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By Laura Matney

How to eat a healthy diet without a salad

Trying to eat a healthier diet but hate salad? It does not have to be hard to find delicious ways to clean up eating habits without including endless bowls of salad. It can be done with a little ingenuity and pre-planning.

Eat a favorite food – with a twist

Love macaroni and cheese? No problem – try this butternut squash based recipe to lighten up a beloved favorite.

Craving pizza? It is OK. This cauliflower crust pizza and these zucchini bite pizzas are just what you need to avoid visiting the local pizza shop.

French fry fanatic? Make these sweet potato fries and feel satisfied.

Trick that pasta craving by making noodles out of zucchini – called zoodles. Combine with a few other favorite ingredients.

How to avoid salad at lunch

Try a Hawaiian veggie burger on a whole wheat bun. What makes a Hawaiian veggie burger Hawaiian? Use 1/4 of an avocado smashed and one round of pineapple. If you like, incorporate two tablespoons of BBQ sauce.

A spiced chickpea pita is also a good choice with one whole wheat pita and 1/2 a chicken breast. Add 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and some parsley and oregano.

Lighten up comfort food with a grilled cheese with tomato and turkey. This sandwich takes two slices whole wheat bread, three slices deli-style turkey and one slice provolone. Instead of butter use a small spray of olive oil.

If pizza is still calling, try a lunch-time pizza burger. Use one whole-wheat bun with a veggie burger. Add two slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and two tablespoons of marinara sauce.

Need something simple that will store in the fridge at work? Try a roast beef and horseradish sandwich. Take two slices of whole-wheat bread, two slices of deli roast beef, one thick slice of fresh mozzarella and one tablespoon of horseradish sauce. Add one leaf of romaine lettuce. If you need something to go with it, try a piece of fruit like a peach or an apple.

Avoiding salad does not mean avoiding vegetables

Even without salad, it is important to consume enough vegetables each day. Try steaming mixed vegetables or roasting them in the oven. Mixing them up with a small amount of cheese or sauce can also make the vegetables more palatable.

For example, try this baked cauliflower with parmesan recipe to jump start your veggie consumption.

Use of color and spice makes these coriander roasted carrots delightful.

Consider giving salad another chance

Thinking about giving salad another shot? Make sure to use a nice salad bowl. The tools do matter when preparing food and this is no exception. Having a nice big bowl provides room to appropriately toss the salad and gives it a nicer aesthetic as well. Buying high-quality greens will make all the difference to the taste of the salad. And try making salad dressing at home rather than buying. It is a healthier option and much simpler than people realize. It also tends to taste fresher than store bought. Get started with this healthy salad dressing recipe.

Healthy eating does not mean day after day of bowls of lettuce. It will take some creativity and pre-planning but there are so many recipes available to help those who cannot stomach one more salad. Try a few of these recipes and enjoy.

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