Meatless Monday - Summer Salads

Summer Salads- Healthy Looks Like This Here is what healthy looked like this week at my dining room table.  Silverbrite Salmon is running. I love this season and will eat Salmon until I turn colors!  I will not eat...

Summer Salads- Healthy Looks Like This
Summer Salads- Healthy Looks Like This

Here is what healthy looked like this week at my dining room table.  Silverbrite Salmon is running. I love this season and will eat Salmon until I turn colors!  I will not eat the farm raised variety of my favorite fish.

The fresh garden produce has me curious to creating new recipes and combinations.  On this path to healthy, I watch the ingredients and the added fats and sugars.  I have always loved a cold broccoli salad, but the version I remember fondly from yesteryear included mayonnaise, cheeses, eggs and lots of bacon.  This will not suffice anymore, so I have been on the search for the next version.

I think this Chilled Broccoli Salad that I uncovered in the Publix grocery store magazine had some good bones, but in my usual style, I made adaptations.  I liked the sour of the yogurt and lemon coupled with the honey mustard.  See my notes within as to my changes and adaptations.

Broccoli-Raisin Salad
Broccoli-Raisin Salad

Broccoli-Raisin Salad

adapted from Publix Magazine – April/May 2015

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups broccoli florets (I used two heads of broccoli for this recipe)
  • ½ cup raisins ( I did not have raisins in the house, so I made a substitution of dried cranberries)
  • ½ cup dry roasted sunflower seeds ( I finished the salad with these so that they would not get soggy, but kept the crunch)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion ( I had Vidalia onions in the kitchen, and these are always a fabulous substitute)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ( I used my micro-plane and I used two cloves over one)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Steam the broccoli for 2 – 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well.
  2. I opted to cut it small and keep in raw as I remember this from my yesteryear salads.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli florets, onion, raisins (in my case dried cranberries) and sunflower seeds. I opted to hold the seeds until the end to maintain the crunch.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and honey mustard.
  5. Pour over the veggies and toss to coat.
  6. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, but it was better after 8 -12 hours.
  7. Toss in sunflower seeds and serve.

Everyone remembers a cold broccoli salad, but this is a healthier version!

Corn and blueberries
Corn and blueberries

Next up, the unusual combination of blueberries and sweet corn.  I like these two ingredients by themselves, but wondered if I would like them together.  Another Publix magazine featured this Picnic Perfection and I can tell you, this will become a keeper.  Once again, I have made some suggestions for changes and updates.

Blueberry – Corn Salad

– adapted from Publix Magazine – Family Style April/May 2015

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons honey ( I substituted Agave Nectar as I had some at the house)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ears of fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered and cut into ½ inch chunks ( I also removed the seeds to keep this from becoming too watery for my taste)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries ( I used a dry pint or about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced (I had Vidalia onions in the kitchen, so I substituted, the red onions would have given a pop of color)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (about 2 ounces)   I like the light version from Trader Joe’s in an 8 ounce block.

Directions:

  1. In glass jar with screw top, combine the lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Let this stand at least 10 minutes.
  2. Then, add honey, oil and salt. (You really do not need much of this dressing for this salad. I doubled this in my first creation and it was too much. This is a case of less is more)
  3. Shake well and set aside for dressing the salad.
  4. Cook the corn to your liking. It was suggested to boil the cobs in salted water for five minutes.
  5. Microwave corn recipe. Clean the ears of corn well, as the silk will burn in the microwave, rest on paper towels. Cook on high for 2 minutes for every cob of corn in the microware always adding two extra minutes to the cooking. Limit the number of ears you cook at once to six. So, six ears, 12 minutes and then add the two minutes so 14 minutes total. I set the first time for 7 minutes, then rotated the ears and returned for 7 more minutes in the microwave.
  6. After having enjoyed this salad, I am going to suggest roasting your corn on the grill for an added bump of flavors.
  7. I will always “milk” the cob with the back side of a bread and butter knife as this is where so much of the flavor lives in our sweet corn. The recipe did not call for this and this also stretches the dressing if you will. Very flavorful step.
  8. When the corn is cool, cut off the cob and “milk” (see above). Transfer corn to a large bowl and add in the washed blueberries, cucumber, red onion, basil, dressing and then toss well. It is suggested that this will keep in the fridge for 2 – 24 hours.   The next day this salad was too soggy for my taste. I will suggest at least a 2 – 3 hour chill on this salad for the best flavors.
  9. At serving time, add the crumbled feta cheese and re-season as needed. I added a few more red pepper flakes to give it a bit more heat.
  10. This is a keeper salad with some unusual summer harvest ingredients.

So, here is what our plates looked like this week with Silverbrite Salmon off the grill, and two summer side salads.  A healthy and fresh dinner shared with a foodie friend.

Corn and Blueberry Salad
Corn and Blueberry Salad