Summer salads offer a health fix

A fit and healthy life cannot be achieved by crash diets or small bursts of exercise. It can only be achieved by persistent effort over a long period of time and takes discipline and mindfulness about what goes onto your plate.

A crucial part of fitness and weight loss is eating healthy and clean. Working professionals find it especially difficult to lose weight, due to long office hours. However, a little bit of preparation can help you eat healthily even while working in the office. With busy lives and less time to prepare meals, salads definitely come to the rescue when you are on the lookout for a quick and healthy fix.

A dynamic nut

Adding a crunch of happiness and joy to your salads are California walnuts – an excellent source of essential nutrients for overall well-being. Not only do walnuts add unique flavor and crunch to salads, but also boost the nutritional value in helping you get close to your fitness goals.

Walnuts are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids (2.5 grams of ALA/28g). A handful gives you 4 grams of protein along with 2 grams of fiber. A dynamic nut like no other, walnuts add great flavor and texture to salads and can be blended in multiple forms – toasted, caramelized/candied, or simply raw.

Here are some quick and easy salad recipes to keep you on track with your fitness regimen.

Crunchy Cucumber Dill Salad

Cucumber walnut salad
Crunchy Cucumber Walnut Salad (image courtesy: Chef Sabyasachi Gorai)


1 large cucumber
1 cup California walnuts, divided
28g feta, crumbled or cubed
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill, plus more to serve
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt


1. Toast the walnuts by heating a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts to the pan and stir frequently until they become fragrant and begin to lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan to cutting board.
2. Whisk  together the 3 heaping tablespoons Greek Yogurt (or sour cream), 2 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dill, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and a pinch of salt.
3. Slice the cucumber into 1/8th inch thick medallions and place in a large bowl.
4. Add the mini grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta to the bowl. Roughly chop the toasted walnuts and fold in half.
5. Stir in the Greek yogurt mixture to coat the veggies. Top with remaining toasted walnuts and garnish with a dusting of dried dill and salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Curried Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

Quinoa, walnut and grape salad
Curried Quinoa Salad with Grapes and Walnuts (image courtesy: Chef Sabyasachi Gorai)


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup radishes, diced
1/2 cup California walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, sliced


1. In a small bowl, add vinegar, curry powder, maple syrup, mustard, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
2. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add quinoa and water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 13-15 minutes. Remove from heat; keep covered for 5 minutes. When done, fluff quinoa with a fork.

3. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, celery, grapes, radishes, walnuts, and green onions. Stir to combine all ingredients. Pour dressing into the bowl; toss to evenly combine.

4. Serve alongside dinner or pack as a light lunch. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Mixed Bean, Walnut & Watercress Salad


1 yellow pepper, sliced
100g pack asparagus tips, halved
100g California walnuts
50g sun-dried tomatoes, sliced plus 3 tablespoon oil
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
100g bag watercress, thick stalks removed
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Place the pepper, asparagus and walnuts on a baking tray and toss in 1 tablespoon oil from the tomatoes, roast for 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, toss together the beans, sun-dried tomatoes and watercress, toss in the pepper mixture.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoon tomato oil with the vinegar, season and toss into the salad.

Medical disclaimer: This article is provided for educational and informational purposes only and the information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Please consult with your doctor, licensed physician or other qualified health provider for personal medical advice and medical conditions.