Favorite Summer Salads

29 Jul

It’s hot out. Trust me–you do not want to fire up that oven! I made that mistake a couple of weeks ago on one of our 100-degree days. I was absolutely pooped the rest of the day and struggled to be chipper throughout my night shift.

Since then, I’ve resorted to putting some of those fresh veggies in my fridge to use. I have a couple of favorite recipes that I’ve adapted to make them more “clean”.

Broccoli Salad

This is a take on the well-known broccoli bacon salad. Instead of making a salad that drenches broccoli in mayonnaise and increases the fat content with bacon, I found a recipe like this one (http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2010/06/09/easy-broccoli-salad-recipe/), which replaces the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt.


In order to make this quick and easy salad, you’ll need:

  • 2-3 heads of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 serving of slivered almonds (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins or craisins

When I make this salad, I just use raw broccoli. Other recipes recommend blanching the broccoli first to make it easier to digest. I simply put the broccoli, almonds, and raisins together in a bowl. Then I whisk the Greek yogurt (I tend to use 1/3 cup instead of 1/4 because I like broccoli and have to even out the dressing a bit) with the balsamic vinegar. There are several variations to this. If the dressing is too think, I add a bit of almond milk to smooth it out a bit. If I want to make it a bit sweeter, I put about 2 tsp of honey into the dressing.

After whisking the dressing, I pour it over the salad and toss it well. Put the salad in the fridge for at least half and hour, and you’ll have a cool, healthy treat for lunch or dinner.

Summer Slaw

My husband and I attended an “informational session” at Crossfit GP when the new location had  first opened on M Street. We had heard all about Crossfit in Korea and thought we’d check it out. The mini-workout they had us do was a lot of fun. As guests who attended the session, our names were put into a drawing, and we won a paleo cookbook! It has been a wonderful resource. There are parts of the paleo diet that wouldn’t work for me personally (like not having legumes–as an athlete, I refuse to cut peanuts out of my diet when I am not getting ready for a show). Because I have Celiac’s disease, I am already pretty restricted and choose clean sources of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that are signatures of the Paleo diet. Here is the book we won:

EP(Sarah, the author, has her own website by the same name. It’s a very informative resource. I recommend checking it out if you’re curious about the Paleo lifestyle or just need some inspiration for recipes:    http://everydaypaleo.com/.)

The book has a recipe for “Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Slaw.” I have basically adapted Sarah’s recipe to utilize food that I almost always have on hand. You’ll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts or 5 chicken tenderloins, cooked and chopped
  • 1 small apple
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (I usually get the 2 bags of packaged shredded cabbage mix)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

The only other thing that Sarah puts in her slaw is 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes. You could use those, or the other day I had two fresh plum tomatoes that needed to be eaten, so I chopped them up and tossed them in.

First cut up your cooked chicken, apple, and fresh tomatoes (if applicable). Toss that all in a bowl together. Then whisk the olive oil, balsamic, oregano, salt, and pepper together. Toss the dressing in with the salad and refrigerate for at least half an hour. My husband absolutely loves this one; I make it at least once a week for our work lunches.

With either salad, you can add or substitute ingredients. The slaw would probably be good with canned tuna instead of chicken; you could add raisins instead of an apple. Be sure to go easy with using raisins, though, as they are high in sugar (still somewhat okay because it is natural sugar!).

Enjoy these summer salads. Remember, it’s important to eat healthily while beating the heat!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: