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Glorious Summer Salads


A Trove of Summer Salad Recipes

Last month, I said I would suggest some delicious salad recipes for your nice cold-pressed salad oils to go on. So here we are!

When made well, salads can be filling and absolutely delicious. They’re also a great opportunity to eat dark green leaves, which are excellent anti-inflammatories, and raw vegetables, many of which contain lots of vitamin C.

A basic framework recipe

I found this idea posted on someone’s fridge the other day! It is a brilliant formula for constructing a yummy salad without having a ‘proper’ recipe, making the most of whatever you happen to have at hand. You just compile one or two each of the following categories:

  1. Greens, eg spinach, rocket, finely shredded cabbage, lettuce
  2. Crunch, eg red pepper, apple (with lemon juice), sprouts, cucumber
  3. Soft, eg roasted sweet potato, avocado, tomato, olives
  4. Unexpected‘, eg water melon cubes, bacon, pickled vegetables, unusual herbs
  5. Protein, eg nuts, seeds, eggs, tinned fish, roasted meat, grilled chicken
  6. Dressing, eg made with tahini, oils, pesto, or fruit

Salad jars to-go

This has been a big craze amongst ‘healthy eating’ writers – and I think it’s a pretty good one.

The idea is that you put layers of ingredients into a large, wide-necked glass jam jar or mason jar, store in the fridge, and then when the time comes, you just shake everything together and munch.

The benefits of this arrangement: a) it’s healthier, cheaper and faster than buying a ready-made lunch; b) you avoid plastic, which is sensible because of its xenoestrogens; c) you can make 5 days’ worth of lunches in advance & they stay fresh in the fridge.

The key to it all is layering correctly (which prevents soggy lettuce). You essentially arrange the ingredients from the base upward, starting with wet things like dressings and tomatoes and going up to dry things, finishing with leaves.

There are some lovely vegetarian recipes over at Jessica in the Kitchen which will give you some ideas. Inspired by her, you could make this spiced chickpea jar salad, layering in order:

Avocado dressing + tomatoes + grated carrot + fresh herbs + spiced chickpeas & quinoa + rocket

A delicious green salad

Sometimes it’s worth constructing a really tasty green base, to which you can add whatever protein you happen to have in stock.

Here is a fantastic, seasonal broad bean and mint salad recipe, which I’ve adapted from the wonderful Amelia Freer. It provides lots of nutrients which support the liver and detoxification, as well as being anti-inflammatory.

Put these ingredients into bowls, per person:

1 handful cooked peas

1 handful cooked broad beans

1 handful sprouted seeds (eg sunflower seeds; Amelia uses radish seed sprouts)

1 handful watercress

Generous amounts of fresh mint, fresh parsley, and spring onions to taste

1/2 a well-mashed avocado mixed with extra virgin olive oil and seasoning to a desired dressing consistency

Add flakes of fish, chicken or other unprocessed protein as preferred.

A main course / leftovers recipe

The great thing about salads is that you can use up leftovers easily by adding new dressings / flavours to cooked meats and vegetables. And if you add in some carbs, you have a whole meal in a bowl.

Have a look at this Moroccan chicken salad, which I dug out of the excellent Milly Cookbook archives – it’s a hearty and very flavoursome way to multiply the leftovers of a Sunday roast.

Your salads

Have you got a favourite dressing or a salad recipe that you love to bring out in the summer months? Do contact me and I would love to hear your ideas!

Hope you’re having a fantastic summer,


Emma Maitland-Carew, Nutritional Therapist in Oxford and Bloxham, Oxfordshire





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