A Salad Doesn’t Have to Be “Just A Salad”

A Salad Doesn’t Have to Be “Just A Salad”

More often than not, I eat a bigger meal for lunch and a lighter meal for dinner. For me, the perfect light dinner is a salad. It is a great way for me to get my veggies, I can make it lighter or heartier depending on my (or my husband’s) hunger level, and they are quick and easy to make when I come home exhausted. Salads are also very forgiving, you do not need the perfect ingredients or to use exact measurements. I make different combinations based on my mood and what I have in my kitchen. I typically buy my vegetables at a farmer’s market, with a few exceptions every once in awhile, such as avocado and pomegranate seeds. I like supporting our local farmers and eating organic as much as I can. It also changes up my choices each season and there is less to think about when I am food shopping, I get what is there. My general formula for making salads is a mix and match of a couple of vegetables, protein, cheese or nuts, and a carbohydrate, with optional seeds, olives, and fresh herbs. I mix it together, add dressing, and enjoy.


  1. My base is lettuce, spinach, kale, or a mix of them.
  1. Vegetables: Tomatoes, radishes, zucchini, yellow squash, roasted butternut, kobucha, or acorn squash, roasted turnips, roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli, eggplant, fennel, leek leaves, green beans, carrots, cucumber, peppers, pea tendrils, red cabbage, leek leaves, and avocado.
  1. Protein: Chickpeas, lentils, beans, hard-boiled eggs, and occasionally tuna.
  1. Cheese: Parmesan, cheddar, smoked gouda, feta, and goat
  1. Nuts: Pine, almonds, and pecans.
  1. Carbohydrates: Small potatoes, quinoa, and sourdough bread (made with no yeast).
  1. Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, and pomegranate.
  1. Fresh herbs: Rosemary, dill, parsley, chives, and the green portion of the scallion.
  1. Other: Olives

*If you are on the low FODMAP diet, be mindful of portion sizes. The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app is a great resource.

Below are some salad recipes that are tasty and FODMAP friendly. The first are two examples of salads I make and the other four are from other sites.

Mixed veggie, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes: Serves 2-4 people

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • Handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup of pea tendrils
  • 2-3 small tomatoes diced
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 3 chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • 2-3 small red potatoes, diced
  • 2 -3 ounces of sliced cheddar cheese (in cubes)
  • 1 tbsp of chopped fresh dill

Kale, butternut squash, and chickpeas: Serves 2-4 people

  • 1 head of kale
    • To help soften the kale, I recommend adding the dressing and letting it sit for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients
  • 1 cup of roasted butternut squash
  • ½ cup of chickpeas
  • ¼ cup of chopped pecans
  • Serve with slices of sourdough bread

Salad Dressing:

  • 2 parts olive oil
  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard depending on size of salad
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

For the mixed veggie, hard-boiled eggs, and potatoes salad I use white balsamic vinegar and for the kale, butternut squash, chickpea salad I use red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Other alternatives are lemon in exchange for vinegar and different oils including garlic infused, sesame, or peanut and you can try different mustards.

Classic Vinaigrette & Strawberry-Spinach-Feta Salad – Calm Belly Kitchen
Olive, Pine Nut, and Zucchini Salad – Deliciously Ella
Sweet Feta Salad – FODMAP Journey
Warm chicken Caesar Salad – Not From A Packet Mix

What is your favorite salad?



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