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Sides and Snacks

The Salad For When You Don’t Want Salad

Spring is finally in the air! I don’t know about you, but I am so sick of winter. I’ve even talked to some of my fellow bloggers along the east coast, and we’ve come to a unanimous decision that no one is allowed to complain about how hot summer gets this year.

strawberry quinoa salad 2

Today’s recipe was already posted on my friend from high school’s blog called Hey Dandelion. My friend has a ridiculous knack for photography and traveling, and she’s taken some amazing photos from the sights she’s seen and the journeys she’s experienced. Check her out!

But yeah, anyways. I wanted to go beyond the recipe and talk about some ways to spruce up salad for spring. I’ve posted about jazzing up salads a while ago, but there are a ton of veggies that fruits and specifically come into season this spring. Take advantage of these in-season fruits and veggies this spring!

7 Fruits and Veggies to Include in Your Next Salad

  • Fava Beans–As a child, you probably remember eating fava beans boiled with a dollop of butter or margarine. But fava beans have definitely undergone a makeover since then. Steam fava beans, then peel them and allow them to cool. Toss them in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh dill. Top them onto any bed of greens for a vegetarian protein option!
  • Asparagus–This is perhaps one of spring’s funnest vegetables. One cup has over 101% of your daily requirements of vitamin K. I personally enjoy roasting asparagus in the oven with a little olive oil, garlic, and salt to add a rich flavor to my salad. You’re also welcome to chop up raw asparagus (ditch the ends) and toss that into a salad like you would any other raw veggie.
  • Mint–It’s almost innate to connect mint to spring. Don’t think that mint is only good for a stick of gum or dare I say a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie. Fresh mint actually provides a great source of manganese and copper, two minerals that Americans are often deficient in. Mint also helps soothe upset tummies, so if you notice the fiber from your last salad is still killing your stomach, adding a few springs of fresh mint could be just what the doctor (or food blogger) ordered.
  • Radishes–I feel like in the winter, we tend to eat a lot of softer foods that aren’t too crunchy. Whether it’s mashed potatoes or chocolate cake, or even hot bowls of soup, as spring approaches we naturally tend to crave foods that have more of a bite to them. Radishes definitely fit this category. Radishes are in the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli and cauliflower. They’re super rich in fiber, packing almost eight grams per cup! Slice this crunchy veggie at an angle for a pop of color. If you’re really feeling adventurous, try this radish flower tutorial.
  • Strawberries–Just about everyone whose health-conscious knows about the health properties of berries. Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants that prevent heart disease, cancer, and premature aging. Strawberries are specifically linked with regulated blood sugar in many people, even though who don’t have a history of diabetes. Add a handful of strawberries to any spring salad for a pop of color and a punch of flavor.
  • Arugula–Ever wonder why arugula has that rich, peppery flavor? The answer is selenium. Research indicates that foods with a high selenium content are actually really great for the skin, preventing the first signs of aging like fine lines, dullness, and sun damage. Use arugula as the base for a salad instead of romaine or even baby spinach.
  • Cherries–What better way to welcome spring then with some rich, juicy cherries? Cherries contain an antioxidant called¬†anthocyanin, which has been linked to better circulation and heart health. Add cherries (pitted of course), to any salad for some vitamin C.

strawberry quinoa salad

Remember that salads don’t always need to be veggie-based. While that would be ideal, it’s totally cool to switch gears and opt for a grain-based salad. Today’s salad is actually made with quinoa, one of my favorite grains. Gluten-free, fiber rich, and full of protein, quinoa is a great choice for a grain-based salad.

Print Recipe
Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Fresh Strawberries, Basil, and Golden Raisins
Prep Time 30 minutes
Prep Time 30 minutes
  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. When cooked, set aside and allow to cool. Place the quinoa in the refrigerator if needed to facilitate the cooling process.
  2. While the quinoa is cooling, slice your strawberries and basil.
  3. Mix the strawberries, basil, and cooled quinoa by gently folding with a spatula. Top with golden raisins. Chill for 30 minutes, then serve with your favorite healthy proteins and veggies.
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