Food & Nutrition

25 Salads to Beat Mixed Greens Fatigue

Read on for proof that "boring" and "salad" don't belong in the same sentence.

Salads: You know you should eat them, but sometimes, they feel so...stale? If this sounds familiar, chances are you're eating the same soggy greens all too often. Why not mix it up by varying your base—swap kale for spinach or romaine for arugula!—and mixing in some unexpected ingredients?

The recipes below should give you some inspiration. (And don't worry, we're not skipping the dressing!) From Asian slaw to kale and escarole Ceasar salad, expect to find a new combination that's worth turning your stayed green side into your meal's main attraction.

But first, greens

The easiest way to bore yourself silly is to start with the same old lettuce. Shake up the whole bowl by beginning with base you've never used before, like... 
 
Arugula
An Italian favorite has a bitter, peppery taste that adds bite to your salad. When buying, look for fresh leaves with bright green coloring. To keep fresh, wash and dry leaves thoroughly, then wrap tightly in a plastic bag before refrigerating. 
 
Bibb Lettuce 
Characterized by its large round leaves that range in color from dark green on the edges to pale-green on the inside, Bibb lettuce has a soft texture and sweet flavor. Look for even green coloring on the head and loose, thick leaves. Keep refrigerated in a loosely packed plastic bag and do not wash until ready to eat. 

Escarole 
Escarole is one of the three main varieties of endive along with Belgium endive and curly endive, which are often confused with chicory. Escarole has broader slightly curved, pale green leaves. Avoid heads with discoloration and insect damage. Store tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days. 

Kale 
A member of the cabbage family, kale has a similar taste. Although it’s available in most supermarkets year-round, it’s best in the winter. There are a few different types of kale that range in color and taste. The most common, curly kale, is a deep green color with leafy bunches. Look for rich color with little to no yellowing. Keep refrigerated and eat in the first three days. To prepare, remove the center stalk and massage leaves with oil.  This will help break down the fibers and make it less tough.

Mustard Greens 
These are the leaves found on the mustard plant - and you guessed it, with the same peppery, mustard flavor. It has a rich dark green color, with thick leaves and thin stems. Avoid discolored leaves and stems that are thick, brown or dried out. To store, refrigerate in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to a week. 
 

On your next trip to the grocery store, pick up some leafy greens and try one of these not-so-average salads: