it’s easy being green — satisfying gluten free salads

Growing up, if we talked about salad it meant some kind of pasta salad or cranberry salad at Thanksgiving. When we had a “salad” of lettuce and toppings with dressing, we called it lettuce.

Interesting, yes?

These satisfying salads are kind of a combo of both — greens mixed with toppings, some served up traditional style, and others deconstructed.

Either way, they will keep you full for longer then just lettuce. ūüôā

I don’t know about you, but when the weather gets warmer, the last thing I want to do when I get home is heat up the kitchen. I prefer to throw something on the grill, or go with a no-cooking-required meal like a hearty salad or a smoothie.

Most of these salads were thrown together with what was in the fridge at the time, so don’t go getting worried about the ingredients or following a strict recipe. Instead, I’ll give you the rundown on what’s in the mix for each one, and you can substitute to fit your dietary needs (or your kids’ preferences) or toss in additions that you are craving. Then come back and tell me what you tried!

Mediterranean Spring Greens Salad

  • tuna
  • ¬†tomatoes
  • kalamata olives
  • feta cheese¬†
  • Green Goddess Dressing

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

  • quinoa
  • tomatoes
  • black beans
  • scallions
  • cilantro
  • dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed lime juice¬†

Taco Salad

  • mixed greens
  • taco meat – beef, chicken, or pork
  • refried beans¬†
  • tomatoes
  • salsa
  • Cotija cheese¬†
  • sour cream

Fennel & Orange Sesame Salad

  • romaine lettuce
  • shaved fennel
  • orange segments
  • kalamata olives¬†
  • feta cheese
  • sesame seeds¬†
  • dressed with: remaining juice from orange, splash of champagne vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper

Roasted Beet & Walnut Salad with Goat Cheese

  • mixed greens & spinach (lightly dressed with balsamic vinaigrette)
  • roasted or pickled beets
  • chopped walnuts
  • goat cheese¬†

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

  • buffalo chicken pieces (Frank’s Hot Sauce with a bit of butter)
  • shaved carrots
  • diced celery¬†
  • iceberg lettuce¬†
  • ranch dressing

Caprese Bites

  • fresh basil leaves
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh mozzarella (mini mozz balls work well)
  • aged balsamic vinegar (not pictured, drizzled on top)
  • salt & pepper to taste¬†

Need another salad dressing idea? How about creamy avocado dressing? In that same post, you’ll find the croutons.

Any of these sound like they could end up in YOUR kitchen this week? What other salad combos are you putting together?