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Salad recipes to turn your salads into a main course!

Posted Aug 10 2009 4:22pm

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***Keep reading, I feature 16 tasty salads you can turn into a main course***

Are you one of those people who mistakenly think that a salad is a bunch of leaves on a plate?

If you are less than thrilled by the idea of eating a salad on a daily basis, it’s most likely because you’ve not yet learned how to turn your salads into a fantastic meal.

Yesterday, I attended a product launch at one of the top eateries in the city. The lunch was incredible and by the time I had the dessert (a scrumptious raspberry shortbread with fresh whipped cream), I was stuffed. I know that after all that good food (which included the BEST macaroni and cheese I’ve ever eaten), I would have a light dinner.

I had a salad that night filled with leaves, vegetables (including red peppers, hot-house cucumber and artichokes) and sautéed portobello mushrooms. I used Asiago cheese (I really like that Italian cheese a lot) as my protein and I had a piece of whole wheat bread. By adding protein to my salad, I was able to turn it into a main course. After eating my salad, I felt full and I was not hungry until I had breakfast the next morning.

The point I’m making is that YES you CAN turn a salad into a delicious and easy to make main course meal.

Remember that the only way to turn a salad into something healthy, delicious and filling you have to be original and you need to let your creativity flow freely. Embrace seasonal vegetables and make an effort to learn how to make homemade salad dressing (it’s sooooooo incredibly easy).

Also, in my opinion nothing complements a salad like a hardy piece of nutritious bread (think whole grain, whole wheat or bread made with ancient grains like spelt!)

Here are 16 salad recipes that you can easily eat as a main course meal:

1) Green Salad with Roast Chicken and Sweet Potato: If you have left over roast chicken and sweet potato, here’s a great way to maximize your leftovers!

2) Watercress Salad with Grapefruit, Olives, and Fried Sage: Watercress is one of my favourite leaves and I would not have thought on my own to mix it with grapefruit and green olives.

3) Spinach Salad: This salad will redefine how you view spinach forever!

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4) Seared-Chicken Salad with Green Beans, Almonds, and Dried Cherries: I cannot tell you how tasty this salad is because of all the different tastes and textures.

5) Steak, Watercress, and Orange Salad: I sometimes will cook extra steak and keep it in the fridge to make a salad for lunch for the next day!

6) Bean, Corn, and Tortilla Salad: This salad is outrageous!  The ingredients can easily be found year-round, so you should be able to make it 12 months out of the year!

7) Soba Noodles with Tofu, Avocado, and Snow Peas: See, I never know what to do with tofu and this recipe brilliantly integrates tofu in a way I would never have thought of doing on my own.

#8) Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad: I love cashew nuts in salad and this salad has a tasty Asian twist. I quite enjoy adding red cabbage to my salads and this combination is really a great way of adding a lot of crunch and texture to your salad.

9) Cobb Salad: This is very complete salad and you can always switch the chicken for turkey!

10) Caesar Salad: When it comes to Caesar salads, you can easily add some chicken to your salad to make an even more complete meal!

11) Taco Salad: You can walk into any fast food restaurant and find fairly unhealthy versions of a taco salad, but this healthy version will become a quick favourite. This recipe calls for fresh chunks on mango … this might be harder to find during the colder months, but that’s not a problem because by not adding the mango, you find yourself with a whole new salad!

12) Thai Beef Salad: This is a fresh Asian style salad that would be ideal on a Friday night to end a long week and kick start the weekend!

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13) Gemelli with Tomatoes, Olives, and Ricotta: This is such a perfect salad for lunch! You can prepare it the night before or if you are having it for dinner, you can easily make a bit extra and bring some along with you at lunch.

14) Chopped Salad with Spicy Pork and Buttermilk Dressing: I’m not a big pork eater (other than a few Italian and Spanish cured meats and sausages), but I’m sure you could replace the pork with chicken, turkey or beef and you’d still end up with a tasty salad!

15) Butter-Lettuce Salad with Poached Salmon and Herbs: I love poached salmon so much and adding poached salad to a salad makes a lot of sense. This salmon is not only tasty, but you get your omega 3 thanks to the richness of the salmon! I bet you could make this salad with smoked salmon and it would still be delicious.

16) Summer Vegetables with Flatiron Steak: Really, you do NOT have to have a steak and potatoes meal to fully enjoy your steak. Adding steak to salads is so good and the protein from the meat will keep you full for a long time!

Top photo by foodistablog

Photos from MarthaStewart.com

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