Reach For These 10 Cool And Fresh Summer Salads That Are Packed With Loads Of Nutrients
By: Shopna Obheroi on Apr 2nd, 2016
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Summer is certainly a wonderful season to grab greens and healthy fruits in abundance. This not only satiates your taste buds and cravings, but also keeps you hydrated and energetic through the hot days. Whipping up a salad for lunch or dinner is a great idea, in these circumstances.

Also, summer days might get too hot for one to stand in the kitchen for hours on end, to cook a full-fledged meal. All the more reason to  churn out a gorgeous salad, we say!

Here, we have the recipes for 10 delicious salads that are just perfect for the summer months.

Chicken, Farro, And Vegetable Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette
Image credit: My Recipes

Perfect for a Sunday brunch, this exotic salad is as de-stressing an experience to prepare as it is to eat.

Ingredients:

4 skinned and boned chicken thighs, trimmed

Lemon vinaigrette, divided into two portions

1 cup uncooked farro

2-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/2 red onion, cut into wedges

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

10 sweet mini peppers, halved and seeded

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

Method:

1. Coat chicken with 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette (combination of olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and oregano) and chill for 30 minutes. (Reserve and chill remaining vinaigrette.)

2. Meanwhile, cook farro according to package directions, adding 1 tsp salt and 2 garlic cloves before bringing to a boil.

3. Drain and rinse; discard garlic, and transfer farro to a large bowl.

4. Preheat grill to 350 to 400 degree (medium-high) heat.

5. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade in bag.

6. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper.

7. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until done.

8. Transfer to a platter; cover with foil. Toss together onion, fennel bulb (a seasonal herb that's famous for its cooling properties), chopped peppers, olive oil, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.

9. Place vegetables in a large grill basket, and grill, covered with grill lid, 10 to 12 minutes or until vegetables start to char and soften, stirring and turning every 2 minutes.

10. Transfer vegetables to bowl, and cover with foil. Coarsely chop chicken; toss with farro, vegetables, parsley, basil, thyme, and 1/4 cup chilled reserved Lemon vinaigrette.

11. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Recipe Source: Myrecipes.com

Watermelon "Steak" Salad
Image credit: My Recipes

This is not your regular fruit salad. A cold, thick, steak-like slice of ripe watermelon pairs unexpectedly well here with salty Cotija cheese and a smoky vinaigrette. You could also try it with leftover grilled chicken or mutton kebabs.

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized red onion, sliced

1 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons table salt

12 cups assorted tender salad greens (such as lettuce, watercress, arugula and endives)

1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese

Smoky Dijon dressing

8 (1-1/4-inch-thick) chilled seedless watermelon slices, rinds removed

3/4 cup salted pepitas or sunflower seeds

Method:

1. Stir together onions, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup water in a glass bowl. Cover and chill for 2 hours. (Mixture can be made and chilled up to 2 days ahead.)

2. Remove onions from marinade, discarding marinade.

3. Toss together greens, cheese, 1 cup red onions, and desired amount of dressing in a large bowl.

4. Top each watermelon slice with 1-1/2 cups greens mixture.

5. Sprinkle with pepitas or roasted pumpkin seeds for that extra burst of crunch and health.

6. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette and onions.

Recipe Source: Myrecipes.com

Strawberry-Tomato Salad
Image credit: My Recipes

Delightful fruits come together in this great-looking festive salad. High in Vitamin C, this exotic salad keeps summer infections and allergies at bay.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

1/2 pound assorted small heirloom tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon loosely packed lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method:

Stir together all ingredients. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Myrecipes.com

Bean Sprouts And Vegetable Salad
Image credit: 123rf.com

Few salads can compare in goodness and variety to this gastronomical delight. A healthy blend of sprouts, vegetables, seasonings, herbs, and spices make this salad a complete meal in itself. You can substitute baby corn for mushrooms. Have it with a tall glass of chilled buttermilk for a sumptuous, hearty affair.

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

2 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp dry red chilli flakes (paprika)

Salt to taste

Other ingredients:

1 cup broccoli florets, blanched

10 mushrooms

4 to 5 crisp lettuce leaves

1/2 cup sliced onions

2 tbsp finely chopped celery

1 red capsicum, deseeded and cut into slices

3/4 cup bean sprouts

For the garnish:

2 tbsp chopped coriander

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing together in a mortar and pound to a coarse paste using a pestle. Keep aside.

2. Boil a vessel of water, add the broccoli and mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Strain and put into a vessel of cold water for 10 minutes.

4. Strain again and discard the water.

5. Cut the mushrooms into thick slices and keep aside.

6. Put the lettuce in ice-cold water for 30 minutes. This will make them crisp.

7. Drain and arrange the lettuce leaves at the bottom of a large salad bowl. Keep aside.

8. Combine the mushrooms, onions, celery, broccoli, capsicum and bean sprouts together in another bowl.

9. Pour the dressing over it and toss well. Spoon the salad over the lettuce leaves and serve immediately, garnished with coriander.

Recipe Source: Tarladalal.com

Farmers' Market Pasta Salad
Image credit: My Recipes

This pasta salad is an ultimate hit with children and adults alike. For anxious mothers who wish to pack a punch in their kiddo’s diet, but fear the youngsters being too picky with vegetables, this is the best resort. Cook the pasta al dente 1 or 2 minutes shorter than package directions specify, so it holds its shape when tossed with the vegetables and vinaigrette. Ripe and rich, the salad is also delicious with cheese-filled tortellini.

Ingredients:

2 cups halved baby heirloom tomatoes

2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons

1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cup fresh corn kernels

1 cup diced firm, ripe fresh peaches (about 2 medium)

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Parmesan vinaigrette

1 (8-oz.) package penne pasta

2 cups shredded smoked chicken (about 10 oz.)

1/3 cup torn fresh basil

1/3 cup torn fresh cilantro

Method:

1. Toss together all the vegetables and parmesan vinaigrette in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package directions.

3. Add hot cooked pasta and chicken to tomato mixture; toss gently to coat.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Transfer to a serving platter, and top with basil and cilantro. A feast like no other is ready!

Recipe Source: Myrecipes.com

Spinach Salad With Honey Dressing And Honeyed Pecans
Image credit: Southern Living

Shake off the weekend languor with this heady concoction of colours and crunch! Great by itself, this nutritive salad is also superb when paired with breads and rice. In fact, you could use leftover dressing to marinate meat or perk up plain rice and you can have a date with total taste.

Ingredients: 

1 (6-oz.) package baby spinach

1 cup quartered fresh strawberries

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Honey dressing

3 to 4 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Honeyed pecans

Method:

1. Toss together spinach, strawberries, onions and blueberries and add 1/3 cup dressing.

2. Sprinkle with bacon, cheese, and pecans.

3. Serve with remaining dressing.

4. Chunks of tuna and sardines can be substituted for bacon in this salad.

Recipe Source: Southern Living

 

Banana And Cucumber Salad
Image credit: Chowhound

Banana and cucumber salad is a unique combination of two popular and strong flavours. Sweet bananas and crunchy cucumbers are a very compatible twosome when prepared just right, with peanuts and coconut giving it a texture boost and green chillies and lemon juice giving it a flavour boost. Serve chilled.

Ingredients:

2 cups banana cubes

2 cups cucumber cubes

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp finely chopped green chillies

1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

2 tbsp grated fresh coconut

1 tsp powdered sugar

Salt to taste

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl, mix well and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Tarladalal.com

Burger Salad
Image credit: This Abundant Life

This is a beautiful salad that will leave you enthralled with its taste. Combining rich flavours and spicy juices, this is culinary magic at its best. Take your time to work through the method, and be rewarded with a unique salad on your plate!

Ingredients:

Chicken minced, 1 cup

Iceberg lettuce, 1 head

Egg, 1

Salt to taste

Black pepper powder to taste

Garlic cloves, chopped, 5-6

Parsley springs, 2-3

Onion, 1 medium

Oil for shallow frying

Cherry tomatoes, 8-10

Cheese slices, 4

Processed cheese, 150 grams

Lemon juice, a few drops

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

Mustard paste, 1 teaspoon

Fresh oregano, 8-9 sprigs + as required

Croutons, 1/2 cup

Tomato ketchup, as required

Method:

1. Put chicken mince, egg, salt, pepper powder and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Chop some of the parsley and add. Mix well.

2. Cut onion into rings.Heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Halve cherry tomatoes. Tear lettuce leaves and place in another bowl.

3. Place a medium size ring mould in the pan, put a portion of the chicken mince mixture in it and press. Place a cheese slice, top with another layer of chicken mixture and press to make a patty.

4. Remove the ring mould carefully, and shallow fry, flipping, till chicken is fully cooked and the patty turns golden on both sides. Similarly cook remaining patties.

5. Add onion rings in the same pan and saute till caramelised. Add cherry tomatoes to the lettuce.

6. Cut some cheese into small cubes and add with lemon juice, salt, pepper powder and olive oil and toss well. Add 1 teaspoon mustard paste and mix well.

7. Chop remaining parsley and some of the oregano, add and mix well. Add half the croutons and toss.

8. Transfer the salad in a serving bowl. Top with caramelised onion and place the patties. Tear remaining oregano and add with remaining croutons.

9. Top with a dollop of tomato ketchup and grate remaining cheese over them. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Sanjeevkapoor.com

Quinoa Salad
Image credit: All Recipes

The renowned goodness of quinoa and vegetables comes together in this extremely healthy salad, which also combines great flavours and taste. A good supper option, it is light and easily digestible and keeps you satiated for a long time. It is also bound to be a favourite with mothers who are always looking for tiffin ideas for school!

Ingredients:

Quinoa, 1 cup

Tomato chopped, 1 medium

Green bell pepper, chopped, 1 medium

Cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped, 1 medium

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped, 1 tablespoon

Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon

Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons

Salt, to taste

Black pepper powder, to taste

Fresh coriander sprigs for garnishing

Method:

1. Rinse quinoa in water, strain and boil in 1 cup water for 5-7 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and set aside.

3. Combine quinoa, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, chopped coriander in a bowl. Mix well.

4. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper powder in another bowl. Mix well and add to salad.

5. Toss to mix. Garnish with coriander sprig and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Sanjeevkapoor.com

Creamy Cauliflower Egg Salad
Image credit: All Recipes

In this salad, egg blends beautifully with cauliflower and herbs to yield a creamy wonder that is a great accompaniment for crackers, breads, and scones. This delicious salad can be also used as a thick sandwich spread, and will make a wholesome lunch at work.

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small chunks

4 hard-cooked eggs, or more to taste, chopped

1 cup creamy salad dressing or mayonnaise

2 stalks celery, diced

4 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon white sugar

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Place cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and cook in microwave oven until tender, about 7 minutes.

2. Uncover and cool for 5 minutes. Stir eggs, creamy salad dressing, celery, green onions, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

3. Mix cauliflower into dressing. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Recipe Source: All Recipes

Click here to read about vegans who will inspire to take up the plant-based diet.

So if you have considered to turn into a vegan or take up the organic route, these startups in India will definitely make things easier for you. And these cook books will surprise you with the countless creative ways you can enjoy vegan food.

 

Which of these salads sounds the most interesting to you? Do tell us, in your comments!

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Shopna Obheroi
Life is a beautiful journey for those who believe in the power of goodness and happy thoughts. For Shopna, an army wife, it has been a roller coaster of smiles and sniffles, spiced up with lots of travel, entertainment, friendships, laughter and learning along the way. A language enthusiast and passionate about English literature, she has been an...   Read more
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