4 Easy Salad Recipes for the New Year

We’re a little more than a week into the New Year, and let’s be honest: How many of you have already broken one (or more) of your New Year’s resolutions? (No judgment here!) I got ahead of the game this year by (gasp!) not making any, opting instead to set up a handful of “goals” for the year that I can break into small actions to complete every month. So even though I didn’t necessarily make a resolution to eat better in 2014, Harrison and I have tried to make a few smart changes so far, including eating dinner a little earlier and making more (and simpler) meals at home.

We’ve also been making a lot of entrée-sized salads, which have all been surprisingly delicious and filling. So delicious that I wanted to share them with you! Sure, the following fours salads may not be the healthiest options in the book, but they’re easy to make and can be ready in less than 30 minutes, which is always a win in my book. Plus, the dressings are absolutely delicious, and all but one are made from scratch. Check out the recipes below:

Grilled Salmon Salad with Honey–Apple Cider Dressing

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Yield: 2 servings (adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

7 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash of onion powder

Salt and pepper

2 4-ounce salmon filets

8 cups chopped lettuce 

1 apple, sliced (I used a Pink Lady apple)

1/4 cup pecan pieces

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1. In jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine 6 tablespoons olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, onion powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Shake to combine, then set aside.

2. Brush salmon on both sides with remaining olive oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Place in olive oil-brushed skillet over medium-high heat, skin-side down, then cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, peel off skin and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from skillet and set aside.

3. Divide lettuce, apple slices, pecans and cranberries between two plates. Top each salad with grilled salmon, then drizzle with dressing.

Barbecue Chicken Salad

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Yield: 2 servings (adapted from Cheerios & Lattes)

1 cup barbecue sauce

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 can sweet corn, drained

1/2 red pepper, diced

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped

Shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses

Tortilla chips

1/2 cup ranch dressing

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Brush chicken breasts with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, then bake on foil-lined baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping once halfway through.

2. In medium skillet, sauté corn and red pepper over medium heat.

3. While vegetables roast, clean and chop lettuce. Slice or chop chicken breasts, according to preference, then spread across salad. Top with vegetables, shredded cheeses and tortilla strips.

4. In small dish, combine 1/2 cup barbecue sauce with 1/2 cup ranch. Drizzle dressing over salad, then serve.

Simple Chopped Salad

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Yield: 2 salads (via Iowa Girl Eats)

6 cups chopped Romaine or butter lettuce

3 slices center-cut bacon

1 apple, chopped (I used Pink Lady)

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

1/4 cup poppy seed dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Cook bacon in medium skillet, then set aside. Once cool, chop into small pieces.

2. In large bowl, combine bacon, lettuce, apples, peanuts, dried cranberries and Feta cheese. Add poppy seed dressing and balsamic vinegar. Toss well, then divide between two plates and serve.

Sliced Ribeye and Roasted Tomato Salad

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I featured this salad a few months ago (get the recipe here), and can’t think of a tastier salad that’s easier to make. Harrison whips it up at least once a month, and it gets more and more delicious every time.

Which of these recipes do you want to try out?

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