This summer, we’re embracing the joy of trying some new recipes for simple, healthy meals, and there’s no better way to do it than with plant-based salads! Our friend Hope Monaco, @thelocalplanteater, shares some fantastic tips on making nutrient-dense salads this season that are filled with greenhouse grown produce to help everyone Live Deliciously®!

Whoever said salads were boring and unsatisfying clearly didn’t know how to make a wholesome, nourishing, and delicious salad! Salads are the perfect way to pack in proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in one refreshing bowl. They are affordable and incredibly convenient, especially for those with busy schedules.

This is the summer of being open to trying new healthy and simple meals. We all know the classic Italian, Greek and Caesar Salads, but there is a whole other world of salads to explore! Here are 3 ways to elevate your salads this Summer to make the best plant-based combinations that you and your guest will keep craving!

Add greenhouse grown produce –

There are no rules when it comes to creating a salad. This summer, we’re taking it to the next level by using the freshest conventional and organic greenhouse-grown produce. Greenhouse grown vegetables offer a wide range of flavors while also ensuring a steady supply of fresh ingredients throughout the year. Try Long English Cucumbers for that satisfying crunch or Mini Cucumbers for a bite-sized delight that adds a pop of freshness to every forkful. Sweet Bell Peppers and Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers add a burst of color and natural sweetness to your salads, making every mouthful a feast for the senses. If you are a tomato fan, Juno® Bites Red Grape Tomatoes and Sangria® Medley Tomatoes bring the natural goodness of the vine right to your plate.

Get creative with color & texture –

So, get creative! A salad can be much more than simple lettuce. Try a healthy base of vibrant greens like kale, cabbage, romaine, spinach, arugula, or even microgreens. Complement them with a plant-based protein like beans, tofu, or tempeh, and add an assortment of vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, radishes, and onions. For a touch of sweetness, include fruits like melons, berries, apples, pears, or grapes. Boost the nutritional content with nutrient-packed seeds like hemp hearts, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, pecan, or walnuts. If you’re not a fan of greens, explore the combination of grains like quinoa, rice, orzo, lentils, or couscous. Top it all off with a homemade dressing, and your creative, greenhouse-grown plant-based salad is ready to delight your taste buds!

Make your own dressings –

Store-bought dressings can often mask the true essence of your salad and add unnecessary unhealthy ingredients. Take control of your salad’s destiny by crafting your own dressings! Not only does this save you money, but it also unleashes your creativity in the kitchen. Making your own dressings allows you to experiment with various flavors, ensuring your salads are anything but monotonous. Say goodbye to repetitive store-bought dressings and hello to a world of enticing taste combinations!

By crafting dressings at home, you can prepare the exact amount you need for your salad, reducing waste and keeping your creations fresh every time. And by using a selection of top-quality ingredients, your homemade dressings will reach new heights of flavor.

A simple dressing made with olive oil, lemon, vinegar, and garlic is incredibly versatile. Store it in a mason jar, give it a good shake, and experience how one dressing can complement a multitude of salad combinations.

Try a Summer-inspired Salad –

To truly embrace the Summer of Salads, let’s create a delicious and wholesome salad recipe! Try this vibrant and nutritious salad featuring Oriana® Orange Grape Tomatoes and a medley of fresh ingredients in my Oriana® and Roasted Chickpea Salad.

Oriana® Orange Grape Tomatoes are the star of this salad, providing a burst of sweetness and acidity that perfectly complements the roasted chickpeas and fresh greens. With these tomatoes, you can be sure that you are getting high-quality, flavorful ingredients that are sustainably grown and responsibly sourced. This salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and antioxidants, making it a healthy choice for any meal. Plus, it’s easy to customize with your favorite ingredients and dressings, making it a versatile addition to your recipe collection. Give this Oriana® and Roasted Chickpea Salad a try and enjoy the flavors of summer in every bite!

The Summer of Salads is all about savoring every bite, and that includes adding nutrient-dense ingredients to help make your salad greens shine! Massaging your greens is a key secret to enhancing their flavor and texture. Some greens like kale can be slightly but don’t let that deter you! Massaging them with a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of lemon juice helps to soften the greens, making them easier to digest and more enjoyable. Oriana® Orange Grape Tomatoes, with their natural sweetness, complement the massaged greens to perfection.

Massaging your greens not only improves their taste but it helps them hold onto dressings better. No more watery salads – each leaf will be perfectly coated in flavor, fully allowing you to appreciate the wonderful taste of greenhouse-grown produce.

Fuel up with plant-based goodness –

This summer, embrace experimentation and find your plant-based salad sweet spot. Create a Pinterest board to save your favorite recipes, or start a fresh notebook to document your culinary explorations. Let your creativity flourish and make this season the summer of greenhouse grown plant-based salads! Head over to Summer of Salads to discover more about how you can use the freshest and highest-quality produce for your salads. The wide range of mouthwatering plant-based salad recipes will keep you living deliciously all summer long!

 ~ Hope