Have you indulged in your favorite comfort foods all winter long? Hey, it happens to the best of us. Now, it’s time for a little spring cleaning. By “spring cleaning,” I don’t mean going out and buying a bunch of cleansing powders, teas and smoothies either. Springtime is the best time to stock up on plenty of fresh whole foods. The veggies and fruits of the season are bursting with bright colors and packed with nutrients so you can naturally clean up your diet with hearty, healthy, crisp salads.
Just pick up your produce and That Salad Lady’s got you covered on the recipes. To get you started, here are five great recipes for spring cleaning your diet with fresh, in-season whole foods.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Beautiful and absolutely delicious our Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables is chock-full of beets, carrots and radishes. All these veggie layers are at their best during springtime. Spring carrots are sweet like candy while spring radishes bring pleasant, peppery flavor to the bowl. Now, beets themselves are in season from fall through spring, but spring beets are a lot less earthy and a whole lot sweeter than fall and winter beets so even if you’re not a huge fan of beets, I’ll bet you’ll enjoy them.
Complete with plenty of freshly massaged kale, another spring staple, each layer of our quinoa salad recipe boasts loads of phytonutrients, fiber and good fats. You’ll also get a good dose of protein with quinoa as it’s only one of a few plant-based foods that’s considered a complete protein. Topped with That Salad Lady’s maple red wine vinaigrette dressing, the recipe itself is also 100% vegan, gluten-free and makes for a perfect side salad or even a full meal deal.
Salmon Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese Croquettes
Our Salmon Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese Croquettes is a perfect choice for spring cleaning your diet. For starters, it includes layers and layers of fresh spinach. Spinach is one of the most versatile and nutritionally beneficial spring vegetables you can use as a salad base. This recipe also includes plenty of fresh strawberries, which are one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring months. Spring is the season for Pacific (wild-caught) salmon too, which is the salmon of choice for the recipe!
What makes this salmon spinach salad bowl especially powerful is the presence of healthy fats (namely omega-3 fatty acids). From lowering heart disease risk to blood sugar control, these fats come with a lot of health-promoting potential. They also boost the body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and antioxidants contained in the spinach and strawberries (study up in our Nutrition Glossary to learn more about dietary fat).
A Hearty Kale Cobb Salad
One of my personal springtime favorites, our Hearty Kale Cobb Salad includes a flavorful combination of kale, tomato, sugar snap peas, avocado, chicken and more. It’s one of the absolute best blends of high-quality carbs, good fats and lean protein. Our recipe also includes traditional Cobb ingredients like egg, bacon and blue cheese. Now, since these particular ingredients have long been viewed as dietary devils, many wouldn’t put a Cobb salad at the top of their healthy foods list.
However, I encourage you not to use stereotypes when judging the general healthfulness of foods (or anything, really), which holds true for Cobb salads. As with any salad, Cobb salads are what you make of them. There’s nothing wrong with including egg, bacon or even blue cheese in a salad. It’s all about how much of them you use and everything else you put in your bowl. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just watch your carbs, this one’s definitely a win-win
Very Berrylicious Spinach Salad
Light, refreshing and unbelievably filling, our Very Berrylicious Spinach Salad is an easy-peasy, sweet and savory blend that comes together in less than 15 minutes! The recipe itself is a combination of fresh strawberries, blueberries and spinach, which all rank among the best of spring staples. It’s also packed full of avocado, one the healthiest, tastiest fruits around. Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, avocado brings really fresh, delicate, buttery flavor during springtime.
For even more spring deliciousness, our Very Berrylicious Spinach Salad includes a strawberry vinaigrette dressing made with fresh strawberries. With other wholesome ingredients like apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and honey, it’s a bittersweet blend that brings all the flavors together. The bold combination of ingredients makes this one of our most festive salads. It’s like a celebration of fresh flavors, great textures and good nutrition to commemorate the beginning of the warmer seasons.
Lamb Meatball Greek Salad
Inspired by the Mediterranean diet our Lamb Meatball Greek Salad rounds out my recommended list of salad recipes for spring cleaning your diet. The Greek salad itself is one of the most popular and well-known dishes around the globe but we kicked this classic Mediterranean staple up a notch by adding lamb. And it just so happens that the most tender and flavorful lamb comes from those harvested in the spring. Our recipe also calls for layers arugula, which is its zestiest during springtime.
While the traditional Greek salad can surely stand on its on as a vegan-friendly blend, the addition of lamb meatballs brings layers of savory flavor, quality protein and other essential nutrients to the bowl. You can also swap out the lamb for baked tofu. Whether you’re a fan of Mediterranean food or just looking to try something new, this one’s for you. Keto- and paleo-friendly, gluten-free and incredibly filling, our Lamb Meatball Greek Salad will leave you feeling well-nourished and completely satisfied.
And there you have it: Five excellent salad choices for spring cleaning your diet. While these particular recipes highlight seasonal veggies, fruits, and even some animal proteins, you certainly don’t have to stop here. The beautiful thing about salads is that practically any salad bowl can make the perfect meal on a warm day. Just check out the rest of our recipes and see what I mean. In addition to building your bowl with fresh in-season whole foods, be sure to get outside and get moving for overall good health.