I got this recipe originally from a mom, who I babysat for, a while back. She would eat these most days for lunch and one day made me some. I couldn’t believe a salad without ranch could taste that good!
I have been using this recipe on and off for over 5 years. Everyone I have made this for ends up really liking it and asking for the recipe. It is my favorite salad by far because it is so simple, light in calories, and has an unbelievable taste! It is fresh and sweet with a perfect amount of crunch from tortilla strips and would be amazing alone or as a side salad next to some chicken. What’s even better is this is super customizable to fit any preferences.
When I was looking up salad recipes I couldn’t believe how many of them took 20-30 minutes. I might as well make a whole meal for that amount of time! Plus, a lot of salads had an absurd serving amount, sure let me just find 14 people to share this salad with before it gets super soggy. I just can’t think of many times I took an everyday salad recipe and made it for half the block. Also, how am I suppossed to alter the recipe for only two or four people??
I made my recipe for a single serving, but you can easily scale it up to whatever you need. Psst, a little secret to this salad, everything is a 1:1 ratio. Add about the same amount of broccoli, carrot, and strawberry, top every salad off individually with some tortilla strips and dressing — boom, salad. This salad is also very hard to mess up, even with too much carrot, broccoli, or strawberry, it’ll turn out great.
The other thing I super hate about salads is how I feel like a gremlin bunny trying to eat them. I feel like salads are mostly just stuffing awkward, too big of pieces of lettuce into your mouth and desperately hunting for toppings. Just imagine that the cotton candy is salad and this is an accurate depiction of how I feel I look when eating salads:
So, to negate this gremlin bunny scenario, I just tare all of my lettuce as I make the salad. I’ll take a big handful of lettuce and then tare it into 2-3 smaller pieces as I am filing my bowl. Now I don’t have awkward moments of almost gagging on lettuce because I’m struggling to get all the leaves in my mouth all in one swift motion so no one realizes what a disaster I am. Seriously, I probably overthink eating salads too much.
Substitutes or Additions
If you would like to beef up your salad even more or substitute an ingredient you don’t like, this will guide you through my tried and true recommendations:
Strawberries: Try cranberries or grapes as a strawberry replacement or yummy addition.
Tortilla Strips: If you are not GF, give wonton strips a try (they are amazing in this recipe). If you can’t find plain tortilla strips, you could crush white corn chips for the same effect. If you would like a healthier crunch option, I would recommend giving almonds a try.
Blush Wine Vinaigrette: I strongly recommend Brianna’s branded blush wine vinaigrette for this recipe. If you can’t find a blush wine vinaigrette or can’t get your hands on Brianna’s, give this vinaigrette recipe a try.
Feta: If you aren’t dairy-free or vegan, you could add feta for a nice tart and creamy addition. I would reccomend 1-2 tablespoons of feta.
Lettuce: I use 50/50 spring mix in the recipe, if you don’t like spring mix, you can just use all spinach and vice versa.
Strawberry and Blush Wine Vinaigrette Summer Salad
A refreshingly simple and sweet summer salad perfect on it's own or as a side
*See note above about additions and substitutions.*
- 2 cups lightly packed 50/50 blend (spinach and spring mix)
- a bit less than 1/4 cup strawberries, rinsed and diced
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot (if grating fresh carrot, use only 2-3 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup broccoli, rinsed and torn/cut into small, bite-sized pieces
- A handful (or more) of tortilla strips (read the ingredients and make sure there is no lime or seasoning on them)
- Blush wine vinaigrette (see note above for alternatives, I strongly recommend Brianna’s brand)
- Place salad mix into a bowl. Place your lettuce into a bowl by tearing handfuls of lettuce into smaller, more manageable pieces.
- Add toppings. Top your salad with strawberries, carrots, broccoli, and a handful of tortilla strips.
- Dress and toss. Dress your salad with vinaigrette to your liking and mix to evenly coat all ingredients and distribute toppings.
For more summer recipes that aren’t specifically healthy:
I hope you enjoyed the recipe and have a great week!