Home Health 8 Bright, Nutritious Spring Salad Recipes – Everyday Health

8 Bright, Nutritious Spring Salad Recipes – Everyday Health

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Looking to rack up your veggie quota? Whip up one of these colorful, healthy recipes featuring seasonal spring produce.
As the cold days of winter melt away and spring begins to show its very welcome face, it brings with it lots of delicious fresh produce. Spring fruits and vegetables tend to be tender and delicious because they’re still young. Better still, they’re packed with the nutrients your body needs, reports Have a Plant, and can help you achieve your daily fruit and veggie goals, which only about 1 in 10 Americans actually meet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (FYI: Per MyPlate guidelines, most American adults should be eating a minimum of 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day depending on age and birth sex.)
Here, you’ll find eight simple and delicious salads that will help you enjoy all the fresh flavors springtime has to offer!
Arugula, also known as rocket, is a type of leafy green with a peppery and slightly bitter flavor. Like other leafy greens, arugula is low in calories and packed with nutrition, per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Additionally, research notes that arugula is particularly high in erucin, a compound that may have cancer-fighting properties. According to the Almanac, arugula’s growing season in the United States begins in spring, making it a healthy salad base you can enjoy as the weather starts to warm. In this salad, the delicate green’s peppery flavor complements the sweetness of the strawberries and saltiness of the cheese.
Serves 1
Salad
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Nutrition per serving: 455 calories, 26g total fat (4.8g saturated fat), 9g protein, 43g carbohydrates, 4.6g fiber, 36.7g sugar (4.1g added sugar), 475mg sodium
You may find cucumbers in the grocery store year-round, but they begin to come into season in some regions in May, according to the Food Network. Radishes and fresh herbs, such as dill, are also some of the first produce to mature in spring, per the USDA. Here, a bowl of delicious spring vegetables is lightly coated in a creamy dressing that uses Greek yogurt as the base instead of fattier ingredients such as sour cream or mayonnaise. This combination keeps unhealthy saturated fats to a minimum while also giving you a boost of calcium from the yogurt.
Serves 2
Salad
Fresh Dill Dressing
Nutrition per serving: 108 calories, 7.1g total fat (1g saturated fat), 4g protein, 9g carbohydrates, 1.8g fiber, 3.4g sugar (0g added sugar), 173mg sodium
Peas may be the most famous spring produce, and their mild flavor pairs nicely with stronger ones like radish and fennel. Peas are technically legumes, a group that includes lentils and beans and that tend to be high in plant-based protein, but are considered starchy vegetables by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Whatever you call them, they’re an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C and a good source of zinc, according to the USDA. Simply dressed with lemon juice and olive oil (which add more vitamin C and healthy fats, respectively), this light combination has the perfect blend of flavor and nutrition.
Serves 2
Nutrition per serving: 221 calories, 14g total fat (2g saturated fat), 6g protein, 21g carbohydrates, 7.9g fiber, 9.4g sugar (0g added sugar), 206mg sodium
This salad is a great way to use up leftovers, and the mustard vinaigrette works with pretty much any lean protein or combination of spring veggies. You get a double shot of satiating protein from the egg and salmon, and the fish also adds a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fats to your plate, according to the American Heart Association. Salmon from a can or pouch will work just as well as fresh, and delivers similar nutritional benefits without any of the fuss.
Serves 2
Salad
Mustard Vinaigrette
Nutrition per serving: 331 calories, 20g total fat (3.5g saturated fat), 25g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 6.6g sugar (2.9g added sugar), 303mg sodium
Broccoli is a springtime superfood! This crucifer contains valuable fiber, potassium, and phosphorus, per the USDA. There is also research showing that regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, can discourage hardening of the arteries, especially of the aorta (the largest artery in the body). If possible, let the salad marinate in the dressing for at least a few hours before serving to help the flavors develop.
Serves 4
Nutrition per serving: 268 calories, 13g total fat (1.8g saturated fat), 10g protein, 32g carbohydrates, 9.4g fiber, 14.3g sugar (1g added sugar), 234mg sodium
Fresh spring mixed greens make the perfect base for this delicious salad, which works equally well as a side or entree (just add your favorite protein). Artichokes contain fiber, protein, and even some vitamin C, per USDA data, and the Parmesan vinaigrette lends savory, umami flavor. Best of all, it comes together in minutes.
Serves 4
Salad
Parmesan Vinaigrette
Nutrition per serving: 179 calories, 13g total fat (2.7g saturated fat), 4g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 4.7g fiber, 2.7g sugar (0g added sugar), 283mg sodium
Strawberries and kiwi are superstar sources of vitamin C. One serving of this salad will more than meet your daily requirement for this immune-supporting vitamin, per the National Institutes of Health. Plus, avocado adds healthy fats and fiber, per USDA data, both of which help make this meal more filling, and its creaminess balances the tanginess of all that citrus.
Serves 2
Salad
Honey Lime Ginger Dressing
Nutrition per serving: 311 calories, 18g total fat (2.4g saturated fat), 3g protein, 41g carbohydrates, 8.7g fiber, 27g sugar (9.6g added sugar), 10mg sodium
Strawberries and rhubarb are a classic spring pairing, but you’ll most often find them in pie. This healthy alternative allows you to enjoy those same bright flavors in a savory way. Roasting heightens the natural flavors of the strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus, and putting them all on one baking sheet makes cooking and cleanup a breeze, too. An aged balsamic vinegar for dressing is all you ended: max flavor, zero fat.
Serves 4
Nutrition per serving: 262 calories, 4g total fat (1.6g saturated fat), 14g protein, 45g carbohydrates, 9.7g fiber, 14.9g sugar (2g added sugar), 105mg sodium
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