5 Summer slim-down salads
It's hot, you feel fat, and soon you'll to have to break down and go bathing suit shopping. What's a girl to do? Start by making healthy salads a lunchtime staple. Refreshing and light, salads are a great way to whittle your waist for summer. Here are a few of our favorite summer salad recipes.
This easy salad is so good, you'll probably find yourself eating it two or three times a week. Slice two small Persian cucumbers in half lengthwise, then into 1/2-inch slices, cut 1 cup of grape tomatoes in half, then into 1/2-inch chunks. Put tomatoes in a bowl, grind generous amounts of salt and pepper onto them and mix. Add cucumbers and a sprinkle of feta cheese, along with any fresh herbs you have on hand (cilantro, basil or dill are all good choices). Then top with a 2 tablespoons of hummus. Serve with homemade pita chips that you make by cutting whole wheat pita bread into wedges, brushing them lightly with olive oil and sprinkling with garlic salt. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown.
Watermelon feta salad
Invite a friend over for lunch and grab some gab time while enjoying this refreshing salad. Cut 2 cups of watermelon into chunks and lay on top a bed of spring green salad mix. (Make things easy and buy the pre-washed salad in a bag.) Sprinkle 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese over the watermelon and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a piece of whole grain toast topped with 1/4 of a fresh avocado, salt and pepper.
Mozzarella, tomato, avocado and corn salad
Cut 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese (water-packed buffalo mozzarella tastes best) into bite size chunks, cut 16 ounces of grape tomatoes in half, and cut two avocados into bite size chunks. Rub four corn cobs with oil and cook them on a baking sheet in the oven on 450 degrees for 10 minutes on each side. Cut off the corn kernels into a bowl with the mozzarella, avocados and tomatoes, and add fresh ground salt and pepper. This is the perfect salad to take to a summer potluck — you're sure to go home with an empty bowl.
Salmon arugula salad
If you lack the time or desire to prepare your own salmon, buy a pre-cooked piece of salmon from the market to make things easy. Serve your piece of salmon over a bed of arugula (or spring greens if you're not a fan of peppery arugula) and sprinkle with capers. Add a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and finish with freshly ground salt and pepper on top. This salad is loaded with healthy Omega 3s and protein.
Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. While it's cooking, finely chop 1/2 cup of celery, one small Fuji apple, 2 ounces of Gouda cheese and a handful of walnuts. Mix chopped ingredients with cooked quinoa and stir in 1/4 cup of dried cranberries. Quinoa is packed with protein and goes well with just about anything, so if you want to substitute other dried fruits, cheese, vegetables or nuts, go for it. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.