In our opinion, National Salad Month¬†couldn’t come at a better time. With beach season right around the corner, many of us are looking to get in shape and eat a little bit better. A salad is a great option for a lighter, healthier meal to help you look and feel your best. But if you’re one of those people who thinks “salad” is always synonymous with “boring¬†pile of leaves,” think again! There are tons of salads that use other vegetables as a base, and we’ve featured plenty of them right here on Healthy Way to Cook. While some of these non-traditional salads do feature greens, veggies like squash, beets, and eggplant take center stage and . Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Spring Herb Quinoa Salad

Beet, Avocado & Endive Salad

Green Bean Salad

Spiced Butternut Squash Salad with Lentils & Goat Cheese

Tabbouleh

Spicy Three-Bean Chickpea Tomato Salad

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Radicchio Salad with Roasted Acorn Rings

Herb Infused Cucumber Asparagus Salad

If you do opt for a standard green salad, remember to choose darker leaves like spinach, arugula or kale to get more nutritional value. Mix-ins like nuts, cheese and dried fruits are great for flavor and texture, but be careful not to overload your salad with them–those calories add up! Finally, be sure to choose an oil-based dressing instead of creamy. You can easily make your own salad dressing at home with a little bit of oil, vinegar and seasonings and cut out all the artificial ingredients that you normally find in store-bought varieties.

Happy Salad Month, everyone!

What are your favorite salad toppings?

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Healthy Way to Cook provides convenient, simple ways to live better by eating better. We promote fresh, organic ingredients for a healthy body & healthy planet.