Our Favorite Summer Salads

I love salads and they have been making a regular appearance at our dinner table. The west coast has enjoyed a beautiful hot summer. One of the things I love about summer is the abundance of fresh, seasonal local produce at the farmers market and supermarket. Our garden is overflowing with an abundance of greens, beets, carrots, and herbs.  Gone are the days of boring leafy green salads with 1000 island dressing (sorry to those who enjoy).  Personally, anything goes when you are making salads I like to use a variety of ingredients such as chickpeas, quinoa, fresh herbs, and feta cheese. I like to lightly toss salads in a homemade dressing. We have been experimenting with different salads this summer. Here is our 5 favorite summer salads.


Roasted beet quinoa salad with carrots:

This roasted beet quinoa salad with carrots is hands down is the most popular salad in our house.  I make this all year round, its that good. This salad is nutrient dense and delicious. Beets are rich in antioxidants, fibre, folate, vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the pigment that gives these root vegetables their beautiful color, is full of antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties and aids in the liver detoxification process Not only do I love the taste of this salad but it packs well for school lunches, picnics and road trips.  Don’t let the time preparation scare you, a little planning and the rest is pretty straight forward. I always roast the beets early in the morning and cook the quinoa while I am prepping food for the rest of the week which is the most time consuming part.

Watermelon Salad:

If your looking for a easy to make salad that is also a crowd pleaser well watermelon salad is a perfect salad. Whenever I make this salad I get tons of compliments. The combination of fresh basil and mint with watermelon make this salad  it a perfect potluck salad. I make this salad when I want something quick and I know everyone will love.  Sometimes, I add some baby arugula, the combination of sweet watermelon and peppery arugula makes a perfect summer salad.


 Chickpea and Wheatberry Apple salad:

I recently made this salad for a bbq and our guests loved it. I slightly adapted this salad from eatgrain. Grain is a Vancouver based company, who connects consumers to Canadian farmers by selling high quality dry goods such as chickpeas, lentils, and flours. I  have been making this salad all summer long its packed with protein and fibre and holds well for lunches and picnics. love the chewy texture wheat berries adds to this salad.To save time I soak a large batch of chickpeas over night and cook them the following day and freeze the leftovers for future use.

Five Family Favorite Salads
Author: Zest Nutrition
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 1 cup of chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked according to directions (or 1 can)
  • 1 cup of wheat berries cooked according to directions
  • 4 cups of kale chopped finely ( remove from stems)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh mint ,chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 apples chopped (I left the peel on)
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • Salad Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook chickpeas and wheat berries according to directions on box.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk salad dressing ingredients together, set aside.
  3. In a large salad bowl, massage kale with 1-2 tbsp of salad dressing. Set aside in fridge until you are ready to assemble to the rest of the salad.
  4. Once the chickpeas and wheat berries have cooled add to the kale.
  5. Add herbs and apples to salad bowl.
  6. Toss salad with dressing.
  7. Add crumbled feta cheese.


Backyard Summer Salad:

With summer in full swing my garden is overflowing with fresh vegetables and herbs. I have been adding whatever I can find in the garden, really you can’t go wrong.  My lettuce is growing wild, this salad is making a regular appearance on the dinner table these days.  I added lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, blueberries, and mint. I serve this salad with my favorite salad dressing. To make this a hearty lunch I add quinoa and/or egg for some protein.


Strawberry Spinach Salad with fresh mint and poppy seed dressing:

This salad is so fresh and delicious. I used local strawberries and picked fresh mint from the garden. Unfortunately, my spinach didn’t do well this year, so I decided to use other greens like arugula on a couple occasions.  Like most people I tend to stick to simple meals when its hot outside and this salad comes together in under 10 minutes.


Our 5 Favorite Salads
Author: Zest Nutrition
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
  • 5 cups of spinach, washed
  • 2 cups of strawberries, wasted and sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of mint, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp poppyseed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together all salad dressing ingredients together.
  3. Lightly toss salad together with dressing.
  4. Add crumbled feta cheese.




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