Simple side salads can be very diverse. It doesn’t have to be an end all be all on one kind. You can constantly change it up to make it different. Green salads are a great source of vitamins and minerals depending on how they are purchased. In my house we eat salad a good bit, the kids even love salad. Which I am very thankful for.
Store-Bought Bag Salad
- Store-bought salad mix of your choice
- Salad dressing of your choice
With this salad mix, you can just go to the store and buy a general salad mix. Then add your salad dressing choice, toss it around and serve alongside a meal. This is a great shortcut for a side salad.
With the shortness in prep for this salad, you lose some nutrition with this type of salad. Bagged salad mixes are packaged with a mixture of gasses known as a modified atmosphere. This keeps the greens looking fresh and great to eat, but that is also why the bagged salad mix is packaged in a puffed up bag. This leaves little to no nutrition in the green leafy greens in the bag. But hey, I am not to judge I love a good quick bag salad on the fly if that’s what we have to do that night.
Basic Iceberg Lettuce Salad
- Head of iceberg lettuce
- Dressing of your choice
Simply put iceberg lettuce as a whole doesn’t pack a punch in the nutrient department, but it does have many other benefits. Iceberg lettuce is low in fiber, however, it is very high in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and calcium. Iceberg lettuce is also has a high water content, which can be great in hot weather to help keep hydrated.
Overall, while I would consider this the most basic salad, being just lettuce and dressing, I would still consider this beneficial.
This is one of my favorite homemade salad recipes. It may not be your style and modify it as need be, please just make it to your taste.
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1/2 bag of fresh carrots, fresh and finely chopped (or matchstick cut carrots)
- 1 can of black olives, sliced and rinsed
- 1 can of baby corn, diced up
- 1/4 onion diced
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cucumber peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of grated cheese
- As many croutons as you like, this a subject for each individual.
- Salt and pepper
- Salad dressing choice.
To break your head of lettuce you want to bang the stem on the counter, stem down. This should break the head from the stem. Then tear out the stem and hard parts that are attached and throw away or keep in a bag in the freezer for a stock. Make sure you have a big enough bowl to put all ingredients into with room to toss. You want to make sure that every part of the salad gets a touch of the dressing and all the fixings.
Arugula is a deep leafy green with a peppery taste. It is low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s high in several vital nutrients. It is high in calcium, potassium. folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
Arugula can be used to substitute almost and other leafy green in a salad. It has a distinctive taste and crunch. It can also be added to any salad for extra flair. Did you know that arugula flower and seeds are edible, along with the leaf?
Ingredients for a simple arugula salad:
- 2 bunches of arugula washed and torn
- 1/4c of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- A shredded chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Put all ingredients in a bowl toss well to mix and salad is ready!
Homemade Dressing Recipes
Ranch is a fan favorite in our house. This is how we make our ranch in a big batch being a large family. This will only last a short time, so you can double it.
- 1tablespoon of Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of mayonnaise (for my personal preference, I would use Duke’s mayo here, but you can use Kraft real mayo)
In a bowl mix all the ingredients well, cover or pour into a salad dressing mixer and let sit for at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator. This can keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
This is a super basic vinaigrette. You can spice it up by adding fresh minced garlic, onion, honey. Experiment with this, and find what you like.
Honey mustard dressing:
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix all of this together. This is a dressing that, the longer it sits, the better it gets. You can also use instead of any store bought honey mustard you might use for chicken tenders or nuggets for the kids.
Salad Is Awesome
As I have said, we love salad in my house. Green leafy greens can have many benefits to your body, whether it is just mostly water and/or vitamin-based. Salad can get boring to eat if you do not switch it up sometimes though. Just a simple leafy green change or a dressing change can make it all new to your family. Add in a new vegetable, or try a new dressing. Try a different cheese, add extra pepper, or more vinegar. Really, it all is what you want it to taste like. If you are looking for recipes for simple side salad recipes, I hope this has met your needs to get a basic idea and let your creative mind take over. There is really no right or wrong with add-ins.
Pro tip here: You also need to make sure that your lettuce/leafy greens are dry, no matter what kind, after rinsing. I like to use a salad spinner like this one. Drying your salad is important to retain the freshness of flavor and crunch.
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
I LOVE salad, so please let me know what your favorite recipe is. I would like to try it out.