Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Salads

So I have decided to take a break from my marathon watching of "The Bachelorette," and write a new post. Yes, my life is super interesting right now while I wait to get a job...

Keith and I decided awhile back that we were going to make this more than just a "food" blog. We have a lot of friends we want to keep in contact with, and want to keep aware of the events in our lives.

That being said, today is still going to be a post about food. Food seems to be on my mind a lot right now. I think it is probably because of this little Giant's fan (that I already love lots and lots):

I find myself hungry almost all the time (only "almost" because in the morning when I wake up, eating is the last thing I want to do, but the only thing that will make me feel better). Luckily I haven't had any weird cravings so far, except for a meal every 2 hours.

I have always loved to cook and eat. Keith and I both enjoy it as a way to be creative, relax, and be social. In the summertime however, anything I can do to stay a little cooler is welcome. This summer, I feel a lot of summer salads coming our way. We have made 4 salads in the past couple weeks that are delicious and fill many summer cravings. I will share these recipes with you. :)

Salad #1: California Citrus Salad
(This is a very simple salad--and one that has no exact measurements. Just adjust to your liking based on how many people you will be serving)

Romaine lettuce
Chunked avocado
Candied pecans
Thinly sliced green apple
Golden raisins
Dried Cranberries
Mandarin oranges, drained
Chopped green onion
Chopped cooked chicken (Costco rotisserie chicken really is the best)
Citrus vinaigrette or poppyseed dressing
Blue cheese, crumbled

Combine first 9 ingredients. Toss with dressing. Top with blue cheese.

Salad #2: BBQ Chicken Salad
(Again--no exact measurements.)

Torn iceburg (or romaine) lettuce
Shredded cabbage
Black beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped cucumber
Chopped cilantro
Sliced olives
Frozen corn, rinsed and drained (We like Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn)
Chopped tomato
Chopped avocado
Ranch dressing
Grated cheese
Corn Chips
Shredded chicken in BBQ sauce

Combine first 9 ingredients. Top with ranch, grated cheese, corn chips, and shredded chicken. You can use a commercially prepared BBQ chicken, such as Lloyd's, or you can make your own. We made this this weekend, and we boiled some frozen chicken breasts, shredded the chicken, and then let simmer in some BBQ sauce on the stove while we put the rest of the salad together.

Salad #3: Black Bean, Corn, and Shrimp Salad
(There is a little bit of cooking with this recipe, but shrimp cooks so fast, it hardly warms the kitchen)
Servings: 4

1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (again, we like Trader Joe's roasted frozen corn)
3/4 cup bottled salsa
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado, chunked (optional)

Heat skillet to medium high heat.

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl; add shrimp. Toss to coat.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp, saute 3 minutes or until done. Add 1 Tbsp lime juice. Remove shrimp from pan.

Add corn to pan, saute 1 minute. Stir in salsa, cilantro, and beans. Cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp lime juice, and avocado (if desired).

Serve shrimp over bean mixture.

Salad #4: Asian Pasta Salad

16 ounces Rotelle or pasta twists, cooked
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup white wine vinegar (regular vinegar is ok)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups cold, cooked shredded chicken
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 bunch green onions
8 cups torn spinach leaves (1 bunch)

In a small frying pan, combine seeds and 1/4 cup oil. Cook and stir until golden (about 2 minutes). Let cool. Stir in remaining oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Pour mixture over cooked pasta; add chicken and toss gently. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, add parsley, onion, and spinach. Toss.

Enjoy! I know I sure did.

1 comment:

Hilary and Eric said...

I love BBQ chicken salad! And I'm all excited to try your other salad ideas. Thanks for posting!