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Better than fast-food, A bright, crunchy salad for dinner

Updated on August 23, 2015
ecogranny profile image

A long-time whole grain baker, Kathryn discovered the thrill and ease of cooking with whole, fresh foods decades ago. Still chopping!

A 15-minute salad using fresh fruit, seeds and greens
A 15-minute salad using fresh fruit, seeds and greens | Source

If you're like me, by Wednesday, you're feeling a little overwhelmed with all that's left to do this week, and maybe a little too tired to fix the healthy dinner you had planned for this evening.

Instead of running through the drive-through on your way home from work, stop at the grocery store and pick up some fresh, organic, pre-washed greens and maybe a baguette.

Within ten minutes after you walk in the door tonight, you can have a fresh, gorgeous salad on your table for a light summer meal. This salad is one of our favorite super quick suppers, and it's incredibly easy.

Gorgeous healthy salad in less than 15 minutes
Gorgeous healthy salad in less than 15 minutes | Source

Start with pre-prepped greens

Start with the pre-prepped greens. Got kids? Show them how to prep and clean the greens and any errant vegetables you need to use.

It's a good way to begin teaching them responsibilities in the kitchen and can make for fun family time too.

My kids used to open up about their day, without any prodding from me, if I kept my mouth shut and my ears open.

Baby bok choy, bell pepper slices, grated carrot
Baby bok choy, bell pepper slices, grated carrot | Source

Add whatever is fresh and ready in the fridge

At our house, we go for a mixture of crisp romaines, delicate spring greens, which in the summertime may include lovely edible flowers, and baby spinach.

When I get home, I add anything that's prepped and ready, or nearly so, in my fridge or pantry in each of the following food groups.

  • Bright, colorful bell or sweet peppers and/or cherry, pear, grape or wedge-sliced tomatoes and/or wedges of sliced avocados
  • Root vegetables such as grated carrots and beets, sliced or diced radishes, turnips or rutabagas
  • Veggie alternative: Use fresh fruits, such as pears, apples, Satsuma oranges and berries
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli or kale
  • Red or green onions
  • Feta, sharp cheddar, or almost any artisan cheese
  • Beans--Garbanzos, black, or fava beans all work well
  • Beans alternate: Legumes and seeds--Peas, peanuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Cooked whole grains such as ferro and barley


Fruity salad with seeds and greens
Fruity salad with seeds and greens | Source

15-Minute supper salad recipe

To your pre-prepped greens, add whatever is in your fridge. Toss it altogether with your favorite dressing. If no dressing on hand, a simple vinaigrette thrown together on the spot with olive oil and balsamic or apple cider vinegar, even lemon juice works very well.

Garnish with any cooked, dried beans you have, grated raw beets, carrots or radishes. If you eat dairy, shave a little cheese over the top. All good.

Because I love to bake, I usually have some fresh, homemade biscuits or scones on hand to serve with the salad.

That's it. A light, healthy, tasty, nearly gourmet supper for two to four in fifteen minutes or less.

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 15 min
  • Yields: 2-4
Cast your vote for 15-Minute supper salad recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 C Pre-washed mixed greens per person
  • 1/2 C Chopped high-color veggies per person
  • 1/4 C Chopped or shredded root vegetables per person
  • 2 T Chopped red or green onion per person
  • 1/2 C Chopped cruciferous vegetables per person
  • 1/2 C Cooked dried beans or legumes per person
  • 1/4 C Cubed, shaved or crumbled cheese per person
  • Pre-made dressing or vinaigrette of your choice

Instructions

  1. Lay out containers of the ingredients salad bar style and let each person build their own.
  2. Serve with homemade bread, crusty baguette or even a toasted bagel.
Pyrex Simply Store 10-Piece Glass Food Storage Set with Blue Lids
Pyrex Simply Store 10-Piece Glass Food Storage Set with Blue Lids

A set of glass storage bowls with lids like this make advance prep easy too.

 

How to stay ahead and be ready for the next 15-minute supper

On days you have more time to cook, cut up two bell peppers instead of one and toss the second in a container for the night you need a quick splash of color and flavor.

Do this with onions, broccoli, anything you know you can use in a few days.

Instant salad bar.

Thanks for stopping by

What's your favorite super quick supper? I'm always on the prowl for recipes that use whole grains and real, whole foods. Tell me where to find yours!

© 2014 Kathryn Grace

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    • ecogranny profile image
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      Kathryn Grace 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank Susan!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      We do love salad suppers! This one looks awesome!

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @John Dyhouse: I think I know what you mean. I grew up on iceberg lettuce with tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, maybe the occasional radish. Now are salads have almost anything in them, long as it's fresh!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

      Sounds interesting, My wife has been collecting some very strange sounding salad ideas lately it semss to be a trend. Mixing traditional salads with fruit and veg - plus some different dressings. As you say can be a lot better than fast food.

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @CherylsArt: It's quick, that's for sure, and definitely better than fast food.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      I like your tip - to get the lettuce at the salad bar. Then you can easily get a variety. : )

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @Merrci: You're welcome. We liked it so much the other night that I'm getting more avocados and dill so we can make it again this weekend. It's one of those dishes that make us want more.

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @smine27: Yes, and every single one is different, especially if you use a variety of fresh herbs in your salads.

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @Elsie Hagley: Come on over. I'll whip one up for you.

    • ecogranny profile image
      Author

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @Ruthi: I do miss seafood, now that we are striving for a fully vegetarian diet. Not quite there yet, but nearly so. Farmers markets are the best!

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      sybil watson 3 years ago

      This salad looks delicious - it has all my favorite foods in it. My favorite easy weeknight dinner is a Greek salad with quinoa - the quinoa really soaks up the flavors of the olive oil, lemon juice, and feta - yum!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      That looks so good! Avocado is a favorite anyway. I'll have to try this combo. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I never ever get tired of eating good salads. They are so deliciously light yet oh so satisfying.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Very nice, my kind of meal, I would love to sit down now and enjoy it, the plate looks so yummy.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 3 years ago

      Your dinner looks ever so healthy and delicious! I so enjoy fruit in my salads! I really love seafood salad and with warm weather here to stay and fresh seafood coming right out of the nearby Bay and Gulf--I am ready! And the farmer's market opens in Aoril so finally I can get some decent fresh fruit and veggies!