Most people shy away from eating salads because they have a bad reputation for being boring. Salads, like life, are what you make of them. They don’t have to be filled with greens you are forcefully eating as you diet. They don’t have to be your quick fix for lunch because you have no time for a so-called proper meal. You can have a salad range anywhere from just leaves to super dressed, it all depends on the time you have and what your taste buds prefer.

Your salad can range anywhere from just leaves and veggies to being super dressed, it all depends on the time you have and what your taste buds prefer. The best kind of salad will have the perfect balance of all the nutrients in a way that satisfy your cravings, too. Seriously, go all-out Mexican with a quinoa base, add some beans, corns, peppers and a leafy green like spinach, lettuce, chards or kale. Top it off with vegan or any cheese of your choice, add some tortilla bits and top it off with salsa.

Here are some other options to avoid the stereotypical “boring salad.”

1) Pepper & Onion City  

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Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and sizes, all of which are equally delicious. You can cut them up and throw them in your raw salad or you can grill them, too. Don’t forget to add your dose of onions to the mix. If you do grill the veggies, you’ll get a sweeter flavor. You can also use pepperoncini or actual black pepper to add flavor to your salad. It will taste so good, trust me!

2) Lentils and Beans to Perk up the Greens 

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Lentils not only make you feel fuller but they also leave you satisfied. Try adding garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and lentils to your salad to dress it up. This way, you’ll feel like you’re eating something meaningful and not just stuffing kale or spinach in forcefully! Plus, beans and greens taste great together!

3) Finding the Right Vegetables  

If you have a favorite vegetable, chop it up and toss it into the salad! Don’t worry about mixing weird things in. If you like a mix of cucumbers and corn, do it! For inspiration, go take a look at salad bars and see what people tend to add. Mushrooms, carrots, peas, radishes, beets, corn, artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, bean sprouts, and bok choy are all brilliant options. They all add more value to your salad.

4) Nuts and Bolts, no wait, Seeds  

Various types of nuts and seeds are the good type of fat. Whether its cashews or almonds or walnuts or pecans, they’ll add a good flavor to your salad. Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (white or black) are all tiny but valuable. They’ll add a nice crunch, too.

5) Add-in the Meat or Protein

Cubed meats make for a good source of protein in salads. They’re an important part of the diet, after all. Substitute meat for beans or tofu if you are a vegetarian. Ham, eggs, and turkey are all excellent add-ins. You can also have cheese as a protein, if you dig cottage cheese, scoop out a chunk to throw it on top of your salad. Great cheeses for salads include feta, parmesan, cheddar, or bleu cheese. If you prefer more meat with your salad then add some grilled chicken or even a skewer of shrimp!

6) Berries are Very Good

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Not a lot of people know this fact but berries add color, sweetness, and a lovely flavor to your salad. Plus they are excellent sources of vitamins! You can add anything from dried cranberries, strawberries, or even blueberries. Fresh mango or watermelon chunks, sliced pears, or grapes are a good option if you’re not into berries.

7) Flowers Go with Everything

It’s true! Flower petals add a light and refreshing taste to a salad. Marigold petals, rose petals, and orchid petals make a salad look beautiful and they taste great too!

8) Carby Crunch   

Sometimes a salad begs for croutons or the crunchy sticks. If you’re cutting calories, don’t do it, but if it’s a cheat day, go crazy! Garlic-parmesan flavored croutons go with almost everything.

9) Other Unique Toppings

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Don’t stop at the basic veggies, croutons, and meats. Go crazy with other unique ideas that will make your appetite worthwhile. There’s asparagus, radish, beets, watercress. Maybe you’re a bacon fan? Go for it. Edamame, peanuts, jicama will add a fanciful crunch. Opt for grapefruit or orange slices for a citrusy kick. Of course, there’s macaroni, too. Experiment the hell out of your salad.

10) Dressing

What is a salad without a solid dressing? Pick your favorite one and enjoy! If you’re looking for something new, try a homemade ginger dressing, lemon vinaigrette, or even a balsamic vinaigrette. An avocado-cilantro-lime dressing is always classic! If you want to cut calories, use balsamic vinegar and just a touch of olive oil. If not something new, something old works too. Ranch, caesar’s, and even a basic salsa can make for great dressings.