Salad Daze!

The weather is warming up and I’m turning to more vegetable based meals.  Salads are the perfect meal for my family!  I have to watch which cooked vegetables I serve due to a couple of picky eaters, but they’ll eat any vegetable raw.  So I take full advantage of local produce that is officially coming our way and plan yummy salads that provide protein and a deliciously light meal  I’m sharing three of my favorites with you today.  Serve them with grilled meat or on their own…it’s your choice!

Mexican Mixed Salad

Panzanella Salad

Arugula with Zucchini with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette


Mexican Mixed Salad

My friend, Holly McClure, has cooking origins that go back to her Native American heritage and her travels all over the world.  We recently joined her for dinner and she served the most delicious salad.  She shared the ingredients she used that evening.  This is a salad that is flexible.  You can add black beans, or any bean for more fiber, the nuts can be varied or you might want to add pumpkin or sunflower seeds.  Let your pantry be your guide!  The interesting thing about this salad is that part of the vegetables are lightly sauteed in coconut oil, a very healthy addition to our diet.  That same oil becomes the base for the dressing…it’s really yummy!

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 yellow onion finely diced

2 stalks celery finely diced

1 red pepper, peeled, seeded and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup fresh or frozen corn off the cob (When corn is in I buy the organic variety otherwise I use the same, but frozen)

1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup pecan pieces or nut of choice

1 head butter lettuce

2 cups thinly sliced fresh cabbage, red or green

2 cups organic baby spinach

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 avocado, cut in chunks

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Pink Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Heat the oil until just warm and add the onion, celery and peppers.  Lightly saute until the onion is just transparent.  Add the garlic, corn, hominy, beans (if desired) and nuts.  Heat through until then corn is just tender.  In a large bowl tear the salad greens and toss with tomato and avocado.  Pour the contents of your saute pan over the salad and toss with the lime juice and seasoning.  Serve with warm tortillas or flat bread.


Panzanella Salad

Nothing says warm weather more than fresh, vine ripened tomatoes and basil.  There always seems to be part of a baguette from dinner the evening before in my kitchen.  This salad is the perfect solution for a dinner everyone loves, serve with your favorite grilled meat of leave it as a healthy plant based meal!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 baguette, day old (1/2 of the longer baguettes serves about four, if you have more to feed use the entire baguette), cut into 1 inch cube

1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan salt

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced

1 cup fresh basil leaves, hand torn

1 cup pitted black olives, I like to use Kalamata’s because of the salty factor they add to the mix

1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the bread cubes, sprinkle with salt and allow to cook, tossing the often, until they are golden brown all over.  Toss the cubes in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and top with the following vinaigrette.


1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pink Himalayan salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and toss with bread mixture.  Enjoy!

zucchini carpaccio

Arugula with Zucchini with Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette

This is one of my most favorite summer salads.  I’ve been preparing it for years and it’s always a hit.  I like to make zucchini ribbons by using a potato peeler to cut long, thin strips for this dish, but you can always cut it in slices or chunks.

1 box of organic, baby arugula

1 large zucchini, washed and cut in strips, slices or chunks

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

shaved Parmesano Regianno for garnish

Wash the arugula and gently pat it dry with paper toweling, chill until ready to assemble the salad.  Prepare the zucchini to your liking and chill.  Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice with the garlic and seasoning.  Place the arugula and zucchini in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.  Garnish with the cheese and serve with crusty bread.  This is also good topped with grilled shrimp.

2 Responses

  1. Harold Michael Harvey Says:

    I think I will prepare all three of these in the coming days.

  2. Melissa Says:

    So happy you like the recipes! Happy cooking!

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