Spring salads to try. |Meaghan Penrod, special to Record-Journal

3 fresh spring salads to try

3 fresh spring salads to try

3 fresh spring salads to try

With the days getting longer and the temperatures getting warmer, cravings for warm, cozy dishes start to shift to cravings for fresh and light recipes. These three recipes for fresh and healthy salads will get you feeling the spring vibes in no time. Whether you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing side, a fresh lunch salad, or a hearty dinner salad, these recipes have got it all.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Serves 4

This recipe comes from my grandma-in-law, Carol Jenkins. The original recipe is handwritten on an index card and is just as good as you’d expect that kind of recipe to be. It’s very allergen friendly as well— gluten free, dairy free, vegan, nut free, soy free, egg free. 

Ingredients:

•    3 large tomatoes

•    1 large cucumber (hot house works best if you don’t want to peel it)

•    ¼ cup olive oil

•    1/3 cup white whine vinegar 

•    2 tbs dried minced onion

•    1 tsp salt

•    2 tbs fresh basil

•    ½ tsp sugar

•    ¼ tsp mustard powder

Instructions:

1.    In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, and mustard powder.

2.    Chop tomatoes and cucumber into bite-sized pieces and add to bowl. 

3.    Add in basil and minced onion and toss.

4.    Serve!

Blueberry and Kale Chicken Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Serves 1-2

Gluten free, paleo, dairy free (without goat cheese), keto, refined-sugar free, Whole30 compliant (without goat cheese)

Ingredients:

Salad:

•    3 cups baby kale 

•    1/4 cucumber, sliced

•    ¼ red bell pepper, sliced

•    ¼ cup blueberries 

•    2 tbs pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds work too)

•    ¼ avocado, diced

•    1/3 cup pulled or diced leftover chicken

•    Optional: ¼ cup goat cheese 

Vinaigrette:

•    Juice from ½ lemon

•    ¼ cup olive oil 

•    1 tsp Dijon mustard

•    1/8 tsp garlic powder

•    ½ tsp salt 

Instructions:

Vinaigrette:

1.    Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until combined. 

Salad:    

1.    Add kale to a large bowl.

2.    Dice cucumbers, red pepper, avocado, and chicken. Add to bowl.

3.    Top with blueberries and pumpkin seeds. Add goat cheese, if desired.

4.    Toss with vinaigrette and serve!

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, Serves 1-2

Gluten free, nut free, soy free

Ingredients:

Salad:

•    1 head romaine lettuce chopped (or 3 cups mixed greens, if preferred)

•    ½ cup shredded chicken

•    2 tbs Franks Red Hot buffalo sauce (or preferred wing sauce). 

•    ¼ bell pepper, diced (any color works)

•    ¼ cucumber, diced 

•    ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, diced

•    ¼ cup pinto beans (canned are fine)

•    ¼ avocado, diced

•    ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing 

•    3 tbs plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt

•    ½ tsp apple cider vinegar

•    ½ tsp water (add more if it’s too thick)

•    ¼ tsp dried dill (fresh works too)

•    ¼  tsp salt

•    ¼ tsp garlic powder

•    ¼ tsp onion powder

•    1/8 tsp dried cayenne pepper

Instructions:

Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing:

1.    Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.

2.    Taste to see if it needs more salt.

Salad

1.    Add lettuce to a large bowl. Top with cucumber, pepper, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and pinto beans.

2.    In a small bowl, add chicken and wing sauce. Mix together until chicken is fully coated. Add chicken to salad. 

3.    Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. 

4.    Toss in Greek Yogurt Ranch Dress or drizzle dressing on top and serve. 

Meaghan Penrod lives in Connecticut and is the creator of the gluten free food blog Low Key Gluten Free. She shares recipes, restaurant finds, products, and tips for living with Celiac Disease. You can follow her at @lowkeyglutenfree on Instagram and Facebook or check out her blog at lowkeyglutenfree.com.


 
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