Unless you’re in New England for the summer, chances are you’re going to be HOT for the next couple of weeks. A huge pocket of hot weather is stretching most of the way across the country, and for many people, relief will be hard to find.
Here in Florida, we keep the air conditioner blasting most of the summer, but not everyone has that luxury (and frankly, I think that extreme temperature shock is why the flu goes around here so often in the summer). The last thing you want to do is heat up the oven to make supper.
So, on this week’s Wellness Wednesday, I want to give you a couple of cool, fresh, and delicious salad ideas that will satisfy the whole family. For each one, I’ll do the portions for one person, so you can multiply the amounts by the number of people you have to feed.
Nutty Colorful Swiss Chard Salad
First, it was lettuce, then spinach, now kale is living in the spotlight at Whole Foods. Meanwhile, Swiss chard, with all its amazing antioxidant value and fresh flavor, has been left in the shadows. This salad covers a wide palette of flavors and colors. It’s almost too pretty to eat, but you don’t want to miss out on one bite. It also leaves out the nightshades that are so common in salads.
2 cups rainbow Swiss chard
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tsp. balsamic vinegar
Ground pink salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 small radishes, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp dried sweetened cranberries
2 Tbsp almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp feta cheese
1 bunch parsley
1/4 avocado, sliced or whipped
- Wash the chard very well and spin dry. Thinly slice, taking special care to slice the ribs particularly thinly.
- Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to the chard. Massage it well for about 15 seconds or so.
- Add the radishes, cranberries, almonds, feta, parsley and avocado. Toss lightly to combine.
The Ultimate Superfood Salad Recipe
Superman, IronMan, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, The Lone Ranger, and James Bond all appear in a movie together. Then ObiWan Kenobi shows up. Sounds great, right?
But this super salad would work. Kale is the antioxidant base, with plenty of cancer-fighting chlorophyll. Blueberries are amazing for your brain. Avocado is one of the best natural fats you can feed your body. Sprouts take all the nutrients we love in our favorite vegetables and ramp up the concentrations. Cherries are anti-inflammatory and loaded with vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber. Every possible combination of flavor sensations will wash over your taste buds as you enjoy this one.
- 1 head kale
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Large handful of sprouts (any kind will do)
- Handful of fresh herbs (parsley, mint, basil, marjoram, cilantro)
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup fresh dulse
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6-8 black olives (stored in brine, not oil), pitted
- Handful of dried tart cherries
- Handful of fresh blueberries
Directions: De-stem the kale and roughly chop it before placing into a large bowl. Add the salt and using hands, massage the kale. The salt will break down the tough cell walls of the kale and make it easier to chew. Massage until the kale begins to give off water. Squeeze the lemon over the kale and massage a few more seconds. Drain any green water, toss in the sprouts and herbs, and set the bowl aside.
In a separate, smaller bowl, peel and remove the pit of the avocado. Mash the flesh with the back of a fork and add the dulse, nutritional yeast, tomatoes, olives, and dried cherries. Mix with the fork, slightly mashing as you go to release the juices of the tomatoes and thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
Now for the fun part. With clean hands, massage the avocado mixture into the greens, making sure to coat each leaf evenly. Use tongs to toss the mixture and give it perk. Serve with a few fresh raspberries per serving as a top garnish.
BroccoLeaf Slaw Shredded Salad
(Recipe courtesy of Foxy Produce)
For the slaw mix:
1 bunch BroccoLeaf, taken off stems and shredded (about 4 cups)
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup toasted and salted slivered almonds
¾ cup dried cranberries
For the dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
¼ cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Mix the BroccoLeaf, cabbage, carrots and red onion in a medium sized bowl. Reserve the almonds and cranberries.
- In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, mustard, canola oil, salt and pepper. Pour over slaw mix and toss to combine. Add the almonds and cranberries.
Farm Fresh Chicken Fruit Salad
- 1 cup fresh summer berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, halved strawberries, raspberries)
- 2 cups fresh spring greens (some combination of spinach, romaine, arugula, and Swiss chard)
- 1 fresh chicken breast, diced or shredded
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds (or try pumpkin seeds!)
- 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- In a small bowl, mix olive oil and lemon juice
- In a small skillet, brown the chicken breast over medium heat with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
- Toss greens with the oil and lemon juice mix.
- Top with fruit, diced chicken, and nuts to taste.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Refreshing Harvest Salad
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and red onion.
- In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, walnut oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving, and toss to coat.
If you’ve got one of those carnivores in your house that just simply will NOT eat a meal that doesn’t contain meat, just add some diced chicken breast or some grilled wild salmon.
This is just a start. You probably have some favorite salad recipes of your own. I’d love to hear about them. Share your favorites in the comments on Facebook. Who knows? Maybe a great summer recipe book will come out of this! Wouldn’t that be great? In the meantime, let’s share some ideas. And don’t forget to share this article. You never know who might be looking for a simple, low-heat summer salad recipe right now.
“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas