Healthy Salad Recipes

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Beet Green and Sugar Snap Pea Salad Recipe Recipe

Did you know that beet leaves are edible? This season, my husband Lulu planted chiles, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and beets. The beets came out a lot smaller than I expected but maybe it's just because Lulu wasn't patient enough to wait. The beet roots were so small that I decided against serving them by themselves. However, there were plenty of beet greens. I boiled the beet leaves as I would with spinach and made a salad.  You could probably eat the beet leaves raw if they're crisp and young, but to ensure the girls would enjoy the salad I boiled them a bit. Just make sure to pick young leaves, as they are quite tender, with little bitterness. Interestingly, when boiled they taste almost like rau mồng tơi, which is a Vietnamese green if you're familiar with Asian cuisine.

I finished the beet leaf salad with sugar snap peas for crunch and mandarin segments. It was an educational experience for me, and I can definitely say that beet leaves are quite under-rated. They're packed with vitamins A and C and iron.

I reserved the small beets that Lulu had harvested and made beet risotto for dinner. It’s a tasty way to extend the value of a small quantity of beets.

Beet Green Salad Recipe with Picture


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French Rice Salad Recipe Recipe

French Rice Salad Recipe

06.09.10 by Jackie

Salade de riz aux légumes is my attempt to serve my family healthy food that doesn't sacrifice flavor. As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to make food that is a bit rich. We're all trying to workout more and get into good shape, and while I won't ever give up butter and cream, I've learned that I don't have to put it in every dish.

The rice salad is made with a blend of both brown and white rice for a balanced texture. I also added a mix of vegetables that are available this time of the season (the zucchini and squash are from our garden). I used fresh steamed corn, roasted bell peppers, diced tomatoes, grilled eggplant, edamame and tofurkey.

Since there is no cheese involved, I was afraid the rice salad would lack flavor, so I made spicy vinaigrette. Since I still need "real" protein besides the edamame beans and tofurkey, I added smoked turkey in a separate batch. Everyone enjoyed it, myself included!


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Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing Recipe

This recipe was inspired by a dish described to me by Chef Doreen T. Ross. We "met" through PhamFatale.com and we've exchanged several emails about dishes. She recently made a plate of very successful fish tacos that used cabbage coleslaw instead of the more traditional choice of lettuce. Doreen made her coleslaw with a buttermilk ranch dressing that sounded delectable. I had to try it myself, so today I tried to recreate the coleslaw that Doreen described to me as a stand alone dish.

I adapted the recipe so the vegetarians in the house could partake, which means there are no eggs. If that's not an issue for you, a standard egg-based ranch dressing would work fine. To make vegetarian ranch dressing, I usually incorporate silken tofu, but as I started working on the dish I realized that I had bought the wrong kind at the store. I had liquid soy lecithin and xanthan gum in my pantry, so I used those instead. If you're familiar with egg-free recipes, xanthan gum and lecithin are an excellent egg substitute.

I didn't think my first iteration of the buttermilk ranch dressing had enough of a kick on its own, so I melted blue cheese and added champagne vinegar to the mix. Because of its rich color, shredded raw red cabbage seemed like the right canvas to showcase the light-colored dressing. I paired the cabbage with cubed Granny Smith apples for a little sweetness and additional color contrast.

The result is an unexpectedly complex and flavorful dish. It was a big success at my house, so I have to say thanks again to Chef Doreen for the tip!


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Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad) Recipe

Grapefruit Salad (Pomelo Salad)

02.25.10 by Jackie

It's been raining so much this season in the Bay Area (California) that our garden has produced a lot of citrus. Our pomelo tree has been particularly prolific. I've been pleasantly surprised by their sweetness, and I knew I was on to something delicious.

Pomelos have a subtle sweetness that is greatly enhanced by the addition of certain spices. To make this salad, I gathered the pomelo segments in a large bowl and covered them with ginger, coriander, agave nectar, sesame oil and red Thai bird chiles. It's a refreshing way to begin or end a meal.


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Wild Rice and Orzo Salad with Maple Vinaigrette Recipe

This dish is really three recipes in one. I combined my wild rice, kidney bean salad and orzo pasta salad recipes together to make a light and healthy meal. The maple vinaigrette helps tie everything together.

I usually make orzo pasta salad for parties and picnics, but we've been having a heat wave here and we all felt like eating something cool. The addition of kidney beans for protein and wild rice for fiber makes the dish more of a complete meal. If you have some leftover roast chicken, you can dice or shred it and add it to the salad as well.


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