Are you one of those people that thinks salads are boring? I used to be a lettuce, tomato, balsamic and olive oil kinda gal. I pretty much served that every night at dinner because I could do it on autopilot and my oldest had given up protesting it and new I expected her to eat it. The truth is, it was as boring to me as it was to her.

News flash! Salads don’t have to be boring or relegated to the side of the plate! Not only can salads be super creative but they can even make a great main course!  In fact, since I went back to work earlier this month I’ve been eating salads for lunch almost daily! Don’t believe me? I’ve been instagramming them along the way:

In addition to being delicious, there are some other great reasons to eat salads:

  • They’re quick and easy to make without messy pans to clean up
  • They’re versatile and you can easily add nutrient-rich foods to the mix
  • They can be considered a gentle cleanse to help you detoxify slowly
  • They’re great portable food to take to work or to the park for a picnic
  • They’re very filling yet don’t pack on the pounds, making it a great way to fulfill those New Year’s resolutions

If you are used to the standard garden-type salad, then it can be pretty hard to come up with new salad ideas.  That is why I am so excited about the new eBook Simply Salads by Season by Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade.  Kristen is the same person behind many other great books, including Real Food Nutrition for Kids! and Beautiful Babies.  She is all about advocating real food instead of the processed junk that dominates the US diet today.  As a homeschooling mom, wife, nutritional educator and author, you can bet that she is busy, so any recipes from her are definitely going to be kept simple yet still tasty enough for the entire family to enjoy.

salad recipes

Simple, but NOT Boring Salad Recipes

I love Kristen’s Simply Salads by Season because all of the recipes are so fast and easy to make.  You won’t be tempted to buy those premixed bags of salad again after sampling a few of these recipes.  Really, it doesn’t take much more time or effort to create a real food salad than those boring readymade ones at the store!

What I really love about Simply Salads by Season is all the flavor combinations.  In the Spring and Summer chapters, there are a lot of salads with fresh fruit – like green bean, almond and apricot salad and the spinach and strawberry salad which is featured on the eBook cover. If you are trying to get your kids to eat more fresh veggies and greens, these salad recipes will do the trick! In fall and winter, Kristen breaks out the spices to make salads more exciting. One of my favorites is the broccoli and ginger salad.  The shrimp and avocado salad is a great choice for a dinner party because it seems so fancy (don’t worry, the fact that it’s so quick and easy to make can remain our secret!).  You’ll also find some salad recipes with vegetables that you’ve seen but might not know how to use – like daikon and kohlrabi. Confession: I often pass these up at the farmer’s market because I don’t have time to research what on earth to use them in.  Now if they show up in my farm box I’ll know exactly what to do!

Not all of the salad recipes in Simply Salads by Season are 100% paleo.  Like there is one recipe for date and goat cheese salad.  But, as I often say, ain’t nobody got time for paleo perfection.  Goat cheese is definitely something I fit into my 20 percent in my 80/20 approach to paleo.  All recipes are real food, made from unprocessed whole food ingredients which is something that I think we can all agree beats a salad from a fast food joint any day of the week.

In total, Simply Salads by Season includes:

  • 99 pages of salad recipes
  • 28 recipes for salad dressings and condiments (you’ll never feel the need to buy those terrible store-bought dressings again!)
  • Creative new salad recipes plus healthy twists on classics
  • Advice on equipment for making salads
  • Info about buying fruits and veggies by season


Salad Dressing Recipes!

I am having a lot of fun trying all of the different salad recipes in the book but, honestly, I’m most excited about Kristen’s recipes for salad dressings.  After all, you can turn even the blandest vegetables into something exciting with the right dressings.

What’s more, I find that too many people ruin a perfectly-healthy salad by drenching it in unhealthy dressings.  Have you ever really stopped to read all of the ingredients in a salad dressing?  They are chock full of unhealthy ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid, and preservatives like calcium disodium EDTA.  Making your own salad dressings means you get more exciting options, not to mention a nice dose of healthy fats while avoiding the artificial crap.  Yes, even the dressings marketed as “healthy” contain ingredients like soybean oil, corn syrup and preservatives.  (Hint: if it’s been in your fridge for most of the year without going bad, Houston, you have a problem).

salad dressing ingredients

In Simply Salads by Season, there are 28 recipes for salad dressings and condiments.  Some of my favorites are:

  • Coconut almond dressing
  • Salsa ranch dressing
  • Smoked paprika vinaigrette
  • Homemade Worcestershire sauce

Another plus about making your own salad dressings is that you can sneak nutrient-dense ingredients to them, like fats, oils, probiotics, bone broth, and seasonings.  Sneaky, sneaky….

  salad dressing reicpes

Get the Book!

Want to increase your family’s intake of veggies and healthy fats?  Need inspiration on how to make veggies more exciting?  Want recipes which are super simple but ridiculously tasty?  Then pick up a copy of Simply Salads by Season. Seriously, buy this eBook.  You will be happy you did!  You can learn more and purchase it here.

Until 1/31/14, Kristen is offering a coupon for 30% off for Hollywood Homestead readers!  Enter HOLLYWOOD30 at checkout HERE.


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Sylvie McCracken is a former celebrity assistant in Hollywood turned full time entrepreneur currently living in Ashland, Oregon with her kids. She writes about treating and preventing health conditions with real food and natural remedies, as well as anything else she feels like writing about because she's a rebel like that. 😉 he also mentors health professionals turned entrepreneurs on her other site,