As the days warm up I've been slowly coming around to it being salad season – it takes a bit to transition from the warming foods of winter to finally feeling sun warmed enough to proceed on to salads here in Melbourne in my experience. And with a beautiful day of sunshine, perfect for basking in, scheduled ahead, it has now become urgent to dig out my favourite salad recipes!
We know that the average Australian family aims for 5 serves of vegies each day, however, it's only a slim few of us who actually get there. With a healthy salad in the fridge, you can easily add an extra serve or two to meals throughout the day. If you happen to recall, a cup of fresh salad greens or vegies is generally considered 1 serve, while 1/2 cup of cooked vegies will also satisfy for a serve.
The following are some of the best salads on my summer rotation, packed with lots of yummy flavours, textures, colours, and crunch, take your pick with something simple, like the Kale Salad or move up to something fancy like the Beetroot, Seeds and Spinach number by COOKIE+kate.
1. Simple Kale Salad
Having well-deserved superfood status, kale is also at the top of the list for pesticide residue, unfortunately. Never fear, if you have a small space in the sun, Kale is also very easy to grow. Can't do better than homegrown produce, and look at you go, reducing your food miles, greenhouse emissions and combating climate change, just by eating your greens! However, don't worry if you can't access organics at your local green-grocer or afford the extra dollar or two, wash them well to minimise pesticides – after all, conventionally grown greens is much better than no greens at all.
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp of turmeric or paprika
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil
- Himalayan salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Finely chop your freshly washed Kale, toast some seeds or nuts and drizzle with a tasty dressing and voila, your salad awaits! What could be easier? You will find the full recipe here.
2. Raw Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Toasted Almond Salad
Once the summer produce gets going, it seems there are zucchinis everywhere. Being new to homegrown delights, the pleasant over-supply of zucchini did present an opportunity for creative zucchini use. This is one of my favourite ways to sneak extra vegies into your day from last summer, even going so far as eating them with breakfast on hot summer mornings. You really don't need a fancy vegie spiraller, the humble potato peeler did work just as well 🙂
- 1 zucchini, spiraled or sliced thinly with a vegie peeler
- 1-2 tablespoons of mixed seeds and nuts – I used pepitas, sunflower, flaked almonds and pine nuts, lightly toasted in a pan
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Fresh basil leaves, torn
For the full recipe, see my earlier post – Raw Zucchini Salad Breakfast.
3.Brussels sprouts as a salad ingredient? Why not!
Raw Brussels sprouts are just really tiny cabbages and coupled with a tangy dressing, a delicate cheese and some red onions, there is really nothing that can be said in opposition to this recipe. You'll probably surprise your guests with the revelation that in fact, they have just enjoyed a Brussels sprout! For other ways to eat Brussels sprouts check out my earlier post here.
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts (use larger sprouts if possible)
- 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano
I found the original delicious version of this recipe here.
4. Beetroot, edamame and avocado anyone?
This is the type of salad that I like to take to Christmas events, it has so much red and green is the mix, it just feels festive! However, I'm not saving it until then – there will be one of these whipped up this week, you can count on it 😉
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup frozen organic edamame (find it in the frozen section – edamame are soy beans, either in a pod or shelled, mine were in a pod and I shelled them after cooking)
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) (I used both!)
- 1 medium raw beetroot, peeled
- 1 medium-to-large carrot, peeled
- 2 cups packed baby spinach or arugula roughly chopped (arugula = rocket, this is what I used, I didn’t chop it though),
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro (cilantro – coriander, I opted for 1 of each)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar (I used 1 tsp of coconut sugar, you could use any sweetener)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Check out the full recipe from the fabulous COOKIE+kate here.
There are a few other salads I've yet to share, so look out for a few more to come. Oh, and if you have any gems to share, I'd love to be introduced to your faves for sure 🙂