Make Your Own Summer Salads

Spring and summer provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh vegetables and easy-to-make lunches and dinners. What better way to enjoy the seasons with fresh salads that are also good for you? These five recipes can all include your favorite protein source (choose light meat such as chicken, or your favorite tofu) to make a well-rounded dinner, or without for a light, but satisfying lunch. Each recipe serves two, and can be stored as prepared for up to 2 days.

Afternoon Energizer

This afternoon pick-me-up combines energizing protein with just the right balance of vegetables. The salad features cubed tofu and a vegetable medley served over field greens, and served with a honey mustard dressing with a spicy kick.

8 oz. cubed tofu
1 carrot
1 small yellow squash
1 small zucchini
8 oz. canned and chopped tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
12 oz. field greens

Spicy Honey Mustard Dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp spicy yellow mustard
1 tsp. honey
Salt to taste

Chop carrot, squash, and zucchini and steam until soft; add tomatoes, salt, and chili powder in a medium bowl and mix well. Layer field greens, cubed tofu, and vegetable mixture to form salad. Drizzle with honey mustard dressing.

Tomato and Mozzarella Medley

This spin on a classic Italian appetizer makes a great summer meal. Fresh mozzarella and tomatoes layered with balsamic vinaigrette, atop a bed of mixed greens sprinkled with fresh basil.

1 small package fresh mozzarella, sliced into Ã?½” thick slices
2 large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
12 oz. mixed field greens
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
�½ cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin preparation of this salad by creating a bed of field greens that have been tossed with the balsamic vinaigrette. Layer with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, and drizzle additional dressing to taste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Citrus Burst Salad

This visually appealing salad combines vibrant colors and flavors .Mandarin oranges, sliced mango, cucumbers, tomatoes, and grilled chicken on top of field greens with a light lemon vinaigrette.

2 cups mixed field greens
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can sliced mango, drained
1 large cucumber, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
1 grilled chicken breast, sliced

Lemon-Balsamic Dressing:
Fresh lemon juice
Balsamic vinegar
Fresh pepper

Toss together field greens, cucumber, tomato, and chicken breast pieces. Stir in oranges and mango. Drizzle entire salad with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and finish with black pepper.

Eat Your Greens Salad

This all-green salad provides a variety of flavors and textures and maximizes the vitamin-rich benefits of the vegetables. Romaine lettuce, spinach leaves, fresh cucumbers, asparagus, and grilled zucchini are tossed in a zesty tomato-onion dressing.

2 cups romaine lettuce
1 cup spinach leaves
1 large cucumbuer, sliced
1 lb. fresh asparagus, steamed and cut into 1″ pieces
2 medium zucchini, steamed and sliced

Tomato-Onion Dressing

1 cup diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
Black pepper to taste.

Toss all salad ingredients when vegetables are cooled, and set aside. Heat up all ingredients for dressing, and simmer until combined and water is half-removed from diced tomatoes. Add to salad, and enjoy! Top with black pepper to taste.

Chopped Asian-style Salad

This Asian inspiraiton features all the ingredients of a delicious spring roll, but in a salad! Iceberg lettuce, chopped cabbage, bean sprouts, grilled chicken, and assorted sweet peppers are mixed with a rice vinegar and soy sauce dressing, and topped with cilantro.

2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
1 large chicken breast, grilled and sliced
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
�½ cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce

Toss all ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

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