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5 Ways to Take Your Salad from Boring to Bursting with Flavor

My husband recently got on a health kick and requested that I pack him salads for his work lunch. Because of this, I've been eating salads for my lunch more often as well.  In order to prevent salad burn out, I have been thinking of ways to add variety to our salads.

Here are my tried and true ingredients to add pizzazz to salads that make me excited about eating my greens everyday!

1- Add Protein

Protein is super important if you want your salad to be satisfying and keep you feeling full longer. 

Leftover salmon is paired with mangoes on this salad.

Grilled chicken tops this salad with a portion of protein.

2- Add Herbs

Grab a kitchen scissors and snip a handful of fresh herbs over your leafy greens.

  • Basil makes a great caprese salad with tomatoes and mozzarella.
  • Chives add a mild onion flavor without being overpowering.
  • Cilantro is perfect for taco salads and pairs well with chicken.
  • Dill complements salmon and chicken.
  • Oregano is a must for a Greek salad with feta and tomatoes.
  • Microgreens aren't technically herbs, but they bring a burst of flavor and nutrition to your bowl!

3- Add Fruit

Fruit is my favorite ingredient to add to salads because it's a great way to add sweetness without needing sugar in your salad dressing.

  • Apples pair well with meat or cheese on salads.
  • Blueberries go well with poppyseed dressing.
  • Grapes work well with Italian salads.
  • Mangoes complement Southwest flavors.
  • Oranges are great with Asian salads.
  • Strawberries work well with many different combinations.

Blueberries go well with poppy seed dressing and crunchy cashews on this salad.

Sweet strawberries complement the bright red beet kraut along with crunchy pine nuts on this salad.

3- Add cheese

  • Feta is a must for a Greek salad with tomatoes and olives
  • Mozzarella is great for caprese salad with basil and tomatoes
  • Parmesan is perfect for an Italian salad
  • Cheddar and colby jack from Stensland pair well with chicken

4- Add Crunch

Here are some great low carb options for adding crunch without the typical croutons:

  • Pecans, almonds, or cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Tortilla chips for Southwest flavored salads (I really like the grain free Siete brand)
  • Whisps Cheese Crisps (baked cheese snacks made of only cheese in a variety of flavors).  They have a texture similar to croutons.

Pine nuts add the perfect crunch on this Italian salad and hard boiled eggs pack in some protein.

Parmesan Whisps contribute a savory crunch with a texture like croutons on this salad.

Pecans pair well with the strawberries and cucumbers on this salad topped with lemon poppyseed dressing.

Bonus Tip- Add Colorful Flowers

Edible flowers add color and beauty to your salad.  Does your yard or garden have any of these edible flowers?

  • Bachelor buttons
  • Calendula
  • Chive blossoms
  • Clover
  • Dandelions (use the petals)
  • Nasturtiums
  • Violets

Yellow flower petals are like edible confetti on this salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Flowers add a rainbow of color to this cheerful salad.

    Please share your favorite salad ingredients and ideas in the comments below!

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