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Salads For Dinner

Updated on March 19, 2014

Simple Salad Ideas

The are no limitations to preparing a satisfying delicious salad meal. Salads have become a popular alternative to hot meals that most of the time require 30-minutes or more to prepare and clean up or you end up ordering take-out and by the time you place an order, pick it up and sit down to eat it is well over 30-minutes.

Salad dishes are a perfect substitute. I enjoy the different flavors each lettuce leaf offers and mixing sweet ingredients with bitter leaves, sweet leaves with mild cheeses or a mix of bitter, peppery and sweet leaves gives any salad recipe an abundance of flavors. In my opinion the darker the leaf the more flavor it holds and using a dark leaf lettuce is a perfect base to a delicious salad.

I share in this article a handful of cold salad recipes and cold salad sandwich recipes I've whipped up for myself and thought others would appreciate salad recipe ideas.

Tip: To enhance the flavor of a cold salad dishes use organic lettuce, vegetables, fruits and protein. You'd be amazed how delicious a salad can be when it is prepared using organic ingredients.


Spinach Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Green Apples
Goat Cheese
Sun-Dried Cranberries
Sunflower Seeds
Red-Raspberry Vinaigrette

I start with spinach evenly distributing spinach on a large round plate. If you buy fresh spinach make sure to thoroughly soak and rinse it or you can buy prepared Earthbound triple-washed spinach.

Caramelize the walnuts and pan-fry the green apples. Using two small frying pans over a low flame place walnuts in one and the green apples in the other. Drizzle a little of pancake syrup or honey over the walnuts and stir every few minutes to prevent burning and let the green apples simply pan-fry for about five minutes. The walnuts caramelize beautifully and the green apple flavor transform into delicious sweet and sour flavor. Before putting the other ingredients together start the walnuts and green apples frying so when you are finished whipping up the other ingredients the walnuts and green apples will be finished cooking. It is not necessary but I suggest peeling the green apple and cut into cubes.


Arugula Endive and Radicchio Salad

Sunflower Seeds
Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

Start preparing the salad recipe using two small frying pans to caramelize the pecans and use pancake syrup or honey to add a light caramelization to the pecans over a low flame. Lightly sauté the pears and apples for about five minutes over a low flame too. Lightly sautéing the fruit will soften the rawness and add a milder flavor. Let cool before adding fruit to the salad. I used brown pears and green apples. By the time you prepare the other ingredients the pecans will be caramelized and the pears and apples will be perfectly tender.

Arugula, Endive and Radicchio are bitter tasting lettuce leaves. Adding sweet ingredients like strawberries, caramelized pecans, pears and apples balance the bitter lettuce leaf flavors together well. I recommend a sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing or any other dressing that has a sweetness to it.

Chicken Breast and Mixed Salad

Chicken Cutlet
Red Leaf Lettuce
String Beans
Red Onion

Instead of not using up the last bit of food in the refrigerator use up the last bit of food before shopping and stocking up again. Most of the time I have chicken cutlets in the freezer so if I have enough ingredients to prepare a side dish then I'm good to go. I like chicken and I like salads and it is fast and easy to prepare a filling satisfying meal using these ingredients. It is one of my favorite 20-minute meals.

Pan-fry a skinless non-breaded chicken cutlet and while the chicken cutlet is cooking prepare a salad using what is left in your refrigerator. This is a meal I prepare a few times a month in about 20-minutes. The last time I prepared this dish the leftovers in my refrigerator were Red Leaf lettuce, Radicchio, String Beans, Broccoli, and Red Onion. Add croutons or crisp salad noodles to add a crunch. Excellent meal with very little clean up.

Tip: When pan frying a chicken cutlet rub cajun spice or poultry spice to give the chicken extra flavor. Using fresh herbs is the best and you can stock up on fresh herbs and freeze them so you have them available most of the time.

Home-Style Cold Antipasto Salad

Red Leaf Lettuce
Shittaki Mushrooms
Black Olives
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Roasted Red Pepper
Red Onion
Genoa Salami
Provolone Cheese

I consider home-style cold antipasti salads kitchen sink salads. Easy to prepare using whatever is available in the refrigerator and most of the time I have the perfect ingredients to whip up a delicious antipasti salad. No need to follow a specific recipe.

The list of ingredients above is what you see in the picture. I stock up on shittaki bottled or can mushrooms, cans of black olives, bottle of sun-dried tomatoes, bottle of roasted red peppers and for the rest of the ingredients I had just enough in the refrigerator. I enjoy eating salad and bread as a meal when I eat alone. This is another easy to prepare meal in about 20-minutes and most of the time I have leftovers when I whip up an antipasto salad. For the dressing I use what I got and for this dish I had Light Italian dressing.

Tip: Salami, pepperoni, prosciutto or ham can be used for an antipasto salad. Be creative. The same goes for the cheese used. Provolone, swiss or mozzarella cheese match up good with salami, pepperoni, prosciutto or ham. I'm sure there are other deli meats that can be used but I list here the deli meats I use.

Cold Salad Sandwiches

It is easy to take ordinary and turn it into something a lot more delicious. Tuna and egg salad might not sound very appetizing but you can make both a lot more satisfying.

When I make tuna salad sandwiches I now add lots of other ingredients like red onion, celery, carrots, red pepper, spinach and use olive oil mayonnaise. It only take about ten minutes to prepare and is hearty and fulfilling. Add a mix salad on the side and you are good to go. I'd prefer eating this instead of fast food. It really is very good, no cooking needed and very little clean up.

Egg salad is another plain salad that people get bored with very easily. Just like with tuna salad I'll use ingredients to prepare a delicious and enjoyable cold sandwich. Use avocado instead of mayonnaise, add some diced red pepper, celery and tomatoes. Now you got a hearty delicious egg salad sandwich.

Tip: Use different breads to make the cold salad sandwiches less boring. Rye, multigrain, wheat, rolls, and pita-bread are just some I like to use for cold salad sandwiches.

Mixed Cold Salad

Green Olives
Black Olive
Cherry Tomatoes
Sweet Cherry Peppers

Here is another awesome delicious salad I prepared using what I already had in the refrigerator. Easy to whip up and very little clean up. Add a couple slices of bread and butter and you got yourself a flavorable satisfying meal. In my opinion this is a hell of a lot better compared to picking up chemical based fast food. Most of the ingredients in this salad are organic so there is a lot of mouthwatering flavor.

How often do you eat salads for dinner?

See results

© 2014 Michelle Cesare


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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      7 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I like to remain healthy and therefore I make a salad with almost every meal. Sometimes I make a complete meal out of a salad. And the many ideas presented here are very useful in that way. Sometimes I just improvise and though together whatever I have in the refrigerator, just like you mentioned. I look forward to trying some of your suggestions, thanks for the ideas.


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