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Make summer salads light and tasty

Published on July 12, 2016

Make summer salads light and tasty

Kristen Bricko, Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

Make summer salads light and tasty!This time of year is truly something special! All the positives that are associated with summer . . . long walks, sunshine, the smell of fresh cut grass and a change in our dietary intake that should get everyone excited!

OK, well, perhaps not too many people really think about how their diet changes with the season, but it sure does. And mostly in a positive way. Summertime food cravings include fresh fruits and vegetables. These tend to make their way into the refrigerator and are chosen as a snack more often and for good reason. When living in the north, with what seems like only three months of nice weather, we take advantage of it and all the perks that are available. Picnics, days at the lake, stays at the cabin or just out for a social gathering, it’s common to find fresh food items. But what about some new ideas to add more flavor to the traditional fruit salad or vegetable mix? Below are a few fun fresh summer salad ideas. Enjoy!

Honey Lime Quinoa Fruit Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 ½ cup strawberries, sliced

1 cup blackberries

1 cup blue berries

1 mango, diced

Honey lime glaze:

¼ cup honey

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp chopped basil for garnish


  1. Rinse and prepare the quinoa according to package. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, and mango.
  3. To make the glaze: In a small bowl combine the honey and lime juice. Drizzle over the fruit salad and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh basil.

Yield: 4-6

Total time: 20 min


Cauliflower Corn and Cucumber Salad Recipe

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 small cucumbers

½ red pepper

2-3 green onions

1 (15 oz) can corn, drained

1/3-½ cup mayonnaise (substitute for light mayonnaise)

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Slice cucumber into thin slices. Cube the red pepper. Thinly chop the green onions. Drain corn. Mix everything.

2. Add mayo, salt and pepper to taste, mix well.

Yield: 2-4 as side salad


Greek Chopped Summer Salad

For the salad:

3 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes

2 large English cucumbers

1 large green bell pepper, diced

1 large red bell pepper, dices

1 c. pitted and roughly chopped Kalamata olives

½ c chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh oregano

1 8-oz. feta cheese crumbled or diced

For the dressing:

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice + 1 zest of lemon

½ cup white balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt

1/8 black pepper


For the salad:

In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients, except for the feta cheese. Toss gently to combine.

For the dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together all salad dressing ingredients.

To finish the salad:

To yield the best flavor, it is best to prepare this salad a few hours before serving. Pour about 2/3 of the dressing over the salad mixture and toss a few times to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve, folding gently every hour or so. Add more dressing if needed when ready to serve. Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and black pepper if needed.

Yields: 8-10


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About the Author

Kristen Bricko, RD

Kristen Bricko
Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

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