During the summer months we start to see some of our favourite seasonal vegetables and fruits at local farmers markets and on our grocery store shelves. All of these seasonal foods are great additions to any summer salad. When we start moving our thoughts away from a salad made of just lettuce, tomato and cucumbers which can leave us uninspired to salads topped with nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains, chia seeds, raw vegetables, olives, sundried tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, grapes and much more we can let our creativity run wild.
The key to keeping things exciting is to swap and change your ingredients throughout the week and keep the focus on variety. Here are some great examples of healthy well balanced salads you can enjoy for lunch or dinner through the week.
1) Strawberry Spinach Salad: 2 cups of organic spinach, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh strawberries, 2 tbsp. of chopped walnuts, 4-6 sprigs of fresh basil, topped with balsamic & honey dressing (mix 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar/white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tbsp. of raw honey or maple syrup, sea salt and pepper) Toss Dressing through the salad and enjoy.
Why not add in: 1/4 cup of goats feta, 1/2 cup of chopped chicken breast, 1/2 cup of flaked wild salmon fillet or other fish of choice
2) Homemade Coleslaw: 1/2 small fennel sliced thinly, 1/2 apple chopped, 1/4 red cabbage grated or chopped finely, 1/4 white cabbage/pointed cabbage grated or chopped finely mix together then toss with a yogurt and dijon dressing (1/4-1/2 cup bio live greek yogurt, 2 tbsp. dijon mustard, 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup, 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, sea salt and black pepper - adjust to taste) Serve along side fresh rocket & watercress salad
Why not add in: Chopped red peppers, grated carrots, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
3) Healthy Greek Salad: 1/2 small cucumber chopped, 1/4-1/2 red onion chopped, 1/2 red pepper chopped, 1/4 cup of kalamata olives chopped, 1 chopped tomato, 1/2 cup of chickpeas or haricot beans with an oregano dressing (1 garlic crushed, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper) Toss 2-3 tbsp. of dressing through your salad.
4) Chicken, Mango & Chili Salad: 1/2 chopped mango, 1/2-1 spring onion chopped, 1/2-1 red chili chopped, juice of one lime, 1/2-3/4 cups chopped chicken, small handful of chopped fresh coriander, chopped romaine lettuce or other lettuce of choice, 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Toss everything together and enjoy.
5) Orange, Avocado and Wild Rice Salad: 1/2 cup cooked wild rice (great to use from leftovers from dinner), 1/2 avocado chopped, 1/2 large orange chopped into pieces or slices, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 2-3 tbsp. of toasted pecans, 1 tbsp. dried cranberries, 1 tbsp. chopped apricots
Why not add in: Chopped Grilled Chicken, Chopped Grilled Turkey Breast, Flaked Mackerel Fillet, black eyed beans
Happy & Healthy Eating!
Debbie Vanderboom is a Nutritional Advisor, Natural Juice Therapist and foodie who loves using fresh, wholesome food to nourish the body. Educating her clients on the importance of choosing healthy foods on a daily basis is her focus. She provides her clients with recipes, resources and meal plans to help develop healthy eating habits for life.