May is National Salad Month. And with swimsuit season right around the corner, it couldn’t come at any better time. All too often, home cooks that are short on time and inspiration turn to the same salad recipes over and over again, which can get boring, fast. Don’t get stuck in a rut! If you’re feeding finicky eaters, make a salad bar, and let everyone choose their own ingredients. For those looking for quick salad ideas, here are five simple recipes that are diverse enough that you can prepare one every weekday for lunch or with dinner, and still feel like you’re eating something unique each time around.
1. SESAME BROCCOLI SALAD
This flavorful salad has a bright-green color and a kick from the Far East. It’s ready in just 25 minutes and is a delicious treat for everyone.
1½ pounds fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Directions: Preheat oven to 375. Toast sesame seeds for 3 to 5 minutes until they just being to turn golden brown. Remove. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes until it’s tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and sesame seeds. Pour over broccoli and toss to coat. Serves 8. 2.
2. LAYERED MEXICAN SALAD
In just 30 minutes, you can make a zesty salad that is a perfect lunch in the warmer months. The avocado, black beans and oil give you healthy fats and protein that will have you ready to tackle the afternoon!
1½ cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cups black bean salsa
¾ cup Green Giant® Niblets® whole kernel corn
1 medium avocado, sliced
¾ teaspoon grated lime peel
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
¾ cup olive or vegetable oil
In medium bowl, layer the lettuce, bell pepper, 1¼ cups of salsa and corn. Top with remaining ¾ cup salsa and the avocado. In a blender or food processer, process all vinaigrette ingredients except oil until mixed. Gradually pour in oil, processing until thick. Drizzle over salad. Serves 6.
3. TOMATO AND STRAWBERRY SALAD
Sweet meets sour in an interesting blend of flavor sensations. Serve it as a side to chicken or fish or enjoy it alone as a light snack.
1 teaspoon honey mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 (10 ounce) bag mixed salad greens
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint strawberries, sliced
½ cup candied walnuts
1 (4 ounce) container crumbled feta cheese
3 sprigs fresh dill
Directions: Whisk the honey mustard and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl until combined. Drizzle in olive oil while continuing to whisk and set aside. In a large salad bowl, toss the greens, tomatoes, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese. Tear off the dill fronds and add. Finish by drizzling on the dressing and give it one final toss. Serves 6.
4. WHEAT BERRY, ROASTED CORN AND SPINACH SALAD
Get your whole grains here plus vitamin-rich spinach.
3½ cups water
1 cup uncooked wheat berries
½ teaspoon salt
1 bag (12 ounce) Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
Instructions: In 2-quart saucepan, heat water, wheat berries and ½ teaspoon salt to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce to low; cover and simmer 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until tender. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 450. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, evenly spread corn. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Bake 15 minutes to roast corn. Set aside. In large bowl, stir together wheat berries, corn, spinach, tomatoes and onion. In 1-cup measuring cup, mix dressing ingredients with wire whisk until well blended. Stir into salad. Let stand 15 minutes before serving to blend flavors. Serves 6.
5. ARUGULA & CORN SALAD WITH BACON
The bold flavors of arugula and bacon make this a hearty dinnertime dish. Bacon adds salt, so go easy on adding extra. Grill the corn for extra smokiness.
4 large ears of corn
2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions: Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes. Let the corn cool (you can run it under cold water to speed up this process) remove the husks and silk. Remove the kernels from the cob using a sharp knife.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon and onions. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Add more vinegar, salt or pepper to taste. Serves 4.
Need more salad ideas?