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6 Heavenly Winter Salads

 Creamy soups, gooey foods, and other fattening favorites tend to be the top food contenders come winter. But these hearty, comforting salads with ingredients like beef, sweet potatoes, and roasted cauliflower, will take your mind off classic winter comfort food. Here are 6 salads you'll surely enjoy this winter.


1. Steak Salad With Eggplant, Peppers, and Onion

winter salads

This winter salad's main ingredient is beef. We recommend you use grass-fed beef, due to its richer content in omega-3s and conjugated linoleic acid (a type of fat that may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer).

Calories: 335; Total Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and some more for baking sheets
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces skirt steak
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 lb. total), cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (about 5 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers (about 1 lb. total), quartered and seeded
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


1. Preheat the broiler (or grill), placing a rack on the top shelf (close to heat source). Then line 2 racks with baking paper or foil and brush lightly with oil. In a large bowl or ziplock bag, combine 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon rosemary, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the steak and combine the marinade well. If using a bowl, cover and let the beef sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Place the eggplants, peppers and onions in a single layer on baking sheets, brushing the tops with a little oil (about 2 1/2 tablespoons). Sprinkle the vegetables with 2 teaspoons rosemary and some salt and pepper. Broil or grill the vegetables in batches, turning once, until they appear tender and golden brown on both sides.

3. In a nonstick pan, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Remove steak, discarding the marinade and cook on pan, turning occasionally. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes in total (depending on thickness). Transfer to a chopping board and let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.

4. Combine the cheeses together, dividing among 4 plates. Top each with roasted vegetables and sliced steak. Then drizzle each dish with some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil, seasoning with some pepper, prior to serving.
2. Tuna and White Bean Salad
winter salads

If kept covered, this delicious salad will keep in the fridge for about 10 days.

Calories: 314; Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 anchovies packed in oil, patted dry
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 5 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 can tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, placing a rack at the center of the oven. Meanwhile, cut the garlic head in half (horizontally), wrapping each half in foil. Roast on a baking sheet until very soft (about 30 minutes). Then, carefully unwrap and squeeze out the cloves into a blender or small food processor. Add the oil, Parmesan, lemon juice, anchovies and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the mix. Blend until smooth.

2. Combine the beans with the lettuce, 3 tablespoons roasted garlic dressing, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Divide the lettuce mixture evenly among 4 plates, topping each with tuna. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

3. Huevos Rancheros Salad

winter salads

Use a ripe avocado for this recipe. To check if it is ripe, gently press near the stem end with your thumb. If it is ripe, you should barely have to press it.

Calories: 308; Total Time: 19 minutes

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 1 can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup baby arugula (rucola)
  • 1/2 cup salsa or salsa verde


1. Mash the beans with some cilantro, 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, chipotle, cumin, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Meanwhile, halve, pit and peel an avocado. Slice it and gently combine it with 1 tablespoon lime juice and a pinch of salt.

2. In a medium nonstick pan, warm some oil over medium heat. Crack the eggs and cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny (roughly around 3 1/2 to 4 minutes). Divide the bean mixture among 4 plates, then top with arugula (rucola), avocado, salsa, corn chips, and eggs - and it's ready to serve.


4. Roasted Curried Cauliflower-Quinoa Salad

winter salads

If you've got some left-over cauliflower stem from this recipe, don't throw it away. Peel, chop it up and add to a stir-fry.

Calories: 325; Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into 1-inch florets
  • 2 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Combine the cauliflower and 2 cups grapes with 1 tablespoon oil. Roast the cauliflower, stirring occasionally.  The grapes should be slightly wilted and the cauliflower golden brown and tender - 25 minutes in total.

2. In a small pan, stir 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1 cup water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and simmer. Cover and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender - 15 minutes. When done, remove from the heat and let it sit (covered) for a couple of minutes. Then transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl.   

3. Halve the remaining grapes and pulse in a food processor. Add yogurt, curry, cumin, lime juice and remaining oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. The mixture should be slightly chunky.

4. Then, combine the quinoa with 3 tablespoon dressing and cilantro. Divide equally among 4 plates and top with cauliflower, cashews and chicken (if using). Drizzle the remaining dressing and serve.


5. Roasted Fennel and Beet Salad

winter salads

Pack a punch of flavor in this delicious, nutritious salad by using one small pink grapefruit or blood orange instead of two oranges.

Calories: 275; Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 2 whole fennel bulbs tops removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium oranges
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced radicchio
  • 1 8.8-oz. package precooked beets (about 4 small), cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F, place a rack in the middle, lining it with foil or baking paper. Meanwhile, slice the fennel bulbs in half, lengthwise, through the root end. Then, using half the bulb, thinly slice 1 half crosswise and transfer to a large bowl. With the remaining halves, quarter the fennel lengthwise, making 12 wedges.

2. Toss the wedges in oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place the wedges in a single layer and roast, turning once until golden brown on each side. The cauliflower should be tender in about 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the tops and bottoms from the oranges. Remove the peel and pith with a small paring knife, cutting from top to bottom all around. Remove each orange segment, including skins and seeds and add to a bowl.

3. Then, whisk yogurt, tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the radicchio, roasted fennel and remaining lemon juice to a bowl with fennel slices and orange segments. Toss gently.

4. Spoon half of the yogurt mixture onto 4 plates, dividing the salad evenly, topping with beets and walnuts. Serve the remaining yogurt mixture on the side.


6. Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Salad

winter salads

This salad is delicious as is. But, for more taste and texture, top with a tablespoon of roasted, salted sunflower seeds. You may also add some bacon to the mix.

Calories: 324; T
otal Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients (Yield: 4)

  • 9 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking sheets
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two large racks with baking paper or foil, brushing lightly with oil. Toss the Brussels sprouts, sweet potato and onion with 2 tablespoon oil, red pepper flakes and salt. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, stirring occasionally. Vegetables should be golden brown and tender (20 to 25 minutes).

2. Then, in a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, honey and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the vegetables, toss to coat and serve.

Recipe and Images Source

Credit: Photo: Romula Yanes

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