Recipe: Five Salads to Spice Up Your Summer

Hearty, main-dish salads that don’t skimp on flavor!

Long gone are the days of blah and boring salad recipes. From a satisfying twist on a traditional wedge to a Cuban-inspired rice salad, these five recipes will make you rethink your summer salad game. 

One of the best things about the summer season is all the fresh produce available. At times, it can be intimidating about what to do with the influx of fruits and vegetables cropping up at the local market and grocery stores. Ingredients like juicy stone fruit, fresh oranges, cherry tomatoes, mini peppers and carrots are all great on their own, but they’re even better when added to a summer salad. Whether you’re looking for a main dish stunner (hello, southwest wedge) or the perfect accompaniment to a backyard BBQ or potluck, these five recipes will fit your summer meal bill. 

QUINOA + KALE STONE FRUIT SALAD (serves 4)

Luscious stone fruit —think cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums—are the perfect pairing to a satisfying salad recipe filled with powerhouses such as quinoa, kale, spinach and walnuts. A zesty honey mustard dressing rounds everything out for a perfect meal that celebrates all things summer.

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 Bag (10 oz.) Path of Life The Original Quinoa & Kale, cooked according to package instructions
  • 4 cups stone fruit, sliced
  • 1 cup pitted cherries, halved
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp honey mustard dressing
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • Coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Here’s what to do: 

  • Combine Quinoa & Kale, stone fruit, cherries, spinach and dressing in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and black pepper, if desired. 

Chef’s Tip: For fast and easy toasted walnuts, add nuts to a dry skillet heated over medium heat. Stir constantly until nuts become fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate and cool completely.

CUBAN ORANGE AND RICE SALAD (Serves 4)

Oranges are the star of this dish, in both fresh segments within the salad and juice in the vinaigrette. With the additions of hearty black beans, green onions and our Cilantro Lime Rice Blend, you’ll find your taste buds transported straight to Cuba.

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 Bag (10 oz.) Path of Life Cilantro Lime Rice Blend, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh orange, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper (optional)

Here’s what to do: 

  • Combine Cilantro Lime Rice Blend, black beans, green onions and orange pieces in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well. Whisk orange juice, vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Add to mixture and toss to combine.

Chef’s Tip: Serve with a wedge of orange for a pretty and tasty extra. Try serving in romaine leaves or flour tortillas for a light, fast wrap.

TUSCAN RAINBOW SALAD (Serves 4)

Fresh veggies make this Tuscan-inspired salad not only colorful and aesthetically pleasing but
packed with nutrients as well. The zesty white balsamic or champagne vinaigrette ties the whole dish together for a salad you’ll have on repeat all summer long.

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 Bag (10 oz.) Path of Life Tuscan Quinoa Blend, cooked according to package directions and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce
  • 5 mini peppers, sliced into thin rings (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 small carrots, peeled
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic vinaigrette or champagne vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper (optional)

Here’s what to do: 

  • Combine Tuscan Quinoa, lettuce, peppers, and peas in a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into long, thin strips. Add to quinoa mixture and drizzle with dressing; toss to combine.

Chef’s Tip: For a fun twist on flavor and color, try this recipe with rainbow carrots.

SOUTHWEST WEDGE (Serves 4)

They say you eat first with your eyes and in the case of this Southwest Wedge salad, that sentiment couldn’t ring more true. By grilling the romaine in our chef’s tip below, you add an extra boost of flavor to this already beautiful main-dish salad.

Here’s what you need: 

  • 1 Bag (10 oz.) Path of Life Southwest Mango Quinoa Blend, cooked according to package instructions and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 Medium Cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Romaine Hearts, halved
  • 4 Tbsp Avocado Dressing
  • 1/2 Cup Radishes, thinly sliced
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper (optional)

Here’s what to do: 

  • Combine Southwest Mango Quinoa, cucumber and grape tomatoes.
  • Place a romaine half on each of four plates; top evenly with quinoa mixture.
  • Drizzle with dressing; top with radishes and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with additional dressing, if desired.

 

Chef’s Tip: For an extra level of flavor, try grilling the romaine before topping. Heat a grill or grill pan. Lightly brush both sides of the romaine with olive oil. Grill 1-2 minutes per side or until grill marks
show and leaves begin to char.

ANCIENT GRAINS SALAD (Serves 4)

It doesn’t get much easier than our Ancient Grains Salad. The mixture of ancient grains —quinoa, buckwheat, rice and millet—topped with roasted pumpkin seeds, pairs perfectly with a traditional salad mix for a simple, protein-packed, plant-based dinner. Get creative with your dressing: this salad screams for customization, whether it be drizzled with a zesty vinaigrette or creamy dressing, there’s no question this one’s a winner.

Here’s what you need: 

Here’s what to do: 

  • Cook Ancient Grains & Seed Blend & cool to room temperature.
  • Toss with salad and dressing then serve!

Find more time-saving and tasty meals on our recipes page, and keep your eye on this blog for more tips, tricks, recipes, and knowledge to help you live a more simple, flavorful and nutritious life.