With the amazing produce that summer brings, it's a shame to let seasonal vegetables go to waste. That’s why we’re sharing two tasty, healthy salads to put a spring into your step and treat your taste buds.
Salads have come a long way since the days when Grandma threw some iceberg lettuce in a bowl with a tomato or cucumber and smothered it with ranch dressing.
Modern salads represent a demand for more culinary sophistication and healthy alternatives. Innovative ingredients can include baby artichokes, kale, microgreens, fire-roasted asparagus, and baby spinach. Chicken, shrimp or steak remain popular additions for protein, but chickpeas or trendy plant-based, protein-packed quinoa may also be thrown in for good measure.
To get you started, here are two recipes for refreshing salads you’ll want to try.
Hearty Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a protein-packed grain that is considered a health food star of our time. A good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fibre, quinoa looks similar to couscous or rice. However, this powerhouse grain has a nutty, rich flavour the other two foods lack. It’s hard to find a more filling and satisfying salad than the one below:
1 cup quinoa
1 cubed red onion
1 diced cucumber
1 diced red bell pepper
1 large diced tomato
2 minced tablespoons of mint
1 peeled and cubed avocado
1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1) Boil the quinoa for roughly 10 minutes uncovered, drain and rinse with cold water.
2) Toss the quinoa in a large bowl with the red onion, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, oil, vinegar, mint and parsley. Add avocado cubes on top.
3) Add salt and pepper or lemon juice for taste. For an extra kick of protein, add red kidney beans or bits of tofu to the mix.
Strawberry & Spinach Salad
This salad is a classic. Simple, quick, and delicious, it’s the perfect addition to any celebration.
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 bags of baby spinach (approx. 6-oz.)
1 container of quartered strawberries (approx. 16-oz.) 1 package of crumbled blue cheese (approx. 4-oz.) 1/2 cup of sliced and toasted almonds
Bottled red wine vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1) Toss together red onion and next four ingredients in a large bowl.
2) Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: For a tasty flavour combination, replace the almonds, blue cheese, and red wine vinaigrette with pecans, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette.