Seasonal Salads: Fresh and Flavorful Springtime Recipes

Seasonal Salads: Fresh and Flavorful Springtime Recipes

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Tip of the Iceberg

Iceberg lettuce is a go-to for many people when building a salad. Its crispy, crunchy texture is due to high water content, which is great for staying hydrated. However, there isn’t much room for other nutrients with all that water. If you are looking for a boost of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) try dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale. They are high in fiber, Vitamin K and folic acid, which all contribute to a healthy eating pattern that reduce risk for chronic diseases. They also provide different textures and colors, which make a salad interesting and fun to eat! 

Seasonal Sensations

Your salad will be much more satisfying if you use produce in season. For the Spring, seasonal produce includes avocados, apples, kale, mushrooms, asparagus and many more tasty fruits and vegetables. Try different preparations of these in your salad (raw, grilled or roasted) to create different textures and flavors. Adding more produce to your salad will help you include a variety of fruits and vegetables from all categories, which is part of a healthy eating pattern per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. Choose high protein vegetables such as beans and peas and/or add eggs or cheese to keep you feeling full longer. Check out these sensational recipes and shop for the ingredients at https://www.kroger.com.

Roasted Asparagus Chef Salad

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • ¼ lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 5 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 cups salad mix with carrots and radishes
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Cool, then cut into 1" pieces.
  3. Divide salad mix between two bowls. Arrange asparagus, cucumber, egg, bacon, cheese, and avocado on top. 
  4. In a small bowl combine remaining olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk well. Drizzle over salads and serve.

Kale Salad With Edamame and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup dried, sweetened cranberries

Directions:

  1. Wash and tear the kale leaves away from the stem. Stack them on a cutting board and slice into strips that can be easily picked up with a fork.
  2. Place the kale in a bowl; add the lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Massage the kale with your hands until it starts to change to a deeper green and looks wilted.
  3. Add the edamame, tomatoes and cranberries. Divide into two bowls and serve.

Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad

 Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp. anise seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • ½ cup cashews

Directions:

  1. Heat the anise seeds in a small, dry skillet over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Gently shake the skillet constantly to avoid scorching. Transfer to a mortar and crush with a pestle or place in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a mallet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crushed anise seeds with the vegetable oil, lime juice, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the carrots and red cabbage and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with cashews.

Dress To Impress

When dressing your salad choose oil-based dressings or top with healthy fats like avocados and nuts. Studies suggest these heart healthy fats may increase absorption of the nutrients from your salad such as carotenoids and fat soluble vitamins (A,D, E and K). Examples of heart healthy oils are olive, soybean, avocado, peanut, canola, and sunflower oils. Try one of these heart healthy dressing options on your next salad. 

If you need help creating healthy salads or managing a medical condition with diet, our dietitians are here to help with personalized nutrition coaching. Make an appointment in person or via video chat. 

Lemon-Oregano Salad Dressing

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients except the olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Slowly add in the oil in a thin stream. Bottle and give it a good shake before serving.

Avocado Salad Dressing

 Serves: 16

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Simple Truth Organic™ Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Pinch salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients; puree until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate leftovers.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

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One Response

  1. Avatar

    Great philosophy. Good nutrition and smart exercise = less pharmaceuticals. Great recipes for salads and dressings. Can’t wait to try the avocado dressing.

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