I love spring and summer because I get to eat a lot more salads. Big or small, I love salads.

Here are some healthy salads for dinner. Watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes can be combined in delicious ways to make some great recipes for refreshing salads to tackle the hot summer weather. By adding some crunchy items such as various nuts and seeds you can also get some protein and healthy fats too!

Here are some quick, delicious and healthy salads for dinner to prepare in no time!

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1) Greek Salad (Horiatiki)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

Ingredients 

3 large tomatoes, cut into medium pieces or wedges
1 cucumber, pilled and sliced into rings
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 green pepper, sliced
handful black Greek olives, pitted if desired
¾ (200g) pack feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt to taste

Method

1) The secret to make a delicious Greek salad is in the ingredients: juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumber, creamy feta cheese, good quality extra virgin olive oil and some tangy black olives will really make a difference

2) To make this Greek salad recipe (Horiatiki), start by preparing your vegetables. Wash thoroughly and strain the vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into wedges, slice the onion into thin rings, cut the cucumber in thick slices and place everything in a large bowl. Don’t forget to add the olives as well

3) Season with salt and pour over the extra virgin olive oil. Toss everything together, so that the flavours mix. Be careful not to add too much salt, as the feta cheese and the olives are salty enough

4) Greek salad (Horiatiki) is always served with feta cheese on top, a drizzle of olive oil and dried oregano. Enjoy your delicious Greek salad as a side dish or as a light summer meal with lots of crusty bread aside!

Tip: Letting the salted tomatoes and cucumbers sit for a while before adding any oil is essential to a good Greek salad. The natural acidic juices from the tomato combine with the olive oil to make a delicious dressing, with no need for vinegar or lemon juice. Crusty bread is also a must so you can mop up every last bit of juice!

2) Summer salad with watermelon and feta cheese

Ingredients

For the watermelon feta salad:
1kg watermelon, seedless and cut into chunks (35oz.)

250g feta cheese, cut into cubes or crumbled (9 oz.)
a bunch of mint, leaves only, chopped
1 small red onion, finely sliced
100g Kalamata olives, pitted (4 oz.)
1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (optional)

For the dressing:
¼ of a cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt to taste

Method

1) To prepare this watermelon feta salad recipe start by removing the rind and seeds from the watermelon, and cut into triangular chunks. Cut the feta cheese into small cubes, or bigger if you prefer, and place both into a large bowl

2) Slice the onions into paper-thin slices and place in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients

3) Add the chopped mint leaves and the Kalamata olives and set aside. (If you choose to prepare this watermelon feta salad recipe using cucumber too, then peel and slice the cucumber into half-moons and place in the bowl with rest of the ingredients)

4) Prepare the dressing for the watermelon feta salad. In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice and brown sugar and season. Whisk the ingredients to combine, taste and adjust the seasoning

5) Pour the dressing over the watermelon feta salad and toss to coat

Divide the watermelon feta salad among individual serving plates and serve immediately. Enjoy!

3) Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

healthy salads for dinner_3

Ingredients

For the sweet potatoes:
1 medium sweet potato

½ medium onion
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

For the quinoa:
½ cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

For the salad:
2-3 handfuls of lettuce

⅓ cup gorgonzola (if you like)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 eggs

Method
1) Preheat oven to 200 o C or 4000 F. Cube sweet potato and onion. Toss with ½ tablespoon olive oil and rosemary. Roast until tender, 20-25 minutes

2) Rinse quinoa and combine with water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for another 5 minutes, still covered

3) Let sweet potatoes and quinoa cool while making soft-boiled eggs

4) Bring a pot of water to a boil and reduce to a fast simmer. Add eggs and let cook for 5-7 minutes (5 minutes for runny yolks, 7 minutes for slightly firmer yolk). Remove and place in an ice bath for 60 seconds

In a large bowl combine lettuce, sweet potatoes, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and gorgonzola. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over salad and toss together. Top salad with eggs

4) Spinach, Asparagus and Strawberry Salad

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound asparagus (rinsed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces spinach leaves (rinsed)
8 ounces strawberries (rinsed, hulled, and sliced)
½ cup toasted walnuts (chopped)
Pepper

Method
Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a 12- by 15-inch baking pan, add asparagus, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and mix to coat

Spread in a single layer and bake in a 200° or 4000 F oven, stirring often, until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, about 15 minutes

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add spinach, strawberries, toasted walnuts, and cooled asparagus; mix to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste

5) Pasta tuna salad 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
200 grams pasta (penne or fusilli – if eaten on its own double ingredient amounts)

1 can tuna (in olive oil)
⅓ cucumber
3-4 tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ lemon
fresh parsley

Method

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and place in cool bowl. Allow to cool for a bit.

Mix in the oil, mayonnaise, salt and pepper

Squeeze the lemon over the pasta

Add the tuna, cucumber, sweet corn (if you like), tomato and chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly

Garnish with parsley

Virtually anything can be added, e.g. sun-dried tomatoes, capers, spring onions etc

Why not give a try to all these salad recipes and leave a comment?

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