By Unite Fitness Retreat Dietician, Brooke Bouwhuis

Finally, winter coats have been hung up and the sunglasses, swimsuits and greasy bottles of sunscreen have burst back into our routines like long lost best friends. Everything is better with a little bit of summer.

Summer dinners are the best when they are easy, delicious, satisfying AND involve minimal cooking.

Green things are the base of any salad so pick your favorite, it may be a pre-packaged bag with everything already chopped up for you, a tub of spinach or a head of romaine. Whatever you choose, please choose any other lettuce but iceberg.

Iceberg is almost devoid of nutrients because it’s mostly water (like celery and cucumbers). On the ORAC scale, a measurement of antioxidant capacity, it scrapes the bottom of the barrel at just over 400 units. Kale has an ORAC level of almost 1800, spinach is 1500, Bibb butter comes in at 1423 and romaine 1017.

You don’t have to be a ‘kale yes!’ to enjoy a fabulous salad! Even if I can convince you to choose romaine over iceberg it will be a solid step in fueling your body with more nutrients that help it heal and thrive.

Here are two of our favorite summer salads that can get pulled together in no time, with minimal mess and easy clean-up.

Grilled Salmon Cobb Salad

  • 1 salmon filet (buy pre-grilled at the grocery store or grill your own)
  • 3 cups green leafy love
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • Parsley
  • 1 small fresh zucchini, diced
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 1 slice crispy turkey bacon (nitrate and nitrite free), minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Buffalo Rotisserie Chicken Summer Salad

  • 3 cups green leafy love
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup julienned carrots
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/8-1/4 sliced avocado
  • Green onion
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese crumbles (optional)
  • 3-5 oz Rotisserie chicken
  • Hot Sauce to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Dinner on the back deck that is simple, easy to prepare and easy to clean up with the added bonus of you being full of delicious foods to fuel your summer adventures!  Cheers to summer!