5 Dinner Salad Recipes for Summer

Ahh, summer. The mood is lighter and with two pieces and crop tops to rock, so is the fare. Enter the salad. It’s sometimes thought of as a first course or side dish, but don’t sell it short. Head over to the farmers market and grab some sweet or tangy fruit. Throw in your favorite protein, whether it’s beans, chicken or shrimp (or a mixture). You can even make your own healthy dressing. Toss it all together and you’ve got yourself a real-deal meal that’s both healthy and satisfying. Stay slim and satiated all season long with these tasty recipes.

Grilled Peach, Chicken & Arugula Salad
This recipe from BS in the Kitchen requires a grill and some peaches. If that doesn’t scream summer, we don’t know what does.

You need: 1 chicken breast, 2 large handfuls of arugula, 2 slices of prosciutto, goat cheese, 1 handful of walnuts, brown sugar, 1 peach, salt & pepper, olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, honey to taste.

What to do: 
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
Mix together oil and lemon juice, then add honey until the vinaigrette is sweetened to your liking.
Salad
Rub chicken breast with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn barbecue on high, allowing to heat for 10 minutes. Cut peach, separating each half, and rub with olive oil. Once barbecue has heated, turn to medium heat, placing peaches, chicken and prosciutto on grill. Cook prosciutto for about a minute until crispy, then remove. Cook peaches until they are lightly charred, and have grill marks, about 10 minutes, and remove. Cook chicken until it reach 165 degrees fahrenheit, about 15-20 minutes. While peaches and chicken are cooking, roast your walnuts in a pan on medium heat. Once walnuts start to become toasted, sprinkle with a generous pinch or two of brown sugar, a generous pinch of salt, and if you have leftover drippings from cutting the peach, add that to the pan. If not, just add a splash of water, allowing the brown sugar to caramelize into a sauce. Once walnuts are coated with the caramelized sugars, allow it to brown lightly before removing from the heat. Once chicken is finished cooking, remove from the grill and allow to rest at least ten minutes. While chicken is resting, place a large handful of arugula on each plate, drizzle about a tablespoon of the vinaigrette over it, followed by crumbling a piece of prosciutto and some goat cheese on the salad. Finish with chopped candied walnuts, a grilled peach and sliced chicken breast.

Serves 2

image: istockphoto.com/sbrogan

image: istockphoto.com/sbrogan

Shrimp Ceasar Salad
Rejoice. A caesar salad that’s healthy.

You need: 10oz package chopped romaine lettuce, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese for salad and 1 teaspoon for dressing, 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, cooked and peeled, 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, 3/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (halved), 3/4 cup fat-free seasoned croutons, 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoons black pepper, 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons water.

What to do:
To make dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Chill dressing while making salad. To prepare salad, combine all ingredients except pine nuts in a large bowl. Toss lightly to mix. Cover salad with dressing and toss well to coat. Top salad with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Skinny Taco Salad
Your taste buds just shouldn’t have to sacrifice for your abs all the time. Enjoy some healthy-but-hearty Mexican tonight.

You need: 12oz shredded lettuce, 1 diced tomato, 1 diced onion, 4oz can diced green chillies, 1 pound lean ground beef (93% lean), 1/4 cup sliced black olives, 1/4 cup jalapeño peppers, 1/4 cup reduced-fat, shredded Mexican cheese, 11/4oz reduced-sodium taco seasoning packet, reduced-fat sour cream (optional), diced avocado (optional).

What to do:
In a medium skillet, brown diced onion and ground sirloin until meat is no longer pink. Drain any remaining grease from meat. Over low heat, add in diced green chilies, taco seasoning, and 1/4 cup water to meat and stir. Remove from heat and let meat stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and black olives. Toss to mix lightly. To serve, add 1/4 of salad mixture in a bowl. Top salad with ¼ meat mixture. Sprinkle each taco salad with cheese and add optional toppings including reduced-fat sour cream and diced avocado.

Serves 4

Spicy Kale and Quinoa Black Bean Salad

If you’re not on the kale bandwagon, you will be after you try The Glowing Fridge’s spicy kale and quinoa black bean salad.

You need: 1 cup quinoa (uncooked), 6 cups chopped kale (de-stemmed), 1/2 red onion (chopped), 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 cup corn, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped), 1 clove garlic (minced), 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes), 1/4 cup hot sauce of your choice, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, sea salt and pepper to taste.

What to do: 

In a medium sized pot, combine 2 cups of water with 1 cup of quinoa and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. In a large salad bowl, add the kale and the onion. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add in the black beans and corn to the pot. Mix it up. You could just add these over the kale but I wanted to warm up the beans and corn. Add the quinoa mixture over the kale and mix. Prepare the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix and enjoy.

Sriracha Lime Chicken Chopped Salad

Lexi Clean Kitchen’s Sriracha Lime Chicken Chopped Salad is sugar and spice and everything nice — in a healthy way.

You need: 2 organic chicken breasts, 3 tablespoons sriracha, 3 limes (juiced) Himalayan sea salt, freshly ground pepper, 4 cups lettuce (chopped), 8 pineapple slices, 1 cup organic grape tomatoes, 1/3 cup red onion (finely chopped), 1 avocado (cubed), 1/3 cup light olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons raw honey.

What to do:

Heat the grill. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a bowl or marinade dish, combine sirarcha and lime. Add chicken and let marinade in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, the longer the better. Once marinaded, add chicken to grill. Cut pineapple using pineapple corer and add to grill, grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. While they are grilling, chop lettuce, then chop avocado, tomato, and red onion and add to serving dish. Whisk together dressing, taste, and adjust seasoning as desired (i.e. more lime, additional sea salt, additional vinegar)- place in fridge until ready to use/ Once chicken is done cooking, assemble the salad, toss with dressing and enjoy!

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.