Like most girls, my go-to meal when I am feeling out of shape or haven't have the most responsible sugar/fat intake in the past week or just don't feel like cooking is a salad. This, however, is not as appealing or nearly as satisfying or filling to our menfolk. To them, salad is either 1) for rabbits or 2) a small predecessor to the real thing of dinner. My husband still has to hold back a grimace when I tell him we are having salad for dinner, but I think I am slowly but surely proving myself to be a reliable source of more-than-rabbit-food food.
Step one: get meat and protein. This whole endeavor must be manly and substantial. By definition, no meat = no manliness. The complete salad must weigh more than the bowl it sits in. It is ludicrous to assume that menfolk will be okay without meat for dinner, and no matter how hard you try to disguise that tofu, they will know the difference. I promise.
Some good options here: beef, chicken, pepperoni, ham, cheese, hardboiled eggs, any other cold-cuts. I try to stay away from processed foods, so my go-to is a marinated/spiced up chicken breast or beef slab, BBQ'ed or grilled, and sliced up in bite sized pieces.
Step two: yes, this salad has vegetables. But remember... your man needs substance. So pick things like cucumbers, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, olives, carrots, celery, ya know, things he really has to chew on and work for.
Step three: green leafy stuff. I almost always go with baby spinach, because it has so much more flavor and character than other watery stuff. It also holds up better in my opinion, and doesn't become a green yucky mush.
Step four: dressing. I have found that if I toss everything together in a big bowl with the dressing, it goes a lot farther and you don't end up pouring quite as much onto your salad. It covers everything so you don't get one bit of guinea pig food the first bite, and one gulp of ranch the next.
After you toss, throw it back into a bowl or plate and be ready to serve up seconds. Enjoy!