Thursday, July 20, 2017

National Salad Week

The fourth week of July is National Salad Week. Salads are a great choice for everyone. They are an easy to make entrĂ©e or side dish and are especially pleasing during hot summer months. People who are not used to making salads may enjoy them more when they realize how many options there are for customizing salads to their own tastes.  When it is hot outside a nice cool salad is the perfect answer to "What's for Supper?"  Here are a few tips for creating a festive salad:
  • Try different greens. Iceberg lettuce is the most popular, but there are many kinds of lettuce and
  • greens that offer different flavors and more nutrients. Dark green leaves are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, folic acid, and calcium.
  • Add fresh herbs. They are low in calories but really boost flavor. Popular choices include basil, dill, chives, and parsley. Start with a teaspoon of herbs per person, and adjust the amount according to taste.
  • Experiment with various toppings. Salads look great with colorful fruits and vegetables mixed in. Artichoke hearts, nuts, and seeds are also flavorful additions. If you are grilling, try adding kabobs to your salad. Bell peppers, onions, and squash work well as the vegetables, and you may add lean chicken, beef, or pork to the kabob as desired.
  • Dress your salad. With so many salad dressings available, salads never have to get boring. Look for
  • ones that are low in carbohydrates, and dress (don’t drown) your salad.
 Experiment with your favorite combinations and create your own dressings.  One of my favorite dressings is malt vinegar with a little honey.  Stir well or shake in a jar.  You can make it as sweet or tangy as you want. 

Last week I made a beet and mandarin orange salad with a dressing of red wine vinegar and mandarin orange juice with chopped mint and some olive oil to hold it together.  The salad was spiralized beets and mandarin oranges.

Try this fun combination

Summer Watermelon Salad

3/4 cup halved, thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 1/2 quarts seeded, cubed watermelon
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pitted black olive halves
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. The acid of the lime will mellow the flavor of the raw onion. Let stand for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, feta cheese, black olives, onions with the lime juice, and mint. Drizzle olive oil over it all, and toss to blend.