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20 Refreshing And Delicious Salad Recipes You Need This Summer

20 Refreshing And Delicious Salad Recipes You Need This Summer

Salads are the perfect thing to be eating this summer. Aside from the countless health benefits (lowers risk of developing cancer, aids weight loss) they also offer an abundance of flavor and are easy to make. Thanks to the marvelous World Wide Web, we are no longer stuck with just some lettuce on a plate—there are so many delicious recipes out there. Enjoy!

1. Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint

Mango Slaw

    What could be more refreshing than some sweet mango and lime in your salad?  With no cooking required, this recipe is simple and delicious.

    2. Superfood Salad

    Superfood salad

      Superfoods are all the rage at the moment, and why wouldn’t they be when you can have your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants all on one plate?  Serve this delicious salad with grilled chicken or fish, and you have yourself one very healthy meal.

      3. Grilled Balsamic Portobello Mushroom & Steak Salad

      Grilled balsamic and portobello steak

        This mouth watering salad is the perfect alternative to a steak sandwich.  With no refined grains and all of the flavor, you’re sure to impress your friends when you whip this one out at your next BBQ.

        4. Green Tabouli

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        Green Tabouli

          This no-fuss recipe will make the perfect addition to your lunch box.  As Chef Teresa Cutter tells us, it’s “full of alkalinising, anti-inflamatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients called sulforaphane that work to support optimum health and protect against disease.”  Plus it tastes delicious!

          5. Classic Greek Salad

          Greek salad

            You can’t go wrong with a classic Greek Salad.  Filled with ingredients everybody loves (tomato, cucumber, onion and olives), this salad is perfect on it’s own or accompanied by your favorite grilled meat.

            6. Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

            Strawberry-and-Avocado-Spinach-Salad1

              Strawberries in my salad? Yes please! This recipe is extremely simple and is sure to freshen you up on a hot summer day.

              7. Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Raisins, and Cheddar Cheese

              brocolli salad

                I love bacon—even more when it’s combined with sweet and savory flavors in this salad. Make sure you try this perfect combination of broccoli, bacon, raisins and cheese.

                8. Puy Lentil, Spiced Roast Carrot & Feta Salad

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                Lentil salad

                  This salad is the perfect choice if you are looking to increase your fiber and iron intake.  It may take a little longer to prepare, but it’s worth the wait.

                  9. Everyday Green Chopped Salad

                  Everyday green salad

                    Sometimes the simpler the better.  This one from Jamie Oliver is a great way to balance your plate with some greens.  You can make it into a complete meal by adding some grilled chicken, tinned tuna or salmon.

                    10. BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta + Avocado

                    BLT salad

                      This one has my favorite ingredients in it: bacon, feta, avocado and corn.  Tear up some whole-wheat wraps, place them in the oven for a few minutes and the use them to scoop this salad up.  You’ll have a party of flavors in your mouth!

                      11. Pad Thai Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

                      Pad Thai Salad

                        I can’t wait to try this one. The coconut lime dressing has really got me excited.  The best part about it is that it lasts for about 3 days.  This means you could whip up a batch on a Sunday and then have it for lunch throughout the week.

                        12. Green Goddess Chicken Salad

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                        Green Goddess Chicken Salad

                          Who would have thought a salad could have so much history?  Apparently the green goddess dressing used in this recipe was created in the 1920s as a tribute to an actor. With a mix of mayonnaise, sour cream, herbs, anchovies and lemon, it’s still just as delicious today.

                          13. Fennel and Pear Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

                          Fennel & Pear salad

                            Here’s another simple yet sophisticated salad that’s perfect for any get-together.  Again, you can make up a batch and have it on hand all week.  So easy and convenient.

                            14. Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad

                            Sweet Potato and Kale

                              Are you hooked on the kale craze?  I certainly am! And with delicious salads like this, it’s easy to see what everyone is raving about.

                              15. Green Garden Salad

                              Green Garden Salad

                                This one is a perfect accompaniment to fish or salmon.  It’s a great way to get your hit of greens and it’s so easy; you can have it ready in less than 5 minutes.

                                16. Mediterranean Rice Salad Recipe

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                                Mediterranean Rice Salad

                                  There are days when a basic salad just won’t cut it, and this is when I love using hearty recipes like this one. With brown rice, spinach leaves, cucumber, onion, olives and pine nuts, its absolutely delicious!

                                  17. Red Cabbage and Apple Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

                                  Red Cabbage Salad

                                    This one you can have ready in under 20 minutes, and I am loving the combination of apple, cabbage and ginger.  It’s perfect for those days when you feel like something a little sweeter.

                                    18. Nicoise Salad

                                    Nicoise Salad

                                      They say the best salads are the ones you make yourself, and I can not wait to try this one! Make it vegan by replacing the eggs and tuna with cooked cannelloni or broad beans.

                                      19. Cucumber and Baby Pea Salad

                                      Cucumber & Baby Pea Salad

                                        If you’re not a fan of lettuce, this one is perfect for you.  It’s just cucumbers, peas, parsley, basil and tangy yogurt.  Very tasty.

                                        20. Spinach and Smoked Salmon Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing

                                        Spinach and Smoked Salmon Salad with Lemon-Dill Dressing

                                          Last but certainly not least is one of my favorites.  I can’t get enough of smoked salmon and this one is perfectly combined with spinach leaves, cucumber and dill. Trust me; it was hard to narrow it down to 20.  Check out more here. Making your own salad and not sure what dressing to put on it?  Get inspired here.

                                          Featured photo credit: dinner for one/knitting iris via flickr.com

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                                          8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                                          8 Things to Watch for If You’re Considering Being Vegetarian

                                          Vegetarianism has been around for a long time, finding favor with many people, including Pythagoras clear back around 580 B.C. It’s been presented as one of the most healthy diets around, including being touted by the Egyptians to the point of abstaining from meat and animal clothing due to karmic beliefs. The vegetarian society (vegsoc.org) defines vegetarianism as:

                                          “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish* or by-products of slaughter.”

                                          While it’s pretty obvious that there are multiple benefits to following a vegetarian diet, it’s always good to be informed about the cons of this dietary choice as well.

                                          Outlined below are several things you might want to be aware of before you say good-bye to meat forever. Whether you are a current vegetarian, or contemplating making a shift, keep in mind these 8 things to keep yourself healthy.

                                          1. You could suffer from B12 vitamin deficiency

                                          The B vitamins are especially important for stress management, adrenal health, and brain function. Vegetarians in particularly are at risk for B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is attached to the protein in animal products and without enough B12 you can suffer from depression, fatigue, and an inability to concentrate.

                                          Due to its attachment to animal proteins, B12 is the hardest for vegetarians to obtain when they don’t eat dairy or eggs in their diet. This essential little vitamin can be found in some algae and has been added to some yeast, but research doesn’t currently provide enough information to say whether or not these forms of B12 are of good quality and can provide adequate supplementation.

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                                          The body is unable to make this vitamin, meaning it has to be taken in through food or supplementation. Essential for making red blood cells, DNA, nerves and various other function in the body, a Harvard Health Medical report in January of 2013 found symptoms of a B12 deficiency can present in sneaky ways including depression, paranoia, delusion, and loss of taste and smell.

                                          2.  You could suffer from higher states of anxiety/depression, lower sense of well-being

                                          According to a CBS Atlanta report, vegetarians suffered from a higher rate of anxiety and depression than their counterparts. Read the full report here. Depression and/or anxiety can be a result of many possible deficiencies including essential vitamins and amino acids you can find only in meat products, including Omega-3s from wild caught salmon.

                                          Without the correct supplementation and proper understanding of diet, including the importance of micro and macro nutrients, depression and anxiety can become a serious problem, bringing down the overall health and well-being of vegetarians.

                                          Even though reports on health and lifestyle show vegetarians have a lower BMI and lower consumption of alcohol and drugs, it also shows they suffer from more chronic illnesses and more visits to the doctor than their meat eating counterparts.

                                          3. You could suffer from excess weight

                                          When you go vegetarian it opens up a lot of food, but just because there isn’t any meat in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s necessary healthy. Though pizza and beer technically fall under the vegetarian diet, it’s not a healthy choice for your waist line.

                                          Just because being a vegetarian is associated with a healthier lifestyle in many cases, doesn’t mean it’s always true. Making bread and pasta your staples and not understanding where your protein sources should be coming from, can pack on body fat, which increases your chances of health issues such as diabetes and chronic inflammation.

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                                          If the choice to go vegetarian happens on a whim without the proper understanding of food control, portion, and nutritionally dense alternatives you can find yourself reaching for vegetarian foods, which could cause serious problems down the road. Nuts are a good example, but just because something is touted as healthy, it doesn’t mean, your should eat it in excess.

                                          Eating too many calories in fat will still cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in carbs will cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories in protein will cause you to gain weight. See a pattern here? Not to mention you’ll miss out on important nutrients the body needs by over-eating in one area and under-eating in another. Re-read number 2.

                                          4. You could have a higher risk of heart disease

                                          Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should be a goal we all strive for, but when you cut out meat, you also cut out what is known as complete protein, which you find in animal by-products. Complete means more than just the essential amino acids, it means those amino acids contain dietary sulfur. Without enough dietary sulfur, which is found almost exclusively in fish and pasture feed grass beef, the body will struggle with the biological activities of both protein and enzymes.

                                          The effects cascade downward, effecting bones, joints, tissues, and even metabolic issues. In short, a low intake of sulfur associated with a vegetarian diet can result in high blood levels of homocysteine, which may lead to blood clots in your arteries, blood clots raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. To read the full report click here.

                                          5. You could suffer from low cholesterol

                                          I know, at first you’re thinking, wait, low cholesterol is a good thing. Yes, it is, when it’s LDL cholesterol, which you get from eating an unhealthy diet, but low HDL (good cholesterol) can cause serious health issues. HDL, according to the mayo clinic, is in every cell in our body and can help fend off heart disease, not enough of it though, and too much LDL can go the other way, will be building up plaque in the arteries and leading to heart disease.

                                          Cholesterol, the good kind, is actually vitally important to the making of every steroid hormone in the body! There are six, and without cholesterol the body is unable to convert hormones, and it can cause damage in the endocrine system.

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                                          A vegetarian without a balanced diet, meaning enough protein, enough veggies, and enough good fats, could disrupt his or her adrenals, which are directly connected to the endocrine system and the body’s ability to make and synthesize the hormones your body needs. The six major hormones in the body help do everything from metabolizing carbohydrates, to the electrolyte balance, to making sure if you’re a woman you can carry a healthy baby through pregnancy.

                                          6. You could suffer from lower bone density and osteoporosis.

                                          Osteoporosis, the disease where the bones get thinner, weaker, and fractures become a high risk with day to day movements. It’s often associated with the older generation, but your risk for osteoporosis increases with a lower bone density. Bone density can be directly related to diet and lifestyle, along with many other factors.

                                          When it comes to eating a vegetarian diet it’s possible to miss getting enough of the right nutrients, causing the bones to begin to break down. If your vegetarian diet isn’t balanced and providing you with the correct nutrients and the means to absorb the correct nutrients, your body could begin to break down.

                                          Recently, Professor Tuan Nguyen of Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research led a review of both Australian and Vietnamese research around the bone density of vegetarian versus their meat eating counterparts. Helping Professor Nguyen was Dr. Ho-Pham Thuc Lan from Pham Ngoc Thac University of Medicine in Vietnam. The review was designed to sort though years of research surrounded by discrepancies and inadequate clinical data.

                                          At the end of the review, with vegetarianism rising to around 5% of the populace in the western continents, and with wide spread osteoporosis reports – 2 million in Australia and closer to 54 million in America – the decrease in bone density of vegetarians is a serious issue which needs to be addressed, if you’ve cut meat and animal by-products out of your life.

                                          7. You could be at a higher risk for colorectal cancer

                                          Cancer seems to be running rampant through America, and it’s within everyone’s best interest to do all they can to keep their body healthy and happy to prevent cancer from finding a place to grow. In most studies it’s been found vegetarians are at lower risk for cancer, but a European Oxford study with over 63 thousand men and women in the United Kingdom found the risk for colorectal cancer higher in vegetarians than in meat-eaters.

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                                          Extra care needs to be taken when establishing a diet to ensure the body is receiving and able to up take all the important nutritional benefits and requirements from food.

                                          8. You could end up eating more processed food

                                          Depending on how deep you choose to go as a vegetarian, it could create the need to substitute a lot of food and recipe ingredients in your diet, but what happens when you cut out meat, eggs, and dairy and your recipe calls for meat, eggs, and/or dairy? You have to end up using a “healthy” vegetarian alternative which include stabilizers, thickeners, and various other ingredients you can’t pronounce.

                                          Lauren from Empowered Substance puts it into a great perspective with her comparison of Earth Balance, a vegetarian approved butter replacement compared to butter. She points out the ingredients in Earth Balance consist of: Palm fruit oil, canola oil, safflower oil, flax oil, olive oil, salt, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, annatto color. Meanwhile, the ingredient list in butter, is much shorter. It’s butter.

                                          That’s only one example. To appeal to the vegetarian lifestyle food manufacturers have found alternatives which fall under vegetarian, but aren’t necessarily healthy for you. Consider baked goods, which though vegetarian can be filled with more sugars and binders than regular baked goods with diary products. It’s the same with vegetarian items like mac and cheese, without using real cheese you may just be getting oil and thickeners, without even the smallest amount of nutritional value.

                                          The reality is, most vegetarian substitutes contain the same junky alternatives which even meat eaters should be avoiding to remain happy and healthy.

                                          On one final note, whichever lifestyle you choose to work with, remember anything in excess – including protein and animal by products – isn’t healthy for the body. It takes a wide spectrum of food and nutrients to keep the beautiful body you travel around in all day running in prime condition.

                                           

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