We’re cold. For real. Around this time every year we’re pretty much over the snow and the wind and the draft from our decades-old windows and we know you get that way too sometimes. To keep warm, we fill our bowls with soups and stews and our mugs with cocoa and tea but, as spring approaches, we’re ready for the veggies. Bring on the winter salad.
In the winter, we miss salads for many reasons. We miss the health benefits of consuming lots of fiber and the colors on our plates. We miss how we feel healthy and light when we’re eating lots of salads and we miss those lower numbers on the scale too, who are we kidding? It’s for those reasons (and the fact that many of us have been stuck at home due to weather) that we searched the internet for some winter salad recipe ideas that keep us warm but fulfill our desperate need for more veggies in our lives during the winter.
1. Roasted Root Veggie Platter
Grab your carrots, turnips, potatoes and any other root vegetable you like for this winter salad recipe. Chop into bite size pieces and spread them out on a cookie sheet before drizzling with olive oil and a spice or herb of your choosing (we love garlic but some prefer cayenne for a kick). Pop the cookie sheet into a 350 degree oven for 30 to 60 minutes and then call it dinner. You can top with shredded cheese for added flavor and gooeyness.
Read Related: 15 Cozy Autumn Salads to Help Keep Your Summer Bod
2. Greens Topped with Warm Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? Think again! After roasting till their deliciously crunchy and caramelized on the outside, toss them atop a bed of field greens and drizzle some salad dressing on top. Delicious, filling and warming all at the same time.
3. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad
Chop your sweet potatoes into bite size pieces and then sauté in oil or butter over medium heat till fork tender and lightly browned. Mixed with drained black beans and defrosted frozen corn. Add whatever spices or seasonings you like and serve hot, warm or cold- totally up to your personal preference.
4. Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
This recipe has you prepare your quinoa in vegetable broth, which we think is genius since it adds so much flavor to the mild tasting grain. As you probably already know, quinoa packs a protein punch so this salad can be served as a side for something else but we think it actually makes a fantastic main course.
5. Roasted Butternut Squash, Baked Kale, Pumpkin Seed and Pomegranate Salad
This winter salad may seem like a lot of work (baking kale while roasting butternut squash while pulling the arils from your pomegranate and gathering your pepitas) but trust us, the flavor and texture combo is so worth the effort.
6. Fall Salad
So the name is simple but this combination of sweet and savory is anything but. You’ll find candied pecans, endive, pear and parmesan packed into this salad that’s been on our dinner table more than once since we found this little gem online last fall!
7. Christmas Quinoa Salad
Okay, we know Christmas is over but we only call this winter salad recipe by the holiday’s name because of the bright, beautiful combination of red and green. Cook your quinoa as you prefer. Some like using broth instead of water but, for this recipe, we actually like to use half water and half pre-made butternut squash soup! When your quinoa is cooked and slightly cooled, combine in a large mixing bowl with fresh or previously frozen sweet peas and dried cranberries. You can serve this salad warm or cold. Either way, it’s delicious, healthy and festive – even when it’s not Christmas.
8. Creamy Dijon Leeks
First of all, the presentation on this simple salad is impressively chic so if you’re looking to wow a vegetarian friend (though you’ll need to substitute vegetable broth for chicken), this would be the salad to bring to a potluck or other get together. The leeks are freshly steamed and you’ll prepare the Dijon sauce yourself. Yes, you can do this, we promise.
9. Squash and Egg Salad
You’ll start by boiling both your eggs and your squash on the stovetop and then create the most awesome egg salad ever by combining the two!
10. Warm Kale and Wild Mushroom Salad
Sauté your kale and sliced mushrooms in oil on the stovetop and then place them on top of rice, quinoa or your choice of grain. There’s so much healthy goodness here but, more importantly, it’s warm and definitely cozy.
Photos 2, 4, 6 & 8 courtesy of Food Network.com