Seven Tasty Salad Recipes That Need To Be In Your Life

Put the tuna down, back away from the four leaf mix and don’t even think about reaching for that punnet of cherry tomatoes. We’ve enlisted the expertise of food guru and nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill to bestow us with seven inventive salad recipes to add to your rotation now that Spring is here – one for each day of the week.

Mix and match, serve as a side or as a meal in itself; these salads are as versatile as they are nutritious. And they’re worth changing up your usual lunchtime routine.

1 / 7

Beetroot, buckwheat and walnut salad




A small red onion, finely sliced
50 g (1 oz/ cup) raw buckwheat, rinsed
1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded and finely sliced in long strips
A handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
60 g (2 oz/ cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
75 g (2 oz/ cup) currants
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beetroot (beet), peeled and grated


Serves 4 – GF : DF : SF : V

Place the onion in a small container of water and soak for 30 minutes to take the bitter onion flavour away, then drain.

To cook the buckwheat, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the rinsed buckwheat, place the lid on and bring back to the boil (this will take approximately 2 minutes), then cook for 12–15 minutes. This is a boiling rather than absorption

method of cooking the buckwheat, so ensure you have plenty of water in your pan. Once cooked, drain the buckwheat and set aside.

Drain and rinse the onion, then combine with the buckwheat, capsicum, parsley, walnuts, currants, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl, and toss together. Season with salt and pepper, then lightly toss through the beetroot and serve.

2 / 7

Turmeric, quinoa and pumpkin salad



600g Japanese pumpkin, skin removed, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
2 teaspoons dried turmeric
2 stalks celery, diced
2 stalks kale, leaves torn, stalks discarded
1/4 cup coriander leaves, picked
1/4 cup mint leaves, picked
1/2 small spanish onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons pepitas
pinch sea salt and black pepper


1 teaspoon dried cumin
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Serves 4 as part of a shared meal – GF : DF : SF : V

Preheat oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Arrange pumpkin pieces over the tray, drizzle with oil then bake in oven for 45-50minutes.

Cook quinoa whilst pumpkin is baking by placing quinoa, turmeric, celery and 1 cup water in a small saucepan, cover and place on medium to high heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes, uncovered, or until tails of quinoa show. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover with lid and set aside.

Once pumpkin is cooked, arrange on large serving platter and top with quinoa, kale, coriander and mint leaves, Spanish onion and pepitas.

Season with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with dressing and serve.

3 / 7

Warm asparagus with mustard-spiked yoghurt dressing



1 bunch asparagus spears, ends trimmed
½ teaspoon coconut or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup natural yoghurt
1tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup picked chervil or herbs of choice
Option: ¼ cup toasted nuts, roughly chopped


Serves 4 as a side – GF : SF : V

Warm a large frypan or skillet on high heat and melt oil. Add asparagus spears and cook 5 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure an even colour.

While asparagus are cooking, in a small bowl mix together natural yoghurt, Dijon mustard and sea salt.

Remove asparagus from pan and place on plate, then gently drizzle the Dijon yoghurt across the asparagus. Top with hazelnuts and chervil (or herbs of choice) and serve with a good grind of black pepper.

4 / 7

Poached chicken, citrus and kale salad



1 whole chicken breast
3 leaves kale, stalks removed and roughly torn
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 grapefruit, yellow or pink both work well, peeled, pith removed and sliced
1 mandarin or orange, peeled and finely sliced
Small handful picked dill leaves
Small handful mint leaves
Good pinch sea salt and black pepper


Serves 2 as a main – GF : DF : SF 

Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil, add chicken, turn off the heat, cover and set aside to poach chicken for 20 minutes. Once poached, drain, cover to rest 10 minutes, then slice thinly for the salad.

Combine torn kale leaves, lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl and massage oil and lemon juice into the leaves.

Arrange kale leaves on a serving platter, with citrus segments, fresh herbs and chicken.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

5 / 7

Asian rainbow salad



215g (1/8) small red cabbage, shredded
110g (1 carrot), peeled, cut into matchsticks
14g (1 large) red chilli, seeded, finely chopped
130g green beans, trimmed and blanched
120g snow peas, trimmed and finely sliced
60g snow pea sprouts
Small handful of thai basil, leaves picked and finely sliced
Handful coriander, leaves picked and stalks finely sliced
½ cup (95g) raw buckwheat
2tbsp pickled ginger, finely sliced
1tbsp sesame seeds


3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon


Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main – GF : DF : SF : V

To cook the buckwheat, bring a large pot of water to the boil, add buckwheat and boil for 15 minutes, drain and rinse, then set aside.

Toss all vegetables, herbs, ginger, sesame seeds and buckwheat together in a large bowl.

Add dressing, toss well to combine and serve.

6 / 7

Superfoods salad

SuperFoods Salad by Jacqueline Alwill


6 kale leaves, stalks removed and torn into rough pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch sea salt
2 whole beetroot, tops removed and washed
3 cups raw sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red capsicum, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small rainbow or red radish, finely sliced
1 avocado, diced large
1 cup basil leaves, torn
1 cup flat leaf parsley
½ cup walnuts
Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Sea salt and black pepper


Serves 4 as a substantial salad main – GF : DF : SF : V

Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with paper. Wrap beetroot in foil and place in oven for 45 minutes.

While beetroot is cooking place kale leaves in a large bowl, pour over lemon juice and sprinkle with salt, then using clean hands massage the lemon juice into the kale for approximately 5 minutes. Set aside while vegetables are cooking.

Arrange capsicum and sweet potato on baking tray, drizzle with coconut oil then place in oven. Keep the beetroot in the oven at this time too. Cook all vegetables for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool approximately 10 minutes.

Peel the skin from the beetroot using your hands, trim the ends, then cut beetroot in eighths. Remove skin from capsicum pieces (optional).

Arrange kale leaves, roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, avocado and herbs between serving plates, sprinkle with chia and sesame seeds, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and season with sea salt and black pepper to finish.

7 / 7

Zucchetti with pesto



2 zucchini, spiralised into noodles or ‘zuchetti’
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup greek or natural yoghurt+
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 whole avocado, sliced or diced as you prefer
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves picked
Good pinch salt and black pepper



Serves 2 – GF : SF : V

Whisk together pesto and yoghurt in a small bowl. Place zucchini noodles in a large bowl and toss with pesto yoghurt.

Divide zucchini noodles between two serving bowls or plates, sprinkle with cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, top with avocado, season with salt and pepper and serve.

+If you prefer a dairy free option, simply add more lemon juice, a touch of apple cider vinegar and olive oil to the pesto to loosen it, then toss with zuchetti.


All images supplied.

Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, personal trainer, whole foods cook, founder and director of The Brown Paper Bag Nutrition. She is passionately committed to improving the health, wellbeing and happiness of all individuals.