Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Three 20-Minute Summer Salads

Nothing says dinnertime during summer than salads loaded with summery fruits and vegetables. Here's three that I've made recently that were delightfully easy, healthy, and summery!

Southwestern Chicken Salad
I had a variation of this salad at my friend Malorie's house and loved it. Here's my re-creation below.

Serves 4
4 chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
Juice from 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
Salt/pepper to taste
1 bag of spinach
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 red onion, chopped
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, chopped
2 corn on the cob, boiled and cut off the cob
2 jalapeno chicken sausage from Trader Joe's (or bacon)
Cilantro, sea salt, pepper to taste

  1. Whisk together dijon, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper. Brush over chicken breasts and cook in 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until done.
  2. Combine the remaining salad ingredients (spinach through corn).
  3. Cook sausage or bacon and crumble on top of salad. 
  4. When chicken is done, cut it into bite sized pieces, add to salad, and top with fresh cilantro and salt/pepper to taste.
Summer Vegetable Ceviche 
This dish was inspired by a Food and Wine recipe. See my variation below.
Serves 4
1 1/2 tomatoes, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced (with seeds)
2 nectarines, chopped
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 corn on cob, boiled and cut off the cob
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/4 cup cilantro
Olive oil, sea salt, and pepper to taste

  1. Mix everything together and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt/pepper to taste.
  2. Would be good to add in avocado too!

Quinoa Mango Salad
Serves 4
1 cup quinoa
1/2 bag of kale
Olive oil
1 mango, peeled and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup cilantro
Salt/pepper to taste


  1. Cook quinoa according to directions. (Usually: In 2 cups of water, bring quinoa to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.) Remove from heat when done.
  2. Add kale to a bowl and remove any stems. Drizzle with olive oil and massage with your hands until kale is tender.
  3. Add in vegetables to salad.
  4. Add in quinoa. Stir everything together with cilantro and salt/pepper to taste.

I served this with a side of chicken jalapeno sausage and black beans simmered together over low heat with red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and black ground pepper. Delicious!

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