Recipes & DIY

Seasonal Summer Veggie Salad Recipe

I talk about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet a lot, but the saying you are what you eat rings true, especially if you’re eating the Standard American Diet.

A diet high in processed foods containing harmful ingredients will leave you feeling fatigued, stressed, anxious, depressed, and just overall awful!

The gut-brain connection is very real. We tend to forget that the mouth is the gateway to the body. Everything you eat impacts your oral microbiome, which directly impacts your gut microbiome, which directly impacts your brain. So why not eat foods that provide your body with the proper tools to function optimally?

That’s why I’ve created this summer veggie salad recipe. The ingredients are full of color, jam-packed with nutrients, and will make you feel great after eating.

Recipe Qualities

  • Fresh
  • Light
  • Crisp
  • Cold

Ingredients Used

  • Tomatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Red Onion
Additional optional ingredients
  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber

3 Health Benefits of This Summer Veggie Salad Recipe

1. Contains lycopene—a carotenoid antioxidant

When you think of healthy veggie salad recipes, one that includes tomatoes might cross your mind.

Tomatoes are excellent for your heart. The deep red color you see comes from the carotenoid lycopene. This phytonutrient is an antioxidant compound that may protect your heart.

Studies have shown that low levels of lycopene may be correlated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease. [1]

Lycopene may also help fight against cancer by warding off cancer cells. One study suggests a 30-40 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk associated with tomatoes. [2]

Another study done at McGill University in Montreal showed that consumption of tomatoes may play a significant role in the prevention of prostate cancer. [3]

2. Rich in vitamin C

This vegetarian salad recipe is loaded with vitamin C.

The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is around 90-75 mg. One medium bell pepper contains 156 mg of vitamin C. So, if you eat one medium red bell pepper, you’re getting 175 percent of your vitamin C for the day. [4]

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, which lends so many health benefits. As an antioxidant, this water-soluble vitamin can support your immune system and protect your cells from damage.

Vitamin C also is vital for heart health. Studies have shown that individuals who consume high amounts of vitamin C have a lower risk for heart disease, as well as neurodegenerative disease and cancer. [5,6]

3. Supports eye health

Zucchini, tomatoes, and avocados contain phytonutrients called lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are essential for eye health. [7, 8,9]

They work together to protect your eyes from oxidative stress and blue light. Some studies suggest that they may help prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in older people. [10]

Don’t cry when you read this but onions are great for eye health, despite how much you despise them when you’re chopping them.

Onions contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, such as quercetin. Quercetin triggers an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps combat eye inflammation and eye irritation. [11]


Seasonal Summer Veggie Salad Recipe

When you’re looking for a great way to beat the heat, add this fresh vegetable salad to your list of go-to recipes. This summer veggie salad is so easy to make and is light, hydrating, refreshing, and crisp.

I love serving mine over a bed of spinach or kale, or even as summer veggie salad tacos by putting them in romaine lettuce.

However you choose to eat this salad, you will not be disappointed. (Pro-tip: Quadruple the batch and take it to your next family bbq. It’ll go quick!)


Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves:  4

Summer Veggie Salad - Dr. Pingel



  • ¼-⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼medium red onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 radishes
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives (optional*)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste



1. In a small bowl, add the dressing ingredients, whisking until well-combined. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients.

Summer Veggie Salad - Dr. Pingel

3. Pour in the dressing and use your hands or salad tongs to mix until everything is combined.

Summer Veggie Salad - Dr. Pingel

4. Serve over a bed of greens, in romaine lettuce boats, or with some Otto’s gluten-free crunchy French bread!

Summer Veggie Salad - Dr. Pingel


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