Expand Your Salad Options

Green salads are delicious and healthy all year-round, but it’s so easy to get bored with salad.

To liven up your salad use interesting ingredients like seasonal fruits and vegetables. Here’s a list of our favorite salad ingredients and recipes based on the season:

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Spring/Summer

Like to design your own salad? Here are great spring/summer ingredients you can to add to any salad: Avocados, bell peppers, cilantro, cucumbers, grapes, green beans, citrus fruits, mangoes, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes.

Black Bean and Mango Summer Salad:

Mix mozzarella with pan-roasted corn, black beans, and avocado to create a rich Mexican-inspired feast.

4 cup smoked tomato vinaigrette (such as Drew's) or substitute with any vinaigrette that has a smoky flavor
1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears)
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3/4 cup coarsely chopped avocado
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large bowl, combine vinaigrette, beans, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and pan-roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir corn and remaining ingredients into black bean mixture and toss together.
3. Chill until ready to serve. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 324 calories, 9 g fat (2.7 g saturated), 554 mg sodium

TIP: If you use frozen corn kernels, make sure they're thawed and dry so they don't stick to the pan.

Fall/Winter

Like to design your own salad? Here are great fall/winter ingredients you can to add to any salad: Apples, pears, cranberries, fennel, cabbage, pumpkin seeds, pecans, beets, mushrooms, winter squash, broccoli and arugula.

Beet and Walnut Winter Salad:

A hearty combination of wholesome foods perfect for the cold weather months.

2 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1/4 cup crumbled herb goat cheese
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups julienned Belgian endive or substitute with arugula or mixed greens
1 cup julienned fennel
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped, lightly toasted walnuts

1. Place the beets in a saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain and shock the beets in ice water. Remove the skins and stem ends. Julienne and reserve for the salad.

3. For the vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together the mustard and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in the shallots, rosemary, and sage, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. In a large bowl, toss the beets, endive, fennel, pear and walnuts with the vinaigrette to lightly coat. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Divide the salads among four plates and top each serving with 1/4 cup of the goat cheese, sprinkling it on and around the salad.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 347 calories, 27 g fat