3 top salads for summer

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Posted on January 07 2020

3 top salads for summer

Heading to a BBQ this weekend, but not sure what to bring? Our dietitian has you covered with three easy salad recipes your host will love you for. The best part? They take the spotlight off the greasy meat-fest, and place it on delicious fresh produce. #Winning.

1. Quinoa, pumpkin and feta cheese

Salads get a bad rap for being unsatisfying – but they don’t all have to be a boring mixture of lettuce and carrot. The key to making a filling salad is to bulk it out with smart carbs like wholemeal couscous, long grain brown rice or wholemeal pasta. These foods are slowly digested, which means your blood sugars will gently rise and fall over a few hours (rather than a few minutes) – and that results in a fullness factor.

One of my favourite healthy carbs to use in salads is quinoa. Don’t stress if you haven’t cooked it before, it’s super-duper easy to prepare – just cook it on the stove top in a pot of water until it looks like it’s ‘popped’. I like to combine quinoa with a batch of roasted pumpkin, rocket and feta cheese, and then drizzle over balsamic glaze. It really is delicious!

2. Chickpea salad

Chickpeas are the bees knees for plenty of reasons. As part of the legume family, they’re associated with a raft of health benefits, including blood sugar management, reduced cholesterol and protection against diseases like heart disease and diabetes. They’re also packed with fibre to support a healthy gut, and provide a range of micronutrients to keep your body working it’s best, like iron for oxygen transport or zinc for wound healing.

One of the best things about chickpeas is how easy they are to use. Just grab a tin out of the pantry and get experimenting! I love to throw them in a salad with crunchy cucumber, fresh tomatoes and char-grilled corn – but really, anything works. I like to dress it in a mixture of either honey, mustard and extra virgin olive oil, or lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.

3. Spinach, peach and avocado

Nothing says summer more than stone fruit in a salad – and peach and avocado are a match made in heaven.

Peaches are nutrition superstars, rich in the disease-fighting antioxidant beta-carotene. This compound is converted to vitamin A in the body, which supports eye health. Peaches are also rich in Vitamin C to support your immune system, and fibre for a happy and healthy gut. Avocados in their own right are also extremely nutritious, providing a good dose of healthy fats to support your heart and brain. They, too, are a good source of gut-loving fibre and immunity-boosting Vitamin C, and also provide folate which is essential for mums-to-be. 

You don’t have to do much with peaches and avocado to make a crowd-pleasing salad – simply toss them together with mixed leaves, red onion and a sprinkle of goats cheese or crushed walnuts if you like.

And there you have it! Three easy-peasy salads for your next summer dinner party. Which one are you going to whip together?


Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

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