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Jan 27, 2009 12:29 PM

Easy but different salad ingredients?

Does anyone have any favorite salad ingredients they like to put in/on salads to bulk them up? Something easy for quick weeknight meals? I'm looking for things that are super easy to prep and widely available, but maybe not as common as a cucumber or tomato. Things like hearts of palm come to mind off the top of my head.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for ... but it's DH's favorite salad. Toss greens (bitter-ish greens like frise, arugula, etc. work best) with a dressing made of 1 TBS cider vinegar, 1 TBS rice vinegar, 2 tsp honey, 2 TBS olive oil (plus minced shallots optional). On top, put pears prepared by -- peeling/coring/slicing 3 bosc pears, cooking them in 1 1/2 TBS butter and 1 TBS brown sugar for about 5 minutes. Put pears on top of dressed greens, sprinkle with gorgonzola crumbled up and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

    I'm not sure it really qualifies as "bulking up" but the cheese and nuts make it a bit more substantial. The sweetness of the fruit plus the sharpness of the greens makes for a different type of salad, we think.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LNG212

      Yeah, that's the kind of thing. I'm just looking for something to add substance instead of just sticking with the normal refrigerated, "cafeteria style" salad one might envision if they thought of a bland salad.

      We're doing a large salad for dinner tonight, that's why I was asking. Thanks!

      1. re: LNG212

        That sounds wonderful. I think I'll try it this week!

        1. re: jzerocsk

          sunchokes aka jerusalem artichoke are great and crisp and very health, just peel and dice or slice. I think that they have a specific season as I don't see them all the time. I also like jicama root, but don't use it as often as the sunchoke, I think b/c they are quite large. Jicama is easy to get at any supermarket, sunchokes I am not so sure of. i pick mine up at an organic store.

          to add bulk I add things like raw pepitas, hulled raw sunflower seeds or whole hemp seeds, flax seeds or flax meal are good as well.

          I also add sprouted beans. I can purchase a mix of sprouted beans with garbanzo, lentil, mung, pea, they are delicious and add a really nice crunch to a salad they are also very filling.

          If I am having a salad as a meal I like to add a grain to it such as brown rice or quinoa.

          I love salads and eat them almost every day, often 2x/day.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            i love sunchokes, but they can be tricky for a lot of people when eaten raw due to the high inulin content, which can sometimes lead to gastric distress.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              good to know....thanks. I have been trying to track that lately...perhaps this is my culprit!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Ah yes, I once ate a substantial serving of sunchoke gratin, and was not so happy afterward. TMI? Maybe. But they are indeed dangerous when cooked, as well!

          2. I love salads and make them different all the time, inspired by what I have or what I see in the store: corn, beans, red cabbage, zuchinni, fennel, leeks, artichoke hearts, edamame, Love Love love hearts of palm wrapped in prochutto then sliced into discs, red onion, radishes, peppers (red, orange, yellow), broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, celery - love the crunch of celery. Sometimes nuts, cheeses and herbs (basil, calantro, dill). sometimes meats or shellfish, roasted red pepper, olives, pickles cut up. OMG, I could go on - summer squash, ohhhh mushrooms of course. My salads are never the same and people do comment on my salads! Sometimes simple with only three or 4 ingrediants, sometimes a lot more - love color so that sometimes drives me. I always make more then I expect because I do get carried away. Same with the dressings, I like to play with ingrediants for the dressing.

            1. HaagenDazs, maybe a chef salad? Add slices of viriginia ham, white turkey, swiss cheese, avacado, black olives, boiled egg....quickly becomes a cobb salad...but these inclusions will bulk up & satisfy the salad to more of an entree.

              1. 4 things: candied pecans, arugula, granny smith apples, and blue cheese all with a maple mustard vinagarette. Add some fresh french bread and you got yourself a meal.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                  Oh Toronto Ff, I'm all over that combo this week. Great idea.

                  1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                    That sounds similar to what I posted above. But it's different enough too. I'll have to give it a try and see if DH likes that combination as well. Always good to have variation.