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Spring Salads

Spring Salads

Spring is here! What a glorious time of year. Everything is so fresh and green! After a long winter, what better way to celebrate than by bringing some of that green onto our plates?

 

 

Yellow Pepper, Edamame, and Snap Pea Salad with Creamy Japanese Dressing

 

This is a bring‑to‑work type salad that you can pack into a mason jar (or Tupperware). Creamy Wafu is a Japanese‑style dressing that’s available in grocery stores but can also easily be made at home! (The dressing used here is based on recipes from Genius Kitchen and Japanese Cooking 101.)

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 1 (as a meal, with leftover dressing)

For the salad:

Yellow pepper, cut into cubes
Green snap peas, cut into cubes
Frozen shelled edamame*
Grated carrots**
Pea shoots

For the dressing:

5 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1–2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup
1/8 tsp dried powdered ginger

1. Cook the shelled edamame according to the instructions on the package. Rinse in cold water to cool.

2. Fill a big mason jar with equal parts yellow pepper, green snap peas, grated carrots, edamame, and pea shoots.

3. In a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients to combine.

4. When you’re ready for lunch at work, pour the dressing onto the salad, shake it up, and dig in!

Bright idea: You can top the salad with chow mein noodles for added crunch.

*Chef’s note: Frozen shelled edamame can be found in the frozen vegetable section at most grocery stores.

**Bright idea: To keep grated carrots from going brown, toss them with a dash of lemon juice before adding them to your salad mix.

 

Romaine and Blueberries with Almond Dressing

 

Craving a hearty, healthy fruit-based salad? This salad has it all: sweet, delicious berries paired with crunchy almonds and romaine lettuce, topped with creamy almond butter dressing.

Since the dressing will need to cool a bit, we recommend preparing it first.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 10–20 minutes

Serves: 1 (as a meal, with leftover dressing)

For salad:

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup pea shoots
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup tamari almonds, coarsely chopped

For dressing:

1/2 cup creamy almond butter
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger (optional, for extra zing!)
1 tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup
3/4 cup hot water
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. soy sauce*

1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. (You may need to add salt if the almond butter is unsalted*.)

2. Set dressing aside to cool. (You can transfer to a container and plunge it in a cold‑water bath to speed up the process.)

3. Place the lettuce in a bowl with the pea shoots and top with blueberries and tamari almonds.

4. Once the dressing has cooled a bit, drizzle over salad and serve.

* For low sodium diets, choose a low-sodium soy sauce and unsalted almond butter and  adjust seasoning if need be.

 

Strawberry Salad with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese

 

Strawberries are the earliest summer fruit, so we’re taking liberties here to celebrate spring by combining them with a maple–balsamic reduction. This sweet and savoury salad is perfect for a special weekday treat or to wow your weekend guests. As with the previous recipe, we recommend making the balsamic reduction first, as it will need time to cool.

Prep time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

For salad:

6 cups fresh mixed greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tbsp butter
1 cup crumbled blue cheese*

For dressing:**

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated salt and pepper, to taste

1. Boil balsamic vinegar and maple syrup on low until reduced and thick. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan over low heat. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized (they’ll be brown and slightly gooey). Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.

3. Once the reduction has cooled, place mixed greens in a large bowl. Add caramelized onions, strawberries, and blue cheese. Drizzle with reduction and extra virgin olive oil to taste, season with a bit of freshly grated salt and pepper, and toss to serve.

*Bright idea: If you find blue cheese a little overwhelming, this recipe also works great with soft un-ripened goat cheese, which contains less salt than blue cheese.

**Chef’s note: To save time, you can pick up a bottle of maple–balsamic reduction in any fine grocery store.

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