Warm weather brings a bounty of fresh fruits of vegetables, many of them locally grown. As temperatures rise our appetites many prompt us to eat lighter meals. Salads are the perfect remedy for this. Eating salads is also a quick and easy way to get you in and out of the kitchen fast. You can create a salad with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, or stick to dark leafy greens with a light vinaigrette.
Hot Chicken Salad
This is flexibility at its best. Serve this one hot or cold. Cook the poultry or buy it at the deli. Isnít it nice to have options?
10 oz chicken or turkey
3-4 TBS reduced fat mayonnaise
3/4 c sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS chopped: red onion, red pepper, parsley
4 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled
If you have leftover poultry this will take care of it. If you donít and you donít want to cook the chicken, stop at the grocerís deli and get a rotisserie chicken or turkey breast and youíre good to go. Mix all ingredients together. Place in refrigerator to cool or bake at 350 for 20 minutes till hot and bubbly.
Salads can get pretty boring if you donít jazz them up a bit. I think you may make this one a couple of times before you tire of it.
1 clove garlic, minced
ľ cup low-fat mayonnaise
ľ cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 cups each finely chopped broccoli and cauliflower florets
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
3 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled
3 TBS dried cranberries
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Whisk garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl. Add broccoli, water chestnuts, bacon, cranberries and pepper; stir to coat with the dressing. Donít like cranberries? Substitute raisins, dates, dried apricots, cherries or blueberries. Just go easy with them. Theyíre not meant to be dessert.
Build Your Own Salad Bar
Loose Leaf Lettuce
Mushrooms, Shredded Carrots, Chopped Boiled Eggs, Sliced Red Onions, Croutons, Cucumbers, Sunflower Seeds, Nuts, Grape Tomatoes, Fruit, Beans, Olives, Shredded Cheese, Sliced Beets, Chopped or Shredded Meat/Poultry.
Set out an assortment of bottled salad dressings and serve at least one homemade dressing.
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon- type mustard
1 TBS shallots, finely minced
2 cups olive or canola oil
1 tsp sugar
1 avocado, finely chopped
1 sea salt
Ĺ tsp black pepper
Add vinegar and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the sugar and slowly add oil until emulsified. Pour mixture into a small bowl and then add avocado, shallots, salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bottle.