For years, our four kids referred to lettuce of any kind as “salad.” Picture this: “Could you please take that salad off my sammich?” But that didn’t stop me from serving tons of fresh salads anyway, because, for one, salads are delicious and good for you. And two, not every salad has to be a green salad. They’ve since come around to the green stuff, but in the meantime, we discovered lots of simple and satisfying salads that don’t require even one head of lettuce. There are our favorites.
Greek Quinoa Salad (pictured above)
Bursting with fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and briny kalamata olives, this salad tastes like the Greek salad you know and love — but with a protein punch. Thanks, quinoa.
The Pioneer Woman’s Broccoli Salad
Yes, a new way to prepare broccoli. This might be as easy as our go-to method of roasting. If you have a few minutes to blanch broccoli, you can make this salad, which gets coated in creamy dressing and topped with, you guessed it, bacon.
Cheery Cherry Tomato Salad
After falling in love with this dish during the years we lived in Rome, we brought the idea back with us to the Unites States, and haven’t stopped making — or loving — it since.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Fresh Corn Salad
Trust me: The flavor of this salad is so good that it’s worth the time to cut all the kernels off perfectly good ears of corn. Because, Ina Garten.
With only a handful of ingredients, this sweet and satisfying salad is the easiest side dish you’ll make all spring.
Grated Carrot Salad with Fresh Orange Dressing
Step one: Open a bag of matchstick carrots. Step two: Drizzle the fresh orange vinaigrette on top. Step three: Watch kids devour their new favorite salad in minutes flat.
Valerie Bertinelli’s Orzo Salad with Grape Tomatoes and Radishes
Orzo is a tiny rice-shape pasta that works perfectly in cold salads like this one, brimming with cucumbers, creamy goat cheese and salty olives.
Ina’s Potato Salad
This is what happens when you let buttermilk, Dijon and fresh dill mix with steamed potatoes. You want the spuds just warm enough to soak up all that flavor.
Charity Curley Mathews is the mom of four small kids and lives in North Carolina on a mini farm in the making. (Last week they installed bees! The chickens are next …) She’s a contributor to InStyle, The Huffington Post and eHow Food and the founder of Foodlets.com, a food and parenting blog where every recipe is full of fresh ingredients, simple to make and kid-tested x4. You can follow her on Facebook.