Lettuce-Less Salads Are The New Cool Lunch In Town

Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
By Katherine Oakes

Today: Remember that potato salad your mom used to make? Here's how — and why — you should be packing it for lunch.

Let's time travel for a moment, back to the 1950s when Elvis Presley shook his hips on The Ed Sullivan Show, recipes were traded on cards, and the potato salad reigned. While Elvis got a second wind from YouTube and "Best of" albums, and recipes found a more convenient home, our grandmothers' fresh and crisp mayonnaise-drenched favorite quietly exited many tables, like meatloaf and tuna noodle casserole.

Yes, it still makes the rounds at summer picnics and office potlucks, but we'd argue that it, and all lettuce-less salads for that matter, deserve a place in your regular lunch rotation.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Improve Your Deskside Lunch

These retro salads can be personalized to match your taste, are incredibly flavorful, and are easy to whip up in the morning before work for a last-minute lunch. You can even leave the bread at home and bring a pile of crackers to punctuate your salads with a satisfying crunch. As long as you have a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry, chances are you already have everything you need for this lunch. 

Ahead, we've rounded up four updated lettuce-less salads to get you started.

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Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Curried Egg Salad
If you want something full of flavor, try a traditional egg salad, but don't stop right after the mayonnaise and salt — sprinkle curry powder on top for an unexpected, spicy kick. Keep some hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator to minimize your lunch preparation in the morning.

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Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Potato Salad, Two Ways
Love the classic? Try this version, updated by adding sliced radishes, whole grain mustard, and chive blossoms, or build your own. If you're looking for something new, go for this umami-rich option, that substitutes fingerlings for sweet potatoes, and is finished with a miso-maple sauce for a sweet and savory lunch.

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Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Bean Salad Redux
Reclaim this vegan lentil taco filling as a cracker topping, or pile on the white beans with tarragon if you're craving something as bright as those overhead office flourescents.

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Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Build Your Own Chicken Salad
Either go the classic mayonnaise and celery route, or use Greek yogurt as a tangy, rich binding to hold together pesto, peas, and shredded roast chicken.

Next: Quinoa Salad With Hazelnuts, Apple, And Dried Cranberries

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