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Simple Summer Salads with Homemade Dressing + Handmade Croutons


It's the point in the summer where we all hate to turn our ovens on and cook a full out meal. My go-to non cook nights end up being chicken salad sandwiches and summer salads. It's no longer strawberry season, but some of my favorite salads include strawberries. 

There are many ways to dress up your summer salad with fresh seasonal produce. 

A good base is a must- argula, microgreens, romaine, and even spinach are all great choices. 

Next, add your fruit base. Peaches, strawberries, blueberries, and apples all make a great addition!

Do you need a protein? No matter whether it's meat based protein or a nut protein, this addition will help fill you up. I love pairing chicken with apples/ strawberries/ or peaches. Yet, almonds, pecans, etc taste great too! Even a diced hard-boiled egg gives your salad some edge!

Now, a cheese. With summer salads, I have a tendency to add a cheese that's not common. Perhaps it's feta, or goat cheese, or even some brie.. but I can't stand blue cheese, so y'all can keep that addition to yourself, k?

Don't forget the veggies! Cherry Tomatoes, sweet peppers, and red onion are some of my favorites. I'm not an olive or raisin person at all, but to each their own if you are. 

Next is the dressing! Homemade dressings are the best. Sure, it's easier to grab a bottle off the grocery store shelf, but homemade dressings are made with fresh ingredients and really only take a couple of minutes. No matter whether it's a simple balsamic vinaigrette or Poppy seed recipe (like this one from Food Network's Kitchen), any homemade dressing will enhance your summer salad!

Don't forget the handmade croutons. All you need to do is dice up some old bread, toss it in a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and some Italian spices, and spread it out on a baking sheet to bake in the oven for 375, about 15-20 mins or so. Trust me, that this little time you DO use the oven, is definitely worth it. They will also work in a toaster oven too! If you make a large amount, its enough to last the entire week too!

What are your favorite salad ingredients?

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