Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Summer Salads!

Here's another fabulous entry from ISU student Rebecca Kaplan-Shank:

Years ago I had a friend who held "Sunday family dinners" for her close friends, and one of the things I always looked forward to was her salads. Every week, she'd present us with a gorgeous, colorful, creative salad. I was always amazed with these delicious salads, and eventually I asked her how she came up with a great new combination every week. "It's easy," she told me. "I just use a formula."

Of course!

So here's her basic formula, which I've kept in mind while making salads every since.

Pick 1-3 - salad greens

Pick 1-3 - raw veggies

Pick 1 - fruit

Pick 1 - nuts/seeds

Pick 1 - major protein (meat or vegetarian; optional) Pick 1 - strong cheese (optional)

Dress it however you'd like, and you've got a dish that goes beyond your everyday side salad. Obviously some combinations work better than others, but I haven't yet made a bad salad with this formula. Here's one of my favorites! Pair with a protein like a lean piece of grilled fish to balance out the higher fat in the avocado and dressing, and you've got a complete meal. A note on the dressing: if you have a favorite bottled variety, feel free to use it, but I hope you'll try making your own! You have better control over the flavors and seasoning (especially salt), and the fresh taste of homemade dressing can do amazing things for your salad.

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cucumber, sliced thin

1 large head red leaf lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces and washed ½ avocado, diced

1 mango, diced

¼ cup sunflower seed kernels, toasted and unsalted

Whisk garlic, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together until salt dissolves, then add olive oil slowly while continuing to whisk.

Reserve one tablespoon of dressing and toss with cucumbers. Toss the rest of the dressing with the lettuce, then divide lettuce among four plates. Scatter cucumber, avocado, mango, and sunflower seeds over salads.

Makes 4 servings

Nutrient Analysis: 207 calories, 15g fat, 2g saturated fat, 185mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 4g protein

Please share this article with your friends!
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Pin on Pinterest


Email will not display publicly, it is used only for validating comment

I have this co-worker, Cindy, who makes really good salads. She puts my salads to shame. I am going to try this formula and let you know how it goes
by Beverly Long on Wednesday 6/13/2012

That Cindy does make good salads, but so does Bev! Homemade salad dressing is the best and fresh veggies from the garden are nutritious and delicious!
by Cindy Kinate on Wednesday 6/13/2012

I can't wait to try a salad from Bev or Cindy :-) Hows does Thursday sounds as a salad day!
by Bobbie Lewis-Sibley on Friday 7/6/2012