Do you hate salads? Everyone assumes that since I’m a vegetarian, I must subsist entirely on greens (and tofu), but to be honest, I’m pretty meh about salads. But “meh” is a lot better than my previous status as ardent salad hater. While I still don’t like most salads, the ones that I love, I really love.
So if you consider yourself a salad hater, take heart: you probably don’t really hate all salads. You just hate most salads and once you pinpoint what it is that you dislike, you can figure out how to make a salad that appeals to you. Yes! You can learn to like salad!
Here’s how to get over your salad haterism—and some recipes to try too.
You’ve Never Found a Dressing You Like
Is finding a good dressing your issue? For me, it was definitely a factor: I wasn’t a fan of creamy dressings, sweet dressings were too sweet, and vinaigrettes were too acidic. I ended up discovering that I loved tahini dressing and that became my go-to. Even simply tossing your greens with a flavor-infused oil can be just what you need to make your salad more palatable.
Experiment with store-bought or homemade dressings made with unique flavor combinations, like this Mango Basil Dressing.
Salads Leave You Feeling Hungry
Maybe you’re not a fan of salads because they don’t fill you up. Remedy that by adding lots of fat and protein. Nuts, beans, quinoa, oils, tofu, meat, and seeds will all help bulk up your salad; another favorite of mine are lupini beans, which are high in both protein and fiber. I also like whipping up an almond butter-based dressing that’s full of healthy fat and tastes a little bit like peanut sauce.
With chili roasted almonds, quinoa, edamame, chickpeas and kidney beans, this vegan salad packs some serious protein power.
Power Protein Salad from Well + Full
Salads Are Boring
If you find salads boring, it’s time to rethink the definition of salad. One of my favorite cookbooks is Terry Hope Romero’s Salad Samurai, which has amazingly creative vegan salads—most of which you can totally make a meal out of too. I’ve also heard good things about Food52’s Mighty Salads. Add different flavors and textures to your greens and don’t be afraid to experiment. With crunchy coconut bacon and a zesty cashew-based dressing, Lindsey’s Vegan Southwest BLT Salad has become a staple in my house.
Adding fresh seasonal fruit is another way to make salads more flavorful; try this fall-inspired salad with apples, pears, and pomegranate seeds.
Warm Squash Apple Pear Kale Salad from Brewing Happiness
You’re Too Busy (or Lazy) For All That Prep Work
You’d think that since they (usually) require no cooking that salads would be a lazy cook’s go-to meal, but all that slicing and chopping and cleanup can be a pain. While it’s no secret that bagged greens make salad prep easier, you can also opt for bite-sized veggies that just need rinsing—think grape tomatoes, sprouts, or pre-sliced mushrooms—to minimize chopping time. Refrigerated beets, shelled edamame, and berries are easy add-ins too. Or, do all your salad prep for the week on one day to get it out of the way.
This salad jar is perfect for making in advance and with canned beans and pre-cooked quinoa, it’s really just a matter of assembly.
You Just Don’t Like Greens
Or maybe your problem is just that you hate greens. All of them. Can’t stand ’em. I get it; I’ve learned to like a few, like romaine, but for the most part, I’m not a fan. Give them a try grilled—it might be a gamechanger for you. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of salads made without any greens at all—and no, I don’t mean pasta and potato salads!
Try this spiralized cucumber salad; the small handful of greens can easily be omitted because it’s the cucumber that’s the base of the salad.
Greek Spiralized Cucumber Salad from Peas and Crayons