It's almost summertime, and what summertime means to me living in San Gabriel valley is hot!!
You haven't lived life until your air conditioner comes to life, tries to fight you because it's 112 degrees and they are tired of you leaving them on all night. They need a break too! Hehe.
What the summer heat also means to me, is change of food intake because of the heat. Even though I am fortunate enough to have the luxury of air conditioning, being in the kitchen just isn't the same, not to mention it truly depends on how you want to feel after a meal and having to go outside and endure the heat.
From experience, there is a HUGE difference from eating mouth watering sarma (stuffed cabbage from the Balkans) with mashed potatoes and tomato sauce, and walking out in the 112 degree heat. It will be uncomfortable, as with any heavy food. (Sorry, I said sarma and now my mouth is really watering)
In this fun filled blog, we are going to talk about SALADS, SALADS, SALADS!!!!!!! Three of them to be exact, that are not only healthy, but perfect for those who want to avoid cooking for extended periods of time in the summer heat, as well as being light on your stomach.
So I'd like to welcome you the reader into my kitchen!! No I'm serious, more than welcome to come over anytime and help me clean up after a meal, it's the only part of cooking I don't get too thrilled about, but I clean up as I go.
The first salad I would like to introduce to you is a "Spinach Strawberry Salad with Feta or Goat cheese.
SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH GOAT OR FETA CHEESE
Prep time 20 minutes
- 1 pint of strawberries (or a little extra to your liking)
- 1/2 cup of plain almonds (only if using feta cheese)
- 4 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- * can add fresh kale, pecans, blueberries, walnuts or avocado to this salad
Poppy Dressing Ingredients:
- 1/3 Cup Olive oil
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons white or balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Wash and cut strawberries. Set strawberries, almonds, and cheese aside. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Mix the poppy dressing ingredients together, shake very well.
Take a take a tablespoon of the dressing and drizzle over the spinach and toss it, then repeat the process until the spinach is lightly dressed.
Place spinach on serving dish, add the strawberries, almonds and cheese, then enjoy!!
You are more then welcome to add more dressing, or toppings if you desire.
Prep time 20 minutes
This is one of my favorite salads in seeing I have been devouring it my entire life.
- 2/3 c. vegetable oil
- 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, halved
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. basil, crushed
- 1/4 tsp. each dried thyme, oregano, marjoram & pepper
- 6 tomatoes, cut into large dice
- 1 red pepper, cut into large dice
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into large dice
- 1-2 heads or hearts of Romaine Lettuce, washed, chopped and chilled, unless packaged bought
Refrigerate the dressing overnight. Cut the tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce if not store packaged bought.
In a serving dish, place the lettuce first, then top it off with rest of the ingredients, and use the dressing to your liking.
PERSIAN WATERMELON SALAD
I chose this salad because for one, I love watermelon, and 2, what better way to stay a little extra hydrated by having some watermelon? Everybody loves watermelon, well, I know I won't turn it down. Did I mention that watermelon is high in Vitamin C, and packed with potassium, and magnesium. I know, I know, watermelon in a salad you are saying to yourself, no worries, your tastebuds won't be disappointed.
- 3 Cups cold seedless watermelon (without skin)
- 1 Cup Persian or goats feta
- 2 Cups spinach
- 1 small bunch freshly chopped parsley leaves or few handfuls micro herbs
- ½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1 pomegranate
- 1/4 Cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- cold pressed olive oil to drizzle the watermelon into thin bit sized wedges.
Slice the watermelon into thin bit sized wedges.
Wash the rocket leaves and arrange onto a serving platter.
Add the watermelon and gently mix through the leaves.
Top with parsley or micro herbs and red sliced onion.
Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and add to the salad along with pistachio nuts.
Drizzle with cold pressed olive oil just before serving.
I know right??!
Delicious, easy to make, and perfect for the summertime.