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It can be challenging to plan healthy meals during the hot summer months, especially after being at the beach all day.

A light and healthy summer salad is an excellent choice, but in today’s society with an abundance of convenient, ready to eat options at our finger tips we often resort to store bought salad dressings and barbecue sauces. Unfortunately, these products are often loaded with added sugar and made with high amounts of saturated and trans fats.

Instead, we suggest you try these two recipe ideas to ensure your healthy summer salad is truly healthy.


Start with extra virgin olive oil and your choice of vinegar (rice, apple cider, or balsamic are great options). The ratio should be two to one. This base dressing can be adapted to match your taste or a specific dish using a variation of ingredients such as sea salt, garlic, dill, lemon, lime, ginger, curry, cumin, parsley, chia seeds or cilantro.

To make the dressing creamier, you can choose to blend in avocado, tahini, miso or grainy mustard.

This dressing works with a variety of salads including a simple tossed salad, or a quinoa, coleslaw or pasta salad. And as an added bonus, it also works well as a marinade for chicken or fish.


For a BBQ sauce that works well with any cut of steak, chicken or pork, start with tomato paste and add in your choice of vinegar (white, red wine, apple cider or even infused vinegar like raspberry). Then add in some honey or maple syrup for sweetness, worcestershire sauce to get a tangy smoky flavor and some spices to suit your taste; we suggest trying paprika, mustard seed or even some cayenne to provide some heat.

Depending on your preferred thickness, simply adjust the tomato paste and vinegar to suit.

And that’s it! Two simple, easy to prepare recipes to make a salad your whole family will love.

Interested in more healthy meal ideas? Book a nutrition consultation at the Kelowna Family YMCA. Visit our website for more information or call 250-491-9622 today!