Hi Spring. So nice of you to finally arrive and warm my bones.
When you’re from the Midwest, you know that there’s a huge discrepancy from when the calendar says it’s officially spring to when it actually gets warm out. Some years it just goes from Winter to Summer in the span of a week.
This Spring has been kind though, it’s been warm and beautiful here in Chicago for a few weeks now. In fact, I just started running outside again and have already made it up to 5 miles. Another plus is that I beat my average pace from Fall, which is AWESOME. Unfortunately, ever since I had to quit yoga because of my neck and back issues, I find my hip flexors and butt to be extremely tight after running. I do roll both out, but clearly need to find other stretches to help me. Suggestions welcome and appreciated!
Besides exercising outside, another thing I love about Spring is all the fresh, seasonal produce. In an effort to help you save money and eat seasonal, I thought I’d share my favorite veggie-packed, nutritious spring green salad with you. It’s inspired by various trips to the local salad bar where I always spend wayyy too much money.
A wonderful way I’ve saved money is by ordering my groceries off Peapod (they always have great sales) and making my meals at home vs. going out. If you didn’t already know, I’ve been partnering with Peapod for almost a year to help create recipes for their new site! There are lots of delicious recipe ideas on FromThePod.com, so hop on over if you get the chance!
Why I love this recipe:
It allows me to meal prep a healthy salad full of fresh ingredients.
If you’re headed to a spring party or potluck, it also makes an incredibly colorful salad platter.
It’s naturally gluten free & vegan-friendly (just leave off the feta!).
There’s plenty of nutrition and fiber in this salad from fresh produce.
The basil lemon dressing is absolutely killer!
I enjoy serving it with grilled chicken or salmon for a protein packed dinner.
Another great aspect of this salad is that you can make it your own. Add more toppings if you’d like! Hope you love. xo
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know how to you liked it. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to snap a pic and tag #ambitiouskitchen so I can check out your creations! xo.
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe + dressing
- Calories: 226
- Fat: 16.5
- Carbohydrates: 16.7g
- Sugar: 7.5g
- Fiber: 7.3g
- Protein: 6.4g
- 5 cups organic spinach
- 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced or diced
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 medium ripe avocado, sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil Lemon Vinaigrette
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 1/4 cup lemon juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey or coconut sugar
- 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- To make the basil lemon vinaigrette: Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and emulsified. You can also pulse everything together in the food processor. Taste, add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- There are two ways to enjoy this amazing salad! If you’re serving it at a party, try it on a platter:
- Arrange the greens on a large serving bowl. Arrange the other ingredients in groups on top of the greens. Serve with the basil lemon vinaigrette on the side.
- If you’re serving it for your family, you can place the ingredients evenly in bowls as pictured above and then add the dressing. Up to you! Enjoy!
To make this salad vegan, skip the feta cheese.
This recipe is in partnership with Peapod. All recipes, thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting AK and the brands that help make this site possible. xo!
Photography and recipe by Monique Volz // Photography Editing by Sarah Fennel