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9 Unexpected Delicious Additions to Your Salad

You wouldn’t have thought these ingredients would go in a salad.

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1. Popcorn

The light texture of popcorn is great in any salad, plus it adds only a few calories and dressing clings lovingly to it. Also try the old picnic classic, Popcorn Salad, instead of pasta or potato salad, though we recommend substituting Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise and going light on the cheese and bacon.

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2. Chocolate

Try some chocolate in a salad dressing for a slightly sweet and savory quality. This chocolate balsamic vinaigrette recipe from The Chocolate Life is delicious.

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3. Pita chips

Skip the croutons. Crumbled pita chips add a creative crunch to a salad. Try this recipe for Tuna, Arugula, and Egg Salad With Pita Chips.

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4. Noodles

Noodles and pasta add a pleasing texture to a salad and enough weight to make it perfect for dinner. Toss in cooled cooked penne or rotini for an al dente bite, or try this Dang Cold Asian Noodle Salad from Guy Fieri.

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5. Tea

Steep some tea leaves in the vinegar base for your salad dressing for a delicious antioxidant boost. Rachael Ray’s Green Tea Salad has a perfect balance of Asian spices and the fragrant flavor of green tea.

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6. Cinnamon

A little cinnamon adds just the right interesting spice note to a vinaigrette. This type of dressing is perfect in a salad that includes fruit as it balances out the sweet notes.

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7. Vanilla

The heady scent of vanilla is another unexpected twist in a salad. The vanilla bean vinaigrette in this salad enrobes the spicy arugula and sweet figs in an exotic cocoon of flavor.

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8. Pickles

Dill or sweet pickles can be tossed into picnic salads for a tangy crunch. Pickled vegetables can also be added to any dinner salad for a vinegary bite that pairs perfectly with steak, as in this Steak Salad With Pickled Vegetables

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9. Poached egg

An egg adds only 80 delicious calories to a salad. The creaminess of the soft yolk mingles with the acid of the vinaigrette to create a velvety dressing. Try this Frisée Salad With Poached Egg for a simple yet elegant starter.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest