Summer Salad Ideas
Summer Salad Ideas
Summer! The season of barbeques, sunburns and delicious food. If you’re anything like me then summertime is when you put the hot meals aside and go for some nice cooling dishes. I find salads are one of my go-to meals in the summer because they are quick, go great next to a burger and they are so versatile. A salad is a great way to use up loads of your fresh produce before you head out on vacation and they are sure to please the family, even the ones who don’t like their greens.
One of my favourite summer salads is watermelon, cucumber and feta with a greek dressing. It’s such a light refreshing salad that is amazing for lunch or as a side dish. It’s also likely to be a hit for any backyard potlucks that you might have. The best part? It’s only 4 ingredients! I have an overload of mint in my backyard so I enjoy plucking some fresh mint leaves and giving them a quick chop as a nice garnish to the salad. The mint isn’t necessary and you could opt for some fresh basil if you have it instead.
Watermelon, cucumber and feta with a greek dressing
1 watermelon, cut into chunks
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
300g feta cheese, crumbled
Greek Dressing – You can use store bought or this simple recipe
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: Fresh mint/basil (roughly chopped)
For the homemade dressing, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt and pepper into an 8oz mason jar. Put the lid on and shake to combine. (Note: the dressing will separate after time so simply give it another shake before pouring onto the salad)
For the salad, combine your watermelon chunks, cucumber and feta cheese in a large bowl. If you are eating immediately then add your dressing now (and mint/basil if you choose). Otherwise, store as is and add your dressing and fresh mint/basil just prior to serving. Keep chilled for up to 5 days!
If you’re more of a standard salad kind of person then I recommend trying the strawberry, spinach salad with chicken. I love throwing the chicken on any type of salad because it helps keep me full longer and still get in all my veggies.
Now you may be thinking, strawberries? In a salad! I know I know, but just trust me on this one! The strawberries add a nice boost of natural sweetness to the salad plus who doesn’t love strawberries in the summertime. This spinach salad is one of my favourites to make and you can really throw in whatever you want but I love the combination of strawberries, chicken and some cubed avocado. For the chicken, I like to buy one of the whole pre-cooked chickens at the grocery store and stick it in the fridge. The next day I take it out and shred it once it’s cooled and then it’s perfect for sandwiches, salads or just to eat on its own for a quick snack.
Strawberry, avocado and chicken salad
10 strawberries, sliced
1 avocado, chunked
1 cup chicken, shredded
4 cups of spinach
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
½ cup Olive oil
⅓ cup Balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the homemade dressing, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper into an 8oz mason jar. Put the lid on and shake to combine. (Note: the dressing will separate after time so simply give it another shake before pouring onto the salad)
For the salad, slice your strawberries, cube the avocado and shred your chicken if you haven’t done so already. In a large bowl combine spinach, pumpkin seeds, avocado, strawberries and chicken. Before serving grizzle on the salad dressing.
This next one is more of a dessert salad. I call it a fruit salad but it’s just a fruit salad cut into smaller pieces and it includes cinnamon sugar chips. If you’re looking for something to bring to a potluck or barbeque this summer then this is your dish. I have never had this dish not be a hit with whoever was eating it. It’s super simple to throw together and it’s a great sweet and slightly spicy treat. I like to add a bit of jalapeno to the dish to give it a slight kick but if heat isn’t your thing feel free to just leave the jalapeno out of the recipe.
Fruit salsa with cinnamon sugar chips
1 lb Strawberries, diced
5 Kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Mangoes, diced
½ a Red Onion, finely diced
½ a Jalapeno, finely diced
10 large tortillas
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the white sugar and cinnamon. Brush the melted butter onto one side of the tortillas, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the buttered side of the tortilla. Repeat for all the tortillas. Cut each tortilla into 8-10 sections. Arrange onto a baking tray in a single layer and cook for 8-10 minutes, allow the tortillas to cool for 15 minutes. While they’re cooling, dice your strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, red onion and jalapeno. (For the jalapeno, make sure you removed the seeds before dicing as you don’t want them to end up in the fruit salsa.) In a medium-sized bowl, combine all the diced fruits, red onion and jalapeno. The fruit salad is best if eaten the day or but it will last for a few days if covered and stored in the fridge. Once the tortilla chips have cooled store them in an airtight container. Serve together!
All three of these salad recipes are some of my favourites and they make for a great summer meal! I’m always looking for new salad recipes so feel free to leave your favourite one or on you think I should try in the comments!