Monday, July 2, 2012

Simple Summer Salads

I know a lot of people who say they don't want to spend good money on a salad when they go out to eat. They feel like it's something they could easily make themselves. While I totally understand the sentiment, I am all about ordering salads at certain restaurants. I love those really complicated salads with fancy cheeses, fruits, sugary-toasted nuts, and funky dressings. And frankly, I'm lazy about salads. All of my childhood, my mom insisted that we have salad every night with dinner. I helped cut up countless cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, etc for years and years. And I guess I learned to hate making salads. All that dicing and chopping, and they were not nearly as good as the restaurant kinds. So to me, buying salad is totally worth it. 
But lately I've been making super simple salads for almost every meal. Well, not for breakfast, but for lunch and dinner. I think I may have found the trick to making them quick, easy, and absolutely delicious! So I thought I'd share some of my favorite salad combos with ya'll, in case you need some summer salad inspiration. 
Here was our dinner last night:
Phillip had a big bowl of romaine hearts, cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, and Ranch dressing.
I had romaine hearts, a peach, slivered almonds, grilled chicken, and a bit of Italian dressing. 
Mine looks way bigger because it was in a much smaller bowl.
I've been coating chicken thighs in barbecue sauce and grilling them. Sometimes the grilled thighs go into salads as a main course, and other times I'm really inspired and make actual sides and a full meal. I try to always grill extras and then cut up the cold leftover thighs in lunch salads during the week. 
I almost always use organic romaine hearts, because they come pre-washed, are delicious and nutritious, and are super easy to just cut up into a bowl for a really fast salad. But you should use whatever lettuce mix floats your boat.
Plain romaine hearts get pretty boring alone, which is where just a few special extras come in and make some surprisingly yummy meals.
For lunch I've been adding slices of mozzarella cheese sticks and chopped green apple. I toss in a bit of Ranch and it's a whole different flavor from my peach-chicken-almond-Italian salad.
I've also added blueberries, baby carrots, strawberries, lemon juice, turkey, you name it. Almost any fresh ingredient I have lying around the house has been thrown into my salad this summer. Every day is a new combination. I should invest in a romaine-hearts company, I'm buying so much of it. And I'm lucky I have such an easy-going husband. He likes salad, too!
What is your favorite salad? Do you have any quick, light meal ideas for summer?


  1. These look delish, Dani!!! I want to try your peach one. A friend made one for me called fajita salad which i love- lettuce with fajita spiced chicken, bell peppers, cheese, carrots, and ranch or a spicy dressing if you have it. very tasty:) I also am in love with lettuce wraps right now!! Hoep you are having a lovely day and I cant wait to see you soon!!! ~Shannon

  2. Ahh! I haven't been on in forever!

    Yum! I agree with you. I do not like making the salads, but I do enjoy a really good one. :D

    We really enjoy lots of avocado on ours. Apples chopped into small bite-size pieces are really good as well. Macadamia nuts are REALLY good!

    You have me drooling now. It has been a weird day and we still haven't had supper as the boys had to go check on some stock tank. :sigh:

    Loved the "big" and "small" bowls. :D