Whether you're trying to slim down for summer or enjoy fresh foods, salad is a great way to do it. Plus, there's often minimal cooking required.

HEALTHY TACO SALAD

from ifoodreal.com

1⁄2 large container greens salad mix

14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 small tomatoes, chopped

2 medium avocados, chopped

1⁄2 cup tortilla chips, crushed

1⁄2 cup any hard cheese, shredded

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp taco seasoning

1 tbsp onion powder/flakes

2 cups corn, cooked or thawed

1⁄2 tbsp taco seasoning

1 1⁄2 cups plain yogurt (not Greek)

1⁄4 tsp salt, or to taste

In a large salad bowl, add salad greens, beans, tomato, avocado, tortilla chips and cheese. Set aside.

Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add turkey and cook for 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces with spatula. Add 1 tbsp taco seasoning and onion flakes; cook for another 2 minutes, stirring a few times. Transfer to a salad bowl with other ingredients.

Return skillet to medium heat and add corn. Cook for a few minutes undisturbed, sprinkle with 1⁄2 tbsp taco seasoning, stir and cook for another minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Drizzle yogurt on top and gently toss. Adjust salt to taste. Serve immediately.

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB SALAD WITH MINT AND HAZELNUTS

from bonappetit.com

½ cup blanched hazelnuts

2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Cointreau or fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 pounds strawberries, hulled, quartered

¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then chop.

Meanwhile, toss rhubarb, sugar, Cointreau, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Let sit until rhubarb is slightly softened and releases its juices, about 30 minutes. Toss with strawberries, mint, and hazelnuts.

CHICKEN BROCCOLI SALAD

8 cups broccoli florets

3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed

1 cup chopped walnuts

6 green onions, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

1⁄4 cup white sugar

1⁄4 cup crumbled cooked bacon

Combine broccoli, chicken, walnuts, and green onions in a large bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar together in a bowl until well blended.

Pour mayonnaise dressing over broccoli mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, if desired. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon to serve.

STEAK COBB SALAD WITH CREAMY AVOCADO CILANTRO DRESSING

from a sweetpeachef.com

For the Steak Cobb Salad:

2 slices bacon

1 New York strip steak

1⁄2 tsp sea salt

1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

8 cups mixed baby greens, slightly packed

1 avocado, pitted and diced

1 vine-ripened tomato, diced

1⁄3 cup garbanzo beans, drained

2 tbsp gorgonzola crumbles

2 hard boiled eggs

For the Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing:

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1⁄2 cup plain greek yogurt

1 cup plain almond milk

1 cilantro bunch, leaves only

1⁄2 tsp garlic powder

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tbsp lime juice

To make the salad dressing, combine the avocado, plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro leaves, garlic powder, sea salt, lime juice, and almond milk either in a food processor or a blender.

Blend together until smooth. If the consistency is not pourable, add a touch more almond milk.

Set the dressing aside while we prepare the rest of the salad.

In a skillet, cook 2-3 slices of bacon over medium-high heat until crispy. Once it's nice and crispy, remove from pan cooled. Then, break it into crumbles and set aside.

To hard-boil the eggs, place 1-2 eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by about 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, then cover, remove from the heat and set aside 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, cool in ice water and peel.

Season the steak with the kosher salt and pepper and cook in the olive oil over medium-high heat until well-browned on both sides, about 6-8 minutes per side, or the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once cooked, remove from heat, allow to rest a few minutes, and then slice.

To assemble the salad, start by filling your salad bowl with mixed baby greens and then adding the bacon crumbles, some diced avocado, fresh tomato, the hardboiled egg, garbanzo beans, the steak and gorgonzola crumbles in separate, small piles on top.

TROPICAL FRUIT SALAD

from dinneratthezoo.com

2 cups pineapple chunks

1 cup papaya chunks

2 cups mango chunks

1 cup kiwi slices

1 cup raspberries

1⁄4 cup honey

2 tablespoon lime juice

Optional garnishes: Mint sprigs and lime slices

Place the pineapple, papaya, mango, kiwi and raspberries in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and lime juice until smooth.

Drizzle the dressing over the fruit and toss gently to coat. Serve, garnished with mint sprigs and lime slices if desired.

Quick and easy salad dressings

Red

1 cup ketchup

3⁄4 cup vegetable oil

3⁄4 cup white sugar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon minced onion

1⁄4 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Whisk together the ketchup, oil, sugar, vinegar, onion, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Thousand Island

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons finely diced onion (I use red onion but yellow or white would work just fine)

1⁄4 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about half of a small clove)

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Taste and add additional salt if desired. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve.

Blue Cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1⁄2 cup blue cheese, divided

1⁄2 cup half and half

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1⁄4 teaspoon Worcestershire juice

1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 1⁄4 cup blue cheese and sal, until smooth. Gently stir in the remaining 1⁄4 cup blue cheese and season with pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or a more neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, canola, or vegetable)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or balsamic, apple cider, rice, sherry, or other wine vinegar)

Pinch of kosher salt.

A turn of freshly ground black pepper.

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