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Three Summer Salads to Enjoy Year Round

Updated on October 31, 2012

Healthy salad choices

I love creating salads as much as I enjoy eating them. Perhaps it began as a youngster with my father’s garden salad . Ordinary iceberg lettuce well stocked with treasures from his vegetable garden: bright green cucumbers, cool carrots-pulled minutes before supper, crunchy radishes, and sun kissed tomatoes. He made his version: all ingredients soaked in a heavy dose of vinegar and oil, up until his death at age 78.

I no longer eat iceberg lettuce, but, I have an affinity for making a great salad. I love to experiment and add salads as a regular part of the menu-both as side dishes and as a main course.

I’ve served the following summer salads as main dishes. They are simple to make, require little or no cooking, keeping the kitchen temperature down on a hot summer’s day, and they are tasty and nutritious.

A summer treat: fresh strawberries that U pick

Fresh strawberries with spinach make a great summer salad Hub #17 of 30
Fresh strawberries with spinach make a great summer salad Hub #17 of 30 | Source

Strawberry-Spinach Salad Recipe

As the title suggests, the base of this salad is spinach. I prefer baby spinach, but should I use the larger leafed salad I tend to snap the long stem off. It is my personal preference that when I eat a salad it does not hang out of my mouth like a long tendril of pasta. That’s just my thing-you can let it all hang out if that is your choice.

Add to each bowl of spinach leaves:

Walnut pieces, (obviously optional if you are allergic to nuts), or candied walnuts.

Fresh strawberries, halved

1tablespoon of blue cheese, crumbled.

Serve with a light dressing, such as strawberry vinaigrette.

Option: for more protein-add grilled chicken sliced thin to this salad.

How to make a Michigan Cherry Salad

One of Michigan’s commodities is its summer cherries, grown mostly in the northern areas, such as Traverse City. In fact, Traverse City hosts an annual Cherry Festival. It’s always great to have a cool bowl of cherries to dive into on a hot summer’s day. It’s even better adding them to a fresh bed of lettuce. Here is one combination that is sure to satisfy.

A spring mix of field greens or the light flavor of a butter blend such as Boston or Bibb will be the base.


Chopped turkey

Cubed Swiss cheese

Chopped pecans

Michigan cherries, sliced in half, or dried cherries if fresh are unavailable.

Enjoy with a poppy seed dressing

Please rate this Ahi Tuna Salad Recipe with Citrus Cilantro Vinaigrette

Cast your vote for Ahi Tuna Salad with Citrus Cilantro Vinaigrette

Recipe for Ahi Tuna Salad with Citrus-Cilantro Vinaigrette

Next to classic salads, such as Caesar, Chef’s, or Greek, this salad is a surefire hit with anyone who loves seafood.

For each individual salad use:

1 (4 oz) piece of sashimi grade ahi tuna fillets

Olive oil-enough to lightly brush on each side of the tuna

Salt and pepper to taste-lightly sprinkled on each tuna (low sodium diet-skip the salt)

1 cup of mixed salad greens

Mandarin orange slices-about a half dozen for each salad

Sliced almonds-a sprinkling for each salad

In nonstick skillet, cook tuna over medium high heat for 1 minute per side-for rare, longer for medium doneness. Place on plate and refrigerate for 5-10 minutes to cool.

Arrange salad greens on plate; top with orange segments; and almonds. Remove tuna from refrigerator and cut into ¼ inch slices.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons dressing* over tuna and salad leaves (recipe follows).

1 serving = approximately 220 calories.

*Citrus-Cilantro Vinaigrette:

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

½ cup fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

In small bowl, beat all ingredients together until well blended and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.


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    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello nArchuleta, thank you for your feedback on these great tasting salads. :)

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 

      7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      I've had the strawberry salad before -- one of the few salads I actually like. The Michigan Cherry Salad sounds pretty good, too -- I might give that one a try soon.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Audrey-they are delicious! Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Keith-your dressing sounds delicious. Enjoy lunch, haha :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow, these salads sound delicious! What I love to do is make a whole-grain balsamic dressing with dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, evoo, and a little sugar and add that to a spinach salad with some goat cheese and fresh walnuts! Hmm...I do have to go food shopping on monday. Thanks for the lunch idea, Denise!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      7 years ago from California

      This sounds yummy!!

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Deborah-I love salads, especially during the summer with the wonderful fresh produce available. Enjoy-and be sure to rate the tuna recipe if you use it.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      Theses sound great. It getting to be salad season now (I've already been picking spinach from the garden) so I'm always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      You're welcome, Kath, :) Enjoy.

    • Chatkath profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Looks good to me Denise! New salads to try! Thank you.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Ruby, Thanks for reading and commenting-hope you do try the Michigan Cherry.

      Kath-well, of course you are biased, LOL Enjoy your salads and cherries!

      Alicia-if anyone had told me I would like uncooked spinach, when I was young, I would have told them, "No Way!" yet, here I am eating AND promoting. LOL Enjoy.

    • Denise Handlon profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks everyone for commenting. Ashantina, Pam, Karanda, and Mark-I urge you to try the combination. I can't remember when I wasn't putting those two together.

      Cara-Yummy back to you-thanks for commenting.

      Donna-yes, very nutritious and always an adventure, LOL

      Thanks Pamela S for visiting and commenting. I wish you liked spinach. It is delicious and with a strawberry or raspberry vinaigrette dressing you don't even know it is spinach, LOL

      Aceatnna-besides the flavor that is the best part of eating salads. And, as long as that is what I'm eating I like to change things up, or I'd be bored to tears.

      Thanks Susan, for visiting and commenting. Enjoy your salad, LOL

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the salad ideas - they sound delicious. I prefer spinach in my salads instead of iceberg lettuce too, and I also enjoy romaine lettuce and some of the dark salad greens. Mandarin oranges would be a nice addition to a salad, and cherries as well. Thank you for the suggestions.

    • Fossillady profile image


      9 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Well, the Michigan Cherry recipe sounds the best to me,not that I'm partial or, it sounds delicous, will have to try it!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello, I find that i like spinach much more than lettuce in a salad. The Michigan Cherry Salad sounds delicious and one i will try. Thank you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These salads look great and I will try them soon. Thanks so much for the recipes.

    • acaetnna profile image


      9 years ago from Guildford

      These look great and completely yummy. Minimal calories too!!!

    • Pamela Sarzana profile image

      Pamela Sarzana 

      9 years ago from northern Indiana

      Your makin' my mouth water. Everything but the spinach and Strawberries, I'll give my Spinach to Popeye cause I no likey:>

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 

      9 years ago from USA

      Yummy, easy and healthy! What's not to love? Thanks for sharing :-)

    • the clean life profile image

      Mark Bruno 

      9 years ago from New Jersey Shore

      Hello Denise! I must bookmark this and show wife. Recently I had a salad and the resturant put in some fruit and it tasted great. Believe or not that was the first time having a salad with fruit. I must do have that more often.

      Thanks for passing this along to us. :) Great Job!

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Spinach and strawberries, really? I'll have to give it a go before I dismiss it completely.

    • cardelean profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Yummy, yummy in my tummy! Nice job.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I really like your salads. I use nuts, fruits and cheese sometimes in salads as I like the variety of tastes. I think the strawberry spinach salad looks awesome. Thanks for the recipes.

    • Ashantina profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi Denise, I tend to stick to veg only when doing salads, but I love the idea of doing a fruit and veg mix as with your mouthwatering suggested strawberry-spinach salad :) Will definitely give this a try!!


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