Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{Tasty Tuesdays: Summer Salad Ideas}

It's June, a month synonymous with summer.
And what food goes better with summer, I ask, than salad?

Following are a few ideas to take your summer salads from basic to bad ass.
They do it without the calories and fat of most dressings -- 'tis bathing suit
season, afterall -- and with a variety of grains and greens.

Salad with Pan-Roasted Tomatoes, Bright Green
Beans & Other Wonderful Things

This salad gives you a double dose of protein. I tossed the tuna (or chickpeas) in a
mixture of Dijon Mustard, red wine vinegar, EVOO, and diced shallot. The eggs are
hard boiled and the tomatoes are pan-roasted. I let the beans simmer for three
minutes to bring out their color and soften them a little. Your other vegetable can be
cucumbers, as pictured here, or anything else you have in the crisper. And yes, there's
some lettuce under there somewhere. I got this idea from Everyday Food. I like how
the toppings are compartmentalized like this because it made it feel less ordinary.
This salad has a lot of good textures and flavors.

Arizona Summer Salad

This no lettuce salad is my personal creation that came about almost by accident. It's
delightful on it's own, but it would make a totally respectable taco filling or side dish.
Here's what's in it: White beans, tomatoes, jalapeno (ribbed and seeded), avocado,
yellow bell pepper, a bit of yellow onion, a package of frozen spinach that's been thawed
and thoroughly squeezed of all it's excess water, and a handful of shredded cheese. Hit it
with some salt (especially on the spinach) and a drizzle of fresh lime juice at the end. It
takes all of 12 minutes to make. It provides iron, good fats, protein, calcium, and vitamins.
Plus, it's light, tasty and colorful -- summer splendor in a dish.

Brown Rice Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes, Cucumber
& Homemade Dill Vinaigrette

This salad is out of sight! It's visually simplistic, but it'll make our tongue dance. The
flavors in it are magically wonderful. This recipe calls for an easy vinaigrette made
with 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons (plus) chopped
fresh dill, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, salt, and pepper. That gets mixed
with 2 cups cooked brown rice, 2 cucumbers (peeled and seeded), 2 cups fresh spinach,
and 2 tomatoes (diced). A must try.

So, there you have it -- three healthy summer salads that bring a little variety and a lot
of flavor to your table. Thanks for stopping by today. What have you been cooking?


Olivia said...

Yum!! These look delish! Will have to add to my ever-expanding folder of recipes to try!

Kristi said...

Gorgeous food photos! A girl after my own heart ;)

alissa said...

All three of these salads are so beautiful and sound delicious! They are power packed with so many things that are good for you - love that! Can't wait for my veggies to ripen so I can try a few.


Anonymous said...

I am also a transplant and have been out here now for three years. I just love the sunshine, positive people who stay in shape and the yummy food this city has to offer. I just printed out these salad ideas as well. Happy Summer to eating healthy everyone.