Summer Entree Salads
I don't have picture number one to share with you all today with this post. It's still very mild here but the sunshine just popped out for the first time this week. I'm willing to bet it begins to warm up now! Which puts me right back to the summer food dilemma. How do I keep cool and provide good nourishment, too?
Here are the few ideas I've come across thus far. I plan to keep looking and keep sharing all through these warmer days of the year so stay tuned.
One family favorite is something John brought to the household. It's a Tuna Pasta Salad and my family loves it because it's full of flavor. I start with cooked pasta, drained can tuna (two cans to a 13 ounce box of whole wheat pasta penne or bowties. Then it's pretty much the usual kitchen vegetables: carrots, celery, bell peppers (I like green and red), and onions. I sometimes add black and green pimento stuffed olives, too. I mix a mayonnaise dressing with lemon pepper, salt, mustard. I don't measure a thing with this salad except the box of pasta and the cans of tuna! I just add in a super load of vegetables and enough mayonnaise dressing to moisten it all. We generally eat this with saltine crackers. I'd serve it in lettuce cups but the kids could have cared less. I think it would be awesome in hollowed out tomatoes if you have them, but tomato soup also goes well with this meal.
This next is a sort of pasta salad as well, but it's so good and so easy. I've taken it many times to church dinners and the bowl always comes home empty. I make this sauce early in the day and let it sit on the counter macerating all day long. To a pint jar add 1 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes, salt, pepper, fresh oregano and a bit of minced garlic. (You could do basil instead of oregano). Now add olive oil to the jar, about 1/2 cup. and let the whole thing sit on the counter. I periodically walk by and shake the jar. Toss this with slightly warm spaghetti and boccini or chunked fresh mozzarella. This is especially good a nice crusty bread to absorb those juices and oils.
Looking around on Pinterest I saw variations on the pasta salad theme: provolone and pepperoni with an Italian dressing. I found just loads of pasta salads there but the pizza one is the one that stands out in my memory at the moment.
We ate out today and I ordered one of my favorite summer salads. It is hearty enough to qualify as a meal, full of good flavor and satisfying. It's a steak salad. A grilled warm steak is sliced into strips and served over hearty greens with crumbles of blue cheese, finely diced fresh tomato and croutons. One thing I love is that I can eat four cups of lettuce and tomato without worrying about carb counts. A three ounce serving of steak is just enough to make the salad a meal.
Cobb salad and Chef Salad is pretty much the same in my opinion. It's just in how you serve it, laid out in diagonals or tossed in a bowl. Either way you're getting egg, meat, cheese and vegetables in with the lettuce.
A salad I ate a lot when I worked was to buy a bag of mixed greens, deli roasted chicken and then some type of fruit. Pears were always nice, but apple, or peach will work too. Slice the fruit into the lettuce, add chunks of roasted chicken and serve with a fruit vinaigrette. Oh and berries could be used as well. I think raspberries or strawberries both work equally well.
Well nothing earth shaking here with recipes today but it's a start of something to think about, right?
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