Cool Salads for Warm Days
Thermometers throughout the High Country rarely reach 85 degrees. But when they do, many residents attempt to keep cool without AC. Hearty salads are hydrating and refreshing.
Get creative by choosing from these food groups to create a cool, healthy meal without heating up the kitchen:
Greens: Bok Choy, green leaf, red leaf, Romaine, spinach, baby green mix, cabbage
Vegetables: Carrots, summer squash, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers
Fruit: Any dried fruit, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes, berries
Protein: Any nuts, beans, chicken, beef, pork, fish, lean sausage
Cheese: 2-percent milk cheese of choice, feta, Parmesan, cottage, goat
Dressing: Mix half-and-half, oil with a variety of vinegars. If choosing pre-made dressing, check the label for calories. If your choice is high in calories, use sparingly, unless you are trying to gain weight.
This side salad tastes great and uses a green that most people have never tried raw. To make into an entrée, top with salmon or chicken.
Bok Choy Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bunches baby Bok Choy, cleaned and sliced (or around 4 cups of other greens)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/8 cup slivered almonds, toasted
5 ounce container chow mein noodles
In a glass jar with a lid, mix together olive oil, white vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Close the lid, and shake until well mixed. Combine the Bok Choy, green onions, almonds and chow mein noodles in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve. Makes 6 servings.
This salad is a nice addition to any potluck or grilled meal:
Green Fruity Salad
5 cups mixed greens, torn into bite sized pieces (or any green you like)
1 cup strawberries, quartered
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup toasted slivered almonds
¼ cup fig balsamic vinegar (available at Art of Oil on King St.)
¼ cup olive oil
Toss greens, strawberries, feta cheese and almonds together. Stir vinegar and oil together and toss just before serving. Serves 6.
Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (828) 264-3061.