Cooking this week: 5 refreshing summer salads

This delicious chicken salad is made with boneless chicken breasts, celery, red bell pepper, corn, and fat-free mayo.

Get excited for the official start of summer with a week’s worth of light and refreshing salads.

Not all healthy meals have to be boring: these summer salads will brighten up your days as you’re preparing for that beach body! After all, this season is the perfect time for healthy eating, experts say.

"Picnics, tailgates and barbecues are the perfect occasions to take advantage of the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are available from May through September," Katherine Farrell Harris, director of Integrated Nutrition for AdvantageCare Physicians, said in a news release.

Take a break from the fast food and the regular meals you make, and try these summer salads for a variety of protein and produce to keep you feeling refreshed:

Monday: Chicken Waldorf salad

This tasty salad uses low-fat mayo, low-fat yogurt, and includes apples, celery, grapes, and walnuts. High in protein and low in fat, this filling meal only takes 15 minutes to make!

Per serving: 356 calories, 16g fat, 23g carbohydrates, 31g protein, 3g fiber

View recipe >

Tuesday: Broccoli, ham and pasta salad

This pasta salad is lightened up with whole-wheat fusilli, low-fat mayo and nonfat yogurt. It’s loaded with broccoli and peppers, and gets its zesty flavor from the ham and sweet raisins.

Per serving: 306 calories, 7g fat, 46g carbohydrates, 19g protein, 3g fiber

View recipe >

Wednesday: BBQ chicken salad

This delicious chicken salad is made with boneless chicken breasts, celery, red bell pepper, corn, and fat-free mayo. Low in calories and high in protein, this meal will satisfy your barbeque cravings.

Per serving: 168 calories, 2.2g fat, 23.6g carbohydrates, 14.7g protein, 2.9g fiber

View recipe >

Thursday: Spinach salad with grilled shrimp

This simple salad is spiced up with an Asian-flavored vinaigrette with orange juice. The ginger and cumin also give the shrimp skewers – which only take 3 minutes to cook – a nice spice.

Per serving: 181 calories, 5.9g fat, 6.9g carbohydrates, 24.8g protein, 1.3g fiber

View recipe >

Friday: Thai-style melon and beef salad

This salad gets a sweet twist from the melon, and saltiness from the fish sauce. Packed with beef sirloin and veggies, this Thai meal will keep you feeling full for only 150 calories!

Per serving: 150 calories, 3g fat, 18g carbohydrates, 15g protein, 3g fiber

View recipe >