You Don't Need Lettuce to Make a Salad

It's true. You don't need lettuce to make a salad, but you do need veggies! Check out these lettuce-less salads. I'm sure you'll find them a little more exciting than a bed of lettuce. Not that there's anything wrong with a bed of lettuce. Sometimes, you just want something a little different.

Sushi Salad

Source: Simple Gluten Free Kitchen and Epicurious (adapted)

2 cups cooked rice
3/4 cup edamame, shelled and cooked as per package directions
1/3 cup carrot, shredded
1/3 avocado, pitted and thinly sliced (or  as much you want)
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp pickled ginger, thinly shredded
3 sheets nori (paper-thin sheets of dried seaweed)

Dressing

1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1-1.5 tsp wasabi

  1. In a small bowl, stir wasabi, rice vinegar, sugar and tamari. Set aside.
  2. Dry-roast nori, 1 sheet at a time, directly above moderate heat (gas or electric burner), holding it at opposite corners and moving it back and forth, until it turns bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With scissors cut nori into thin 2-inch-long strips.
  3. Combine rice, nori and vegetables in a bowl.
  4. Add the dressing and mix everything to combine.

Grilled Corn Salad

Source: Simply Recipes (adapted)

Serves: 4

4 ears of corn, do not shuck (or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn for the non-grill option)
1 large red bell pepper
1 5-inch, long zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (best if you toast whole cumin seeds then grind)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar or lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Prepare your grill for high, direct heat. Oil the grill grates.
  2. Rub a little olive oil over the bell pepper.
  3. Place the corn (in their husks) and red bell pepper directly on the grill grates. (See their method for grilling corn-on-the-cob.) Cover the grill.
  4. Turn corn occasionally, so that every part of the husk is blackened.
  5. Turn the red bell pepper occasionally until the skin has blistered up all around it. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. For the last 5 minutes or so, rub olive oil over the zucchini pieces and place the zucchini pieces directly on the grill grate, cut side down.
  7. Turn them over after a few minutes when they have some nice grill marks on them. Let them cook for just a minute or two on the other side.

1a - no grill version

Alternatively, you can prepare the vegetables on the stove-top.

  1. Shuck the corn and use a knife to remove the kernels from the cobs.
  2. Coat the bottom of a large, sturdy relatively stick-free (can use cast iron) pan with a little olive oil. Heat the pan to high.
  3. Spread out the corn kernels on the pan. Don't stir them that much, just let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to toast.
  4. When they get a little browned, remove them from the pan to a bowl.
  5. Lay the zucchini pieces on the pan and brown on both sides, do not over cook, remove from pan.
  6. The bell pepper does not need to be cooked, it can just be seeded and chopped fine.
  7. Let the corn cool down for a few minutes and pull back the husks. Stand the corn husks vertically, tip facing down, in a large shallow bowl or baking dish. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.
  8. Once the bell pepper has cooled a bit, remove the outer peel. Cut open the pepper, remove the seeds and stem. Chop the bell pepper into small pieces.
  9. Slice the slightly browned zucchini again lengthwise and chop into small pieces.
  10. Place grilled or toasted corn kernels, chopped bell pepper, chopped zucchini, red onion, cilantro, and serrano (if using) into a large bowl. Add the cumin, olive oil and vinegar or lime juice. Mix gently.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mango Apple Salad with Sugared Lime Zest

Source: Shutterbean

I think that slicing the mangoes and apples makes it more fun to eat, but if you diced them you could eat more faster...That doesn't sound good, does it?

2 limes
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Granny Smith apple
2 mangoes

  1. Grate zest from limes.
  2. Squeeze 2 teaspoons juice from 1 of the zested limes into a bowl.
  3. Process lime zest, sugar and salt in a food processor until zest is coarsely ground.
  4. Core apple, then cut in half and slice thinly.
  5. Add apple to lime juice, and toss.
  6. Peel mango; cut flesh away from pit and slice thinly.
  7. Arrange apple & mango on a serving platter or plates.
  8. Sprinkle with some of the sugared lime zest and serve remaining zest mixture on the side.

Avocado and Edamame Salad

Source: Joy the Baker

Serves: 4 large or 6 small servings

1 16-ounce bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons honey
scant 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
5 to 8 radishes, sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced
sesame seeds

  1. Bring about 4 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add edamame and boil for just a few minutes, until cooked through but still with a slight bite to them. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. In the meantime, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, oil, garlic, ginger, lime, and salt and pepper. Whisk together until completely incorporated. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cooled edamame, green onion, parsley, radishes, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Toss together. Add dressing to desired amount. It’s that easy!