If you want to throw together a healthy, easy, one-plate meal, salads definitely do the trick. That said, especially in the winter months, a plate full of baby greens can certainly feel like a less-than-inspiring entrée. What you really want is something with enough crunch, flavor, and heartiness to really fill you up.
So this week, Dinner for Two is all about making delicious main-course salads perfect for winter. Start with whatever greens you have on hand (leafy green romaine, hearty spinach, or even crunchy kale work particularly well), then top it off with your favorite salad veggies and one or more of these meal-worthy ideas.
1. Pair Your Proteins
Anyone can throw a leftover chicken breast on greens and call it a day, but you can easily upgrade your dinner salad by using two proteins instead of one. Start with your favorite meat, then add a non-meat protein that complements it, like nuts or eggs. I love these delicious duos:
- Sliced steak and hardboiled egg
- Turkey (either deli-style or leftover from your holiday dinner) and walnuts
- Salmon and avocado
- Chicken and pecans
- Tofu cubes and avocado
2. Add Crunch with Carbs
Gourmet croutons always add extra crunch and flavor to a salad, and they’re so simple to make at home. Take whatever kind of bread you have laying around and slice it into cubes. Next, mix the cubes in a bowl with some olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until they’re crisp.
3. Potatoes Please
Fresh cubes or slices of sweet potato, boiled for six minutes, make a great addition to almost any salad. My favorite combo? Yams paired with fresh avocado, walnuts or pumpkin seeds, and hearty greens.
4. Sumptuous Sautéed Veggies
Add juicy flavor and that just-cooked feeling to your salad with sautéed vegetables. I love portobellos sautéed for two minutes in butter, garlic salt, and a teensy bit of black pepper. Or, try zucchini, kale, or kohlrabi, all perfect for this time of year.
5. Ditch the Dressing for Dip
Instead of dressing (or in addition to a light vinaigrette), try topping your salad with one of your favorite dips, like hummus, spinach dip, guacamole, bean dip, or even macaroni salad. A couple of scoops will add loads of yummy flavor and make your greens taste feel like a complete meal.
Enjoy your dinner salad, and feel free to share! Post a photo of your Dinner for Two with the hashtag #dinnfortwo