Heat = Salad!
It hasn’t just been hot around here lately, it has been what I would call STUPID hot. CRAZY hot with humidity levels that us Colorado natives are just not equipped to cope with.
It leaves me asking things like “why won’t my towel get dry?” and “WHY do I suddenly always feel just a bit sticky?”
I would be an epic failure as a Southern Belle. (Except for the swooning – in this heat, “Ah de-cl-aire,” I could swoon on command.)
This means that the idea of turning on the oven or even the stove in The Tree House horrifies me to my very core.
This, in short, means it is salad season. Goodness knows you don’t need a recipe for salad – your mama didn’t raise no fool, but with my picky eater husband I have to get creative about ingredients to keep us from getting stuck in the “romaine with carrots and chicken” rut that we could easily fall into.
In my quest to mix it up, I have found that different nuts,dried and fresh fruits, lesser used varieties of cheese, crispy bacon, corn, beans, tortilla or pita pieces, cold noodles, diced deli meats, and SMALL amounts of less familiar veggies ( can’toverwhelm the poor guy,) can make everything old new again.
Also helpful – different dressings. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory; sometimes creamy (plain yogurt makes a great base,) sometimes a nice light vinaigrette; sometimes even a little spicy, or maybe a little sneaky (hello spinach pesto sneaking some extra health into my strictly “ iceburg and romaine only” guy.)
The unexpected is what allows me to keep salads front and center on the weekly menus without complaint, so if there is a dish we enjoy in its traditional form, I ask myself “how can I make that a salad?”
Top with an appropriately seasoned pre-cooked protein from my freezer stash, and dinner is served, sans sweating it out in front of the stove.
The delicious example in the picture from a recent dinner included the usual iceberg/romaine/carrot shred bagged salad I usually start out with, along with some mixed baby greens on my plate only (The Hub refers to those as “weeds”,) and also raspberries, dried cranberries, roasted peppers, slivered almonds, reduced fat feta cheese with a store-bought raspberry walnut dressing drizzled down over it. For some protein I added some cubed grilled chicken that I tossed in a little OJ.
Ahhhhh. So fresh and cool it’s almost like turning the a/c up a notch.