Liven up your nights with a fresh Spring Greens Salad with Pepitas & Feta that is bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors.
As the weather starts to warm up, our appetites start to get a hankering for fresh and bright flavors. Move over slow cooker meals, bring on the salads! There are so many flavor combinations to dress up a salad, it’s difficult to be bored. If you’re bored with your salad, you’re doing something wrong.
Last week we enjoyed this salad that hubs deemed, “Excellent.” I wouldn’t say that he’s hard to please, but an E is high praise, indeed. Makes my heart sing, actually. If this salad gets an excellent from someone who’s only warm to salads, imagine what it can do for you!
Salads are not only a great food experience, but they are also a wonderful way to include fresh produce into your diet. You can sneak in certain veggies that might not fly on their own, but taste great in combination with other foods.
A good salad has a combination of flavors and textures. This one fits the bill perfectly. Regard:
Spring Greens — Easy to come by during this time of year, early greens are tender and delicious. I buy an organic mix at Costco or ALDI for just a few dollars. I simply wash and spin dry in my salad spinner.
Veggies — Tomatoes and green onion add flavor for very little cost.
Protein — Garbanzo beans, aka Chick Peas, add nice texture and protein.
Cheese – Feta adds a salty contrast to the rest of the salad.
Crunch — Pepitas, roasted pumpkin seeds, add a nut-free, gluten-free crunch, as well as protein and minerals.
Dressing — This Cilantro Lime Dressing adds sparkle and brightness. It just screams, “Winter’s over.”
This salad is great on its own, but is tremendous when you add grilled chicken or shrimp.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Instead of paying full price, buy more than you need when you see it on sale. Then you always have it when you want it. I do this for canned beans, pepitas, olive oil and bottled lime juice. It’s always nice to have a stockpile of that kind of stuff.
- Shop the stores that have the best prices. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that ALDI and Costco have the best prices for a lot of the things I buy. You will naturally save money if you shop the best store for the items YOU buy. This may not be ALDI or Costco, so you’ll need to do your own price comparisons. The time investment as your research it is super valuable!
- Store your cilantro in a way that it doesn’t become a gooey mess in the veggie drawer. Go here for details.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- salad spinner – I love this one.
- pretty salad bowl – This one from IKEA is beautiful.
- citrus reamer – great for quick juicing projects.
- food processor or blender — to make the dressing.
- 1 6-ounce package baby greens
- Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 2 tomato seeded and chopped
- 1 cup garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup green onion (chopped)
- 2 oz feta cheese crumbles (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- In a large salad bowl, toss the greens with enough dressing to coat. Place the lettuce on dinner plate(s).
- Arrange the other salad ingredients on the bed of greens. Pass extra dressing at serving.
Salad ingredients and dressing can be stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1/4 the recipe.
Originally posted April 4, 2011. Updated October 14, 2017.