Trying to eat healthier? Salads seem like the logical choice but be careful, sometimes they’re not what they seem. If it’s loaded with cheese and drenched in dressing (i.e. Ranch, Blue Cheese, etc.) then it can add up to way more calories than you would expect. Here are some refreshing, low fat salad recipes for summer.
Cucumber Basil Salad
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 pound campari tomatoes, seeded and minced
- 2 large seedless cucumbers, peeled and minced
- 1 large red onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, or to taste
-Run spinach and basil through a food processor until finely chopped.
-Mix spinach mixture, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl with an air-tight lid. Cover bowl and refrigerate salad, 8 hours to overnight.
Note: This salad makes it’s own dressing that can be strained off and mixed with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and used as a delicious dressing for a green salad.
Fruit and Nut Slaw
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained with juice reserved
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup diagonally sliced celery
- 1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 (8 ounce) container orange flavored yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
-Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Cut pineapple into thin strips, and place in a large bowl.
-In a medium bowl, combine reserved pineapple juice and lemon juice. Toss with banana, and add to pineapple. Add cabbage, celery, mandarin oranges, walnuts and raisins; toss to combine.
-Blend yogurt and salt together, and add to cabbage mixture; toss lightly. Cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Sweet & Sour Veggie Salad
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large cucumbers, chopped
- 6 roma (plum) tomatoes, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
-In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, vinegar and celery seed. Stir until dissolved.
-In a medium-size mixing bowl, layer the red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, green bell pepper and red bell pepper. Pour sugar mixture over vegetables, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve chilled.
Note: Almost any fresh veggie can be used in this recipe.
Summer Sunday Fruit Salad
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
- 2 apples, peeled and cored
- 1 (21 ounce) can peach pie filling
- 2 bananas, peeled and diced
- 3 kiwis
- 1 pint strawberries
-In a small bowl, toss the chopped apples in reserved pineapple juice. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
-In a large salad bowl, combine the peach pie filling and pineapple chunks.
-Remove apples from pineapple juice and add to pie filling and pineapple mixture. Add chopped bananas to reserved pineapple juice and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
-Peel and slice kiwi and 1/2 of strawberries. Chop the other 1/2 of strawberries and set aside.
-Remove bananas from pineapple juice and add to pie filling mixture. Add chopped strawberries; toss together.
-Arrange kiwi slices around the edge of the serving bowl and alternate with strawberry slices. Chill and serve.
These salads aren’t only healthy but can add a fresh spin to a hot summer day.