With temperatures soaring and summer in full swing, we all tend to gravitate away from our traditional, hearty dinners and towards some variation of an “Irish Salad” for our meals. Whilst the Irish summer staple of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and slices of cooked ham have a special place in our hearts, it wouldn’t be the most nutritious (or exciting) salad recipe out there! If you’re hoping to up your salad game this summer, you’re in the right place. Here, we have our favourite superfood salad recipe for you to try.
This salad recipe is super easy to make and it lasts quite well in the fridge for a couple of days. Therefore, it’s the perfect dish to make as part of your meal prep at the beginning of the week. It works well with a range of salad dressings so you won’t get sick of having the same thing every day for your lunch. Alternatively, you could add some to your wraps or sandwiches to make sure you’re getting your 5-a-day.
For This Salad Recipe, You Will Need…
This recipe is a great way to get more veggies in your daily diet, but it’s also a great way to curb those pesky 3 pm snack cravings. How can a salad leave you feeling satisfied from lunchtime all the way until dinner time? A very important ingredient that is often overlooked – protein. Proteins are made up of “building blocks” known as amino acids. We use these amino acids to build and repair muscle and bone. We also use them to make enzymes and hormones. But we use proteins as a source of energy too. So, bulking up your lunchtime salad with protein can help keep you feeling energised and satisfied until you sit down for your evening meal.
Here are the main ingredients that we recommend including in this healthy salad recipe. However, you can swap in/out vegetables to your taste (or to help use up what you have in the fridge!).
- 3 cups dark leafy greens, such as kale, spinach or rocket, roughly chopped julienne
- 1 scallion, finely sliced
- 1 cup plum tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 carrot, grated
- Pumpkin seeds
- 2 sweet peppers, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 cup sweetcorn
- 1/2 cup green lentils, cooked
- Sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked
- 1/2 cup edamame beans
- Chia seeds
- 1/4 cup Bulgur wheat, cooked
- 1/4 cup red quinoa, cooked
- 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts
- 1 handful of sprouted mung beans
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Sprinkle of pomegranate seeds
Nuts, seeds, lentils, chickpeas, grains, and edamame beans (immature soybeans) are all wonderful sources of protein and they make for a delicious addition to any salad.
How to Make This Super Tasty, Super Healthy Salad Recipe
One of the best things about this salad isn’t just the delicious taste, it’s how fast and easy it is to prepare. It only takes 5 minutes but it leaves you feeling full for hours. To keep the prep time down, you can use pre-cooked lentils and grains. So grab a chopping board, a sharp knife, a vegetable peeler, a grater, a large salad bowl and let’s get started!
- Firstly, you will need to wash all of your veggies and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. It’s best to do this after peeling your scallions as you may find some dirt lingering under the skin.
- Next, you will need to remove the part of the scallions where the root is attached. Finely chop the rest and pop them into your bowl.
- Cut the plum tomatoes in half and then halve them again so they’re perfectly bite-sized.
- The sweet pepper is next – chop off the top where the stalk is attached and slice it down the middle. Remove all of the seeds and slice the halves again so you have quarters. Then, you should slice them into thin slivers.
- It might sound strange, using both scallions and red onion but trust us, the double-onion method makes all of the difference. Remove the top and bottom of the onion, along with the outer skin. Then, chop the onion right down the middle (side to side, rather than top to bottom). Turn the onion around (flat-side down) and slice it vertically so that you have similar-sized slivers to the sweet pepper.
- Next, grab your cucumber. Slice it right down the middle and cut the halves in half again so that you’re left with quarters. Then, you’ll need to finely slice them.
- Remove the skin of the carrot with a vegetable peeler and get the carrot into the bowl.
- Now, it’s time the greens. When you have washed and dried your spinach and rocket (or greens of your choice), bunch it all up and use your knife to cut the leaves julienne. Alternatively, you can roughly chop them – this is totally up to you.
- Next, add the sweetcorn, chickpeas, lentils, edamame beans, grains, pomegranate, sprouts and seeds. You can find pre-cooked lentils and grains from most of the larger supermarkets and they really help cut preparation time down.
- Finally, drizzle your salad with the lime juice and using a serving spoon, mix all of the ingredients well. The lime juice will help add a little kick to the flavour but it will also help keep your salad fresh for a couple of days.
Use Salad Dressings to Shake Things Up
This salad is extremely versatile and you can use whatever salad dressing you like. If you make a large batch of salad at the beginning of the week, it’s a good idea to have a couple of salad dressing options to hand to spice things up throughout the week. Equally, you can add this salad to sandwiches or wraps if you want to get some extra veggies into your diet.
If you’re not a fan of pre-made salad dressings, it is very easy to make your own using the “Jar Method”. This simply means adding your ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar, to a jar. Then you should tighten the light and shake the ingredients until they are fully combined.
Healthy Eating Tips, Salad Recipes And Healthy Snack Inspiration
Integrating salad recipes and healthy snacks into your everyday diet is a wonderful way to boost your protein and vitamin intake. For instance, you could use this recipe as a base and swap in/out certain ingredients as you need them. For example, chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein. Therefore, you can add an extra cup of chickpeas to make the ultimate chickpea salad. Alternatively, you could substitute the green leaves for broccoli. Raw broccoli is delicious and broccoli salad is an excellent source of vitamin K and calcium.
A balanced diet is integral to overall good health and wellness, but it can be difficult to know what your body needs and where you can get it. If you want to improve your diet, we recommend making an appointment to speak to one of our experienced doctors. We can help point you in the right direction. Improving your diet is also an important part of weight management and we can help support your weight loss journey by providing prescriptions for weight loss treatment via our online prescription service.
Loved reading this recipe and want more? No problem! Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms for more salad recipes and healthy snack recommendations! You can also check out our blog on Healthy Snack Ideas to Help You Beat the Sweets.