Contributor, Kara Stout, shares three simple spring salad recipes that are refreshing, energizing and perfect for entertaining!
Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Our bodies intuitively begin to crave refreshing, light and cleansing foods. Eating seasonally is so important in order to consume the foods and drinks that will appropriately provide the right nutrients and overall nourishment for the season.
Spring salads are a great way to obtain a high amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, healthy fats and protein for this season.
The great news is that salads do not have to be boring! I wanted to create three spring salads for you that are simple, energizing, full of flavor and beautiful to make in case you’d like to bring it to an event or if you’re hosting a spring get-together. You can certainly enjoy a pretty spring salad by yourself as well!
All three salads are plant-based and vegan. In addition to the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits, each salad also provides healthy fats and plant-based protein via the nuts and seeds. Fun fact: green leafy veggies also provide some protein! If you’d like to add additional protein to any of these salads, feel free. Some easy additions could be quinoa, chickpeas or grilled chicken.
Citrus & Flower Salad with Maple-Cinnamon Cashews
- 1 3.5-ounce container mâche rosettes (or your favorite green leafy veggie)
- 1 orange
- 2 blood oranges
- 3-4 mandarin oranges
- Edible flowers
Maple-Cinnamon Cashews Ingredients:
- ½ cup raw whole cashews
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- First, make your maple-cinnamon cashews. In an oven safe bowl, add cashews, coconut oil, syrup and cinnamon and stir well. Bake at 400 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Stir halfway through baking, at about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- While cashews are cooling, peel and slice your citrus.
- Make sure your greens have been washed thoroughly.
- Place two to three large handfuls of mâche rosettes on each plate. Add the orange slices, maple-cinnamon cashews and edible flowers.
- Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt to taste. Enjoy!
Spring Swiss Chard & Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 avocado
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ cup pistachios
Lime Dressing Ingredients:
- 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Wash Swiss chard thoroughly and pat dry. Cut out pink vein/stem in each leaf. Roll up a couple leaves together tightly and then slice across to create ribbons.
- Spiralize carrot and slice avocado.
- Add two to three large handfuls of Swiss chard to each plate. Add desired amount of carrot spirals and sliced avocado.
- Crush pistachios a bit and sprinkle onto salad.
- Drizzle desired amount of lime dressing onto each salad. Enjoy!
Kale & Watermelon Radish Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 watermelon radish
- 1 handful sunflower seeds
- Fresh dill
Lemon Tahini Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight in bowl of water)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground organic sesame seeds)
- 2/3 cup pure water for thinning
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- First, make your lemon tahini dressing. Add cashews, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, water and sea salt to a high-powered blender and blend well until creamy. Place in refrigerator while preparing salad.
- De-stem each kale leaf. You can do this either by holding the leaf tightly in one hand and pulling the stem through with your other hand or you can use a knife to cut out the stem.
- Wash kale leaves thoroughly. Then cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces.
- Place chopped kale into a bowl. Pour about 1 teaspoon of olive oil into your hands and rub together to coat. Then begin to massage the kale for about 2 to 3 minutes. This makes the kale easier to digest, and makes it a bit more flavorful in my opinion.
- Add two to three handfuls of kale to each plate.
- Add sliced watermelon radish wedges, sunflower seeds and dill to each plate.
- Top with delicious tahini dressing, and enjoy!