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My Super Delicious Summer Salad Recipe

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I never used to enjoy salads, let alone vegetables. It took me several years of trying new veggies, prepared in all kinds of ways to find stuff I really enjoyed eating. And I’m glad I experimented, because we all know how important veggies are for our health, and that they can help with weight loss because they're low in calories, yet high in fiber and water (both of which help keep you full).

Don't get me wrong: I'm not about to nosh on a bunch of plain steamed broccoli and tell myself it's delicious. (I've done it, but I don't make it a regular thing.) I still enjoy cooking and combining veggies with other foods so that they taste delicious and I actually want to eat them.

That said, I think you can trust me on this simple salad recipe. For me, a good salad has to have three key things: fruit, nuts, and protein—especially if I'm eating it as a meal. My latest salad concoction is so super delicious that I made it every single day while I was on vacation last week—and still came home wanting more of it. It's the perfect combo of bitter, sweet, savory and tang that I think you'll love it, too. Think of it as a delicious delivery device for your daily greens.

Here's what you need:
2 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and drained
5 large Romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed, drained and torn into pieces
0.5 oz. roasted and salted pecans, coarsely chopped
1 hardboiled egg, chilled and chopped
0.5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
10 red, purple or black grapes, halved
1-2 thin slices of red onion, finely chopped

Simply combine all ingredients and top with a drizzle of your favorite dressing (mine is a simple balsamic vinaigrette). A little will go a long way since these ingredients alone pack so much delicious flavor!

Here are this superstar salad's stats. Keep in mind, the portion is generous and it's filling and balanced enough to be a full meal. That said, you could always tweak the portions or each ingredient if you need it to be lower in calories, fat, carbs or whatever other nutrient you're trying to scale back on.

425 calories
20 g protein
47 g carbs
10 g fiber
20 g fat
499 mg sodium (try unsalted pecans to decrease this)
Click here for the full recipe (to add it to your favorites or food tracker with just one click if you have a free SparkPeople account).

Will you try this salad? What's your favorite combination of salad ingredients?

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This sounds good. Report
I tried this and it was very delicious. Report
My favorite salad is mixed greens or romaine with grapes, apples, walnuts and blue cheese crumbles with a lite apple cider vinaigrette. Report
Sounds delicious. Will definitely give it a try. Report
Yummy... will definitely try this one!
Love walnuts so I would use that instead. Report
I love any salad with fruit and nuts in it. I recently added some leftover mango and feta cheese to my chicken caesar salad. It was delicious. Report
Great salad! My daughter and I enjoy a simiar one, but with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries (high in antioxidants), topped with a citrus orange vinaigrette. We usually top with panko encrusted goat cheese medallions. The flavor combination is so yummy! Report
I can't wait to try this salad. Thank you for sharing it Coach Nicole!

I saw you at the past Spark Rally in Florence KY and you looked wonderful. Report
looks good and refreshing Report
Sounds interesting - I would just drop the HB egg - not a fav of mine - Never cared for fruits in my salad - but ya know my tastes are changing. Report
Sounds good! I enjoy berries or apples, and almonds or walnuts...and I mix in some "broccoli slaw" into my greens to bring in more veggies. Kind of addicting!! New fav dressing is Berry Balsamic by Marzetti - only 45 cals in 2 Tbsps. Yum! Report
Sounds great. I will try it!

My favorite salad of the moment is similar. I use Spring Mix, red onion, Trader Joe's rosemary cranberries and pecan mix, goat cheese and Trader Joe's fat free balsamic dresssing. It is a huge hit with my book club. Report
I love salads with fruits and nuts - fav fruit would be sliced apples or dried cranberries along with normal salad ingredients lettuce onions, etc. Report
Great. Happy 4th of July weekend. Report
Gotta second the addition (or substitution) of feta cheese. I buy a low fat variety w/herbs and it is delish! Report
I have learned to like both craisins and pecans (unsalted) on my salads. I mix lots of fruits and veggies together in salads. Report
I'll need to give this a try - I've been on the look out for a recipe with chickpeas that I fancy!
Unfortunately, it looks like another recipe for me on my own - one night when DH is having sausages or aubergine. Report
Great mix. I love to put interesting flavors together and almost always include a "fruit" and "nut" with my veggie salads. I like to use grapes, raisins, mandarin oranges, pears, and all kinds of berries. Balsamic or seasoned rice wine vinegar goes well with fruit (and of course the veggies, too). Report
I'd try it with a few adjustments. I do NOT like fruits and vegetables in the same dish. Sweet and savory just don't go together for me. But without the grapes it sounds delicious. I'll eat the grapes later as a snack :) Report
I like your salad Nicole and everyone else's contributions also.
One of our faves from our garden is: grated carrot, grated beetroot, lettuce, greens, whatever nuts you have (toasted), seeds, and tomato. If no tomato, apple sliced. Just squeeze a little lemon or a splash a dash of balsamic vinegar, add a splash of olive oil and it's done. I love fetta with beetroot too! Report
I love salad greens with goat cheese, nuts (pine nuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts), and grapes (or craisins if you only have those) or blueberries - and just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, don't even need oil. YUM! Report
I make a salad very similar to this all the time, using walnuts instead of pecans, and a sprinkle of crumbled blue cheese instead of the goat cheese, and about a tablespoon of craisins.. I will definitely try this one, as these are the kinds of salads I love!!
Looks yummy! Thank you! Report
wow, this looks really yummy! Report
Sounds really yummy - we make one very similar. We used rinsed black beans instead of garbonzo beans and don't put the nuts in. Report
Nicole, tried to leave something on your wall. Have no clue how to do that, so HERE I want to say I LOVE your new hair do minus that kid scarf!! REALLY looks great! AND....thanks for some more salad ideas!!!! Report
Looks great! One of my favorites:
spring mix
walnuts (supposed to be candied, but I use plain)
crumbled feta cheese
white balsamic dressing Report
That salad looks so good. I'll have to serve that for lunch for me and hubs some weekend when we are trying to beat the heat. It looks like it would be refreshing with a big old glass of iced tea. Thanks for sharing. :) Report
salads like this with different flavors and textures are my fave! Report
So many great salads. One of my favorite ones is spinach, cucumber, tomato, orange and greek olives
I like it with a very easy dressing: 2tbl spicy mustard, 2 tbl balsamic vinegar, 1tsp plive oil Report
Oh, yes!! And I may throw in some Craisins and sunflower seeds. Report
This sounds absolutely fantastic! Due to a sever nut allergy I'll need to omit the pecans, but I'm sure there's plenty of protein with the garbanzos & the egg! Report
I was poised with my fork until I read garbanzo beans,, cannot gag them down,,, maybe some sliced radishes instead... Report
You had me at goat cheese...yum! Report
This sounds and looks delicious!!!! Thx Report
yummy thanks i am going to have it on thur Report
Thanks for the post to everyone who shared their favs! Report
Oh yes I will be trying this one.... I love salads that contain more then lettuce and tomato... thanks for posting Report
Looks delicious! Here's my fav. salad..(Harvest salad)
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups spring mix or herb mix (no iceberg.)
1/2 cup grapes, halved
1/4 medium apple
1/6 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 tablespoon walnut "topping" (finely chopped)
1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese

Ken's Light Options Raspberry Vinaigrette( 2 tbs ) mixed with 1/2 tsp honey.
355 calories, 17 g fat, 10g protien. Perfect for lunch!

Also works well with grilled chicken-with 2 oz breast, it provides 429 calories, 19g fat, and 27g protien.
So gonna try this! Plus it's a tribute to the incredible, edible egg! I *love* eggs on salad. But I think I'll go for cannellini beans instead of garbanzo. This salad hits all my flavor triggers...salty, sweet, tangy (just missing spicy). lol Thanks Coach Nicole! Report
This looks like a wonderful salad. This salad could be used to take to parties or summer barbecues. I am going to try it tonight! Report
Yummy, will be trying it out the Holiday weekend for sure. Report
Sounds yummy, I'll give it a try! My favorite salad is simple but delicious:
Bosc pear
Feta Cheese
Kraft Light Rasberry Vinegarette Dressing

Thanks for sharing! Report
Nice post -- not just a recipe, but a how-to for creating new recipes tailored to my own tastes!

Thanks! Report
sounds delicious, thanks for posting Report
It looks delish : ) I'll give it a try! Report
Like you, I am not a veggie lover either. I also have a favorite salad combination that my daughter (13) turned her nose at until she tasted it. The following combo is my absolute favorite:
romaine lettuce and spinach
black olives
pineapple chunks
extra sharp cheddar cheese (a little goes a long way)
sunflower seeds
chopped boiled egg
just a sprinkling of bacon
my favorite dressing is either plain balsamic vinegar or thousand island dressing.

yummy.... Report
Looks absolutely outstanding!!!!! I may just try this tonight!
Thanks! Report
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