6 super salads that AREN'T boring

Amy Wood - Nutritionist | 11 Jul, 2022

There's so much more to salads than just lettuce, cucumber and tomato. Here are 6 fun recipes to try that prove salads don't have to be bland and tasteless. All recipes serve 5 as a main meal or 8-10 as a side dish.

Peanut coleslaw

Thai peanut coleslaw

Serves 5 - 217 kcals per serving

Kcals 217
Fat 12.9g
Sat fat 2.8g
Carbs 20.1g
Sugar 17.8g
Fibre 6g
Protein 6.1g
Salt 1.03g

Ingredients

  • ½ small white cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ small red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 80g smooth peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sriracha
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 3 spring onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, to garnish
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, to garnish

Method

  1. Add the cabbage, carrot and red onion to a large salad bowl.
  2. Create your dressing by combining the peanut butter, lime juice, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, garlic and ginger in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
  4. Serve topped with spring onion, sesame seeds and some fresh coriander.

Tuscan salad

Tuscan panzanella salad

Serves 5 - 384 kcals per serving

Kcals 384
Fat 22.4g
Sat fat 4.1g
Carbs 32g
Sugar 7.3g
Fibre 4.7g
Protein 12.3g
Salt 2.49g

Ingredients

  • 300g stale sourdough
  • 1kg tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into rings
  • 20g capers, drained
  • 50g tin anchovy fillets, drained
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100g reduced-fat mozzarella
  • 2 large handfuls basil, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Cut or tear the sourdough into bite-size chunks. Spread out on a plate or tray and leave in a warm place for around 30 minutes to fully dry out.
  2. Add the tomatoes to a large salad bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the onion, capers, anchovies and sourdough to the bowl.
  3. Splash in the olive oil and vinegar and toss well.
  4. Tear up the mozzarella and add to the bowl, tossing again gently.
  5. Serve topped with the fresh basil.

Quinoa salad

Mexican quinoa and bean salad

Serves 5 - 369 kcals per serving

Kcals 369
Fat 10.5g
Sat fat 1.4g
Carbs 53.8g
Sugar 14.8g
Fibre 10.1g
Protein 13.3g
Salt 0.15g

Ingredients

  • 300g quinoa
  • 400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 200g can sweetcorn, drained
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, to garnish

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Leave to cool.
  2. Add the cooled quinoa to a bowl along with the beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes and peppers.
  3. Create a dressing by whisking together the oil, lime, garlic, paprika, cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour on the dressing, toss thoroughly and serve topped with fresh coriander.

Nicoise salad

Tuna Nicoise salad

Serves 5 - 393 kcals per serving

Kcals 393
Fat 19.3g
Sat fat 3.7g
Carbs 28g
Sugar 6.1g
Fibre 4.4g
Protein 27.7g
Salt 1.98g

Ingredients

  • 750g baby potatoes, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp for roasting
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 6 tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 20g capers
  • 100g pitted black olives, drained
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 cans of tuna steaks in spring water, drained

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas mark 6.
  2. Coat the potatoes in 2 tsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place the eggs in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Plunge the cooked eggs into cold water for a couple of minutes, then peel away the shells and slice each egg into quarters.
  5. Tip the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, capers and olives into a large salad bowl. Pour over the remaining olive oil and vinegar and toss well.
  6. Add in the tuna and toss again lightly. Serve topped with the eggs.
Sweet potato salad

Sweet potato salad with spicy cashew dressing

Serves 5 - 395 kcals per serving

Kcals 395
Fat 33.7g
Sat fat 5.8g
Carbs 17.9g
Sugar 6.4g
Fibre 4.5g
Protein 6.1g
Salt 0.25g

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 100ml olive oil, plus 2 tsp for roasting
  • 80g unsalted cashews
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 60g fresh parsley
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 3 spring onions, diced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas mark 7.
  2. Coat the potatoes in 2 tsp of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, create the dressing by adding 40g of the cashews to a blender along with the rice vinegar, honey, garlic, chilli flakes and parsley. Blitz until smooth. If the mixture isn't blending well, add a splash of water as needed to loosen it up.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, avocado, spinach, spring onion and remaining cashews to a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and toss well to combine.
Beetroot salad

Feta and beetroot salad

Serves 5 - 417 kcals per serving

Kcals 417
Fat 30.6g
Sat fat 6.8g
Carbs 24.8g
Sugar 23.9g
Fibre 3.4g
Protein 12.3g
Salt 1.29g

Ingredients

  • 100g baby spinach
  • 50g radicchio, chopped
  • 50g rocket
  • 400g beetroot, cooked
  • 6 spring onions, diced
  • 50g walnuts, halved
  • 1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 200g reduced-fat feta cheese, cubed

Method

  1. In a large salad bowl, add the spinach, radicchio, rocket, beetroot, spring onion, walnuts and mint leaves.
  2. Create a dressing by mixing together the oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly. Add the feta and toss again lightly before serving.

Nutritionist Amy Wood (ANutr), MSci BSc Nutrition has a keen interest in the relationship between diet and health. Having been published in the European Journal of Nutrition, Amy is passionate about making evidence-based nutrition accessible to everyone and helping others to adopt a food-focused approach to taking control of their health.