Monday, July 15, 2013

[Five] Simple Summer Salads

It's summer-time and that means more time playing outside and less time in the kitchen. It means more picnics, which in turn means more easy-to-pack dinners.  Summer means more heat and a desire for lighter lunches and dinners.  We hope this little selection of summer salads helps you.  

This little salad is extremely versatile and would be great with any lunch or dinner, pot-luck or picnic.  We refrained from including a diced red pepper in the ingredient list, but if you have one about to go bad, or find one on sale, please dice it up and add it in -- it'll add color and nutrients! You can eat this straight as a side or salad (I like it with lighter/lower protein meals) or put it on top of rice, a baked potato, or on top of a green salad.  This salad keeps very well and can be make up to a day in advance.

Black Bean Corn Salad
serves 6 (3 cups total)

  • 1 14oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed OR 1 can, rinsed and drained
  • 3 TBLS Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (opt)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro OR 2 tsp dry cilantro
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin OR ¼ cup diced red onion
  • chili pepper powder (optional and to taste - I'd suggest no more than 1/2 tsp)
  • salt and pepper to taste

--Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl and stir to coat.
--Serve immediately, warm, or chilled.  

This is a very light, quick, and versatile side salad--it goes with pretty much anything you would serve a green salad with! In the summer when gardens are bursting with fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, this is a good recipe to have. This can be stored in the refrigerator for several days if you have leftovers or want to prep ahead.

Cucumber Tomato Salad
serves 6-8

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar OR white vinegar
  • 1 TBLS sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes OR a couple handfuls grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed, or to taste

--Mix vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a serving bowl with a fork or wire whisk until the sugar and salt dissolve.  
--Thinly slice cucumbers and tomatoes (tomato slices should be a little thicker than cucumber slices, about 1/8 inch thick, so they keep their form when the salad is stirred together).
--Add cucumbers and tomatoes to the bowl and gently stir until coated with dressing.  
--Sprinkle with dill, then stir once more until the dill is evenly dispersed among the veggies.
--Chill 20 minutes or until ready to serve.  

Nutrition Facts (per serving):
Calories 30 (Calories from fat 1); Total Fat 0.2g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 132mg; Potassium 212mg; Total Carbohydrate 7g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Sugars 4g; Protein 1g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 288 IU; Vitamin C 6mg; Calcium 22mg; Iron 0mg; Folic Acid 10mcg

This simple salad has a nice balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, making it great for a light yet filling breakfast or snack.

Simple Fruit & Nut Salad
serves 2

  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped or diced
  • 1/4 cup shelled walnuts OR pecans
  • 3/4 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins OR currants (optional)

--Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, 1/2 of recipe):

Calories 209 (Calories from fat 85); Total Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 62mg; Potassium 355mg; Total Carbohydrate 27g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Sugars 23g; Protein 7g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 92 IU; Vitamin C 5mg; Calcium 178mg; Iron 1mg; Folate 25mcg

This next salad is super easy to throw together.  It does best the next day, or if you have the time, let it sit all day to let the flavors mingle and meet.  I have served this in pitas, with chips, and just in a bowl with a salad or bowl of gazpacho alongside.  It would be fabulous with chunks of avocado or feta sprinkled on top.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad
original recipe can be found here.
serves 6
  • 2 14oz cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomato
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • s & p to taste
-- Combine everything in a bowl and mix it well to make sure the sugar and salt and pepper are well distributed.

This salad comes together in a snap.  In as much time as it take to heat the edamame, you can have almost the entire rest of the salad put together and just waiting for those hot little pods!  This should be chilled at least an hour, but longer is better in my book!  Serve this alongside some gazpacho or other chilled soup with some sweet potato fries on the side.

Edamame Summer Salad 
original recipe can be found here.
serves 4-6 (7 cups total)

  • 1 16 oz package frozen, shelled, edamame 
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 4 green onion, sliced thin OR 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBLS olive oil
  • 1 TBLS dry oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • s & p to taste
-- Heat edamame according to package directions -- on teh stove top or in the microwave
-- Meanwhile, combine the corn, pepper, onion, and cilantro in a serving bowl. 
-- Mix together the vinegar, oil and spices and drizzle over bowl's contents.
-- When edamame is done (bright green), drain and put into bowl with everything else.  Mix well until incorperated and shill at least an hour.

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