It feels unoriginal, at the mid-point of summer, to complain about the weather. There are probably more important things to talk about. And yet, when the heat is cranked to 104° and its muggy weight presses down every time you step outdoors, it's hard to think about anything else. I know what I'm not thinking about: turning on the stove!
But we have to eat, so let's talk about salad. Let's talk about salads that are such thoroughly satisfying heaps of vegetables we can eat them for dinner, all by themselves. These salads have heft and crunch. They're ice-cold. And if you can bear to turn on the oven or stove for just a minute you can even top them with chicken or baked tofu. From broccoli slaw to kale salad, here are 15 ways to talk salad tonight and leave the weather behind.
If you a think a salad can't be substantial enough for dinner, try fill it out a little bit with something from the box below. Cook a whole batch of chicken breasts on the stovetop or grill over the weekend, then slice and put in the refrigerator for midweek salad suppers. Or do the same with steak, tofu, or other hearty things, like canned beans.
5 Ways To Fill Out a Salad
Chicken - Try one of these methods of cooking:
• Blacked Beer-Brined Grilled Chicken
• How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time
Steak - Our favorite way to cook steak is in the oven:
• How To Cook Perfect Steak in the Oven
Tofu - Try marinating tofu and baking it:
• Try This! Baked Tofu
Canned Tuna or Salmon - Canned tuna and salmon are great on salads.
Canned Beans or Legumes - Open a can of chickpeas or kidney beans (or both!), drain, and toss a few spoonfuls of beans with a slaw or salad.
• 1 City State Diner's Wedge Salad - There is no salad green quite so refreshing as an ice-cold wedge of iceberg lettuce.
• 2 Thai Grilled Steak Salad - The Thai-inspired dressing on this salad is exceptional, with lime juice, fish sauce, and more.
• 3 Cilantro-Lime Sardine Salad in Avocado Halves
• 4 Crisp Tuna-Cabbage Salad - A tuna salad with more cabbage than fish.
• 5 Big Green Salad with Dates, Chicken, Smoked Almonds, Goat Cheese, and Dates - The dates are the secret to this salad.
• 6 Tortellini and Spring Vegetable Salad - A fresh inversion of the usual pasta salad recipe, with more vegetables than tortellini.
• 7 Hearts of Palm, Corn, Tomatoes & Watercress Salad - An appealing mix of fresh vegetables.
• 8 Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado and Parmesan - A favorite lunch, with or without meat.
• 9 Tri-Color Slaw with Lime Dressing - Top with grilled chicken for a weeknight supper.
• 10 Broccoli Slaw - Also good topped with chicken or tofu.
• 11 Crunchy Peanut Slaw - One of my all-time favorite recipes. I often eat just a big bowl of this for lunch. Very satisfying!
• 12 Root Vegetable Slaw With Orange-Cumin Dressing - The sweetness of this slaw pairs beautifully with steak.
• 13 Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing - Fantastic with spicy marinated tofu on top.
• 14 Peanut, Carrot, and Cabbage Slaw - Try with other nut butters as well.
• 15 Kohlrabi Slaw - A delicious sweet and tangy slaw made with a less familiar vegetable.
Related: How To Make a Better Side Salad
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)