Switch It Up With Snazzier Summer Salads



You know the old adage. . . “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but how about a salad a day? Your body, mind, and overall health will benefit from eating greens on a daily basis. Keep diseases and aging at bay with a salad a day!

The reasons to go for greens are many. Greens increase your fiber intake, improve digestion, boost your immune system with powerful antioxidants, and help maintain a healthy weight.

Vegetarians and vegans can chop up some tofu or tempeh and include beans and legumes to pack on protein, while meat lovers can include sliced chicken, pork, turkey, or beef, and fish lovers can add some salmon or ahi tuna.

Pack a punch in the nutrition and flavor departments by adding a handful of fresh herbs to your salads. Rinse and rough chop herbs like cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, chives, and dill. So yummy!

Try adding sprouts, mung beans, clover, wheatgrass, or alfalfa. Beans and legumes, such as edamame, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, Northern beans, and peas, complement a salad and add protein. A handful of nuts can be a healthy addition, and almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, or hazelnuts will dress up your salads.

For salad dressings, you can whip together something creamy (think Caesar, ranch or blue cheese), citrusy (fresh juice plus zest), or nutty (try Thai style with peanut butter). Or just stick with the basics and add lemon juice or oil and vinegar.

These recipes for snazzier summer salads will satisfy your cravings for fresh, raw foods and will make you healthier. The recipes are for one person, but can easily be doubled or made larger to accommodate more people.

 

SWEET SUMMER SALAD

1-2 handfuls baby spinach

4-5 strawberries (chopped)

1-2 handfuls blueberries

1-2 handfuls pecans/walnuts (chopped or whole)

1-2 handfuls goat cheese or your favorite cheese (optional)

Citrus Mint Vinaigrette

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tablespoons orange juice

1-2 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 sprigs fresh mint leaves (minced to garnish salad)

Recipe adapted from Spinach Berry Salad With Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing –

Modern Honey: modernhoney.com/spinach-berry-salad-with-sweet-poppy-seed-dressing

 

SIMPLE SUMMER SALAD

1-2 handfuls arugula

4-6 watermelon slices (OR 4-5 grapefruit slices, OR 4-5 avocado slices)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1-2 sprigs fresh basil (rough chopped to garnish salad)

Lemon Vinaigrette:

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice + ½ teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar (optional)

Sea salt + white pepper (to taste)

Recipe adapted from Watermelon and Arugula Salad Barefoot Contessa: barefootcontessa.com/recipes/watermelon-arugula-salad

GREEK SALAD

1-2 handfuls mixed greens, kale, and/or Swiss chard

1/3 red onion (thin round slices)

1-2 handfuls feta cheese (crumble on or chop)

5-6 Kalamata olives

2-3 pepperoncini peppers

4-5 grape or cherry tomatoes (optional)

4-5 cucumber slices (optional)

4-5 bell or sweet pepper slices (optional)

4-5 avocado slices (optional)

Greek Vinaigrette:

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

3-4 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

1-2 dashes oregano

2-3 cloves garlic (finely minced) or garlic powder (optional)

Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)

 

CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD

½ head romaine lettuce (chopped)

1 grilled or baked chicken breast (thin slices)

1-2 tablespoon Parmesan, Romano or Reggiano cheese (shaved or grated)

Caesar Vinaigrette:

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

3-4 anchovy filets

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Sea salt + ground black pepper  (to taste)

Recipe adapted from Caesar Salad Supreme All Recipes: allrecipes.com/recipe/14172/caesar-salad-supreme/

 

Get creative and feel free to try different combinations. Your taste buds will tell you what works, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to food pairings and dressings. Be inspired to make new culinary creations using your senses and thinking visually, like an artist. Instead of all green, opt for a rainbow of different colors.

Add a salad daily to benefit your health, and enjoy a food fix that is both delicious and nutritious. Get creative with clean eating and put a swing in your step with snazzier salads!


Comments