Simple Summer Salad

Hello! Today I wanted to share an easy salad recipe I've been eating non-stop this summer. I've been working very hard to have a more plant-based diet, and this salad is such a satisfying way to accomplish that. So let's jump in! 



This salad is kind of a copycat of a Panera salad that I love and I admit the only reason I decided to make this salad is because I'm CHEAP! Since I am trying to have that veggie diet, at Panera, taking the chicken off their salad doesn't reduce the price and I can't stomach paying 9 dollars for some lettuce, but I digress. This salad is DELISH and super filling. It would be a great side for a big summer meal, or I divide it into 4-5 servings to eat for lunch during the week. 


To make this fruity salad you will need: 

  1. 1 10 oz. bag of romaine hearts (or 1-2 bundles of romaine hearts)
  2. 1-2 tbs of chia seeds (optional of course but a delicious addition)
  3. pinch of salt and pepper
  4. 1/4 cup chopped pecans 
  5. 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  6. 1/2 cup (or less depending on preference) of blueberries
  7. 1/4 cup thinly sliced pineapple
  8. 1 10z can of mandarin oranges in the juice, drained (reserve the juice if you're making dressing)
    NOTE: I think it would be nice to have a little more lettuce diversity, so if romaine isn't your jam, I would use spring mix or throw some kale/spinach in with your romaine.

I know making salads is like mind-numbingly easy HOWEVER, proper assembly is key! I add the chia seeds, SnP, and pecans first and give that a good ol' mix up. Add the fruit in order of firmness, so strawberries first, then blueberries, pineapple, and mandarins so that by the time all the fruit is mixed in, your mandarin oranges aren't a mushy mess. 

There you have it! I've been using the bottled Panera at Home  poppy seed dressing, but it's so easy to make. Panera has a recipe for the poppy seed dressing on their website, here is my tweaked version:

  • 1/8 cup stevia sweetener (or 1/4 cup sugar)
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup of that reserved mandarin orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

This salad is so easy to make and it really is a treat. A great change up from your every day salad. I hope you make it!