Ditch the pre-made supermarket salad bags and instead check out these fresh summer salad recipes that are perfect for a healthy lunch.
Here at Champneys, we don’t just offer a range of spa treatments we also offer a number of food and nutrition boot camps too and our experts know that with the right ingredients you can whip up an exciting salad that has lots of benefits such as increasing your energy and boosting your mood.
Penny Crowther, a CNHC & BANT Registered nutritional therapist at Nutritionist London, says a salad can be a complete meal.
“Salad is so much more than chopped iceberg lettuce with browning edges and soggy slices of tomato on the side. Sadly this can be what turns up on a plate in some eateries. A good salad can be a complete meal in itself.”
So check out some of these salad recipes and find out some of their benefits.
•8oz (225g) quinoa
•6oz (175g) dried apricots washed and finely chopped
•4 tablespoons fresh mint chopped (plus a sprig to garnish)
•50g bag fresh parsley chopped
•6 trimmed and sliced spring onions
•2 crushed garlic cloves
•4 tablespoons lemon juice
•3 tablespoons flaxseed oil
•Dash of tamari sauce (optional - this is a pure, concentrated soya sauce without additives such as sugar and wheat)
Penny Crowther, says, “Adding protein to your salad turns it into a complete meal. A good dressing is absolutely key – use flaxseed oil which provides a beneficial ratio of omega 3 and 6 fats to support healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. Adding a dressing helps make you feel fuller for longer as well. You can make up a week’s worth of dressing and store in the fridge in a glass jar. For variations and different tastes, use walnut or sesame oil. Olive oil is beneficial too if cold pressed. Quinoa tastes like a grain, but it is actually a seed and so it’s a good option for gluten free diets.
“This is a good dish to make in advance to allow the wonderful flavours to infuse! It goes well with cold chicken & green leaves and is portable for a packed lunch. For a complete vegetarian meal, add kidney beans for protein. You can also use brown rice instead of quinoa as a variation.”
•Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the grains have turned transparent and the spiral like germ has separated. Drain and set aside. When you are new to cooking quinoa, it can be tricky to tell whether it’s cooked...usually if it’s boiled for 20 minutes it’s done! If all the water hasn’t boiled off during cooking, put the quinoa in a sieve and pour boiling water through it and give it a good shake. This will stop it becoming soggy!
•Add all the other ingredients and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.
•2 x 400g can cannellini beans
•1 lemon, zested and juiced
•250g pack sundried tomatoes and olives
According to BBC Good Food, the beans and fresh watercress is perfect for a quick, light meal and includes just four ingredients with three of them being in your five-a-day.
With the watercress this salad is a great source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin A and with the lemon juice the salad is a tasty meal to enjoy.
•Drain and rinse the beans, then combine in a bowl with the watercress, zest and juice of the lemon, tomatoes and olives, including the oil from the pack. Toss well and season to taste.
•1 lb. cauliflower florets
•5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
•1/4 c. lemon juice
•1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped
•1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
•1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
•1/3 c. golden raisins
•1/3 c. pine nuts
This salad is recommended by Good Housekeeping as not only will this salad help keep your heart healthy, but it will keep you full as well.
This basic recipe can be customised to however you like and can even be served alongside other foods such as soups or alongside some salmon too.
•Put cauliflower florets with olive oil on a baking sheet and add a bit of salt and pepper. Roast in 450°F oven for 25 minutes, or until stems are tender.
•In a large bowl you will then need to whisk lemon juice, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Then toss the kale with dressing. Let it stand for at least 5 minutes.
•Just mix all of the ingredients well until combined
Ingredients (serves 10 people):
•1 16oz of lentils - steamed
•1 cucumber, diced
•1 box of plum tomatoes, sliced thin
•1/2 red onion, diced
•1/2 cup of fresh corn
•1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced (you could use the whole pepper if you want too!)
•4oz Feta Cheese Crumbles
•Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste (use these liberally to get the flavour you want in the salad!)
Anjali, a board certified health coach and author, runs her own blog called The Picky Eater and she recommends trying a lentil and feta salad.
“This is so easy to make, it literally takes 20 minutes. It’s kid friendly and crowd friendly too.”
•Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss and season to taste.
•4 cups organic baby spinach leaves
•1/4 red onion slivered into strips as thin as possible
•1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries cut into halves or thirds
•Handful of sliced almonds
•1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
•Juice from 1 lemon
•1 tbsp fresh lemon zest zested and then chopped for even tinier pieces
•Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
This is the perfect salad for the summer and can be eaten as a quick and easy lunch or alongside chicken and balsamic vinegar.
You can throw in any summer fruit or berry with many people also including blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. If you are not a big fan of almonds or are allergic to them you can leave these out.
•Mix together the spinach, onions and strawberries.
•Then whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined.
•Pour dressing over salad and lightly toss until coated. Spread almonds over the top before serving.