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Salad Days of Summer

For some people, the start of summer is marked by a shift in wardrobe, but for me it’s what’s in my salad bowl. I make salads often and experiment with nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, grains, proteins and dressings. And I rely on peak-season flavors like strawberries, cherries, corn and tomatoes. Follow suit to banish boring salads at your house.  

Read on to find out how you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card. UPDATE: Thank you to everyone that entered! Congrats to our winner, Ellie!

Awesome Simple Salads

The leafy green + veggies + dressing combo is just the tip of the iceberg. So make every salad super with just a little something extra. Here are a few winning combinations:

  • Romaine + heirloom tomatoes + creamy ranch or blue cheese + hearts of palm or artichoke hearts (Sure Deal!)
  • Arugula + chopped cucumbers + red wine vinaigrette + olives or marinated mushrooms
  • Baby spinach + sliced nectarines + sesame vinaigrette + toasted pine nuts or cooked baby shrimp
  • Whole wheat couscous + strawberries + balsamic vinaigrette + feta or goat cheese crumbles (Sure Deal!)
  • Wheat berries + diced peaches + cider vinaigrette + sliced prosciutto or salami
  • Cannellini beans + diced zucchini + olive oil vinaigrette + roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes

Here are six more salads that defy sad salad syndrome and spotlight some of the season’s best flavors.

HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND BULGUR SALAD Honeydew and Smoked Poblano Salad

AVOCADO SALMON SALAD WITH KALE GRILLED CHICKEN, GREEN ONION AND RADISH SALAD

CAPRESE COUSCOUS BERRY GOAT CHEESE SALAD

Looking to save? Shop the bulk bins for nuts, seeds, grains and dried fruit and buy only what you need. Leftover chicken and salmon are great time and money savers too. With $53+ in coupons, Sure Deals, 12 new 5-ingredient budget-friendly recipes and money-saving tips, The Whole Deal® value guide has lots more ways to enjoy the best of the season for less.

Lettuce know what’s in your awesome salad in the comments below by August 31 and you could win a $50 Whole Foods Market® gift card. Yup, it’s that Caprese!

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends August 31, 2013, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.

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169 comments

Comments

Ashlee Blodgett says …

my favorite salad is a spinach salad dressed with a homemade orange balsamic vinaigrette topped with almonds, blue cheese, dried cherries.

tiffany love says …

Iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber, organic nitrate free bacon, oven baked wild Alaskan salmon, avocado, and creamy ranch dressing. I love making this salad!

JoAnna says …

My awesome, easy salad is a mix of greens (usually spinach, romaine, kale, shredded cabbage), summer tomatoes and cucumbers, baked falafel patties (I love the kind that come in the green box in the frozen section at Whole Foods!) and my homemade lemon tahini dressing (juice of 1 lemon, 1 T tahini, 1/4 cup water, salt, a touch of agave and minced dill)

Lynn I says …

For a refreshing gluten-free summer salad, I make quinoa with diced red onion, diced cucumber, chopped walnuts or garbanzo beans, big squeeze of lemon and a big splash of flaxseed oil! The flaxseed oil brings out the tangy nuttiness of the quinoa.

Janine says …

I love a rustic salad with Dino kale, a lemon/garlic dressing, parm, and wheat berries. Delish and hearty

Adrienne Kormos says …

My salads are rotisserie chicken, hard boiled egg, spinach, kale, red cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, edamame, quinoa, dried cranberries, and avocado. No need for dressing! This food is delicious.

Xiao Li says …

raw kale, dandelion greens, beets, red and yellow bell peppers, blueberries, carrots, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and avocado, mixed with a creamy almond butter dressing = the rainbow spectrum+healthy carbs, protein and fat. Everything you can possibly want from a salad.

Jenny says …

My go-to awesome summer salad has arugula, avocado, hearts of palm, tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic shrimp. I use a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. It's super filling, delicious, and healthy!

Leah says …

My awesome salad has romaine lettuce, baby spinach, kernels of roasted corn, shredded carrots, honey-roasted sunflower seeds, and diced tandoori chicken (boneless skinless) thighs. It is tossed in a sweet and tangy homemade garlic dressing (garlic cloves, white wine vinegar, honey, sugar, salt, olive oil and culantro).

Molly says …

What's NOT in it?... a current favorite includes dark greens, sprouts, grilled chicken, feta, cucumber, mushrooms, and a homemade rhubarb-raspberry-balsamic drizzle

Liz says …

Quinoa, avocado, Sriracha, salmon & grilled zucchini, squash & eggplant.

Michael Sanchez says …

Spinach+olives+manchego cheese

Nicole says …

My awesome salad has fresh spinach and green beans, almonds and strawberries with a raspberry almond dressing. Delicious.

Sarah Kalis says …

When I want to make a salad for dinner, I like to throw almost everything I can find into it. One of my favorite combinations includes: Whole Foods Organic Spinach, garbanzo beans, halved artichoke hearts, chia seeds, gorgonzola, defrosted pre-cooked shrimp, canned sweet corn and some kind of nut. Normally I prefer walnuts or almonds. I finish the salad with a homemade greek yogurt dressing and take two parts greek yogurt, 1 part honey, 1 tsp mustard and a dash of balsamic vinaigrette and stir it together. It's healthier than most dressings and I know exactly what is in it! This salad could serve as a whole meal!

Amy says …

Chickpeas, red onion, triple crime goat Brie with baby spinach and homemade honey mustard dressing - with stoneground mustard YUM

Amanda L says …

Spinach, grape tomatoes, red onions, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, edamame, banana peppers, beets, feta cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, and lemon juice. Massive and amazing

Betty Marciano says …

Spinach, red onion, grapefruit, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Dressing: salt, olive oil, honey( just one spoon),and cider vinaigrette. The difference is on the pumpkin seed , really taste good!

Evangelia Zarokostas says …

My famous salad: Organic Romaine, Red Green or Baby Green lettuce Organic Garbanzo Beans Organic Cherry or Grape tomato's Cindy's Kitchen Mango Salsa Vinagerette dressing Organic black pepper

Mary says …

Romaine, cucumber, red pepper, avocado, feta cheese, blackberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil

Amy says …

Mixed salad greens, farm fresh peaches, fresh corn cut from the cob, feta, honey glazed almonds with a lemony, white wine vinaigrette. Pure summer!

Nina says …

You must try spiniach+mushrooms+rasberry vinigerette+alfalfa

Natalya M. says …

My mom makes the most awesome salads, but this is the one that everyone loves the most: mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Colorful, nutritious, delicious. We have it with almost every family dinner.

Lynea LaVoy says …

Yield: 2 generous servings Wilted Beet Greens w/ Goat Cheese & Pine Nuts A simple but flavorful side dish or salad that is easy to make, yet sophisticated enough for company. Ingredients 4 cups beet greens, washed and chopped 1 tsp olive oil 1 Tbl balsamic vinegar (no sugar added) 2 tsp olive oil (this is not a typo) 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled 2 Tbl pine nuts, toasted Instructions In a large saute pan, heat the 1 tsp olive oil and then add the beet greens. Cook for about 4 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp olive oil, whisking gently with a fork. To serve: Divide the greens between two plates. Top with toasted pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese, then drizzle with the oil and vinegar. Notes Approx nutrition info per serving: 215 calories, 18g fat, 3.5g net carbs, 10g protein

Rosie says …

I like to add a sprinkling of blackberries and raspberries, raspberry vinegar, and all the regular ingredients with a sprinkle of almonds on top!

Laura S. Rodriguez says …

This salad is one of my staples during the summer--it's loaded with good, healthy fat and protein. 1 large bowl of mixed salad greens 3-5 strips of cooked bacon, chopped 2 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumpled 1 large avocado, diced Handful of cherry tomatoes Toss together and drizzle with olive oil and juice from half a lemon; sprinkle lightly with salt and eat up!

Marianne Griffith says …

My refreshing salad has watermelon cubes, feta cheese. vedalia onions. blackberries, sunflower seeds and raspberry vinaigrette, sprinkled with cilantro.

Tara says …

romaine, pears, cranberries, bacon, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and poppyseed dressing!

Julia says …

My all time favorite salad is whole foods ground white meat chicken, gucamole, organic refried black beans, over mixed greens and this time of year fresh corn. Top all that with a large helping of 365 salsa!

preetystamim says …

Mashallah I want more design of salad plzz.. shukrn sis

Jen Darrow says …

My Asian Noodle Spinach Salad: 1 bunch spinach 1/2 head red leaf lettuce 1 avocado, cubed 1 mango, cubed 1 yellow bell pepper, cubed 4-6 radishes, sliced 6 oz. prepared rice noodles 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped 2 chicken breasts, grilled & cubed (optional) Dressing: 3/4 Cup Asian soy-ginger dressing 1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter Mix all the veggies together in a large bowl. Spread the noodles throughout the salad, add the chicken (optional), dress, sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and toss. Yummy! Makes 6-8 servings

Liz Marsden says …

Mixed greens, black olives, white cheddar, pineapple chunks and fruit flavored vinairgrette...

Coral says …

I love fresh corn and tomatoes with parsley and a Dijon vinaigrette

Ji Young Ann says …

My awesome salad is <Tofu Quinoa Vegan Salad with Asian Dressing>. Mix boiled quinoa with sesame seeds, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Cut extra-firm tofu into cubes, and chop heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, red and yellow peppers and some mushrooms. Mix tofu cubes and vegetables. Garnish with shiso leaves.

Courtney Scott says …

My newly discovered salad, that I can't get enough of is: Baby Spinach, tossed in a raspberry/walnut vinaigrette. Topped with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries and a sprinkle of feta cheese!!

Shirley Yousoufian says …

Equal portions of chopped flat leaf parsley, (yes parsley!) shredded red cabbage, drained canned chick peas, chopped red onion and fresh pecans. Top with black pepper/garlic, vinaigrette DELICIOUS!

Ania says …

Baby spinach, beets, pumpkin puree, chickpeas, feta cheese, and drizzle of honey mustard - SO GOOD! Add roasted tofu - even better!

Ava Paracsi says …

My salad has a lot of crunch!! First start off with iceberg lettuce or other types of greens, carrots cleaned and cut into chunks, green bell pepper cleaned and cut into small pieces, peeled cucumbers cut into chunks/pieces, tomatoes cut into quarters, sliced radishes, celery cut into small pieces, mix all together and then top off with your favorite salad dressing. If you wish you may add extras such as hard boiled eggs sliced, avocado, nuts/seeds of your choice, and whatever else you may desire. I have had some good salads at restaurants but the chunks/pieces of the veggies give you crunchiness and fills you up - enjoy!!!

Aeiza Shaikh says …

Fav summer salad combo is watermelon, organic baby arugula, manchego cheese cubes 1-2 oz, extra Virgin olive oil, orange zest, dash of black pepper

Dion says …

Romaine lettuce, cucumber, red bell pepper and green olives provide my most basic daily vegan salad. When I have more time, I add fresh beets, radish, jicama and avocado. Current fav dressings are Lemon & Chive or True French Vinaigrette. :)

Yen Phan says …

I like to add some dried cranberries and sunflower seeds to my salad for a little sweet/tart flavor and crunch. Healthy and delish!

Joan Zaluska says …

Our favorite summer salad contains: arugula, fresh mint and fresh tarragon topped with fresh figs (quartered), blackberries, blueberries, strawberries (quartered), peaches (sliced), pan seared chicken breast cut into bite size pieces and feta cheese crumbles. Dressing is 3 tablespoons agave, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest and 3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves.

Jaki says …

My go-to salad for this summer has -Mixed greens -Chopped zucchini, broccoli, heirloom tomatoes -Avocado, fresh squeezed lime juice, cayenne pepper, (optional dollop of hummus). Mash avocado, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and hummus. Mix in veggies then top the mixed greens with the heavenly concoction just created for a yummy, filling, perfect for summer, lunch.

Erin malaspina says …

My salad hads curly kale, diced carrots and cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, whole wheat orzo and homemade green goddess dressing. It is such a good pasta salad. You could even add chicken or steak to make a meal!

Annmarie Daniels says …

any greens, a drizzle of lemon and olive oil, cottage cheese, topped with halved green or red grapes, sliced celery, and dry roasted salted peanuts.

Christina says …

Hmm, there are so many! My awesome salad has red leaf lettuce, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, sliced mini portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced apples, olives, scallions and is topped with goat cheese that has been baked for a couple of minutes... I use a balsamic, mustard, olive oil (only a little) with fresh pepper and sea salt.

Donna N says …

I love to play around with different fruit, veggie, and nut combinations. My favorites have a little of this and a little of that. For a simple and quick salad, I like mixed greens, halved red seedless grapes, slivered almonds, thin slices of red onion with a light honey mustard vinaigrette.

Donna N says …

A great side salad for a BBQ and a crowd pleaser - roasted corn, diced zucchini, red pepper, red onion with an apple cider vinaigrette.

Donna N says …

A great side salad for a BBQ and a crowd pleaser - roasted corn, diced zucchini, red pepper, red onion with an apple cider vinaigrette.

Donna N says …

For a heartier salad, I use quinoa, diced veggies - zucchini, summer squash, onion or scallions with pumpkin seeds and dress with shoyu, garlic, pepper and olive oil. If I want it as a meal, I add grilled chicken.

Gwen says …

Black bean salad with roasted corn, cucumbers, red pepper, black beans, cilantro, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a touch of sugar. Low calorie, vegan, and a beautiful mix of colors. Yum

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