Using Colorful Fresh Produce to Create Spectacular Summer Salads

Nothing screams summer like fresh, colorful salads. They are perfect for picnics or al fresco patio dinners. Best of all, you can prepare them ahead of time, allowing you to spend time chatting, mingling, and connecting with family and friends.

Served hot or cold, salads can either be an accompaniment for other foods or stand alone as the main attraction for lunch or dinner.

Salads can be created from a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Add to that, the fact that they are incredibly inexpensive, and you have a sure winner! It goes to prove that salads can help you shrink both your budget and your waistline.

Buying in-season produce from local farmers allows you to score great food at fantastic prices and support your local economy. When you plan your weekly menus around fresh produce, you will be able to save money on your grocery bills, while putting your health first.

This post is sponsored by Garden Spot Vegetable Farm. Located in Princeville, Illinois, owner, Jim Buckley and his family, cultivate 34 acres of vegetables and 375 fruit trees. Garden Spot is a no-spray farm, offering a variety of CSA packages. Check their Facebook page for current programs and options for available produce.

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Lettuce Salads

Summer Chopped Salad – Mixing darker colored bitter greens with the sweetness of fruit makes for a delightful summer meal.

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Quinoa Salads

Ginger Lemon Quinoa Salad: I created this salad for a ladies luncheon at church and had several requests for the recipe. You can assemble it the day before and just let it sit in your fridge and marinate.

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Vegetable Salads

Farmers Market Ceviche – This recipe is incredibly flexible. I make it often, using whatever fresh veggies I had on hand. Anointed with a simple splash of lemon or lime, it’s perfect for a summer afternoon.

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Cabbage Salads

Updated No-Oil Cabbage Slaw – I love cabbage slaw, but I never eat mayo! For one thing, I’m vegan. For another, it is incredibly full of fat and excess calories. Years ago, I figured out that I could still eat my favorite salad and it could be made quickly and be full of fiber, low in fat, and high in nutrition!

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Pasta Salads

Greek Pasta Salad – Believe it or not, the pasta in this photo is gluten free. My favorite GF pasta is the red lentil version from Barilla. It stay together and has the satisfying “bite” of a good pasta. Here’s a link to find it on Amazon.

If you are cutting carbs, try making zucchini noodles with a spiralizer. Substitute “zoodles” for spaghetti in any salad recipe. (I looked for years and finally found a spiralizer with 5 blades. Here is a link to one like it.)

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