There’s nothing like a good salad in the summertime. Salads can be light, refreshing meals packed with nutrition and goodness. And they’re your best bet for a colourful plate too if you’re trying to eat the rainbow every day – one of the simple steps in our One Week Wellness Challenge.
Check out these 5 Super Salad Recipes to kick your summer off to a super salad start!
1. Super Skin Squash Salad
It’s that time of year again. Milk-bottle skin that hasn’t seen the light of day since last September will soon be on display. Nourishing your skin from the inside out is a great way to prep for summer. And while we all like the sun-kissed look, exposure to UV rays and the drying effects of the sun can mean we need to take a little extra care to protect our skin from damage and ageing.
This delicious salad is high in vitamin E and antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C which are essential as part of our defence against damage. Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 which helps keep skin supple.
Cooking time 40 minutes, hands-on time 15 minutes. Serves 4
1 small butternut squash, cut into thin wedges (no need to peel)
½ tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
Pack baby spinach or other dark green leaves
½ red onion, finely sliced
Tin chickpeas, drained
Handful pomegranate seeds (optional)
Handful sunflower seeds/walnuts, lightly toasted is desired
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
¼ red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
5 tbsp. walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Place butternut squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil and smoked paprika.
- Place in oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until well cooked. Allow it to cool.
- Put leaves, onion, chickpeas on a serving platter. Top with roast squash wedges and sprinkle over pomegranate and sunflower seeds and season.
- Mix orange juice, vinegar, chilli and walnut oil to make a dressing and drizzle over salad.
Add wild or wholegrain rice or quinoa for a bigger meal.
The roast squash will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
2. Simple Lentil Salad
For those who think that assembling a salad sounds too much like hard work, this is about as far from cordon bleu cooking as it gets. Open the tin, open the packs and mix, that’s it we promise. We also promise it is still super healthy and tasty. If you want to go one step further, cook Puy lentils by simply boiling for 15 mins or until al dente.
These little protein powerhouses are full of great energy and fibre so will fill you right up. Freshly cooked, they last 3-4 days in the fridge so you can continue to add a dose of nutrition to any salads or sides all week.
Prep time 3 minutes, serves 2
1 tin Puy lentils
4 ready cooked beetroot (vacuum packed), cubed
½ log goat’s cheese, crumbled
2 large handfuls mixed salad leaves e.g. bagged salad
For the dressing:
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ clove garlic, finely grated
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp runny honey
- Make the salad dressing by placing all the ingredients in a jar and mix vigorously.
- Mix all ingredients together.
For additional flavour, try adding some chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, mint or coriander.
3. Asian Satay-style Courgette Salad
This salad is so colourful and fresh and the dressing is just so more-ish, we challenge you not to lick the plate. For lunch, it makes a great accompaniment to some left-over chicken or why not give your next BBQ an Asian twist. All the colours in this salad represent the variety of antioxidants and raw peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C. For extra convenience, you can buy most of these veg pre-prepared in salad boxes and just add the delicious dressing yourself.
Prep time 10 mins, Serves 2-3
2 courgettes, spiralised or finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 yellow pepper, finely sliced
2 handfuls bean sprouts
3 spring onions, finely chopped
small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
small handful fresh mint, finely chopped
2 heaped tbsp. crunchy peanut or cashew nut butter
2 tbsp. tamari
1 tsp. maple syrup
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp chilli garlic sauce / srirachi (optional)
½ – 1 tsp. grated ginger
Water to thin
- Chop and prepare veg as per ingredients.
- Stir together dressing ingredients.
4. Miso Maple Kale Salad
Kale is super high in skin protecting antioxidants and a great source of folic acid to support your brain health. It’s also an excellent support for your liver, in case Summer evenings mean extra cold beers or a sneaky G&T in a beer garden.
The truly super thing about a kale salad though, is that it is so sturdy, you can have this dressed and ready to go in the morning and it will still be crunchy and fresh unlike normal lettuce which becomes very sad and wilted if dressed too early. You could even prep it the night before and just grab and go in the morning. Oh and the dressing is delicious!
Prep time 30 mins, Serves 4
2 tsp white miso
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 – 2 tsp maple syrup
1 bag of kale
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 handful toasted nuts
½ red chili, finely diced, optional
- Make the dressing by mixing miso, toasted sesame oil and miso together in the bottom of a large bowl. Thin with a little water (1 – 2 tbsp.)
- Pull kale leaves off tough stalks, finely slice and place in the bowl with the dressing. ‘Massage’ the kale leaves in the dressing for a couple of minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Serve with some fish, tofu or cold meat for a complete meal.
5. Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a great all rounder – it’s a combination of complex carb (the good kind) and complete protein, so it really fills you up but won’t leave you feeling stuffed to the gills. It can be a little tasteless (even bitter) if eaten plain so cooking it in some good quality vegetable bouillon, throwing in a garlic clove or even wedges of lemon during the cooking process will introduce some flavour. Add a nice light dressing and, really, any chopped veg and herbs that you like and you’re on to a winner.
Prep time 20 mins, serves 4
1 cup (c. 170g) quinoa
2 cups water, with a pinch of vegetable bouillon powder
½ cup frozen soya beans / petit pois
½ – 3/4 cucumber diced
3 medium tomatoes diced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
100g feta cheese
Juice of ½ lemon or 1 lime
Small bunch of each of fresh mint and parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Ground black pepper to taste
- Rinse quinoa and then gently simmer the quinoa and water in a small pan for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. For the last 2 minutes of cooking, add in the frozen peas / soya beans to briefly cook.
- Meanwhile, chop the remaining ingredients.
Once the quinoa and peas/soya beans are cooled, stir in the rest of the vegetables and the lemon /lime juice.
- Transfer to a bowl and allow to stand in the fridge for 10-15 mins to allow the flavours to develop (optional).
- Crumble the feta cheese on top.
- Drizzle over the olive oil, season with freshly ground black pepper