Satisfying, delicious, nutrient-rich salad featuring flaky grilled Dijon salmon, sweet grilled corn, flavor-packed sun-dried tomatoes and olives, creamy avocado, crumbly feta, crisp Romaine, peppers, and onions, fresh basil, and a simple garlic honey Dijon viniagrette.
There’s really not much I need to say about this salad. Simple, rockstar foods tossed together to create this vibrant bowl of yummy wholesome goodness, ready to be devoured. And while you’re mixing it up and stuffing your face, you can think about how much you are winning at life right now.
But truly, this is one of those meals that makes you feel good in every way. Tastebuds dancing, tummy satisfied, musles and brain energized, conscience content. And your to-do list is even holding up because this came together in a breeze. (Well…if you’re me the list is probably already a mess and deemed impossible for the day ?. But I don’t get to blame this salad.)
Let’s meet the players:
- Salmon– A nutritional powerhouse! Salmon is rich in the omega-3 DHA, which improves brain function. It also protects against inflammation, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even depression, among other diseases. Shoot for wild or sustainably sourced; my favorite is without a doubt King Salmon. Marinate in advance, and I sometimes freeze individual portions in baggies with marinade, then move a portion to the fridge the day before to thaw.
- Corn– Sweet summer produce for the win! For a single salad, you can break the cob in half, grill it on-the-cob next to the salmon, then shave it off. Or, cook all of it and save any remaining corn in the fridge for later–perfect to throw into other salads, bowls, or side dishes! Frozen corn is also an option and only needs to be thawed, not cooked. While it is very convenient, you will have to sacrifice texture. (When thawed, frozen corn is very tender and does not have that little crunch with bursting juicy sweetness like grilled corn.)
- Feta– Tangy and delicious, this cheese adds a boost of calcium, B vitamins, and probiotics for a healthy gut. Plus, the saltiness makes additional salt in the dressing unnecessary. Crumbled goat cheese would be another great option for this salad.
- Avocado– More healthy fats! Avocado is an awesome source of monounsaturated fats, which are also excellent for heart health. And the texture provides a wonderful creamy contrast to the crunchy veggies.
- Crisp veggies– Add a little crunch, along with vitamins and filling fiber. Red bell pepper has amazing levels of vitamin C (higher than an orange!), and the best way to get this is eating it raw. (Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat.)
- Olives and olive oil– Another wonderful source of monounsaturated fats, and even a single sliced olive can add a ton of great flavor. My favorite for this salad is black Kalamata olives.
- Sun-dried tomatoes– I’m running out of the pack I got in Sicily, and it’s really staring to stress me out. The best tomato really does make the best sun-dried. They’re also saltier and chewier than the ones I find in stores. Anyway, awesome punch of potassium, carotenoids and antioxidants (especially lycopene), flavonoids, and glycoalkaloids–basically, tons of little chemicals that work together to promote good health.
- Fresh basil– Fresh and flavorful, summer’s best herb. It’s not only tasty, but also rich in flavonoids, essential oils, and Vitamin K. Hooray for our greens!
- Garlic– You can never have too much. Plus, it’s surprisingly really good-for-you! The sulfur-containing compound allicin offers significant antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
With a few bean chips and grapes on the side, talk about a powerhouse lunch!