Simple summer salads for optimum health

The warm summer weather means we all crave lighter meals, but when it comes to salads it’s very easy to fall back on the same old favourites. If you’re looking for some new ideas to liven up your salad repertoire, these recipes are not only delicious but packed full of goodness. Devised by nutritional therapist and cookery consultant Fiona McDonald Joyce, they’re refreshing and tick all the right health boxes.

simple summer salads


Butternut Squash and Tenderstem Broccoli Salad

















The bright colours of this salad are a good clue to its high vitamin content. This can be served while the squash is still warm or at room temperature.


Serves 3–4

½ butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into fairly thin slices (no need to peel unless you prefer to)

2 tsp dried oregano

1–2 tbsp mild or medium olive oil, or virgin rapeseed oil, for drizzling

200g tenderstem broccoli

about 115g mixed leaves, such as rocket, watercress, baby spinach and lamb’s lettuce

2 tbsp roughly chopped sun-dried or sunblush tomato pieces in oil, drained

50g walnut halves, roughly chopped

vinaigrette salad dressing (optinal)


1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Toss the squash in the oregano and a little oil to coat, then put on a baking tray. Roast for about 25–30 minutes or until tender, then set aside.

2 Steam the broccoli for about 3 minutes or until just tender, then rinse in cold water to stop it cooking, and dry in a tea towel. Slice into sticks.

3 Put the leaves in a salad bowl, then add the squash and broccoli. Throw in the tomato and walnut pieces, then dress with a vinaigrette.



Peruvian Quinoa Salad

















Quinoa is a healthier choice than bulghur wheat or couscous, as it is very high in protein and minerals such as calcium and zinc. The inclusion of pumpkin seeds further increases the mineral content. Serve with green leaves or on its own.


Serves 4

300g quinoa, well rinsed

1 good handful coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 good handfuls flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

8 spring onions, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 tbsp pumpkin seeds

½ a cucumber, finely diced

200g cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced or diced

juice of up to 4 limes, or to taste

2 ripe avocados, diced

good drizzle of cold pressed, virgin rapeseed or olive oil

a little sea or rock salt

freshly ground black pepper

vinaigrette salad dressing (optional)


1 Put the quinoa in a large pan, cover with double the amount of water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 12–13 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grains are soft and fluffy.

2 Stir the fresh herbs through the quinoa along with the remaining ingredients. Add the avocado just before serving.

3 Taste to check the seasoning. Add the vinaigrette, if using, just before serving.


Recipes taken from The 10 Secrets of 100% Health Cookbook by Patrick Holford and Fiona McDonald Joyce.

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