Build a Better Summer-Salad

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

August 2nd, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I love summer salads! Summer time produce is abundant and rich with flavor! Tomatoes are sweeter and in general produce appears richer in color! Think about a many varieties of peppers in green, red, yellow and orange. Salads are a great way to add variety and a bounty of nutrients to your diet.


Here are some ideas to get you started on a better summer salad:

  • Build your base: Lettuce, spinach and kale are all terrific starters. You can make a salad feel heartier by starting with quinoa, wild rice or barley.
  • Add Crunch: Carrots, cucumber, peppers, snap peas, string beans, broccoli, red onion, cabbage and corn
  • Sweet additions: blueberries, strawberries, apples, dried cranberries, raisins, apricots
  • Pack in protein: Chicken, canned tuna, sliced steak, salmon, eggs, edamame, tofu, nuts and Green Way Organic beans – also a good source of fiber!
  • Fun extra’s: Diced boiled potatoes, whole grain croutons, avocado, sprouts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Dressing: Combine a fat with acid; for example Olive oil & Balsamic vinegar, Lemon juice, mustard & sesame seed oil, etc.


Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

Pita Bean Salad

Prep: 30 minutes

Makes: approximately 6 cups

“Beans add protein to this tasty riff on the classic Middle Eastern salad fattoush, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, mint and pita bread.”



  • 2 (6-inch) whole-wheat pita breads, cut or torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Green Way® Organic pinto beans, well drained, rinsed and slightly warmed (see Tip)
  • 1 cup diced plum tomatoes or ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spread pita pieces out on a large baking sheet. Bake until crisp and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool on the pan.
  3. Mash garlic and salt with the back of a chef’s knife to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add lemon juice and ground cumin and whisk to blend. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking continually. Season with pepper.
  4. Place beans, tomatoes and cucumber in a serving bowl. Add the toasted pita, lettuce, feta, parsley, mint and the dressing; toss to mix. Season with more pepper. Serve immediately.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 3) for up to 3 days.

Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.


Preparing the Beans

When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan, warm through.

Recipe source: EatingWell® By: Vanessa Barrington