May is National Salad Month - an event that was started by the Association for Dressings and Sauces in 1992 to encourage consumers to incorporate more salads into their daily meals. And, with summer just around the corner, it’s a great opportunity to find a new one to love! Whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply want to incorporate more healthy, creative meals into your diet, salads are an excellent choice.
5 Great Reasons to Love National Salad Month
1. It encourages us to eat more fruits and veggies
Adding just 1 salad a day to our daily meals can significantly increase our daily intake of fruits and vegetables which offers lots of health benefits including:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Preventing some types of cancer
- Lowering the risk of eye and digestive problems
- Helping to regulate blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check
according to Harvard University.
2. We can enjoy extra servings… guilt-free!
Besides being packed with fiber and healthy nutrients, salads typically contain fewer calories and more vitamins and minerals than other meals or sides like macaroni and cheese, hamburgers and french fries, or pizza. So we don’t have to feel bad about indulging in seconds...or thirds!
3. It’s a great reason to explore new options!
Tired of the same old boring iceberg lettuce and dressing on the side? Try some kale, spinach, or romaine with a creamy caesar dressing instead!
In the mood for something sweet? Try some sliced fruit with low-fat cottage cheese, feta, or mozzarella!
Prefer to have something warm? You might enjoy wilted spinach with bacon and balsamic vinaigrette or marinated grilled vegetables.
4. It’s a fast, easy meal that’s perfect when you’re on the go!
Salads are the ultimate, super healthy “to go” meal that can be made ahead in just a few minutes. There are lots of options that pack easily and store well for picnics, barbeques, or other take along meals.
5. And talk about budget friendly!
Dining out at restaurants or ordering take-out gets expensive! But you can make a week’s worth of salads for less than the cost of one restaurant meal. It’s an epic way to rein in your budget while giving your health a boost.
To help spark your creativity, we curated some amazing recipes from around the Web that range from traditional to vegan, with a few unexpected surprises thrown in. We hope you’ll find lots of options to enjoy!
10 Amazing Salad Recipes to Celebrate National Salad Month
Summer Asian Slaw is bursting with unexpected flavors like fresh peaches, peppers, and herbs tossed in a cashew and miso dressing. Colorful, juicy, crunchy, sweet, bitter and spicy, this tasty salad pairs well with grilled salmon, chicken satay, grilled shrimp or fish tacos, or as topping for grilled burgers. It takes just 24 minutes to put together as a side dish or make ahead for a quick weekday lunch. Serves 4.
Broccoli salad is a classic, make-ahead, midwest picnic dish. This version reduces the amount of mayonnaise and replaces bacon with almonds for a healthier protein choice.
The flavor improves when this dish is allowed to marinate for a few hours (or even days)! The longer it marinates the more the broccoli softens, absorbing the flavors of the dressing.
Serve as a lunch or a dinner side. Pairs well with veggie or meat burgers and hot dogs. Serves 4 - 6.
Couscous salad is a savory Mediterranean dish with flavorful ingredients like both raw and roasted cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, chickpeas and herbs. Because chickpeas are a hearty protein, this recipe can be a meal on its own. It takes up to 2 hours to roast the tomatoes so you may want to roast them in advance. Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish.
Make the most of summer with this juicy Caprese salad. Heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil are the stars of this dish. It’s quick and easy to prepare.
Pairs well with grilled chicken, steak, or fish, or your favorite pasta. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
This classic summer salad is always a hit and it’s quick and easy to prepare. Now that the weather is so nice consider bringing this to a picnic. Pairs well with roast ham or corned beef on Jewish rye. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Greek salad is simple to make, flavorful and refreshing, with only six ingredients--cucumbers, tomato, red onion, bell pepper, olives and feta. Serve with grilled chicken for a lean protein--or if you prefer meatless, stir in some plain or roasted chickpeas to make this a meal. Serves 6 as a side dish.
Panzanella is a type of Tuscan salad, typically made with anchovies, chopped salad vegetables and bread soaked in dressing. This hearty yet simple recipe omits the anchovies and brings together the flavors of Italian bread, juicy tomatoes, garlic and fragrant basil. Pairs well with grilled meat, such as chicken, steak, shrimp or salmon. Serves 6 as a side dish.
If it’s warm comfort food you’re looking for, this salad may just fit the bill. It features buttery gigante beans, cauliflower and barley. Pairs well with grilled salmon. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Say hello to delicious shiitake and maitake mushrooms. The sweetness of the carrots is a nice contrast to the nutty, woodsy flavor of the mushrooms. Steak or grilled shrimp would be a perfect pairing. Serves 4, as a side.
This salad is a great way to enjoy grilled, fresh vegetables of the season and makes a perfect side dish for a picnic. Add grilled chicken or shrimp to make this a meal on its own. Serves 8, as a side.