Spring salads that make eating your leafy greens fun
Turn salad into the best meal of your day, with these tasty and colorful ideas.
It's not easy eating green. The world is full of temptation that can derail your greatest intentions of eating a healthy, wholesome diet. But what if taste and nutrition weren't mutually exclusive? What if you could have both?
You can, and we'll help you get there. The Israeli Kitchen brings you some of the prettiest, most colorful, most creative recipes for salads that'll leave you feeling less like you're eating leaves and more like you're doing your body a world of good.
Spinach mango strawberry salad
You know what they say: You can mix a whole bunch of literally any type of food and call it a salad. But there are some foods that, when combined on the same plate, turn a meal to magic. This is one of those salads – a simple dish that accents the best of your spring produce and the mild, tangy flavors of spinach. You'll feel like you're eating dessert before you even start dinner.
Eat this! No, wait, don't eat it, it's too pretty! The precise proportions, the brilliant color spectrum, the impeccable layering technique ... but that's not even the best part of this seven-layer salad. The ingredients that our Israeli Kitchen cook Sarah Berkowitz listed in her recipe are merely a suggestion; you can choose your favorite greens as the base, and then fill in the layers using colorful and tasty vegetables that suit your tastes. Same with the dressing – if you even need it.
You'll find Israeli salad at every falafel stand and most Mediterranean restaurants around the world, and it's often used as a pita filling. But this salad is much more than a condiment. In Israel, where Israeli Kitchen contributor Miriam Kresh lives, it's an indispensable part of the meal. "It’s a homey, simple, flavorful salad that everybody loves, so much part of home cooking, that when people say, 'I chopped a salad,' you understand what they’re talking about right away," Kresh said. The blend of fresh cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, peppers and onions tastes great with a spritz of fresh lemon juice and a light coating of olive oil.
Grape tomato and sugar snap pea salad
Preparing this salad is easy, but actually determining the best time to eat it is a bit more complicated. This salad is like a marinade: over time, the flavors absorb and converge, and the dish is better for it. And we can't introduce this salad without touting the awesomeness that is a sugar snap. These fun little legumes are packed with protein, fiber and vitamin C. Salad notwithstanding, they’re a great munch when you’re curled up on the coach with a good book or movie, or even while you work at the office and need that little something to get you to the end of the day.
Citrus bok choy salad
If you haven't discovered the versatility and jewel-like beauty of pomegranate seeds, let this salad make you a believer. A handful of citrus balances out the slight bitterness of the bok choy. A garlicky, slightly sweet ranch dresses this salad up quite nicely, but as with all great salads that are this full of flavor and juiciness, dressing is optional.
Edamame cabbage and mango salad
Eda-what-y? This Japanese bean might sound like something that's only eaten during power lunches on Cape Cod, but this is much more than a food fad; it's a tasty, wholesome and kid-friendly snack, too. Many Japanese restaurants serve edamame as the equivalent of chips and salsa at a Tex-Mex spot. And as the centerpiece of this colorful (notice the color theme running through here?) salad, it complements the sweet mango and crunchy red cabbage effortlessly.
Kale fruit salad
The fruitiest fruits and the vegetable-est vegetables merge in this beautiful salad, a blend of vibrant reds and purples (another appearance by those precious pomegranate seeds!) and earthy deep greens. Eating colors like this simply must be good for you, right? And we probably don't need to extoll the many virtues of kale as we have numerous times before, but let's just end by saying this: this stuff is to humans what spinach is to Popeye. Eat it in whatever form you fancy, but just eat it.
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