Non Lettuce salad ideas - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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We're enjoy eating from our garden and saving money on produce too. My lettuce is bolting and I just planted seeds for a new fall batch. But that will take a few of weeks at least before I can pick some leaves.


What kinds of cold salads or other side dishes can I make in the meantime, that are lettuce free?


Here is what we have:


Cucumbers - just starting and soon we'll be floating in them

Carrots - been eating for a while but still have some left

Cabbage - red from a friends garden in my fridge. Green in my garden ready now.

Tomatoes - just getting red and could be another week before we have a few

Beets - red and golden but not sure about using these raw?

From the store: broccoli, potatoes and onions


We eat meat, dairy but are gluten free


Thanks for any ideas on veggie combos, dressings or recipes :-)



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#2 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 12:08 PM
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Raw beets are awesome in salads when shredded.  Use the beet leaves too!!  (beet leaves can also be stir-fried, steamed, or used in broth when cooking soup)


Over the weekend I made a salad that was mostly from my garden using:



beets, shredded and leaves

kale, chopped thinly



red onion


chickpeas, rinsed

almond slivers


For a dressing I mixed Balkan-style plain Greek yogurt (1/4 cup), 2 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and balsamic, about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, 1 clove of garlic minced, and pepper.  I adjusted it with a little more red wine vinegar and balsamic to suit my preferences.  I can't find the recipe online from where I got the idea but I know she suggested using cilantro, shallots, and basil... but since I used red onion and basil in the salad I omitted them, and I'm not a huge fan of cilantro. 


Having a garden is awesome!  This is my first year with a big production and I'm loving it!

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#3 of 8 Old 08-22-2011, 02:35 PM
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I like tomatoes and cucumbers with balsamic vinaigrette.


I also make a chipotle coleslaw type side with shredded cabbage and carrots to have with mexican dishes (for the dressing I combine mayo, honey, ACV, salt  and chipotle powder to taste).

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#4 of 8 Old 08-23-2011, 08:19 AM
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I posted this recipe for Cucumber Salad (Sunomono) in the cucumber thread, but here it is again: 




2 cups very thinly sliced cucumber (slice into very thin ribbons or half-moons) 

1/2 tsp salt (or a little more to taste)

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar or honey

2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp. freshly grated ginger


Toss cucumber with salt and pepper and let stand a few minutes. Drain excess water. 

In a separate bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and ginger. 

Dress cucumbers with the rice vinegar mixture and let sit for 30 minutes before serving. 


I sometimes eliminate the soy sauce for a "cleaner" tasting salad. 



Regarding beets: I like shredding them raw for salads too. You can also roast them, dress them with balsamic vinaigrette, goat cheese or feta, and some chopped parsley and mint and serve it warm or cool. 


Broccoli salad: 3 or 4 cups chopped raw broccoli, thinly sliced/chopped red onion to taste, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, and 1/2 cup raisins. Dress with 1/2 cup plain yoghurt, 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tbsp. sugar. Top with crumbled feta cheese.  



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#5 of 8 Old 08-25-2011, 06:49 AM
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We are not huge fans of lettuce salads. Ones of our favorites is spicy carrot salad- grate up 3 or 4 carrots, chop up half (or a whole :) ) jalapeno, add a big handful of minced cilantro, and squeeze lime juice over it. If your tomatoes are real flavorful, you can make a salad with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and salt/pepper to taste. I use beets sometimes but not raw- I boil them for around an hour, then cool and peel the skins off. Chop into bite sized pieces and toss with balsamic vinnegrate (2 tbls balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, salt, pepper, 3-4 Tbls olive oil) with sunflower or  pumpkin seeds and feta cheese. It's dense, so I usually consider serving sizes smaller than normal salad servings.

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#6 of 8 Old 08-25-2011, 10:14 PM
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A few of my favorites:

  • A great source for salad inspiration is Mark Bittman's 101 Salads for the Season, from the NY Times:
  • One I just made that was great (but I didn't add the yogurt) is Beet and Carrot Slaw:
  • And my absolute beet favorite, more of a dip though is Beet Tzatziki, recipe by Ana Sortun of Sofra and Oleana in Cambridge:
  • Cabbage salad: Shred or chop purple or green cabbage (or both), Juice one grapefruit (or juice half only and chop up other half), add to salad.  Add about equal amount of seasoned rice vinegar (with sugar and salt added), a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix and adjust seasonings.  I also love to add chopped cilantro, though I don't always have it.  This is even better after having let it sit for a bit. 
  • Tomato, cucumber, onion and pepper salad: Chop up about equal amounts cucumber, tomato and pepper (can do w/o) in small cubes.  Add chopped onion to your tasting (I love a lot, but DH doesn't like onion at all in it).  I usually will just salt and pepper this, but on occasion will add a vinaigrette instead. 
  • Fennel and carrot confit - awesome - eat warm or cold: .  You can do this with only carrot and it's great, but if you can get some fennel it is really pretty amazing, though I find I have to cook it a little longer, to caramelize as much as possible the sugars in the fennel.  I also shred both of these. 


Enjoy that wonderful produce!!

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#7 of 8 Old 08-27-2011, 08:44 AM
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My 5 year old's favorite salad for years has been one from Feeding the Whole Family, and it's lettuce free.  I often sub veggies depending on the season.  In the winter I add kale withe ribs removed, and let it sit for an hour or two.  I also rarely buy two colors of cabbage.  My five year old prefers the red "because it's pretty", so I usually just stick with that.  This is one of those great salads that won't wilt, packs well:


Creamy Coleslaw


3 cups green cabbage sliced real thin

1 carrot grated

1 green onion sliced real thin

1 cup red cabbage



3 T mayonnaise (I use grapeseed oil veganaise)

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp brown rice syrup (I use honey or agave)

1 tsp tamari or shoyu

freshly ground pepper



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#8 of 8 Old 08-28-2011, 07:53 PM
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tomato and cucumber salad with vinaigrette dressing of your choice.  I like red wine vinegary

pickled beets--boil,  peel, and slice beets.  Slice red onion.  Put in glass bowl and pour 1/2 and 1/2 apple cider vinegar and water over to taste, salt and pepper to taste.  Chill at least an hour before serving.  The longer the beets set, the softer they get.

picked cucumbers--peel and slice cucumber.  Then proceed like pickled beets.


I also like green bean with red onion and feta cheese--blanch the beans (snap into bite size pieces first).  Add feta cheese, red onion, and Italian dressing.  Chill and serve.


Watermelon with feta cheese and toasted almonds is also good.  No dressing needed.



Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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