4 Next-Level Salad Recipes for People Who Hate Salads
Categories: Healthy Eating

4 Next-Level Salad Recipes for People Who Hate Salads

As someone who likes veggies of all kinds, but is suspicious of store-bought salads and their reliance on cheap, container-filling leaves, this has been a common challenge in my weekly lunch planning. I watch half of my coworkers happily chomp down on plastic containers full of healthy greens, and think wow, I would like to be that happy. And then I look over to the rest of us. We’re adventurous eaters and picky eaters, all in the same boat. We HATE those stupid plastic box salads, and like Ariel in her underwater pantry of land treasures, WE WANT MORE.

So, for this post, I enlisted the help of four of my most infamous salad-hater coworkers. Because damn it — we’re adults too, and we need some health in our lives, even if it doesn’t look exactly like the salads that roll in on the catering cart.

SOUL FOOD SALAD

Kelly, Brit + Co’s DIY Designer, is a well-known green-thing hater around the B+C kitchen. But as a 25-year-old trying to, ya know, keep living, she’s been branching out and trying all sorts of veggies to see what sticks.

Her main complaint with salads? “It tastes like the earth.”

Kelly’s all-time favorite foods include chicken and waffles, meatloaf, pie, and ice cream. This one is definitely the TOUGHEST salad challenge, so I’m starting with this one first.

Soul Food Salad Ingredients:

  • breaded chicken strips*
  • Brussels sprouts
  • fresh spinach
  • orange
  • toasted waffle**

*Buy from the deli section of your supermarket OR follow the mini-recipe below.

**No shame in the old frozen waffle, or leftovers from breakfast! Just throw it in the toaster a little longer than normal until crispy.

Maple Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together ingredients in a small bowl using a fork, and you’re done!

Wash and chop off the ends of your Brussels sprouts so that you can tear away the leaves into a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss in your hands to evenly coat the Brussels sprout leaves. Bake in a 400-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes or until the leaves are crispy and slightly browned.

While your Brussels sprouts are roasting in the oven, go ahead and make those chicken fingers! Coat strips of raw chicken breast in a bowl of buttermilk, and then a bowl containing a mixture of:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

Fill a deep frying pan with 1/4-inch of vegetable oil, and heat until it sizzles when you sprinkle a drop of water into the oil. Fry your breaded chicken strips on each side until golden brown. Remove the strips with tongs and cut one open to make sure that it’s cooked through before serving the others.

Instructions:

1. Fill a bowl with a layer of fresh spinach and another layer of roasted Brussels sprout chips.

2. Top with chopped orange slices and the chicken strips.

3. Drizzle with maple honey mustard dressing and garnish with your slightly over-toasted waffle, chopped into “croutons.”

Kelly’s Feedback: 5 STARS! Done and done.

MEXICAN-STYLE LETTUCE WRAPS

Victoria, B+C Channel Marketer and Candy Queen of the office, is another tough one, along with Kelly. As she wishes me “good luck” on this endeavor, I start to sweat a little. But I know food, and I think I can make this work!

“I feel like a rabbit when eating a salad. Not very filling and I get over the green stuff quick.”

Victoria’s all-time faves include: “Tacos. Pizza. Hamburgers. Quesadillas. Italian food. All Mexican food. Anything a 10-year-old child likes to eat. Also candy.”

Mexican-Style Lettuce Wraps Ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce, torn at the stem
  • canned black beans, heated on the stove
  • jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • red cabbage, sliced
  • 2 green onions
  • half of an avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • tortilla chips, crushed

Green Tomatillo Salsa Dressing*:

  • green tomatillos, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • small handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • salt to taste

Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until evenly incorporated. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

*Or, grab a jar of pre-made tomatillo salsa and thin it out with a little avocado oil and a squeeze of lime juice to brighten it back up.

Instructions:



1. Cook the canned black beans in a saucepan on medium heat until they are heated through.

2. Tear three romaine lettuce leaves away from the stem and place in a bowl.

3. Top with beans, jicama sticks, red cabbage strips, chopped green onion, and fresh cilantro.

4. Slice half an avocado and distribute the slices among the three lettuce cups.

5. Sprinkle a little queso fresco and crumbled tortilla chips on top.

6. Drizzle with your tomatillo salsa dressing and a wedge of lime.

Vic’s Feedback: 5 STARS! “I would eat this every day!”

 

VIETNAMESE STYLE CUCUMBER NOODLES

Marianne, DIY Kit Designer behind our fabulous kits at Target, is often found at her desk with a salad, but not necessarily stoked about it. As any good designer, she’s got opinions on the matter, and is in search of a more enjoyable way to eat those greens.

“[Salads] are rarely ever satisfying on their own. I usually need something warm to complete my meal. I’m learning that my favorite foods are dishes that I can dissect, or dishes that have clean, crisp flavors… also, cheese other than goat and Parmesan has no place in salad. Get that shredded cheddar out of there.”

Marianne’s go-to fave lunches? Chirashi bowls, vermicelli bowls, and pho. This girl knows what she wants! So let’s get started with the recipe below.

Vietnamese Style Cucumber Noodles Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, spiralized
  • red cabbage, sliced
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • peanuts, finely chopped
  • grilled or roasted chicken breast, sliced*

*Hot tip! Grab a whole roasted chicken from the supermarket for dinner and carve off a few slices for your salad lunch for the next day.

Cilantro Sriracha Lime Dressing Ingredients:

  • handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • splash of rice vinegar
  • 1/2 lime squeezed juice
  • Sriracha to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until evenly incorporated. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Instructions:

1. Spiralize the whole cucumber directly into your bowl.

2. Slice red cabbage, green onion, cilantro, and peanuts, and toss in.

3. Lay a few slices of chicken on top.

4. Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender and drizzle on top with a touch of extra Sriracha and a lime wedge for serving!

Marianne’s Feedback: 4 STARS! Overall great, but would be better if the cucumber skin was peeled off before spiralizing!

 

ITALIAN SUB SALAD

Jeff, Brit + Co’s Senior Analyst and mysterious data wizard, is down for health and all, but doesn’t feel that salads really set him up for success for a full day.

“Salads aren’t filling enough/ enough calories for me to eat for lunch. I don’t usually eat breakfast, and lunch is usually my biggest meal of the day… it is hard to work out the same day as eating a salad.”

While I’ll personally find any excuse to *not have the energy to go to the gym,* I hear him loud and clear on the need for some fuel! Jeff’s favorite foods include ravioli, burritos, pizza, sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. Sound like anyone you know? Read on for the recipe below!

Italian Sub Salad Ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce, chopped
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • fresh mozzarella
  • prosciutto
  • grilled or roast chicken, sliced*
  • pine nuts
  • balsamic vinegar
  • pita bread, toasted

*You can also use a pre-made roast chicken from the supermarket for this!

 

Pesto Dressing Ingredients*:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • handful of fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until evenly incorporated. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

*Or, just thin out pre-made pesto from the store with a little extra olive oil and you’re good to go! No blending required.

Instructions:

1. Chop up romaine lettuce and cover just the bottom of the bowl.

2. Chop cherry tomatoes and red onion and place on top.

3. Tear up some fresh mozzarella and prosciutto and lay on top.

4. Sprinkle pine nuts and place sliced chicken breast on top.

5. Add a drizzle of pesto dressing, a touch of balsamic vinegar, and a sprig of basil.

6. Top with a slice of toasted pita bread and your masterpiece is complete!

Jeff’s Feedback: 5 STARS! However, it doesn’t need the pita bread — keep it low carb!

GREAT SUCCESS!! I made four salad haters eat their veggies today, and actually enjoy it! So go forth, find inspiration from your fave foods, and sneak some veggies into it! YOU GOT THIS.

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