Spring has finally sprung and with the changing weather, tastes are also changing. The days of comfort foods are gone and it is finally salad season.

It is very easy to get caught up in the wide variety of salad options around Madison. While restaurants like Forage Kitchen on State Street and Salads UP on N. Frances St. offer many delicious salads, they can also be very expensive, which is not very friendly to a college student’s budget.

There are less expensive ways to find a satisfying and refreshing salad though. With these convenient and delicious recipes, it is easy to take part in the salad season.

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Modified Caesar Salad

This recipe is easy to make with limited space and a limited kitchen. All you need is a bowl to mix the ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • Lemon juice (lime juice also works)
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Kale
  • Parmesan
  • Slivered almonds

With this recipe, you start by mixing one part each of lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil to create the dressing. You add this mixture to the kale and must massage the dressing into the kale for two to three minutes in order to get the kale to partially absorb the dressing.

Then, add the parmesan and the slivered almonds to the base. You can also include whatever toppings you want, such as cooked chicken, tofu or sun-dried tomatoes.

This salad is very easy to make and does not require many ingredients, so it is convenient for a dorm room or for someone who does not have a lot of time.

When you use ingredients that are in season, it makes your trip to the grocery store much less expensive.

If you are looking for a salad using in-season produce, try out this next option.

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Great Greens Salad

Ingredients:

  • Balsamic vinaigrette
  • Spinach
  • Snap peas
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots

With this recipe, you must start by cooking the asparagus in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then add enough olive oil to lightly coat the asparagus. Cook for 25 minutes, flipping the asparagus halfway through. Let the asparagus cool, and then cut it into one to two-inch pieces.

Mix one part of both the arugula and the spinach, then add peas and asparagus. Use either pre-shaved carrots or grate whole carrots before adding them to the mixture. Add the balsamic vinaigrette — make your own using an online recipe or use store-bought — and toss before eating.

You can prepare this salad as is or include additional sources of protein, such as chicken or tofu.

The best part about this delicious salad is that all of the ingredients are in-season. By eating seasonal produce, you ensure that your food is cheaper, tastes better and is more environmentally-friendly because it can be locally sourced.

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Rainbow Salad

Ingredients:

  • Lemon vinaigrette
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded carrots
  • Avocado, cut into chunks
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Arugula
  • Spring salad mix

With this recipe, all you need to do is mix the prepared ingredients together in a bowl and add a store-bought vinaigrette.

This salad is very easy to make because it requires no additional work beyond the chopping of vegetables. Since it uses so many different fresh vegetables, it has a very refreshing flavor and can be very filling because of the added avocado.

Having a balance is important in making new salads. Adding healthy fats, like avocado, and filling proteins keep you full and adds necessary nutrients.

You can also use this salad to impress any guests that you may have, as the variety of colors make it beautiful.