It’s spring, and I’m not sure about you but the warmer weather has certainly got me craving more raw fruits and veggies these days. I was allllll about the roasted veggies throughout the winter, and while I still would never turn down a big bowl of roasted cauliflower (or a whole head for that matter!) my meals recently have been mostly big, entree-size salads.
Another perk of the change from winter to spring is the amazing variety of produce that’s coming into season. Tis the time to embrace colour, my friends, and here are 20 salads to inspire you get your greens…. and every other colour of the rainbow too. 😉
1. The Best Lentil Salad – Lentils are an amazing plant-based protein source, they’re loaded with fibre and iron, and they’re easy on the wallet. Hot or cold, this salad is perfect as a big-batch make-ahead lunch or potluck dish. The longer it sits, the more the flavours develop.
2. Chicken Salad with Curried Yogurt Dressing – I originally intended for this to be an autumn recipe, but later realized it’s perfect all year round. A mixture of savoury, sweet, creamy and crunchy, I’m confident that the first time you make it certainly won’t be the last.
3. Zucchini Noodle Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing – The inspiration for this dish came from one of my favourite Vancouver restaurants, Heirloom. Last summer I enjoyed their All Greens Salad several times during my 4-day vacation and instantly knew it was one that needed re-making at home. The egg on top wasn’t actually on the menu – I requested it because I was craving a protein source. The way the runny yolk oozes into the zucchini noodles is just…. magical.
4. Grilled Peach and Edamame Salad – I’m sure many of you have already fired up the grill a few times this month, and if not, this salad is the perfect reason to start. If you can find some perfect, ripe and juicy peaches, there’s barely even a need for dressing!
5. Thai Veggie Bowls with Fried Egg and Cilantro Ginger Dressing – Another one for those of you who love looking at bright sunny egg yolks! This salad is a mix of Asian-style veggies and peanuts with one serious crunch factor.
6. Spicy Lime Chicken Salad – So simple yet so delicious at the same time. Seasoned with chipotle chili powder and cumin, the chicken tastes great either stir fried in a skillet or hot off the grill. If you really want to be a meal prep hero, you can grill up a larger amount of chicken using the seasoning in this recipe at the beginning of the week, then add all the other fresh ingredients before each meal throughout the week.
7. The Rainbow Vitality Salad – Avocado, almonds and hemp seeds – this one’s all about the nutrients and healthy fat sources our bodies need to produce glowing, vibrant skin. All three of these ingredients are great for reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease, and they just so happen to taste amazing when loaded into one bite.
8. The Detox Salad – This is one of the first salads I ever tried at a Whole Foods salad bar, and it’s been a favourite ever since. Inside you’ll find broccoli and cauliflower (great cruciferous veggies that support detoxification), carrots (full of the antioxidant beta carotene), currants and raisins for some natural sweetness, parsley and lemon (two more ingredients known for their ability help cleanse and detoxify) and seaweed. In case you haven’t heard, seaweed is amazing for purifying the blood because it has a similar chemical composition to our blood plasma. It’s also super rich in iodine which we need for proper thyroid function.
9. Coco Lime Quinoa Salad – If you’re thinking this looks like a party in the bowl, we’re going to be very good friends because that’s exactly what comes to mind when I enjoy this beauty. Salads don’t have to be about just veggies, and I think that’s why they’re often considered boring. With almonds, flaked coconut, sunflower seeds, veggies, edamame, quinoa and pineapple, there’s nothing boring about this one.
10. Chopped Chicken Salad to Go – Mason jars aren’t just for drinking smoothies out of (although they’re wonderful for that too). Ever had a glass or tupperware container of salad leak dressing all over the inside of your bag? Yep, I’ve definitely been there. You don’t have to worry about this dilemma with mason jars though because those lids don’t let anything get past! This recipe is just one of many ideas, and here’s a bunch more mason jar-friendly salad recipes if you’d like a few others.
11. Zucchini Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette – via The Lemon Bowl.
Sometimes the way you cut your veggies just seems to make them taste so much better. You’ll need either a spiral slicer or a veggie peeler for this one, and the extra bit of effort is totally worth it.
12. Citrus Fennel and Avocado Salad – via FoodieCrush.
I interviewed Heidi, the author, recipe developer, and crazy talented photographer behind FoodieCrush as part of my Foodies to Follow series, and the flavour combos she’s got going on in this salad make me want to eat it for every meal of the day. If you’ve been wanting to try fennel but have no idea what to do with it, this would be a perfect application!
13. Colourful Beet Salad with Carrot, Quinoa & Spinach – via Cookie and Kate.
If you’re like me and like to have ALL the colours in your meals, here’s a bowl of goodies that will help you do just that. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but there’s edamame, pumpkin seeds and avocado in there too!
14. Rainbow Kelp Noodle Salad with Lemon Almond Ginger Dressing – via Keepin It Kind.
Kristy, the genius behind this recipe is another one of the bloggers I constantly look to for inspiration. This dish had me drooling at the sight of the first photo and if you ask me, the dressing is just as good as the salad itself. (And just FYI, Kristy recently launched a beautiful new cookbook, But I Could Never Go Vegan! 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner. Being a cookbook junkie, I’m about thisclose from clicking ‘purchase’ in my Amazon shopping cart!)
15. Avocado Citrus Crunch Salad with Oat Croutons and Buttermilk Drizzle – via How Sweet Eats.
Ok, are we noticing a trend with the avocado and citrus? I’m not complaining – it’s one I’m completely on board with! And homemade oat clustery croutons? I’m into that too.
16. Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon – via Making Thyme for Health.
There is so much awesome going on in this simple salad – crispy kale, smoky tempeh bacon, juicy sweet strawberries, creamy goat cheese and crumbled pecans. Bonus: There’s even a vegan option you can use to replace the goat cheese! But really, for me this one is ALL about the tempeh bacon. Double for me, please!
17. Spring Asparagus, Artichoke and Arugula Salad with Chive Vinaigrette – via Gourmande in the Kitchen
This one reminds me that artichoke hearts are delicious and makes me seriously question why I don’t buy them more often.
18. Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles – via Pinch of Yum
I don’t think there’s ever been a recipe posted by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum that I haven’t wanted to dive face-first into, and this salad is no exception. All the shredded veggies are tossed in a tangy garlicky lime dressing and sprinkled with hot peppers and cooling herbs. Are you drooling yet?
19. Spring Root and Watercress Salad – via Love and Lemons
Those beautiful pink guys you see in there are chioggia beets, and they’re mixed with black radishes, golden beets, wheat berries, pine nuts and spring greens in this seasonal salad. I’m trying my hardest to find these candy cane striped beets at the market over the coming weeks specifically so I can make this recipe!
20. Spring Pasta Salad – via Two Peas and Their Pod.
Another artichoke appearance, and another reminder that I need to get them back in my life again! This salad is another perfect one for bringing to a potluck or barbeque and it could easily be made vegan by omitting the feta. Tossed in a lemony dressing with fresh basil – it’s just enough to add moisture while still letting the flavour of the veggies shine through.
Alright, that’s 20 recipes to get you going, or perhaps persuade you to make a quick trip to the grocery store before dinner tonight! Watch this space because I’ve got another brand new salad to share with you this Wednesday. Until then…
- Have you created any great salad recipes lately? Care to share? I’ve been putting a bunch of mine on Instagram, but they’re not really recipes – just random assortments of ingredients in my fridge in as many colours as possible!
- If you’re a Whole Foods shopper, what’s your favourite salad on their salad bar?