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summer salads
Nutrition

4 Easy Ideas for Summer Salads

I have become something of a salad master. While I don’t enjoy cooking, I find the chopping, peeling, and mixing of salad making suits my creative side. I feel making a great salad is a craft. I like to think of the combinations, colors, and flavors. Salads are especially great as we get into the heat of summer. I live in northern Florida and the heat and humidity will be here any day. These are 4 of my favorite ideas for summer salads. They are adaptable, so you can swap out ingredients based on what you have on hand or what’s in season. They also have a decent amount of protein and are filling, so I often eat them as a meal.

4 Easy Ideas for Summer Salads

Fredda’s Mexican Bean Salad

black bean salad - ideas for summer salads

Fredda’s Mexican Bean Salad is so named because a fellow woman’s club member named Fredda brought it to a luncheon. It was so tasty, I asked her for the recipe. This salad tastes better after 24 hours in the fridge.

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • (salt & pepper to taste)
  • 1 t of ground cumin

Ingredients

  • 1 15.5 oz can of Great Northern beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 15.5 oz can of black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 can of corn or 1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 small jalapeno chilies seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro

Whisk dressing together in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Let stand 2 or more hours in fridge, tossing occasionally.

Serves 8-12, approximately 235 calories per ½ c serving

Crunchy Broccoli, Apple & Blueberry Salad

broccoli salad - ideas for summer salads

This crunchy salad with broccoli, apple and blueberry was one I saw someone post on Facebook. I love the three main ingredients, so it was a perfect fit for me. The dressing works well with other salads too

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T poppy seeds

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs fresh broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds (I often substitute with thinly sliced almonds)
  • 1 apple cored and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 T lemon juice

In a large bowl, add broccoli, blueberries, red onion, cranberries, and sunflower seeds.

In a small bowl, mix the apple with 1 T lemon juice, then add it to the large bowl with other ingredients. In another small bowl, whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the large bowl (as little or as much as you like), toss well. Serves 8-10, approximately 150 calories per 1 cup serving

Vesna’s Rocket Salad

arugula

This one is named after my book club buddy. She brought this to one of our meetings and I said, “Arugula, where have you been all my life?” Vesna is from Croatia, and many places in Europe call arugula, rocket.

Ingredients

  • 1 5oz package of arugula (I like the baby arugula best)
  • 1 apple cored and sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ English cucumber sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of seasonal berries (if strawberries, I generally slice them)
  • ½ cup feta or Gorgonzola cheese
  • ¼ cup of chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 T Marie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette (you could make your own if you prefer)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Serves 6-8, approximately 200 calories per 1 cup serving

My Favorite Greek Chickpea Salad

greek salad - ideas for summer salads

I think sometimes I could live on Greek salad. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I ate it 2-3 times a week from the Greek diner near my office. This is another salad that tastes better after a couple of days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • ½ English cucumber, sliced into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes chopped into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • Kalamata olives (I add a dozen whole, but you could use sliced if you prefer)
  • ½ t of parsley (dried or fresh)
  • ¼ t dried oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped (I often omit, but it really adds a nice taste)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl, toss a few times. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Toss before serving. Serves 8-10, approximately 150 calories per 1 cup serving.

And there you have it! If you have an herb garden, these are great meals to add your homegrown herbs to. Go ahead, try out one of these summer salads or come up with your own twist on these ideas.

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