Have a Salad

By: Jamie Roeper, Dietetic Intern

Three bean saladThere’s not a better time of year to enjoy a cool, refreshing salad than summertime in Florida.  Not only do salads tastes good, but they are good for you—packed with vital nutrients to keep your body healthy.  Salads are quick and easy to prepare, typically requiring little to no cooking.  Adding a salad to your meal brings variety and color to your plate.  And the best part: salads are versatile!  They become what you make them: an appetizer, a side or a meal.  They can be filling yet low in calories.

What is a Salad?

Many people think a salad is simply a bowl of lettuce, not so.  A salad is a combination of different ingredients.  What ingredients you choose to include is up to you; the options are endless.  You may include raw vegetables, fruits, cooked meats, pasta, or anything else your taste buds desire.

Try these at home.


This bean salad was a hit with agencies in our Pantry Picnic class and with staff.  Let us know what you think.

Marinated Three-Bean Salad

Servings: 4


1 can lima beans (8.5 ounces)

I can cut green beans (8 ounces)

1 can red kidney beans (8 ounces)

I medium onion, chopped

½ cup bell pepper, chopped

8 ounces Italian salad dressing



  1. Drain the canned beans.
  2. Peel and slice the onion and separate into rings.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the lima beans, kidney beans, sliced onion, and green bell pepper.
  4. Pour the Italian dressing over the vegetables and toss lightly.
  5. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.  The salad can be left in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Drain before serving.


Adapted from: Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University Systems, Expanded Nutrition Program

Very Berry Salad

Servings: 6


1 pint strawberries

1 pint blueberries

1 pint raspberries

1 quart low-fat vanilla yogurt



  1. Rinse all berries.
  2. Slice strawberries.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stir gently until evenly mixed.
  4. Chill until ready to serve.

Courtesy of: Jamie Roeper

This summer try eating at least one new salad a week.  You can follow recipes or combine whatever you have on hand at home.  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.  For more salad ideas visit: 101 Simple Salads for the Season

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