Recipe Roundup: Main Dish Salads

Eating light. We instinctively think of salads (who doesn't?). But oh how defeating those salads can be, leaving us hungry and wanting. And yet, on the flip side...

... we've all read about the "buyer beware" aspect of salads. The dressing is fattening! All the components add up to more calories than a normal, square meal!

Well, we fall somewhere in between the two thoughts. Salads can, indeed, be filling and satisfying and full of nuts and cheese and chunks of bacon. But they are, in their essence, a lighter way of eating since they offer us a vehicle for lots of vegetables.

Also, a little protein goes a long way with a salad. For example, in the photo above is a Flickr find of one of our all-time favorites: A thai beef salad. It looks pretty heavy on the beef, but imagine, if you will, half the amount of beef and a fuller bed of greens. Another tip? Add some whole grains to fill it out.

Same goes for cobb salad. Up the greens, add some citrus,

instead of a creamy one, and tone down the bacon. Still satisfying. Still salad.

For the reverse—salads below that are meatless—add a bit of chicken or a crumble of sausage to make it dinner.

Some options from the Kitchn:
Cous Cous Salad with Winter Squash and Cranberries
Warm Wheat Salad, or Reverse Tabbouleh
Rice and Mixed Greens Salad with Dates, Cashews, and Chickpeas
Weeknight Recipe: Panzanella
Cool and Spicy Fish and Cucumber Salad
Pumpernickel, Watercress, and Mushroom Bread Salad
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Squash, Persimmons, and Pecans

And from around the web:
Cobb Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, from Gourmet
Salmon and Green Bean Salad, from Cookstr
Classic Tuna Nicoise Salad, from Emeril Lagasse
Fregola Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion, from Giada De Laurentiis
Thai Beef Salad, from The New York Times

Related: Gallery: 11 Winter Salads to Eat Right Now

(Image: Flickr member *tk, licensed under Creative Commons)

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