Salad days

Summer is quickly coming to an end (:::sob!:::) and so is summer produce (bigger sob!).  The propane for the grill is quickly waning, the sun is fading sooner, and the trees are just starting to change colors.  Are you crying yet?

While all of these may be true, it is never too late to make a good salad.  Turn that grill on one last time and pick those still ripe veggies from the garden.  Even if it isn’t summer, salads are a great addition to a well-rounded diet any time of year.  Add a piece of good bread, seasonal fruit or a baked potato for a rounded meal.

The great thing about salads is that they are easily adaptable to tastes, budgets, and seasonal availability.  Also, they allow the maker to tap into their inner chef and be creative!  Following are some of my favorite mixes:

Southwest Salad

Ingredients:

2-3 cups romaine or spinach

1/2 cup fresh or canned, drained corn

1/3-1/2 cup black beans

1 tomato, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 avocado, sliced or diced

1 chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled

Dressing: mixture of ranch and barbecue sauce, about 1/4 cup

Spinach and Strawberry Side Salad

Ingredients:

2-3 cups baby spinach leaves

2/3 cup sliced strawberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing (sounds weird, but it is good!)

The “Nutmeg”

(This is one that I continually make and maybe change up a few ingredients)

Ingredients:

2-3 cups spinach or baby greens

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 tomato, diced

1/2 cucumber, halved and sliced [or] 2 oz. sliced mushrooms

1 small can of cooked chicken [or] 1 can of tuna

2-3 Tbsp. sliced almonds [or] 2-3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

Balsamic or Raspberry Vinaigrette – to your liking

As this last one shows, it really is up to your imagination and taste!  There are many more ingredients you can add as well – mandarin oranges, zucchini, squash, navy beans, beets, artichokes, chickpeas …. the list goes on!

What kind of salads do you like to make?

To your health,

M