The Summer of Salads

It seems that every year around the beginning of summer and farmer’s market season, I resolve to eat a summer of veg! A summer of fresh, locally grown produce! A summer where I will eat light, fresh, and healthy things. And we do, but in my head it always sounds more all-encompassing than it turns out to be.

But this summer! This will be the summer of the salad! I love to cook. I really really do (well, mostly eat, but cooking is a means to that end). If I could (and sometimes I do) ignore all other chores in my house and just focus on cooking I would do that. But it just isn’t practical to spend a lot of time in the kitchen on summer days when the kids are out of school. Or to have to oven and stove cranking at 4pm on a 90 degree Maryland summer day. I also am looking to have some dinners that are easy to throw in a cooler and take to the pool where my husband can join the kids and me after work for an evening swim.

So, I’m making a serious effort to find some dinner salads that I can make in the morning and put in the fridge until I’ve had my cocktail and am ready for dinner on the patio without having to stand at the stove right when my husband comes home and the kids are bouncing off the walls.

My basic criteria is:

  • served cold
  • made ahead of time
  • includes as many vegetables, beans, and whole grains as possible

Secondary criteria is: no meat, mayonnaise or cheese (though these are negotiable)


So far I’ve pinned a lot of ideas on Pinterest here.

The Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad I made not too long ago is exactly what I’m looking for.

Smitten Kitchen’s Greek Salad with Lemon and Oregano looks delicious and easy.

Edited to add:  This Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad from Annie’s Eats

And I’ll certainly fall back on some lettuce-based salads too. Romaine, avocado, roasted chickpeas and whatever dressing we have on hand is pretty good.

Do you have a recipe for a good dinner salad?

3 thoughts on “The Summer of Salads

  1. Hey, Jess! I make a variation of black bean salad that everyone likes. Sometimes, my kids pretend it’s salsa and eat it with chips. It goes a little something like this: can(s) black beans (or red kidney, whatever), fresh corn, diced red onion and bell peppers, lemon or lime juice and salt, and cilantro, if I have it on hand. We’re having this tonight! I also have a few kale salad recipes, which the older people in our family like, but none of the kids dig, if you’re interested.

    • Oooh! That sounds really good! Thanks! That will be great. I’m trying to like kale but I just haven’t found the magic recipe, would you mind sending me your favorite?

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