by Christine Hunt
Summer is almost officially here and already fresh produce is available at local farmer’s markets and produce in the grocery store is arriving from less distant locales.
So, it is time to take advantage of this bounty and partake of some fresh summer salads!!
Here are a few recipes for you to try that should perk up your palette and any meal whether it is for your family, the office picnic or a special celebration. Enjoy!
Cilantro-Lime Cucumber Salad
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cucumbers, very finely sliced (see photos)
- 4 tablespoons minced cilantro, to taste
- Dice the jalapeno and garlic and add to a medium-sized bowl.
- Add 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to incorporate the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Set aside.
- Finely slice the cucumbers. Use a mandolin if you have it, but a very sharp knife will do the trick. (See photos below.) Add the cucumbers to the dressing and stir together.
- Finely mince the cilantro and add it to the bowl. Stir to combine. You can either let it sit in the fridge to marinate for a couple hours, or serve immediately.
Make sure that you let the salad sit on the counter for a little while before serving if it’s been in the fridge; the olive oil solidifies slightly when it’s cold.
Source: Food Charlatan.com
Raw Zucchini “Sushi” Rolls
- ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight in water
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
- 3 – 4 zucchini (each yields 6 – 8 slices)
- 2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced into matchsticks
- 4 medium radishes, sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- Drain cashews and put into food processor with rice vinegar.
- Process, scraping sides with spatula if necessary, until cashews are a soft paste but still have some texture. (Depending on how long cashews were soaked you might need to add a tablespoon of water to get the right consistency.)
- Chop the ends off of your zucchini and use a vegetable peeler to peel your zucchini into long, thin strips.
- Lay zucchini strip flat and add a small spoonful of cashew mixture onto one of the ends of zucchini.
- Add a few matchsticks of veggies, avocado, and a couple of pieces of cilantro.
- Roll up and enjoy!
Source: Fresh Dreamer.com
Individual Salad Cups with Rhubarb Vinaigrette
- 6 Tbsp fresh rhubarb puree (recipe below)
- 4 Tbsp champagne vinegar (or other mild white vinegar)
- 4 tsp honey
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used whole grain)
- 4-6 Tbsp mild olive oil
- pinch of salt and black pepper
- 8 plastic tumblers, the kind that flare out, not the straight ones (mine were 10 oz)
- 8 appetizer picks
- 1 head green endive
- 1 head purple or red endive
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 carrots
- 8 scallions
- about 16 green beans
- 8 radishes
- 16 snap or snow peas
- about 24 small multicolored cherry tomatoes
- 8 small radishes
- fresh basil and/or thyme leaves for garnish
- To make rhubarb puree, wash and trim the ends off of several stalks of rhubarb. Cut them in 1 inch pieces.
- Put the rhubarb into a saucepan and add a splash of water. Bring up to a boil, turn down the heat, and summer it for about 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb softens. Add a little bit of extra water if it runs dry.
- Let the mixture cool a bit and then puree in a small food processor. Measure out 6 tablespoons for the dressing recipe.
- To make the Rhubarb Vinaigrette put all the ingredients in a small food processor and blend until creamy. Taste and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking. Refrigerate until needed.
- When ready to assemble the cups, spoon 2 tablespoons of the dressing into the bottom of each cup.
- Trim the ends off the endive and carefully separate the leaves. You will need about 3 leaves per cup. Trim the leaves as necessary, from the bottom end, so that they extend an inch or so above the rim of the cup, as shown in the photos.
- Cut the bell peppers and carrots into thin strips and layer them into the cups, along with the trimmed green beans, pea pods, and scallions.
- Thread 3 tomatoes onto each skewer and add it. Finish with the radish and herbs for garnish.
- The cups should be full but not crowded. Assemble just before serving.
Source: The View From Great Island.com
Salads are the best way to get the most nutrition from your food and the fiber helps keep your intestinal walls clean so that those nutrients can be easily absorbed into your blood stream.
Anyone who is trying to lose weight or reduce inflammation as a way to begin the healing process from chronic illness should be incorporating lots of vegetables and fruits into their meal plans (at least 50% of what they eat daily) and 10% – 30% of it should be in raw form.
If you want to make a salad a heartier, main meal and avoid the unhealthy animal fats, add plant protein with a variety of beans, quinoa, couscous, rice, or lentils.
To your health!