8 Innovative Salad Recipes, No Lettuce Needed!

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As healthy as they are, greens can be a drag. First off, lettuce gets boring. Then washing them, drying them, chopping them... Prepping just the greens can be a multistep process. Plus, have you ever skipped making a fresh salad because you didn’t have any greens on hand? Good news: There is life after lettuce, thanks to a mix of hearty seasonal veggies like zucchini, radishes and cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of savory herbs and accents of juicy, sweet fruit. These eight recipes leave out the lettuce, but keep the flavor and nutrition intact.

Warm Cauliflower and Olive Couscous Salad

credit: OhMyVeggies.com OhMyVeggies.com

Mediterranean cuisine is among the world’s healthiest, and this savory salad is no exception. OhMyVeggies.com’s Kiersten Frase opts for Israeli couscous in this pairing, and she beefs up the flavor with kalamata olives and lemon juice. Need a picnic-perfect plate? This fits the bill since it can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Zucchini Mango Salad With Cilantro Chutney

credit: ASpicyPerspective.com ASpicyPerspective.com

Call it a salad conundrum. “It’s easy to get tired of the plain leafy lettuce variety,” agrees Sommer Collier of ASpicyPerspective.com. “Sometimes you just need to branch out and experiment with other ‘canvases.’” The best way to do that? “Zucchini makes a great salad base,” she says, “because it has a mild and cooling flavor. It’s tender and easy to chop, but can also be sliced with a veggie peeler into long thin ribbons for an elegant touch.”

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Crunchy Cabbage-Apple Salad With Tahini-Ginger Dressing

credit: Pureandsimple.typepad.com Pureandsimple.typepad.com

There are so many things to love about this salad: a sweet, creamy dressing, crunchy cabbage, apple, onion, flavorful dried currants and pecans. Even better? This recipe from food blogger Zella Sage of Pure and Simple serves four to six people, so you’re bound to have leftovers for lunch.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad With Mango and Avocado

credit: TheHungryHedgehog.com TheHungryHedgehog.com

Ever wish you could eat spoonful after spoonful of mango salsa? That’s the inspiration for this salad. Packed with protein and fiber, “this recipe makes two big salads,” says TheHungryHedgehog.com’s Jessica Moore, “but you can store it for a few days if you don’t plan on eating it all right away. Just store the salad and the dressing separately, and squeeze a little lime juice over the avocado to prevent it from getting brown.” It’s like a Cinco de Mayo party in your mouth.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Cheerful Berry and Cherry Tomato Salad

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This dish, from LoveFoodEat.com’s Chinmayie Bhat, may win the prize for “too pretty to eat.” That’s thanks to red and yellow cherry tomatoes and violet mulberries. Toss with sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and honey, and you’ve got a refreshing, Asian-inspired side.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Beet, Grapefruit and Walnut Salad With Mint Dressing

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Salad as snack? Yes, says Inspiralized.com’s Ali Maffucci, the brains behind this refreshing beet-and-grapefruit combination. “Pair this with a light white wine and have it as a late-afternoon snack before dinner,” she says. “While the beets are cooking, everything else comes together, so by the time your beets are cooked, all you have to do is assemble the plate in whatever cute way you feel.”

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Indian-Spiced Eggplant and Mozzarella Salad

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Even if you’re a novice in the kitchen, your meals don’t have to be. “All you need for this recipe is a hot oven and a baking tray,” says LushLoves.com’s Gemma Lush. “It’s very straightforward and simple, which is always a big tick in my book! It’s best to let the eggplant cool a little before plating up and is also delicious served cold.”

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Simple Radish, Red Onion and Edamame Salad

credit: AlexandraCooks.com AlexandraCooks.com

Ever gotten a big, beautiful bunch of radishes and then had a hard time folding them into your cooking? You’re not alone. “I find it challenging to work radishes into meals in substantial ways that make me feel I am getting more than just a yummy snack,” says AlexandraCooks.com’s Alexandra Stafford. “But wouldn’t it be nice if radishes could pull a little more weight at the dinner hour?” In this simple salad, they do.

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

Beet-Avocado Salad With Crispy Goat Cheese Balls

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With the addition of homemade fried goat cheese balls, this dish is “not your traditional leafy-green salad,” says FoodieCrush.com’s Heidi Larsen. “Instead it features a ton of texture and big chunky bites.” And, she says, if you aren’t up for the cheese ball process, “a simple sprinkling of fresh goat cheese would still add a lovely tang.”

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

What Do YOU Think?

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Do you love salads? What are your feelings on lettuce? Will you try any of these no-greens salads? What are your favorite salad combinations? Tell us in the comments below.

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Overview

As healthy as they are, greens can be a drag. First off, lettuce gets boring. Then washing them, drying them, chopping them... Prepping just the greens can be a multistep process. Plus, have you ever skipped making a fresh salad because you didn’t have any greens on hand? Good news: There is life after lettuce, thanks to a mix of hearty seasonal veggies like zucchini, radishes and cherry tomatoes, a sprinkling of savory herbs and accents of juicy, sweet fruit. These eight recipes leave out the lettuce, but keep the flavor and nutrition intact.

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