April 22, 2014

12 Must-Try Fresh, Colorful Salads


If you've been here before, you may have figured out I love salads. What you probably don't know is that I really, really love salads. Really. I'm way happier eating a salad for "dessert" than actual dessert. Sounds crazy, right? I can't explain it, but that's how I've always been. There's something about a big bowl of beautiful vegies I just can't resist. Since it's been such a long winter, I wanted to celebrate the weather finally getting warm enough to break out the flip-flops. (Woo!) So here's a collection of 12 healthy salad recipes to refresh and replenish you this summer. There's something for everyone, with a wide variety of chopped salads, beans salads, quinoa salads, etc. Many can even be used as a main dish. They're vegan and gluten-free, and have simple, homemade dressings for an even bigger flavor burst. Happy (almost) summer peeps! Get out and enjoy that sunshine... with a little veggie rainbow on the side ;)


1. Southwestern Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing




3. Cucumber Salad with tangy white wine vinegar dressing


4. Quinoa Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing




6. Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad


7. Rainbow Chopped Salad with Avocado Basil Dressing


8. Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing


9. Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad


10. Strawberry Spinach Salad with Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette


11. Chickpea Salad


12. Balsamic Green Bean Salad (omit feta for vegan)


April 15, 2014

Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad


I can't even tell you how many times I've made this salad. So. Crazy. Good. I keep going back to it because it's crisp, refreshing, and flavorful (with an added protein boost from the beans!) And I love how fast it comes together. The red wine vinegar-oregano dressing is made in under a minute, then you just chop up the veggies, toss it all together, and do a face plant right in the center of the bowl. Errr... I mean eat it gracefully with a spoon :) Either way. This was one of the early posts I did on the blog, and since I've already made it several times this year I wanted to get better photos to share with you all. I do hope you give it a try!


Vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients
1 hothouse cucumber
4-5 ripe roma tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 small red onion
15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

{For the dressing}
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions
Make the dressing: in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Dice the cucumber, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes (removing any excess liquid from tomatoes).
Put vegetables and garbanzo beans in a large bowl.
Add dressing and toss to combine.
Can eat immediately or refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors combine. Some dressing will settle on the bottom, so stir before serving.

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Also check out this list of 12 must-try fresh, colorful salads!


April 9, 2014

Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad


POW! Nutritional punch! Quinoa, tender spinach, and sweet cherry tomatoes join forces with bites of creamy avocado to bring it all together. I find it to be a perfect marriage of filling and energizing. I'm fascinated with the fact that it's so simple, yet the flavors seem so complex as you eat it. My head starts spinning at how many variations there could be. Add some beans for an extra protein punch, change up the veggies, or use fresh lemon juice in the dressing instead of red wine vinegar. Although I probably won't stray too far from this version because my husband raves about how much he loves it. It's our new favorite quinoa dish! Not to mention it makes a rock star take-along cold lunch. Hope you love it too!


Vegan, gluten-free

Ingredients
1 cup dry quinoa
2 medium avocados
3 oz. baby spinach
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
3 green onions

{For the dressing}
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (I use 2)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions
Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk together ingredients and set aside.
Roughly chop the spinach and place in a large bowl.
Slice the green onions, halve the cherry tomatoes, and dice the avocado.
When quinoa is done cooking, add it to the large bowl with spinach and toss. The heat from the quinoa will lightly wilt the spinach.
Add the green onions, tomatoes, and dressing. Stir to combine.
Add the avocado and lightly toss.
Serve immediately or refrigerate to let flavors blend more.

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Crazy for more quinoa?
Check out these other recipes too! :)

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