2 Salad Recipes to Spring into Cookout Season

Outdoor entertaining is finally in full-bloom, so make your backyard the place. to. be. with my springtime spins on classic salad favorites.

First on the menu line-up, Asian Chicken Salad gets healthified by replacing those addictively fried wonton noodles with crisp and colorful matchstick veggies. Next, traditional Nicoise Salad gets revamped by swapping out anchovies and tomatoes for salmon and strawberries.

The final outcome? A “dynamic duo” of dishes that you’ll want to keep in your recipe repertoire all season long!

Note: To my vegetarian peeps, although both recipes are meat-centic, you can easily eliminate these components and turn the salads into side dishes instead of main courses.

springtime salad sensations

image courtesy of Nocoveglia via Flickr Creative Commons‚ÄĒaltered with permission.

Asian Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast (free-range)

2 Baby Bell Peppers (julienne sliced)

1/4 Red Cabbage Head (julienne sliced)

1 Carrot (peeled & chopped)

1/2 cup Edamame (steamed)

1/4 cup Raw Almonds (chopped)

2 tbsp. Soy Sauce (low-sodium)

1 tbsp. Sesame (or Olive) Oil

2 tsp. Rice Wine (or Cider) Vinegar

1 clove Garlic (minced)

1 tsp. Ginger (ground)

1 Lemon (juiced)

Preparation:

  1. Whisk together the Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Rice Wine Vinegar, Garlic and Ginger in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place the Chicken into this mixture and set aside to marinate for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Prep the Vegetables and Almonds according to the ingredient specifications, then transfer into a serving bowl and toss to combine.
  4. Preheat a skillet on the medium-high stovetop setting, then add the Chicken and marinade mixture.
  5. Sauté the Chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly, then remove from the skillet and cut into strips.
  6. Combine these Chicken strips with the other ingredients and drizzle the Lemon juice on top like a dressing.

Asian Chicken Salad


Salmon Nicoise Salad

Ingredients:

1 Salmon Filet (wild-caught)

2 cups Spinach (whole leaves)

1 cup Strawberries (sliced)

1/2 cup Gorgonzola (crumbled)*

1/4 cup Raw Walnuts (chopped)

2 tbsp. Balsamic (or Red Wine) Vinegar

1 tbsp. Olive Oil (extra-virgin)

1/4 tsp. Himalayan (or Sea) Salt

2 Thyme Sprigs (chopped)

1 Lemon (juiced)

*Make this recipe vegan by omitting the Gorgonzola or using these substitutes. 

Preparation:

  1. Whisk together the Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil and Himalayan Salt in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place the Salmon into this mixture and set aside to marinate for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Spread the Spinach on the bottom of a serving bowl, then prep the Strawberries, and Walnuts according to the ingredient specifications.
  4. Transfer these ingredients into the serving bowl, then add the Gorgonzola and toss to combine.
  5. Preheat a skillet on the medium-high stovetop setting, then add the Salmon and marinade mixture.
  6. Sauté the Salmon for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked thoroughly, then remove from the skillet and peel off its skin.
  7. Lay this Salmon filet over the other ingredients, then add the Thyme and drizzle the Lemon juice on top like a dressing.

Salmon Strawberry Salad

Got any seasonal salad creations of your own to share? Awesome…then, let’s get a recipe swap going in the comment section!

A Smorgasbord that Just Screams “Summer!”

Summertime may be halfway over, but that doesn’t mean outdoor cookouts should come to a screeching halt.

Au contraire!

There’s still a forecast of several sunny days ahead to embrace the refreshing, bold, and colorful flavors of this glorious season. So, put those thoughts of pumpkin spice lattes on the back-burner and get back into the summer spirit.

Here’s a light and tasty dinner idea that’s sure to both beat the heat and please the palate!


Fish Tacos (yields 4 servings)

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  • Ingredients:
  1. 4 corn tortillas
  2. 1 avocado (diced)
  3. 1 mango (diced)
  4. 1 cup cabbage (shredded)
  5. 1/2 cup organic salsa
  6. 2 salmon fillets
  7. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Preparation:
  1. Cut the salmon fillets into bite-size chunks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium-high.
  3. Saute the salmon in the olive oil until cooked thoroughly (flaky).
  4. Toss the mango, avocado, and salsa together in a mixing bowl.
  5. Warm the tortillas in the oven (350 degrees) until slightly crisp.
  6. Slice the cabbage into thin shredded pieces (like coleslaw).
  7. Assemble the tacos in this order: fish, cabbage, salsa mixture.

Watermelon Salad (yields 4 servings)

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  • Ingredients:
  1. 1 cup watermelon (cubed)
  2. 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)*
  3. 2 tsp. mint leaves (chopped)
  4. 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  5. 1 tbsp. olive oil

*If your dietary needs or preferences exclude dairy, you can substitute firm silken tofu in place of feta.

  • Preparation:
  1. Toss the watermelon chunks and feta cheese (or vegan substitute) together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in another mixing bowl.
  3. Once the oil and vinegar have been thoroughly combined, drizzle this mixture on top of the watermelon.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped mint on top of this salad as a garnish.

Serving Suggestion:

Set out the salad, tortillas and toppings, buffet-style, so that cookout goers can enjoy a “build-your-own-taco” station.

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Now, let’s all do 5 minutes on how¬†delicioso that looks. Go.