Pasta salad
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Great news! Now is an exciting time for salads, and there are no lack of creative ideas served up in restaurants that you could use when you plan your meals. All you need is the right strategy, some inspiration, and a list of great new toppings and sauces for customization!


Take up various salad styles, and work it into something that is delicious, wholesome, and satisfying. It’s easy to maintain interest and freshness if you can shake things up once every 3 months.


Restaurants like Chez Sardine serve up hunks of crisp iceberg lettuce in tangy blue-cheese dressing with toppings from bacon to avocado. And they look awesome. Here’s a recipe you can follow.


  • 4 oz bacon
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Cut bacon into 1” thick pieces, stir often over medium-low heat until crisp; then transfer to a paper towel lined plate
  2. Whisk shallot, sour cream, buttermilk, chives, and vinegar in a small bowl
  3. Add in blue cheese to form dressing
  4. Season generously with salt and black pepper
  5. Cut a small head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges, place on plates, and spoon dressing over
  6. Top with bacon, red onions, and more crumbled blue cheese


Expand Your List To Include Asian Elements

Try the following as toppings:


Soba noodles

Enoki mushrooms

Add More Embellishments To Your Salads

Dried fruits - Cranberries are great for adding a burst of tangy flavor to crisp lettuce leaves

Croutons - To make them, toss torn bread with olive oil and then bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until brown

Toasted nuts - Chopped nuts deliver crunch, and pair great with blue cheese

Seeds - Pumpkin, chia, or sesame. In the right amounts, these seeds with their good fats are beneficial for health

Fried shallots - They add a sweet flavor and an awesome texture


Up The Fulfillment Factor

Brown rice - Healthy, hearty, and filling

Avocado cubes - High quality and healthy fat adds guilt-free richness and satisfaction

Fluffy egg - Push hard-boiled eggs through a mesh sieve to add texture and good protein

Ronzoni Garden Delight - This is my favorite: carrot, tomato and spinach blended into your pasta, so you automatically get your daily servings of vegetables

Garden Delight Tricolor Rotini (Two pack)
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Sep 20, 2015)

Spiralize Your Greens

Instead of using leaves, try using a Spiralizer. It yields beautiful results instantly!

Kitchen Basics Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer, White
Amazon Price: $55.95 $21.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 20, 2015)

Consider Hot, Hearty Toppings

Smoked chicken breast

Mixed creamed mushroom

The Sauces You Use Can Also Be Exciting

Rich peanut sauce

Thai Chili

Japanese wasabi

Healthy Options

In order to be healthy, go for fresh and unprocessed. Instead of store-bought dressings, consider homemade sauces that are low in fat, and do not contain preservatives. My suggestion would be to use olive oil, garlic, small amounts of cheese, and salt-free nuts and seeds.

Keep your mind open to innovation and have fun coming up with your ultimate combinations!