It’s National Salad Week. With warm weather and an abundance of summer fruits and vegetables throughout the Treasure Valley, it’s a great time to add some new and interesting salads to your menu. A salad is usually thought of as a side dish, but there’s no reason you can’t make it the star of your meal and build around it. If your idea of salad is a bowl of lettuce with a few slices of tomato or some shredded carrots, it’s time to expand your repertoire. Here are some links and ideas to help you get started.
Vietnamese Beef Salad This is a favorite in the Boise Healthy Living Examiner’s home. With so many layers of tastes and textures, you’ll find something for everyone. Cut the flank steak into small pieces before marinating and it will cook faster. If your family doesn’t care for spicy foods, only use 1 tsp of chili paste. Add more if you like it really spicy. Serve with a glass of iced green tea.
Farm Stand Chicken Salad Similar to the Harvest Chicken Salad at Quizno’s, this is a recipe that can be varied to suit your taste. Combine cooked, cubed chicken with chopped celery, green or Fuji apples, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, sunflower or roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and red or green grapes. Mix with enough mayonnaise to coat. (The Boise Healthy Living Examiner recommends Smart Balance Omega Plus Light Mayonnaise.) Or use Greek yogurt and a little agave nectar in place of the mayonnaise. You may wish to add a sprinkle of apple or pumpkin pie spice. Try this by itself, on a bed of spinach, with whole wheat crackers, stuffed into a pita, or wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.
Mango Pineapple Salad with Mint Fruit salads can stand in for dessert and stave off your sweet tooth without adding a lot of extra calories. The smooth, creamy texture of mango is wonderful when paired with the sparkling taste of mint. Try this dish with grilled chicken or pork for a delicious meal with a tropical feel.
Chicken and Salad Pizza Why should the salad bowl have all the glory? This is a terrific entrée when the weather’s hot, especially if you have leftover grilled chicken. Easy to make with whatever’s on hand and it’s a complete meal with a light, fresh taste.
Thai Cucumber Tomato Salad Looking for a way to use up all that bounty spilling from your Treasure Valley garden right about now? This recipe combines tomatoes and cucumbers with some unexpected flavors for a light, refreshing side dish. Try this dish when serving steaks or burgers to give your classic cookout a little twist.
Kitchen Sink Fruit Salad For a delicious end to any meal, or a healthy snack at any time of the day, empty out the bottom drawer of your refrigerator. Try to use as many colors of the rainbow as possible. For red, use strawberries, raspberries, or red grapes. Bring in some orange with nectarine, cantaloupe or mandarin orange slices. For yellow, try mango, pineapple, or banana. Go green with kiwi, honeydew, or green grapes. Add blue and purple with blueberries and blackberries. The combined effect is a bright and colorful display, packed with antioxidants and other nutrients for good health.
Talk it up:
What’s your favorite salad recipe?
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