Healthy Summer Salads

I love salads in the summer. They are cold and refreshing on days when I am warm. However, some salads can have more calories than you would think. In fact, several popular restaurants have salads that have more calories than a burger!

Don’t let the title of salads trick you into unhealthy choices. Here are a few of my favorite healthy summer salad recipes that are a perfect choice for a meal on the patio.

Share some of your favorite salads, as well!

 

Healthy Tuna Salad

This recipe is much healthier than traditional tuna salad, because of substituting Greek yogurt instead of mayo. I have made the recipe with only Greek yogurt and it’s delicious. Play with your quantities of yogurt, mayo and Dijon depending on how you like your tuna. You can also add in other/different herbs or seasoning.

  • 3 cans albacore tuna
  • 2 pickle spears diced
  • Half a carrot grated
  • 2 tbs diced onion (soak the chopped onion in water briefly to remove some of the ‘bite’)
  • 1 tbs light mayo
  • 1 tbs non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place tuna in bowl. Add in pickle, carrot and onion. Next, add mayo, yogurt and Dijon and stir. Taste and add your spices. Add more yogurt, mayo or Dijon as needed.

 

Endive and Avocado Salad

I originally saw this recipe on the Food Network years ago. I have made it every year since because it’s light, tasty and simple.

  • 1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 heads endive
  • 3 ripe Haas avocados, peeled and seeded

Directions:

Whisk up the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Chop the endive into chunks (pull a couple leaves off if they don’t look fresh and chop off the end). Cut the avocados into a large dice. Mix the endive and avocado together. You can either pour the dressing mixture over the avocado/endive and toss, or have your dressing on the side and dip as you eat.

 

Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

This Kale and Brussel Sprout salad can be a light alternative to a heavy side dish, or can be a healthy mid-day meal to help boost your energy level.  This salad features Tuscan kale and a lemon/shallot vinaigrette dressing. Introduce this at a dinner party, and your guests probably won’t even be able to guess the ingredients, they’re so tasty!

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbs minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 ½ pounds total), finely shredded
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino

Directions:

Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix finely shredded kale and brussel sprouts in a large bowl.

Measure 1/2 cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 tablespoon oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel–lined plate.  Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.

Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture.  Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Garnish with almonds.

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