Friday, May 29, 2015

20 Favorite Healthy Salads and Side Dishes for Outdoor Eating

These 20 Favorite Healthy Salads and Side Dishes for Outdoor Eating are things I make for parties all summer long.

20 Favorite Healthy Salads and Side Dishes for Outdoor Eating

(For Friday Flashbacks I feature recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and I'm still traveling in Turkey so today I'm updating this collection of Favorite Healthy Salads and Side Dishes for Outdoor Eating.  It's nearly summer; hope some of these will make it on your summer menu this year.)

Are you the kind of cook who always makes your favorite recipe for a summer get-together, or do you like to try new things when you're taking something to a party?  For me, the answer is "It depends." Probably my father's favorite Shrimp and Macaroni Salad is the thing I've taken most often to Denny family get-togethers for quite a few years, but when I have new favorites on the blog I do like to try those out on the family as well.  If you're looking for a taste-tested salad or side dish to try out for the holiday weekend, here are twenty favorites of mine. 


Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro
Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers, and Cilantro
The Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Peppers, and Cilantro above is a salad I thought had the perfect combination of ingredients, and I could eat that one over and over without getting tired of it. 


Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad
I made this Kale and Romaine Caesar salad before my recent infatuation with baby kale, and now I might even like it more with the baby kale!


Barely-Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds
The Feta and fried almonds are the perfect accent for the still-crisp broccoli in this Barely-Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds.


Heart of Palm Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Lime (with or without cilantro.)
This Heart of Palm Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Lime is one of the few salads with Cilantro where I'd say the cilantro is completely optional.


Baby Kale Greek Salad
I don't think I ever tried a Greek Salad I didn't like, but this Baby Kale Greek Salad is my current favorite!


Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Parmesan
Quinoa is one of those dishes that taste good warm or room temperature, and this Quinoa Side Dish with Pine Nuts, Green Onions, and Parmesan would be fun to eat outside.


Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Capers
The addition of flavorful ingredients like lemon, green olives, and capers really bumps up the appeal of this Tuna Pasta Salad with Lemon, Green Olives, and Capers.


Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette
This Raw Baby Kale Salad with Apples, Sunflower Seeds, and Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette has a nice combination of flavors and textures.


Thai-Style Spicy Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Cilantro
When we tested the recipe, my nephew Jake and I went crazy over this Thai-Style Spicy Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Cilantro.


Lentil and Barley Greek-Style Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Capers
This Lentil and Barley Greek Style Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Capers has so many of my favorite flavors!


Effie's Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za'atar
When a reader named Effie sent me some spices from Israel I made Effie's Easy and Amazing Cottage Cheese Salad with Za'atar and I've made this many times since.


Amazing Asian Green Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds
I love this interesting Asian Green Salad with Soy-Sesame Dressing and Sesame Seeds, and I did think the dressing tasted amazing!


Spicy Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad with Thai Flavors
If you like Thai food at all, I highly recommend this Spicy Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad with Thai Flavors!


Not-so-Dumb Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Avocado, and Balsamic Dressing
A reader who sent me this recipe called it "dumb" salad, but I was blown away by the flavors in this Not-So-Dumb Salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onions, Avocado, and Balsamic Dressing.  (There is no oil, just the balsamic vinegar to flavor the salad.)


Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas with Feta, Mint, and Lemon
 If you like chickpeas, you'll love the bright flavors in these Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas with Feta, Mint, and Lemon.


Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta
It only takes the tiniest bit of bacon to add lots of good bacon flavor to this Spinach Salad with Bacon and Feta.


White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley
This White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley is something I eat all summer when I have lots of parsley in my garden!


Crunchy Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw with Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Almonds, and Cilantro
 This Crunchy Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw with Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Almonds, and Cilantro is another one where I think you can leave out the cilantro if you're not a fan.


Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radicchio, Radishes, Tomatoes, and Capers
I love the colors as much as the flavors in Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radishes, Tomatoes, and Capers.


World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables
And finally, there's no question that World's Easiest Grilled Vegetables is the summer side dish I make most often all summer long!


More Summer Food Round-Ups from Kalyn:
Best of Grilling and Summer Barbecue Recipes 2012 from Cookin' Canuck
Memorial Day 2012 Recipes from Mountain Mama Cooks
Gluten-Free Picnic Recipes - Karina's Faves from Gluten-Free Goddess
20 Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Memorial Day from Family Fresh Cooking
Memorial Day Weekend Side Dishes from Poor Girl Gourmet

I'd love to hear about it in the comments if one of these salads is going to be on the menu at your house this summer!
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18 comments:

  1. What a wonderful selection of salads and sides! Who needs a "main" dish, with so many great choices here? I'd be happy with a buffet featuring a handful of these recipes, along with plenty of cold lemonade.

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  2. Great collection of salads... We're finally getting some warm weather - putting me in salad mood!

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  3. Lydia, Debby, and Katie, so glad you like the salads and Happy Memorial Day!

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  4. I think this is my favorite post!!! I am all about salads right now!

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  5. Yum! I think I have my lunch sorted for today :)
    http://www.wakemeupwithasmile.wordpress.com

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  6. I want to eat one everyday this summer, then repeat! Yum!

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  7. What a great roundup! Whether I'm going to try out a new recipe or not depends a lot on my mood....but these would also make for awesome summer lunches!

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  8. So glad people are enjoying seeing my favorites.

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  9. You're my go to person when I need a healthy side dish. They all look great.

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  10. This is like a picnic feast! I vote for the black bean and quinoa salad which I made the first time you posted - it's fabulous - but I think I will also try the tuna, parsley and white bean salad - the parsley is popping in my little herb garden already!

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  11. TW, yaay for the herb garden. I think you love that white bean and tuna salad. Be generous with the parsley!

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  12. What a delicious and healthy selection of salads! Gotta make the quinoa salad!

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  13. Wow. So many salads to pick from. They all look so delicious.

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  14. Angie and Vita, thanks for the nice feedback about the salads!

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  15. These are perfect ideas for salads this week as I try to combat my Memorial Day Weekend eat-a-thon!

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  16. Made the quinoa and black bean salad today and loved it - thank you!

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