7.30.2015

Simple Summer - Salads of all Kinds

Good Morning! Or is it afternoon? Evening? Whatever time of the day it is I'm glad you stopped in! Here, let me give you a hug. There. That's better. So, what have you been doing this summer? Have you gotten the opportunity to have any simple, homey type days and/or nights? I hope so.

Besides iced tea, salads may be the quintessential summer meal. Salads are a simple no cook summer meal with endless possibilities. If versatility is your thing, then salads are just the ticket. There are so many salad combinations possible that sharing recipes is next to impossible. Not everyone at our house eats salads, but I still have lots of ideas to share. Some of us eat salads so these ideas have passed our taste testers.

When choosing what salad to make, I look at what I already have on hand and go from there. Sometimes it's a pasta night, sometimes rice fits the bill, and other nights it must be crisp fresh greens. Once the filler has been chosen I add meat, veggies, seasonings, and sometimes cheese and dressing. Cooking large batches of pasta and/or grain of choice early in the week makes meal prep even easier.

Thinly sliced steak and cubed roasted chicken seasoned with cajun seasoning are my favorite meat choices. Both work equally well with pasta, grains, or greens. When using a dressing I usually use an italian dressing as it is light and delicious with a large variety of meats. I don't use dressing with the cajun seasoned chicken as the seasonings on the meat are enough for the entire dish. Sometimes I use plain old salt and pepper to season the chicken. Then I can season my salad however the mood strikes.

Possible combinations of veggies, seasonings, and cheeses are endless. Whatever flavor a person desires can be achieved. In the mood for the flavors of Greek cuisine? Use feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a favorite greek herb. Perhaps your cravings are more south of the border. Try spicing things up with your favorite peppers, cheese, and/or salsa. A house seasoning of salt, pepper, and garlic powder is my all time favorite go-to choice for most everything I make. Well, except sweets. Another never fail combination is that of steak/chicken, greens/pasta, diced cucumbers, diced bell peppers, and italian dressing. Those who enjoy raw onions would probably enjoy the addition of diced or minced onion. Parmesan cheese also fits in nicely. This salad can be easily prepared in advance by combining everything except the pasta/greens and storing in the refrigerator. Just prior to serving top greens with the meat and veggie mix or mix in with the pasta. Delish! Makes me want to eat some right now!

Let's raise our tea glasses and make a toast to simple, no cook summer suppers!


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