Light and Easy Summer Salads to make NOW

light and easy summer salads

The days are long, and it is FINALLY heating up here in Calgary. I know it has been a pretty hot summer for many of you – but out in Western Canada, we have been suffering with a ton of rain and cooler days. Here’s hoping July and August bring us some heat – and with it always comes the desire to make light and easy summer salads.

I’ve been posting pictures on our insta of flowers in my garden that I have never seen bloom before, so obviously the rain – and intermittent sunshine is doing something. While I don’t personally have a garden, it seems the farmers markets and grocery stores are teaming with fresh, yummy looking produce.

quick and easy summer salads

When I see all this yum, I just want to figure out how to use it in recipes that are quick and easy and that my family will love. I’ve picked three light and easy summer salads that are my “go-to” these days, to help you get inspired to use up all those garden goodies.

Arugula Avocado and Tomato Salad

The first is my daughter’s fav – The Arugula, Avocado, and Tomato. This salad is so simple, and uses just 4 main ingredients – with a light lemony dressing. Although arugula is sometimes not loved by kids, my family loves the peppery taste. Feel free to substitute kale or spinach if they are more on board with that.

Did you know that arugula is an amazing source of folate, vitamins A and C, and in 3 cups – contains 100% of your daily vitamin K needs. Three cups also allows you a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese (hello, perimenopause and menopause benefits!)

Of course, avocado is a great way to get your healthy fats, and did you know avocado’s have a TON of fibre? Fibre helps to to feel full longer – making this a perfect light and easy summer salad – that is still filling.

light and easy summer salads to try now

I love this salad because the dressing is literally lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper – can you get any easier? This is a great one to make when you are out at the lake – you don’t need a ton of groceries to make a yummy satisfying dressing.

light and easy summer salads

Arugula Avocado and Tomato Salad

Adapted from Ina Garten
This is the perfect light lunch salad in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh and the avocado is ripe!
Prep Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large lemons enough to make 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 3 cups arugula substitute kale / spinach if preferred
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Squeeze lemons and pour 1/4 cup of the fresh squeezed juice in to your salad bowl.
  • Add diced avocado (see my notes below!) to the lemon juice and coat completely.
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the salad bowl.
  • Add the diced red onion to the salad bowl. Toss tomatoes and onion with the lemon juice.
  • In a measuring cup, whisk together the remaining lemon juice, the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add arugula to the salad bowl.
  • Gradually add lemon / oil dressing to the mixture until nicely dressed.
  • Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss again.
  • Ready to serve!

Notes

** There are various tricks to cutting avocado, but I simply cut in half and remove the stone. I put one half in my palm, and take a paring knife to slice a “grid” into the half – not piercing through the skin. Then simply take a spoon, and “carve” the entire avocado flesh out. This goes straight into the salad bowl, perfectly diced!
Keyword arugulaandtomato, avocadoandtomatosalads, avocadosalads, lightandeasy, saladswitharugula, tomatosalads

Asian Inspired Cucumber Salad

Our next fav features one veggie everyone has on hand, with three simple ingredients as the dressing. This Asian inspired cucumber salad is literally so addictive, my kids ask for it almost every day. This is the perfect thing to bring to a potluck with lots of young families – what kid doesn’t love a cucumber?

Because the soy sauce is salty enough – this salad doesn’t even need seasoning! My fav soy sauce is KIKKOMAN but pick your fav and run with it. This is a great addition at lunch for the kids too 🙂 The perfect light and easy summer salad.

light and easy salads

Asian Inspired Cucumber Salad

This delish salad is so easy to put together, and super addictive. Good thing it's healthy too!
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cucumbers use what you've got and adapt!
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Slice up rinsed cucumbers and put in a salad bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and toss gently.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword asianinspired, cucumberasiansalad, cucumbersalad, easykidfriendlysalad, fastsalad, sesameoildressing, soysauce, useupyourcucumbers

Watermelon Mint Salad with Feta Cheese

Last but not least, Danni has been showing all of you her fresh mint as of late, which reminded me of an old stand-by salad I often make – but only in the summer. To make this, you need a nice bunch of fresh mint, and a gorgeous fresh watermelon to start – no attempting this in the dead of winter! This is typically a crowd fav (again, who doesn’t love watermelon) but is unique and can be adapted to finicky taste buds.

light and easy summer salads to try now

I love the saltiness of adding black olives, and feta cheese crumbles, but you could use fresh mozzarella or parm if you really want – or if that is what you have on hand. Again – this is another easy one to make at the lake, or at a summer rental, because it doesn’t require a ton of dressing ingredients. A simple balsamic and olive oil will do the trick.

You could also try this one at your next dinner party – everyone will be asking for the recipe.

light and easy summer salads

Watermelon Mint Salad with Feta Cheese

This is the perfect summer salad during the months when watermelon and fresh mint are in abundance!
Total Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 mini watermelon, cut into cubes about the size of a large cantaloupe
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup rough chop fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (either crumbled or cubed)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar you could use red wine vinegar as well
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cut mini watermelon into cubes and place in salad bowl.
  • Add cucumbers, olives, red onions, feta and mint.
  • Whisk together balsamic and oil and pour on top of your salad mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!
Keyword fetacheesesalad, mintrecipes, quickandeasysalads, saladsforsummer, watermelonmintsalad, watermelonsalad
light and easy summer salads

All of these recipes go amazing with grilled fish, chicken or pork. Beef kabobs would work nicely as well. If you are looking for an “all in one” marinade for your grilling your meats – check out our EVERYTHING MARINADE .

Of course, you are going to need drinks with that… right? Why not check out our easy SUMMER BEVERAGES and you have a perfectly put together meal.

Hope you are all enjoying your summer and getting some sunshine into your soul as well as on your skin (SPF protected, of course!)

xx

C

2 thoughts on “Light and Easy Summer Salads to make NOW

    1. Hi! What I do – if I want it as a make ahead, is just leave it undressed. It seems to be just fine that way! I am eating it for lunch this afternoon – after making it yesterday morning and it is just perfect (and it was even dressed!) I think the key is cutting a fresh watermelon – don’t buy the pre-cut as it is soggier it seems?? 🙂

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