Salad Days

Summer’s here! A lot of people are back out into the world. I have been integrating walks in the park here in Lakewood, Ohio, back into my life, and between that and the warm weather, a lot of salads have been happening for me. I’m going to walk you through two delightful and hearty ones, and how to make your own dressings for them. Because, let’s face it, store bought dressing is full of sugars and who knows what. And if you’re gonna eat that salad, there’s no reason to ruin it with a load of who-knows-what on top.

Also, a confession: I’ve gained not a small amount of weight baking during the COVID-19 crisis, and I’ve been eating in a style called the Mediterranean Diet to shed some of those pounds. It’s a super-heart-healthy non-fad diet that focuses on Mediterranean cuisine — olive oil instead of butter, olives themselves, tons of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lowfat dairy, and seafood.

The first salad is probably the heartiest, because it has a half a filet of fresh salmon on top. To make it, you’ll need

1 filet of fresh salmon, roasted

1-2 cups of greens, such as spinach, or romaine

sugar snap peas


goat cheese crumbles

olive oil


vinegar, such as rice or apple cider, or fresh lemon juice

fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme

To roast the salmon, just spray a little olive oil on a pan and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. Salmon is full of good, healthy fats and protein.

The last four ingredients will be for the dressing, which you’ll want to emulsify by putting in your blender. Add a little cracked pepper, too, for a tiny kick. Many dressings are a basic combination of fat, sweet, and acid, and whatever spices you like. Of course, I could teach you to make ranch or blue cheese, and I guarantee you’ll love them more than store-bought, but that’s a post for another day!

That’s it! Healthy summer salad part one looks like this:

The second salad is a little more summer-time, because it’s got berries in it. You’ll put together:

1-2 cups of spinach


sliced berries, like blackberries and strawberries

crumbled goat cheese

olive oil

maple syrup

balsamic vinegar

a dash of dijon mustard

Again, the first ingredients will be laid on your plate, and the last four emulsified in your blender. I suggest being inexact with your measurements on the dressing, making it to your tastes, not a recipe, tasting as you go along. Your end result with be surprisingly hearty because of the pistachios and cheese, and also bursting with flavors. If you want to bulk it up a little more, consider making 1/2 cup of quinoa and putting it on there. Quinoa is an under-sung salad ingredient that really makes it feel more like a meal, and is great for your body and full of protein.

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