Raw Vegetable Salad

I’m always looking for another salad recipe in the summer. This is partly because I don’t get a lunch break while teaching summer school. Therefore, my lunch is often consumed in 10 minute increments while the students are on break. However, the best reason for finding good salad recipes in the summer is the abundance of fresh vegetables! The salad dressing is the best part of this salad, so be flexible and use it for any sort of fresh vegetable salad you wish. You’ll be pleased with this even if you just pour the dressing over your favorite lettuce.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 8 cups of chopped fresh vegetables
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

For this post I used what I had in the refrigerator at the time…

red cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini squash, bell pepper

Use whatever you have on hand, or go buy your favorite veggies

Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons grated onion
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

Toppings

  • sunflower kernels
  • six slices of bacon, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Chop the vegetables.

Chopped vegetables and cranberries
Chopped vegetables and cranberries

Mix the dressing ingredients.

Salad Dressing for Raw Vegetable Salad
Salad Dressing for Raw Vegetable Salad

Pour the dressing over the vegetables. Stir in the dressing and desired toppings.

Raw Vegetable Salad
Raw Vegetable Salad

 

White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Once again, I was in search of a salad and happened along a recipe for inspiration. This is an easy salad you could take along on a summer picnic. I made it without chicken, but I’ve left it in as an optional ingredient.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 oz. snow peas
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 navel orange, halved and sectioned
  • 1 cup cooked cubed chicken (optional)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Chop cabbage.

shredded cabbage
shredded cabbage

Section and cut the orange.

orange pieces
orange pieces

Wash the snow peas. Combine all of the salad ingredients except the peanuts.Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and refrigerate overnight. Stir and top with peanuts before serving.

White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
White Bean Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Green Bean Salad

I was just in the mood for a green bean salad when I created this. You shouldn’t need much of an excuse to make a salad in the summer

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 8 oz grape tomatoes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 oz prosciutto cut into pieces or 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 6 oz feta, crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

Wash and clean the green beans. Cut or break them into bite-sized pieces. Microwave them on high for about 3 minutes until they are tender.

Green Beans-cooked until tender
Green Beans-cooked until tender

Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet. Place the torn basil leaves on top.

grape tomatoes and basil-ready for the oven
grape tomatoes and basil-ready for the oven

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

roasted tomatoes and basil
roasted tomatoes and basil

Place the pine nuts in a small skillet and toast them over medium low heat until they are golden brown.

toasted pine nuts
toasted pine nuts

Place the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients.

dressing for the salad
dressing for the salad

Pour the dressing over the salad.

Green Bean Salad
Green Bean Salad

Toss and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This is just another great salad I love. You can add chicken if you’d like to make it a “meal”. Of course, I find that unnecessary and usually enjoy it for lunch without meat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 3.5-4 oz crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Tablespoons lemon juice
  •  1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the quinoa. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the broth is absorbed.

Cooked Quinoa
Cooked Quinoa

Chop the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces.

Red Bell Pepper in bite-sized pieces
Red Bell Pepper in bite-sized pieces

Chop the  onion.

Chopped red onion
Chopped red onion

Mince the garlic. Chop the olives.

Chopped Kalamata Olives
Chopped Kalamata Olives

Chop the parsley.

Cjhopped parsley
Chopped parsley

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Refrigerate over night and  serve cold.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Salad

I don’t have any interesting stories behind this recipe. I was just looking for another salad option and came across a recipe that inspired this salad.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 oz. crumbled feta
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Wash the asparagus and cut off about and inch of the ends because they are sometimes tough. Cut the asparagus into pieces about 1 to 2  inches long.

Asparagus pieces
Asparagus pieces

Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes on high until the asparagus is just tender. Wash the bell pepper and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Red Bell Pepper in bite-sized pieces
Red Bell Pepper in bite-sized pieces

Place the pecan pieces in a small skillet over medium heat and toast for about 3 minutes.

Toasting the pecan pieces
Toasting the pecan pieces

Cut the smoked salmon into bite-sized pieces. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Salad dressing
Salad dressing

Put everything together in a bowl and mix.

Salad ingredients
Salad ingredients

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Asparagus Smoked Salmon Salad
Asparagus Smoked Salmon Salad

Easiest, Tastiest Coleslaw

This cole slaw is so easy, I don’t even make it until I’m ready to serve it. I’ve had people tell me that they don’t care much for cole slaw, but they like mine. I think the secret is the Greek seasoning. You can always adjust the Greek seasoning to meet the taste of your family.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1- 14oz package cole slaw mix
  • 3/4 cup mayonaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Mix all ingredients together.

Mayonnaise, Coleslaw, and Greek Seasoning
Mayonnaise, Coleslaw, and Greek Seasoning

Serve.

Cole Slaw
Cole Slaw

Asian Noodle Salad

My inspiration for this recipe comes from a Thai Noodle Salad I once had on a cruise ship and my desire to use the left over Special Sauce from my lettuce wraps recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • about 5 oz. Bean Thread Noodles or other rice noodles
  • 1 bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cucumber (seeded and sliced)
  • 1 carrot (julienned)
  • 1/4 cup basil (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro(chopped)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef (optional)
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts

DRESSING (AKA Special Sauce for Lettuce Wraps) INGREDIENTS

  • 2  T. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/8 t. sesame oil
  • 1/2 T. hot mustard
  • 1 t. red chili paste

NIGHT BEFORE

Soak the rice noodles in warm water according to the package directions.

Bean Thread Noodles
Bean Thread Noodles

Slice the bell pepper,  onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Julienne the carrot.

Sliced Bell pepper
Sliced Bell pepper
Seeded and sliced cucumber
Seeded and sliced cucumber
halved cherry tomatoes
halved cherry tomatoes
sliced onion
sliced onion
julienned carrot
julienned carrot
basil and cilantro
basil and cilantro

Chop the cilantro and basil. Brown the ground beef. Mix together Dressing ingredients.

Dressing for Asian Noodle Salad
Dressing for Asian Noodle Salad

Mix together all of the ingredients except the peanuts. Stir in the dressing.  Refrigerate.

BEFORE SERVING

Toss the salad and add the peanuts when you are ready to serve.

Asian Noodle Salad
Asian Noodle Salad

 

Quick and Easy Chicken Salad

This is another quick and easy salad that you can make Friday night so you can eat on a busy Saturday for lunch.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped apple, or chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Serves 2-3 people

DIRECTIONS

Put 2 cups of leftover chicken in a bowl.

Leftover Chicken
Leftover Chicken

Add the remaining ingredients.

Chicken Salad--ready to mix up
Chicken Salad–ready to mix up

Mix well. Serve over a bed of your favorite lettuce or spinach leaves.

Chicken Salad on a bed of iceberg lettuce
Chicken Salad on a bed of iceberg lettuce

Pasta Salad on the Weekend

I have to plan my weekend meals differently than weeknight meals. We often spend weekends finishing up home improvement projects, doing car repairs, or yard work.  If I’m spending the day sweating in the backyard, I don’t have time to stop and cook lunch or dinner.  Sure, Sonic, Braums, and Wendy’s are less than a mile from our home, but I’d rather not spend the money on food I don’t really enjoy.  Therefore, I often fix a pasta salad Friday evening or Saturday morning. (Yes, I readily admit to being one of those cheerful morning people that most of you growl at as you are filling up your cup of coffee.) This is a great make-ahead dish that actually tastes better made ahead of time.  So, whether you need lunch on the weekend or a dish to take to a summer gathering, I think you will find this salad tasty.

Pasta Salad Recipe

  • 9 oz of cheese tortellini or rotini pasta
  • 12-14 oz of fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/4 small onion (optional)
  • 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 can black olives
  • 8 oz Italian salad dressing
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella,  or colby-jack)
  • 8 oz ham (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. 20150712_101341Microwave broccoli until al dente (about 3 or 4 minutes).

broccoli in a microwavable bowl
broccoli in a microwavable bowl

Meanwhile, cut the onion and bell pepper into slices and half the tomatoes and black olives.

onion and pepper
onion and pepper
chopped black olives
chopped black olives

Cube the ham.

cubed ham
cubed ham

Allow the pasta and broccoli to cool.  (I usually place them in the refrigerator while I do my chopping).  Finally, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

pasta salad
pasta salad

Refrigerate until ready to serve.