During the dog days of summer, hot home cooked meals are the last thing we want to eat. These days, our plates are packed with slices of juicy watermelon, summer salads, and ok, maybe a few hot delicacies, straight off the grill. 

During the summer, we get to take advantage of summer's colorful bounty. There are so many delicious fruits and veggies that are only in season for a short few months during the summertime.  is perfect for prepping and sharing an at-home salad bar. The kids love it, so it's a sneaky way to get in that daily serving of veggies!

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When assembling the perfect summer salad, there are a few rules of thumb that we like to abide by. 

Summer Salads 101 

Start with a Base of Two Types of Greens Our favorites are kale and romaine. For the kiddos, adding an iceberg lettuce option is always a good call! Add Some Color The sky's the limit when it comes to colorful fruits and veggies, so consider flavor as well as color. Are you looking for a burst of something sweet? Consider pomegranate seeds or fresh berries. For something a little outside of the box, consider sweet potatoes or radishes, or warm ingredients like sautéed mushrooms. Or, if you're a traditionalist, maybe carrots, onions and tomatoes are all the color you need. 

Add a Crunch The secret to a good salad is all in the details. Add a crunchy seed or nut to lend a little something extra to the flavor palate. Some of our favorites are sunflower seeds and almonds! Pick a Protein Some of our favorite protein additions are chicken, tofu, shrimp, salmon. Choose your own adventure, but keep in mind the balance of the dish when seasoning your proteins. Try not to overpower your other ingredients or salad dressing so you can experience all flavors equally.  Dress for Success To each their own, but we love a homemade dressing. Homemade salad dressings seem daunting, but great dressings are usually comprised of just a few simple kitchen staples. Our favorite salads dressing is super simple: - 1 tbsp Olive Oil - A drizzle of balsamic vinegar - Salt + pepper to taste - A squeeze of lemon There you have it- our road map for creating a choose your own adventure salad bar for the family. Now it's time to make that shopping list and break out the  to start prepping those yummy summer ingredients.  When you're prepping your healthy dinner adventure, don't forget to save some extra ingredients so you can pull together a quick salad for lunch during the week!