Summer Salad Roundup
I’ve always been a salad lover. No matter what diet I’m experimenting with, I can always create salads that make my tummy happy. I’ve been lacto-ovo vegetarian, vegan, Paleo and a little keto here and there. My main M.O. is that I support local farms as much as possible, sustainable methods of agriculture and farmers that treat their animals humanely and with care. One thing I can say is that I definitely enjoy my food more when I know where it comes from and how it was grown.
The fresher your ingredients, the better the salads taste, but there are definitely a few items below that came in cans or frozen bags. Sometimes you have to improvise!
No matter what your dietary affiliation is, there’s a salad below for you.
1. Fruity Nutty Cheesy Medley Salad
I had too much fruit sitting in my fridge that I didn’t want to let spoil. Not letting food go to waste always inspires me to experiment. And that’s how this salad was born.
- Mixed Greens
- Fresh Strawberries
- Fresh Blueberries
- Sliced Pear (most any variety will work)
- Chopped Pecans
- Sunflower Seeds
- Chevré goat cheese
- Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar and Oil dressing or Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing (I like Bragg’s brand)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss it all in a bowl and eat!
2. Paleo Mediterranean Salad
I was following the Paleo Diet the first half of this year. I love it for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. And that’s pretty much the hallmark of the Mediterranean diet too. Greek Salads have been a staple in my diet ever since my boyfriend when I was 16, ordered one at a pizzaria in Long Island. He was a vegetarian and I followed suit for several years. Normally, the best part of a Greek Salad, at least for me, is the Feta cheese. But when you’re following the Paleo method, it’s off limits. So here was my work around. I have to say, this was so filling and savory, I didn’t miss the cheese at all!
Ingredients – amounts are up to you!
- Mixed Field Greens
- Cocktail Tomatoes
- Greek Olive Medley (or just use Kalamatas)
- Red Onion
- Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil
- Drizzle salad with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
- Season with Salt and Pepper to taste. You can also squirt a little fresh lemon juice on the the tuna.
If you’re not following a Paleo, AIP or other dairy-free diet, feel free to add Feta cheese.
3. Jumbo Prawn & Mango Salad in Chili Lime Dressing
There’s a sidewalk French Bistro in West Hollywood that my client (and bestie) love. We walk there on nights her husband is out of town (meaning they won’t be having dinner together). On these special nights we can do a long leisurely (and very easy) workout that involves a 3 to 4 mile walk and dinner. The bistro always has a salad like this on the menu. They use papaya instead of mango, but I had to improvise. One night I picked up some jumbo shrimp with no real plan in mind. Then as I was making a smoothie with frozen mangoes the inspiration hit! Why not make my favorite French bistro salad with mango instead? I’ve been making this one ever since and it’s always as tasty as it is colorful!
- Jumbo Shrimp
- Mixed Greens
- Red Onions
- Mango (fresh or thawed frozen)
- Sesame Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Chili Powder or Flakes
- Lime juice
- Olive oil or Avocado Oil
- Rice Vinegar
- Chili lime powder
- Sautee jumbo shrimp in olive oil with salt and pepper. Cook with shell on to make them juicier. Sprinkle on some chili powder or flakes and squeeze in some lime juice.
- Mix dressing: olive or avocado oil with rice vinegar, chili lime powder and honey to taste.
- Place shrimp, cut up mangoes on a salad bed with red onions. Add avocado and tomatoes too. Mix with dressing.
- Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
4. Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad
Recipe by Taste of Home – serves 6
Found this delicious salad and it’s so fun to eat, I had to share! I’m a sucker for sweet and savory flavors combined.
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
- Lettuce leaves
In a large bowl, mix the first eight ingredients until blended. Add chicken, grapes, celery and pecans; toss to coat. Serve on lettuce.
Tip: To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally
5. Vegan Mexican Salad
Not just for Cinco de Mayo! Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to blow your diet and bloat your belly. Try this the next time you have a craving for a light Mexican inspired meal but want to stay healthy. There’s no fried tortilla to so you can be guilt free here.
- Romaine lettuce
- Red onion
- Shredded Carrots
- Baked Tempeh or Veggie Burger of Choice
- 1 can Corn
- 1 can Black beans
- Crackers of choice
- Mustard Vinargrette (Recipe below)
- Optional: add some chopped avocado for a healthy fat or dip the crackers in guacamole.
- Assemble Salad
- Top with baked tofu or veggie burger
- Drizzle with vinagrette
- Add Crackers on the side
Mustard Viniagrette Ingredients
- 1 glove of garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5-6 tablespoons oil (vegetable, corn, canola, olive or some combination)
- pinch of dried parsley
- pinch of dried thyme
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, mustard and mix well. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Add the parsley and thyme, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Baked Tofu Recipe Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar (white, cider, balsamic, rice, red- or white-wine — whatever you have on hand or goes with the flavors of whatever your end-use recipe is)
- 1 teaspoon Pickapeppa (optional but good)
- Any combination of the seasonings
- 1 tempeh cake (8 ounces), cut in the size or shape appropriate to use
- Cooking spray
- Combine the tamari, vinegar, and Pickapeppa in a nonreactive dish and stir to combine. If using additional seasoning, add it here. Add the tempeh. Marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes to 1 hour
- Fifteen minutes before you are ready to cook the tempeh, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the marinated tempeh pieces on a nonstick baking sheet or one that has been sprayed with cooking spray, allowing plenty of air space between chunks. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, then flip the pieces over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use as desired.