This healthy fresh chopped vegetable salad recipe is a very easy recipe to make and a very satisfying salad dish. It is made with healthy raw vegetables that can be served as an everyday side dish. This recipe is without any leafy greens or the ever famous lettuce. Lettuce is actually hard to prepare because there are a lot of steps involved to prepare the green salad correctly which makes it not ideal for everyday side dishes. This recipe is a great to make on any given day because it’s not only a healthy but it is also a great side dish that you serve with almost all of the main dishes. The best part about this is that you can actually make it ahead of time. Therefore, this recipe will be a great addition to your list of healthy dinner recipes.
How to Make Healthy Fresh Vegetable Salad Recipe
Veggie salads are so simple to prepare. All you need is to thoroughly clean all the vegetables, chop them, combine everything and season with salad dressing. Then you are ready to go! Below are a few pointers that will transform your raw vegetable salad from average to great:
- Make sure your veggies are fresh as possible. Using only fresh and crisp produce will take your raw veggies to the next level. I know it’s a no brainier right? Soft and dry looking one that have been inside the refrigerator for a while should only be used for stews and soups.
- Chop your fresh veggies into good small sized bites. Smaller pieces definitely look more appetizing and a great way to eat your raw veggies. It improves the texture and definitely gives more flavor.
- Garnish with your favorite herbs. Start with your favorite herbs that are commonly use for green salads such as fresh parsley, cilantro, dill, basil and chives. The fresh herbs will not only add more flavor, but also provide some health benefits to any meal.
Ingredients For A Satisfying Crunch Veggie Salad Recipe
In the recipe card is a recipe that has become part of one of our everyday side dishes. Below are other ingredients that you can mix and match to adapt the recipe to your personal tastes or to make good use of whatever available ingredients you have.
The Star Ingredients:
- English Cucumbers
- Sweet Bell Pepper or Red Peppers
- Yellow Bell Peppers
- Fresh Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
- Red onion
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup of vinegar
- 1/2 tsp of coarse salt
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
Just double each measurement if you want to make extra dressing. Also finely chopped red onions are a great addition to this recipe. I also use fresh herbs like dill if I am going to serve this for a family gathering. I want my salad as easy to prepare as possible and to eliminate waste of any unused herbs.
If you think that my dressing is not your style, below are some dressing ingredients that you can choose from. Using a standard ratio for a vinaigrette salad dressing is 3 parts of oil to 1 part vinegar base. You can make your own dressings that perfectly match with your taste palate. One good thing about making your own salad is you can adjust the amount of acidity based on your personal taste or add some of your favorite ingredients to make the recipe your own.
Excellent Salad Oils For Vinaigrette:
- Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It is the most famous salad oil dressing that you can use. Olive oil is so good for you and has a delicious taste.
- Sesame Oil – If you are gearing your dressing towards Asian cuisines, add just a little bit of this sesame oil and you will definitely transform your dressing by adding an Asian influence.
- Hazelnut Oil – The toasted and nutty flavor of hazelnut oil adds amazing depth to any vinaigrette.
- Walnut Oil – The buttery nuttiness of walnut oil pairs well with heartier healthy salads like those made with kale, apples and bleu cheese.
Good Vinegar For Your Dressings:
- Red Wine Vinegar – It has a strong flavor but you can tone it down by mixing it with other ingredients like orange juice or honey before you mix it with oil.
- White Vinegar – Inexpensive vinegar but has a strong and sharp vinegar taste.
- Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar that goes well with sesame oil.
- Balsamic Vinegar – Real balsamic vinegar is very expensive compared with other types of vinegar available on the market. It has a very aromatic and sweet note flavor. However, there is a cheaper version of balsamic vinegar, made from white vinegar with added food coloring and addition of caramel.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Vinegar milder than red vinegar and gives a soft touch of sweet flavor. For this reason, avoid pairing apple cider vinegar with olive oil as it may overly fragrant and conceal the vinegar’s flavor of the vinaigrette dressing.
Good Addition Ingredients:
- Lemon Juice – If you are the type of person that is not really a fan of vinegar but love lemon, then have a lemon vinaigrette dressing. Use 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, a good touch of minced garlic and season with salt and pepper. You can also add 1/2 tsp of honey or more if you want to balance the acidity of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Dried Oregano – Do not be afraid to use dried oregano in your oil-vinegar salad dressing. It definitely brings out the flavor of the dressing and works great with the chopped veggies.
- Dried Basil – Just like dried oregano, dried basil adds another dimension to the taste.
- Dried Thyme – Herbs always provide a lot of flavor to any dish.
- Mustard – It is a good addition because mustard acts as an emulsifying agent that helps vinegar and oil to blend well together. If you want to have a vinaigrette dressing that will hold the oil and vinegar together for a whole 7 days in the fridge, use whole-grain mustard. Just add a tablespoon of mustard to 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 3/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Garlic Cloves – Provides a nice flavor and a kick to any dish.
- Honey or Maple Syrup – The sweetness will balance and tone down the strong vinegar taste of white vinegar, lemon and mustard.
- Salt and Pepper – Makes every flavor blend well and work well together.
Garnish: Optional Ingredients
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Feta cheese
Just remember to first follow the standard ratio for a vinaigrette salad dressing of 3 parts of oil to 1 part of vinegar base. Afterwards, you can start experimenting by adding other ingredients until you come up with perfect one for your raw veggies in order to have a perfect side dish for all the healthy recipes that you like to cook.
How To Prepare The Fresh Vegetables
- Wash all the vegetables. Make sure they are thoroughly cleaned. I actually clean the kitchen sink before I wash the vegetables. I then use soap and water to clean the vegetables and place them in a clean colander.
- Using a paper towel, pat dry the vegetables. Chop all them into bite sized pieces and store them separately inside a container with a lid. In my case, I store my cucumber and red pepper in one food container with a lid (not an airtight lid) and the quartered tomatoes in the a separate container. In this way, the red bell pepper and cucumber will stay dry and will take up less space in the fridge. Remember to consume them within 2 to 3 days.
- The cut veggies should be placed on the top most fridge compartment or refrigerator door, the warmest part of the fridge, to it from premature softening or to avoid speeding up the decay process.
- When you ready to eat a weeknight dinner, take out the containers and take out the amount of each vegetable that you need. Place them in a small mixing bowl or a big serving bowl or whatever is appropriate and pour the dressing that you prefer on top, mix it all together and voila, you will have for yourself and your loved ones a healthy side dish.
In my recipe, 2 red bell peppers, 1 English cucumber and 1 pack or 1 lb of compari tomatoes will give my husband and I about 2 to 3 servings. This will give you an idea on the correct amount of vegetables to buy on a weekly basis to avoid any food wastage or food shortage and add to your grocery list.
How To Store Them In Your Fridge
This salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours in a glass food container with lid. There are two ways to do it.
- Combine all the veggies in a food container and pour in the dressing. Next, mix it all together until all the pieces are well coated with dressing. Cover and transfer to the fridge. You will now have a marinated veggies which makes them even tastier. However, to prevent your salad from becoming too watery during storage, add salt to it just before serving.
- Separately store the veggies and dressing, then pour the dressing into the mixed vegetables just before serving.
I hope you will give this recipe a try because it is a very easy and such a simple recipe to make which will encourage you to practice healthy eating habits.
The Healthy Fresh Chopped Vegetable Salad Recipe
- 2 whole red bell pepper washed, cored and diced
- 1 whole English cucumber washed and chopped
- 1 packed compari tomatoes washed and quartered
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- Wash and dry all the vegetables.
- Chop all the vegetables and place the cucumber and bell pepper in one food container and store the quartered tomatoes in a separate container.
- In a small bowl, prepare the salad dressing by combining the rice vinegar, salt and sesame oil in a medium container.
- Next, add half a cup of each vegetable into the container with salad dressing and mix this all together until all vegetables are well coated with the salad dressing. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to give the flavors time to blend.