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Make Scrumptious Salads This Summer

Dress your salads for success as they brighten up your healthy, cancer-preventive diet.

Cool summer salads are the perfect way to eat a wide variety of cancer-fighting vegetables – as well as beans, whole grains and fruits. But too many high-calorie ingredients and bottled dressings can ruin an otherwise healthy salad.

Instead, toss together some delicious, colorful and high-fiber combinations of summer vegetables. Our recipes on the next page lead you down the garden path of good health by following AICR’s model for cancer-fighting meals: the New American Plate. Two-thirds or more of the ingredients are plant foods and 1/3 or less are lean animal proteins, such as fish and poultry.

Top them with our Basic Vinaigrette dressing. It can be enjoyed as is or made into a healthy creamy version. If desired, perk up your dressing with green herbs (such as dill, basil, oregano, parsley or celery seed), orange zest or juice, flavored vinegar (like raspberry or cider) or mustard. A touch of honey can enhance your dressing, too.

Herbs and spices can flavor foods so you don’t have to use salt. They also contain phytochemicals, the compounds scientists have found to have cancer-fighting properties. Vegetables and beans are high in fiber, too – another reason why they may help to prevent cancer, according to AICR’s expert report and its updates.

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard or honey mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. dehydrated onion (or 1 tsp. finely minced onion or shallot)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil (or walnut oil)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In medium bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard and onion together.

Add oil, whisking to completely blend.

Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 3 servings.

Per serving: 122 calories, 14 g total fat (2 g saturated fat),
<1 g carbohydrates, <0 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 21 mg sodium.

Creamy Vinaigrette

To Basic Vinaigrette recipe, add 3 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream (or use fat-free Greek yogurt or reduced-fat mayonnaise), plus 1 tsp. honey, or to taste (optional).

Whisk to combine thoroughly before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 113 calories, 12 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 2 g carbohydrates,
<1 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 21 mg sodium.

Turkey Curry Salad

  • 6 cups mixed salad greens (baby spinach, green leaf lettuce and baby kale)
  • 1 recipe Creamy Vinaigrette, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. mango chutney or all-fruit apricot preserves
  • 2 tsp. curry powder, or to taste
  • 12 oz. chopped cooked turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/4 cup dried currants or raisins

Toss salad greens with 3 Tbsp. Creamy Vinaigrette and transfer to serving bowl. In small bowl, mix chutney or preserves with curry powder and remaining Creamy Vinaigrette dressing; set aside.

In medium bowl, combine turkey, celery, orange pepper, scallions and currants or raisins. Toss with curry-vinaigrette mixture.

Serve over salad greens.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 288 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat),
15 g carbohydrates, 27 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 152 mg sodium.

White Bean and Vegetable Salad

  • 1 can (14-oz.) white beans such as navy or cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cut green beans, steamed to crisp tender 1–2 minutes in microwave
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1 recipe basic vinaigrette, divided
  • 1–2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. brown or Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups leafy greens
  • Vinaigrette dressing (see recipe below), divided


In medium bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, green beans, onion and chives. Toss with 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing, lemon juice, mustard and 1 Tbsp. of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

In serving bowl, combine greens with remaining vinaigrette. Spoon bean mixture over greens; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve.

Note: You can grate a little orange zest – the outer bright orange layer of the peel – over this salad to add extra flavor.

Makes 3 servings.

Per serving: 304 calories, 16 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 32 g carbohydrates,
12 g protein, 8 g dietary fiber, 110 mg sodium.

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Ann Wrenshall Worley

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