon chunks, goat cheese-plenty of crumbles please:) and arugula - refreshing, different and good for you. Just serve it next to chicken breast and yellow or nutty rice.

My grandma made a killer hot not cold potato salad in a vinaigrette/broth - with sausage slices, green onions and sometimes boiled eggs on days when she made it with only a couple hotdogs. On hot days it is perfect since there is no mayo.
There is a traditional French seafood salad that is served warm and tastes out of this world.

If you want to keep it simple just grill or saute some shrimp and add to a mixed greens salad with fresh mango and fiery chili - quick and easy.
Good luck with all your new salad creations:)!

TVRodriguez

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #35 on: May 06, 2019, 01:20:58 PM »
As I was eating my delicious bowl of wet leaves at lunch today, I thought of this thread and chuckled.

Yesterday, my husband served us all bowls of freshly cooked rice, to which he had added chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and chopped romaine lettuce, and sprinkled lemon juice and salt on it.  It was soooo good.  All three of our kids devoured theirs, as did I.  Very filling.

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #36 on: May 06, 2019, 01:31:40 PM »
Today is spiralized carrot and zucchini with lemon-pesto sauce, massaged kale, green onions, cilantro, feta, and spicy roasted chick peas

I make huge batches of roasted chick peas in advance, and use Costco pesto, so it takes about 5 minutes to make 4 servings.

jeninco

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2019, 04:56:26 PM »
Today is spiralized carrot and zucchini with lemon-pesto sauce, massaged kale, green onions, cilantro, feta, and spicy roasted chick peas

I make huge batches of roasted chick peas in advance, and use Costco pesto, so it takes about 5 minutes to make 4 servings.

raw zucchini, yuck! (TBH, I don't much like it cooked, either).

I thought of you as I ate my lunch salad, which was finely sliced fennel bulbs, grapefruit pieces, and a lemon and spicy olive oil dressing. (Not so much that it made things drippy.) And pepper.

calimom

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2019, 05:17:43 PM »
I had friends over on the weekend for lunch and made a salmon nicoise salad. Just the same as the more common version, just using mustard roasted salmon (which I'd gotten from my uncle who caught it fresh) Can't take credit for the recipe; it's from the Barefoot Contessa. It's pretty and has lots of great flavors.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2019, 02:49:15 PM »
I just tried this salad and thought I'd come back to share. https://cookieandkate.com/roasted-raw-carrot-salad-recipe/ I left off the avocado and used a different dressing, but I really liked the mix of roasted carrots and raw carrots -it's an idea I never would have come up with.

the_fixer

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #40 on: May 11, 2019, 09:02:48 AM »
As a salad hater my wife makes a couple that I actually enjoy / request from time to time.

Mixed greens
Strawberries lots
Blueberries lots
Pecans or walnuts
A little feta
Grilled chicken or smoked salmon
Dressing of choice but I like blu cheese or a berry vinaigrette


Or

Mixed greens
Lots of veggies, cucumbers, radishes, Cherry tomatoes, avacado even corn, snap peas or whatever.
Some meat of some kind.

Basically I like substance, if my wife throws some  greens in a bowl and some dressing I hate it but give it some texture and substance and I actually enjoy it.



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad
« Reply #41 on: May 11, 2019, 09:09:28 AM »
This week's not wet leaves:

Harissa cauliflower steaks with spicy roasted kale and chickpeas on brown rice, drizzled with lemon tahini sauce. This is a new recipe, I'll let you know how it turns out.

I just checked my Paprika app, where I keep all of my vegetarian recipes that I've made at least once and liked. I have 90 so far, and not a single one is a salad.


meerkat

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #42 on: May 11, 2019, 01:47:11 PM »
I'm really enjoying the way this thread has taken off. I don't have much to add yet but meal planning needs to happen before tomorrow's grocery shopping, I'm sure I can use at least one or two not-wet-leaves ideas from here. :-D

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #43 on: May 11, 2019, 02:33:45 PM »
I'm really enjoying the way this thread has taken off. I don't have much to add yet but meal planning needs to happen before tomorrow's grocery shopping, I'm sure I can use at least one or two not-wet-leaves ideas from here. :-D

Recipe was a total bitch and needed a lot of improving along the way, but in the end turned out amazing.

I like to take my time with new recipes, get to know them and learn their flow. I hate feeling rushed when I don't know the steps yet or how to coordinate and customize them.

Today marks over 100 new recipes tried since I switched to only vegetarian cooking 2.5 years ago. Kind of neat.
Yes, I have only abandoned ~10 recipes. Typically I can find a way to salvage them, even if they are awful.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 05:30:19 PM by Malkynn »

tralfamadorian

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #44 on: May 11, 2019, 04:21:11 PM »
Some great ideas above. I enjoy normal sweet-tart salads on occasion but more often prefer savory salads. Warm garlicky mushrooms over spinach with good parm is a common one. Cherry tomatoes and shaved pecorino over arugula with olive oil and salt only is an fast staple.

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2019, 05:42:03 PM »
K.

Just had the harissa cauliflower dish after leaving it sitting for a few hours and it's crazy good. One of the best dishes I've ever had, including restaurants.

Granted, I had to change nearly everything step of the recipe, bit with enough tweaking, it was literally one of the best meals ever.

Unreal level of delicious.

meerkat

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2019, 06:45:44 PM »
K.

Just had the harissa cauliflower dish after leaving it sitting for a few hours and it's crazy good. One of the best dishes I've ever had, including restaurants.

Granted, I had to change nearly everything step of the recipe, bit with enough tweaking, it was literally one of the best meals ever.

Unreal level of delicious.

Well you can't say that and not share the recipe! Is it worth linking or do you just need to rewrite it for all the tweaks?

Malkynn

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2019, 06:02:42 AM »
K.

Just had the harissa cauliflower dish after leaving it sitting for a few hours and it's crazy good. One of the best dishes I've ever had, including restaurants.

Granted, I had to change nearly everything step of the recipe, bit with enough tweaking, it was literally one of the best meals ever.

Unreal level of delicious.

Well you can't say that and not share the recipe! Is it worth linking or do you just need to rewrite it for all the tweaks?

Yeah, it's nothing like the original recipe, but here's the gist

Pan fry cauliflower steaks 3 min on each side
Slather with a marinade of a few teaspoons of harissa spice plus a teaspoon or so of maple syrup, plus water to thin.
Bake at 425 for 7 minutes.
(I used harissa spice from Bulk Barn, no clue what's in it, sorry)

Rough chop as much kale as you want removing the spines, toss in oil, bake for 10 minutes.

Drain and dry chick peas and coat them with a mixture of a few tsp of miso and olive oil (I didn't have miso, so I used a Chinese bean curd, which does not dissolve in oil, so I had to add water to emulsify the mixture, worked fine). Bake on a sheet for 20 minutes, or until as crispy as you want.

Combine crispy kale and chick peas, serve cauliflower steak on top, drizzle with sauce.

Sauce: ~1/3 c tahini, 1/3 c water, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, juice of 1 lemon, splash of soy sauce to taste. You may need more or less water depending on consistency of tahini, add water until sauce becomes thin enough to pour. Actually, all ingredient ratios are "add to taste", I think I adjusted everything.

The original recipe called for pan frying kale and chick peas straight from a can and then drizzling with tahini and I was like "do you even cook?"

It also called for some weird mashed cauliflower base, which I just skipped. Instead, I baked all of the head of the cauliflower, not just the center steaks. For some reason, I truly hate having to use a food processor and will go out of my way to modify recipes to avoid it.

BrightFIRE

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2019, 10:54:45 AM »
Cherry tomatoes and shaved pecorino over arugula with olive oil and salt only is an fast staple.

In this vein, I made a roasted grape tomato side yesterday that was super easy and tasty - basically dump 2 pints of grape tomatoes in a dish with olive oil, garlic and mint leaves. I served it next to some salmon, that carrot salad from up thread and bread to mop up the yummy juices. https://www.bhg.com/recipe/appetizers-snacks/slow-baked-tomatoes-with-garlic-and-mint/

Firehazard

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Re: Making a better salad (not wet leaves)
« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2019, 07:26:53 PM »
Love salads.  I never get tired of this one:

Green leaf lettuce or romaine
green peppers
red peppers
diced zucchini
scallions
fresh basil leaves
black olives
cherry tomatoes
sunflower seeds
Italian cheese blend
Vinagrette, Ranch or Caesar dressing
Chopped chicken or salmon