• Words by Sonia

A Week Of Greens To Fit Into Your Jeans

The heat of summer is in full swing — ok, maybe not that much here in Victoria— but it looks like the perfect time to pack essential light and healthy meals for lunch each day after holidays indulgence. Besides, no one wants a heavy lunch when you’re working, right? While salads are a staple for any health-conscious person, it’s easy for them to become repetitive and boring. Greens, veggies, and a little crunch? There’s not much more to it than that, right? Wrong!



Our no-fail formula for non-boring salads is a lifesaver when you’re in a rut. It’s all about creativity, mixing and matching, and of course, good dressing. Cos you can’t get a good, unique salad without a good dressing. Because, contrary to popular belief, salads don’t need to leave you feeling hungry and sad. It’s just the opposite!


Here’s some inspiration — so you beat the bore and look forward to lunch again with these 7 unique salads for every day of the week. Try them first as they come, then tune them a lil bit and you will get a new one... there are endless possibilities!


1. Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese and Mustard-Orange Dressing


I got inspired by the Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing from Hello Veggie that resulted in a delicious summer night salad. So I explored further and tuned some of the elements to bring even more salad perfection.

Adding fruit to a salad is a sure way to bring it to the next level. This recipe combines roasted pumpkin and creamy, pungent goat cheese with sweet and tangy mustard-orange dressing. I use ancient mustard (the one that comes with the whole mustard grains) and I like to use tamari rather than salt but you could use whichever you prefer of these options.



Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • ½ butternut squash diced and roasted

  • ½ orange peeled and sliced

  • 3 tbsp goat cheese in chunks (I love the marinated feta cheeses from Yarra Valley dairy farm)

  • 3 cups of mixed leaves including rocket ( optional radicchio, mint leaves, parsley)

  • 2 tbsp nuts (pine nuts, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts….)


For the Mustard Orange Dressing

  • ½ orange juice

  • 2 tsp ancient mustard

  • 1 tsp tamari

  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

  • Dash of honey

  • 50 ml Olive oil


2. Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Fresh and light for summer, this salad is a sure-fire way to brighten up your day. Crispy Granny Smith apples are combined with light baby spinach, sprinkled with dried cranberries and pecans. The poppyseed dressing ties it all together. You can substitute the apples with pears— equally delicious!


Cranberry Apple Pecan Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baby spinach

  • 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples chopped

  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese (My pick Yarra Valley Saffy with saffron and lemon)

  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

For the Creamy Poppyseed Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tbsp Maple syrup

  • 4 tsps. cider vinegar

  • 2 tsps. poppyseeds




3. Summer Detox Salad with Citrus Basil Vinaigrette


Eat clean with this rainbow detox salad. Combining broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, nuts, and greens, you’ll feel full and incredibly healthy at the same time. The Citrus Basil Vinaigrette is finger-licking good.


Summer Detox Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of kale leaves, slightly sautéed

  • 1 cup strawberries

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

  • 1 cup broccoli florets or broccolini

  • 1 granny smith apple

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

For the Citrus Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped

  • 1 tbsp tamari or aminos

  • 1/2 cup olive oil



4. Kale Caesar Salad Recipe


Kale lovers rejoice! You can turn the traditional Caesar salad into a healthier dish. It’s chockfull of greens, parmesan and croutons, and topped with a tasty Greek-yogurt Caesar dressing.



Kale Caesar Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped fresh kale slightly sautéed

  • 4 cups chopped cos lettuce

  • 2 cups croutons

  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup halved Roma cherry tomatoes


For the Lime Caesar Dressing

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 3–4 tbsp fresh lime juice

  • ½ cup Olive oil

  • 1 tsp anchovy paste, to taste

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • sea salt to taste

  • pinch of black pepper





5. Summer Nectarine Caprese Salad


Sure, tomatoes are great, but what about getting out of the comfort zone? Switch up the well-known Caprese salad by swapping tomatoes for fresh nectarines. As for the mozzarella, my pick is always burrata—a “pouch” of stretched mozzarella cheese filled with cream-soaked Stracciatella— burrata is much richer and creamier, with a looser texture. The result is not just good-looking, but also entertaining-worthy. You can also grill the nectarines for juicing up in flavour. When you grill nectarines, they become a little out of the ordinary, with a bit of rustic appeal. An easy-to-put-together for big crowds and loved by all.







6. Hormone Balancing Kale Watermelon Salad


Not only this is a tasty, refreshing salad, but it’s also a healthy option to ease PMS. Rather than reaching for a chocolate bar to ease premenstrual cravings, listen to your body and nourish it with a healthier option. Watermelon is high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C and beta-carotene, helping your liver to break down excess estrogen and offering anti-inflammatory support to your cells before your menstrual cycle. Kale is an exceptional liver stimulant and avocado contains healthy fats and magnesium to increase progesterone production.


Hormone Balancing Kale Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch curly kale roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup cubed watermelon

  • 1 ripe avocado peeled, pitted and cut into cubes

  • 1 small onion finely diced

  • 1/2 cup mixed seeds lightly toasted

  • A few fresh mint leaves

  • 1 lime juice only

  • Pinch sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

Keep it simple, some aminos drizzled and olive oil.


7. Buddha Bowl Salad with Zesty Lime Dressing


Here’s my five stars process to create a buddha bowl: 1 grain (quinoa, buckwheat,…) 1-2 protein/fat (chickpeas, lentils, avocado, salmon…) 1 nut (cashews, peanuts, almonds…) 2-3 veggies (lettuce, green beans, kale…), garnished with tortilla strips or seeds (black sesame seeds, nigella…), and topped with a delicious dressing and you are all set! You can also use rice or rice noodles instead of grains.


I can’t get enough of it. I like to make them warm during the cold months by adding roasted veggies (pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant…) and keep them refreshing during summer by adding Vietnamese mint, spearmint or basil leaves.



A Buddha Bowl Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green leaves mix or baby spinach

  • 1/2 cup cucumber

  • 2 cherry Roma tomatoes halved

  • 1 avocado sliced

  • 1 cup chickpeas or black beans

  • 1 cup corn

  • 1/4 onion thinly sliced

  • Fresh cilantro

For the zesty lime dressing

Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

  • 1/2 cup cashews

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 1/3 cup Olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp cumin ground

  • salt and pepper to taste


We’ve heard a lot that the best way to love salad is to make them interesting. Did you know that the word salad comes from the Latin word “herba salta” or “salted herbs,”? The reason behind it is because such greens were usually seasoned with dressings containing salt.


Get creative, let your imagination run wild! With veggies and fruits you can never go wrong 😉


Keep glowing naturally from inside out,

Sonia x