5 ways to take your green leafy vegetables to the next level

When it comes to enjoying something fresh, light and delicious in the summer, a salad is always a great answer to a tasty meal. And while we may be Guilty Eats, that doesn’t mean we don’t like to keep things healthy, too.

Besides the fact that a fresh salad can be a great way to add those fruits and vegetables to your diet, they are a great vehicle for some amazing flavor combinations. And honestly, there are plenty of ways to make your salad look like a guilty meal, too.

From changing the dressing you use, or maybe even the cheese, there are plenty of ways to take your salad to the next level. And we’ve picked five ways to shake up your salad this summer. You can mix, match, or just pick one that works for you.

5 ways to elevate your salad this summer

  • Go for the Perfect Perdue Chicken Option – When it comes to adding a protein to our salad, we have a tendency to go for the chicken. And the brand we turn to often is Perdue. While we love grilled chicken in our salad, we’re also big fans of their dinosaur nuggets (especially the Simply Smart Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Dino Nuggets), crispy chicken strips, and even their new Chicken Plus Chicken Tots. We have a lot of fun choosing the perfect chicken, whether that means adding some dinosaurs to the mix or acting like a grown-up and going with a chicken strip or two. It certainly helps that they also offer Perdue Short Cuts, giving us grilled chicken that’s ready to add to any salad, and in some cases, seasoned or marinated!
  • Kraft dressing offers a wide variety of flavors – if you really want to switch things up with your salad this summer, why not try a new salad dressing flavor? And that’s where Kraft dressing comes into the picture. After all, they offer so many amazing flavors that you can try something new every day and never get bored. What are we trying this summer? For us it’s all about garlic and intense flavors. That’s why we’re raving about their Green Goddess Dressing, Deluxe Robust Garlic and Parmesan Dressing, Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette, and even their Zesty Lime Vinaigrette Dressing. (The fact that we can also use vinaigrette dressings as a marinade also makes them the perfect option to pull double duty in our kitchen.)
  • Add some walnut crunch! – This summer we got to try Planters NEW Sweet & Spicy Dry Roasted Peanuts and after eating them straight from the can, we couldn’t resist adding them to a fresh salad. The fact that they were sweet and tangy meant that they really took our salad to a whole new level. But those weren’t the only nuts we tried in a fresh summer salad. Other nuts we tried this year included Kirkland Signature Butter Toffee Cashews (which are a sweet and savory treat on their own), Planters Sea Salt Vinegar Peanuts, and Sahale Snacks Pomegranate Vanilla Cashews. Not only do these nuts add some crunch, they also bring new layers of flavors to our leafy greens.
  • put cheese on it – We love cheese and we really love adding different cheeses to our salads, not only do we love adding fresh feta or shredded cheddar cheese to our salads but we also love mixing them up. So what does that mean? It means throwing in mini mozzarella balls, crumbled blue cheese, and even strips of Swiss or provolone cheese. Just think soft cheeses with those crunchy pecans and vibrant dressings and you have a winning salad!
  • Nuts for the win. – While I love adding fresh chunks of strawberries, whole blueberries, and even slices of green apples to my salads, thanks to Panera’s Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, I found myself turning to dried fruit as an alternative to the fresh fruit I usually eat. Sometimes they can water our salad. From dried cranberries to dried apple slices and even dried apricots, this is a great way to play up your salads and add a touch of sweetness to the mix.

How do you perk up your salads? Are you a fruit in the salad? Or do you prefer to keep it salty? What do you think of nuts instead of croutons? We want to know what makes your perfect salad.

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