Summer Produce

by Sara Sullivan on May 11th, 2012

How to Make The Most Of Summer Produce
When it comes to healthy eating, summertime can be one of the best times of the year. With all the lovely fresh fruits and vegetables in season, there is simply no reason to not take advantage of this opportunity to boost your fruit and veggie intake.

Delicious salad, salsa and coleslaws are two of the best ways to use up what the season has to offer. From tasty side dishes to hearty, protein-packed meals, these summer salad recipes will keep you satisfied all season long. An added bonus, salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat with lots of textures, and beautiful colors. Most people enjoy eating salads, even kids!

Moreover, eating a salad a day is not only a good way to boost your health, but it is also a great recipe for weight loss, and can help lower your risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

So when summer hits its stride, let the juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, crunchy green beans and bell peppers, and the scrumptious sweet corn find their way to your dinner plate!

These main-meal salads are made for sharing - just put them on the garden table and let everyone help themselves.











Mango Avocado Salad
Serve as a salsa, with beans & rice for a vegetarian dish or on top of chicken fajitas!

1 cup diced fresh Mango
1 Medium Avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
1/3 C. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/3 C. Grape Tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (approximately 1 lime)
Salt & Pepper to Taste

In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime juice.
Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.1
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley and Mint
This is great as a side-dish, tossed with chickpeas for a vegetarian option or served with grilled chicken for a satisfying entree.

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
Place the quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water.
Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add in the quinoa, reduce heat to the barest simmer and cook 12-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Cover the quinoa and let it sit for 5 minutes more.
While the quinoa is cooking, chop cherry tomatoes in half. If the tomatoes are very juicy, let them drain in the same colander you used for the quinoa.

Place the cooked quinoa into a medium sized bowl and let it cool to room temperature for 20-30 minutes. While quinoa cools, peel the cucumbers, scrape out seeds if they are large, then chop cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash and dry the parsley, then finely chop until you have 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Whisk together the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, ground cumin, and a pinch of salt to make the dressing.

When quinoa is cooled to room temperature, stir in the cucumber, drained tomatoes, and parsley, mint, and then add just enough dressing to moisten the salad, about 4-5 T of the prepared dressing. Cover the salad, refrigerate, and let flavors blend for at least 30 minutes. Season with a little more salt if desired, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings


Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Nothing tastes better than vine ripened tomatoes during the peak of the summer months!

4-5 tomatoes, cored
1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
Sea Salt
Basil leaves

Herbed Vinaigrette:
3 tbsp. balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped basil
Salt & pepper

Cut each tomato in half. Cut each half into bite sized wedges. Thinly slice the cucumber. Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and oil; mix in the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, drizzle with the desired amount of vinaigrette over the salad. Top with thinly sliced basil leaves. serves 4-6


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