by Jenny Atkins, LiveLighter nutritionist and busy mum


Newsflash Australia – it’s summer and it’s hot! So, now is the perfect time to eat all things cold including delicious summer salads packed full of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegies. To me, making salad is about the art of assembling each of the different elements together to find the right balance. It’s like my own grown-up version of food Lego!

Summertime tomatoes and capsicums combined with crunchy greens and grainy textures like brown rice, quinoa, farro, freekeh or cracked wheat, then sweet fruits like berries, mangoes, melons and grapes make for great combinations which are tasty and nutritious. Add a bit of protein like lean meat, lentils, nuts or cheese and it’s a mouthful of saltiness, sweetness and crunchiness! DELISH!

I’ve pulled together a few LiveLighter summertime salad recipes that are great for brekkies, lunches, dinners or for bringing along to your next BBQ, picnic or party.


Our take on a Poke bowl uses microwave rice so it only requires a bit of chopping and mixing for a flavoursome salad. I love it as a brekkie salad – fills me up and I’m well on my way to reaching my five serves of veg for the day.

Japanese sesame tuna rice bowl

Lunchbox friendly

Pesto pasta salad and tabbouleh are both winners for an easy, prep-ahead lunchbox meal.

I prepare a few servings at once so I have work lunch made for the next few days. Place it in single-serving containers and all you need to do is grab and run in the morning. Store small tins of tuna or canned beans in your work drawer to add last minute to bulk up the tabbouleh salad. 

Quick pesto pasta salad



The traditional garden salad is simple and tasty but these vegetarian salads are just as easy and have become firm favourites.

Our walnut lentil salad is easy to throw together with tomatoes, spinach, a tin of drained lentils, some feta and walnuts and a store-bought dressing! Assembled in 10 minutes, it is a great one for impromptu catch ups.

This low-cost couscous salad is an easy one to get kids involved in the cooking process. It uses summer ready ingredients and once chopped, it is as easy as 1,2,3 steps to your finished meal.  

Traditional pasta salad contains mayonnaise and can taste heavy. This version is much lighter, filled with colourful vegetables and a zingy dressing. The fresh parsley and basil bring a wonderful flavour to it as well. 

Walnut lentil salad

Zesty couscous

Rainbow pasta salad

BBQ buddies

Don’t get trapped into the steak, sausage and buns mentality when planning your next BBQ. Brighten up your grilled meats and seafood with fresh and colourful salads.

Make it a Mexican night with a salsa of avocado, corn, capsicum and tomatoes with coriander and lime juice to lift any BBQ steak to the next level.

I could eat a plate of this brown rice salad on its own! Swapping your steak for salmon on the BBQ gets more of the good omega oils into you. There is something magical in the combination of the salmon with the fresh, nutty, slightly salty, slightly sweet rice salad. Give it a go and see if you agree with me.

Nothing quite says summer in Australia like a big display of mangoes in the shops. This sweet and golden fruit is delicious on its own, but when teamed up with this BBQ fish dusted in cumin, coriander and turmeric powders, it’s like eating in Broome without being in Broome!

Since many of these can be prepped ahead, I get more time to enjoy with my family, friends and of course, my family dog who loves walkies at any time. I hope you enjoy these salad ideas from LiveLighter and make them part of your regular menu!

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