broccoli and cauliflower salad

Try these salad side dishes out. Make them part of your flexitarian meal plan. Use the salads as a motivation kickstart to lose weight.

Doing without meat occasionally can’t hurt. My dad told me once, “A person doesn’t need to eat meat every day.” He liked meat but the older he became, the less meat he ate. I love meat, especially ribeyes. However, I can go a few days with no meat.

Flexitarian days for me kind of goes like this:

Start out breakfast with a vegan coffee-flavored shake or fruit and vegetable smoothie.

Eat a Dave’s thin-sliced bread sandwich with either a tomato, avocado, or egg (boiled, fried, or scrambled) for lunch.

Enjoy a veggie salad topped with grated cheese. Or, I’ll make a dinner out of my favorite vegetables like yellow summer squash, roasted or fried okra, and roasted asparagus.

Salads can be boring after awhile. But if you’re a person who doesn’t care for cooked vegetables all that much, then salads may suit you just fine.

Change up salad ingredients. Make them look appetizing, and don’t be afraid to add a vegetable you haven’t tried before.

What different combination of vegetables have you used in a salad – and liked? Please share with me by clicking here.

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What is special about vegetables?


are nutritious

aid in satisfying hunger cravings

contain vitamins that your body needs

And that’s why you need veggies every day. Make it easy on yourself. Chop up vegetables that look good to you to go in a salad.

Incidentally, you don’t even have to use lettuce in a salad. Some people can’t eat lettuce because of the roughage. When I had gallbladder problems, I couldn’t eat lettuce. I learned that I actually enjoyed salads without lettuce.

Combine vegetable salads with a fruit you like.

Fruits to Pair with Salads

Listed below are fruits to pair with various types of salads.

Tomato – This fruit seems more like a vegetable because it doesn’t taste sweet. But it’s a fruit. I can’t imagine why some people don’t care for tomatoes. But if you are one of those people, try replacing the tomato with a mango or strawberry (like in this photo):

fruits and vegetables

Good Friday Veggie & Fruit SaladStrawberries, especially in season, are delicious in vegetable salads, adding a sweet and tart blended flavor. Refresh yourself with a strawberry breakfast drink, salad with strawberries, and enjoy light vegetarian picnic foods, and simple summer recipes from the Simple Summer Recipes Cookbook…

click on photo to order:

Apples can go in just about any kind of salad. Need some tartness? Go with a Granny Smith apple. Want crispy and sweet? Buy Gala or Pink Lady (two that I see quite often on Instacart grocery lists).

Remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There’s wisdom in that. Apples are known to be nutritious and may help prevent certain conditions and aid in others. Learn more at the Healthline website.

Tips on How to Eat Nutritiously

Motivate yourself to eat nutritiously by being around people who enjoy nutritious foods. Often, they’re the type of individuals who shop at farmers markets and grow their own vegetable garden. Learn by reading what others say about motivating yourself to eat healthy, like:

Keep company with people you want to emanate. If you want to eat nutritious foods, hang around folks who eat those foods.

Spend time with friends who show healthy habits of nutritious eating and exercising.

Find someone who is a vegetarian and arrange to have lunch or dinner together. See how they order.

We eat according to habits and the way we’re used to. So venture out and taste new nutritious foods. You may discover they’re actually delicious.

Popular Produce Foods

Shopping for Instacart customers has shown me that most people love fresh produce. Often, I am inspired to fill my own cart with more fresh veggies and fruit. The most popular items from the produce section I see on my customers’ grocery lists include:

Roma tomatoes

Grape tomatoes

Tomatoes on the vine







Tomatoes go great in salads, salsa, chili, goulash, pico de gallo, and as a simple tomato sandwich with my newest favorite type of condiment, Mayomust (I find it at Walmart.)

Visit to see a classic pico de gallo recipe. Such a refreshing dish. And it’s loaded with fresh veggies.

For more information about Instacart shopping, get the book,

Salad Prep

Salad prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Short on time? Grab a couple salad kits or already prepared salad from the grocery store. Choose two or three fruits, and serve a few slices on top of each bowl of salad for each person at the table.

I’m a grandma and when I visit my daughter and her family occasionally, we don’t do much cooking. However, we do strive for healthy eating.

My grandkids love fruit and sometimes even salad. Top that off with “the chewy stuff” (steak). My husband loves to grill, and once when two of the grands were visiting, he cooked hamburgers for the kids and ribeye steaks for the two of us. But that’s not how it turned out. The kiddos wanted to try the steak – and they loved it. Now our young granddaughter refers to steak as the chewy stuff.

If not salad, they “get to” eat one or two vegetables. For instance, their mom makes an incredibly delicious Brussels sprouts dish that we all love.

You can make salads simple with three or four ingredients. Or, instead of a loaded baked potato, create a loaded kitchen sink salad – every veggie on hand in your kitchen. Salads are easy to make, nutritious, and you don’t (usually) have to cook them.

Six Vegetable Salads

I’ve listed six of my Kitchen Southern Hospitality salad recipes. Three are vegetable or vegetable and fruit. The others include meat. For a flexitarian week, just leave the meat out of those recipes.

Going flexitarian for a week? Leave the meat out of your recipes.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad – This one has pasta, so if you’re doing a no/low carb plan, skip the pasta. But it is yummy.

Chopped Vegetable Salad – One of my favs, this salad includes different vinegars that you may not be able to locate at your local supermarket. Change the ones I have for what you like or different vinegar varieties you’d like to try.

Broccoli and Apple Salad – The broccoli and apple pair well in this recipe. Delicious salad.

Taco Salad – Skip the meat on this one. Options: Add corn (if you aren’t concerned about carbohydrates) and Pico de Gallo.

Valentine’s Day Chicken Salad – I actually forgot the chicken when making the Valentine’s Day Chicken Salad. It’s yummy, too. And it’s made with Pink Lady apples.

Last but not least, egg salads are great for all ages – Easy Egg Salad for a Toddler – and this one is easy enough for a toddler to eat.

And here are two more to add to your vegetable side list:

Vegetable Sides that Go with Salads

Country Squash Casserole


  1. I think you have shared some great suggestions. Although most people love meat, I think the American Heart Association and many doctors would agree that it should be limited if not eliminated. There was never a time in history where so much meat, chicken, and fish was so readily available. These have become major food source industries and I don’t think that health is at the heart of the industries. Thanks for an insightful post.

    1. Author

      Judee, thank you for your comment. I do believe it’s a good idea to eat in moderation, including meat. And you certainly have made a good point.

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