Not your average salad

3 new salads to add variety to your diet

When most people think of salad, they think of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and maybe a thinly sliced onion. But salads do not need to be that boring! Salads are a great way to improve your nutrition and lifestyle. When prepared ahead of time, they can also be extremely convenient. Here are three new salad recipes to add a little variety to your diet.

Arugula, Peach and Cheddar Salad

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

    Photo by my point of view/
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bunches (6 cups) arugula
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 2 ounces sharp white cheddar, cut into chunks

Heat oven to 350 F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toast the pecans, tossing once, until fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Add the arugula, peach, cheddar, and pecans. Toss to coat.

(Recipe from July 2012 issue of Real Simple)

Chicken Satay Noodle Salad

Photo by ARENA Creative/

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Kosher salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, skinned and sliced
  • 1 cup spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup carrots, shredded
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or parsley, chopped

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, honey, and warm water. Add the dark soy sauce, lime juice, hot pepper sauce, and garlic, whisking to combine. Add the reserved noodles and toss to coat.

Place the noodles in a separate bowl and top with the chicken, spinach, carrots, scallions, peanuts, and cilantro or parsley.

(Recipe from June 2007 issue of Rachael Ray Every Day)

Photo by julie deshaies/

Three Bean Salad

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 4-8

  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley, and rosemary.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to create the dressing.

Add the dressing to the bean mixture. Toss to coat.

Chill bean salad in the refrigerator for several hours before serving to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

(Recipe from