Now that our weather is changing in B.C. to more sunny days and less rainy days, I find that the meals I’m cooking are changing too. Warm spring and summer days always bring more salads in my house. I think one of the reasons is that I just don’t feel like cooking big meals in the house, and mostly because I’d rather spend more time outside.
I also find when it’s really hot out, me and my boys don’t feel like eating big heavy meals. I would much rather whip up a light salad, but to get my boys to eat a salad I always need to spruce them up a bit with some of their favourite foods like berries and of course, bacon.
There are a few small appliances and kitchen accessories that will help make your salad prep a little easier:
Some great kitchen knives
A great set of knives will make all your chopping and dicing smoother and faster.
A food processor
A food processor will help with chopping and grating, and is great for making homemade dressings.
A salad bowl
Having a big salad bowl means you can make large salads for entertaining, and it looks nice when serving too.
During berry season I think we have berries with almost every meal. They go perfectly with almost any breakfast, a light lunch and into a delicious salad for dinner.
Strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing
I love strawberries and poppyseed dressing so this salad is a win-win in my books. Thank you healthy-liv.com for this fantastic looking recipe.
|Ingredients: For the salad
Romaine lettuce or spinach leaves, washed
Strawberries, washed and sliced
Feta cheese, crumbled
For the poppyseed dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2-3 tablespoons honey, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place lettuce in the bottom of a serving bowl or distribute among individual plates. Top with strawberries, pecans, and feta cheese, to taste. Toss with dressing just before serving, or serve dressing on the side.
For the dressing: whisk all ingredients together and mix again just before pouring to re-combine the oil and vinegar.
Summer berry kale salad
This salad recipe from thelivefitgirls.com uses kale instead of lettuce which is a great alternative, and is full of protein, fibre and tons of vitamins. The sweetness of the berries will intice anyone to give it a try.
|Ingredients: For the salad
1 bunch of kale, shredded
1 mango, diced
1 cup strawberries, diced
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raw almonds
3 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
For the dressing
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons raw honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until combined.
In a large bowl, add the shredded kale and drizzle with the prepared dressing. Using your hands, gently massage the kale for a minute or two and then set aside for few minutes.
As the kale is marinating, dice up your berries.
Before serving, add berries, almonds, and shredded coconut and gently toss to combine
Another great way I get my boys to eat salad is by adding bacon. I think I could add bacon to just about anything and my boys would be willing to give it a try. Bacon has a strong flavour, and I find whatever you add it in it seems to be a stand out flavour. This works well to get picky eaters who love bacon to eat foods they may not otherwise be willing to try.
Salads don’t always have to involve greens either. Potato salad is one of my favourite side dishes for a summer meal, and when you add in bacon and egg it becomes a meal in itself. This potato salad recipe from noshtastic.com looks delicious and will please the bacon lover in your house.
Potato salad with bacon and egg
|Ingredients: 3 pounds baby potatoes
8 bacon strips, cooked and broken into pieces
5 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
1 – 1.5 cup mayonnaise (or half mayo, half sour cream)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped gluten free dill pickles
4 chopped salad onions
Cook the potatoes whole in a large pan of salted boiling water. Once they are cooked let them fully cool in the fridge.
When they are cool cut them in half or into quarters (depends on the size) and add to a large bowl.
Cut your peeled hard cooked eggs into smallish pieces and add to the bowl with the potatoes.
in a small bowl mix all remaining ingredients together with the mayo, except for the bacon and chopped salad onions
Add the mayo mix to the potatoes and egg and fold in together with the bacon and chopped onions. Serve chilled.
Who said salads always have to be savoury to some level? I saw this recipe for a dessert salad that I had to include. Fresh berries are the one thing about summer my kids and I look forward to the most, and this dessert recipe also includes cream cheese. How could I resist? This recipe is definitely saved for my summer salad recipe list.
Summer berry cheesecake salad
This recipe almost doesn’t need explaining. If it has berries and cheesecake in it’s name, then I’m sold. Make this recipe from theslowroasteditalian.com for dessert and your guests won’t want to leave.
|Ingredients: 1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
1 (9 ounce) container blueberries, washed and dried (remove stems)
1 (9 ounce container) raspberries, rinsed and dried
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup Simply Pure Vanilla Coffee Creamer
Prepare berries and lay them on paper towels to dry while you prepare the cheesecake mixture.
In a medium tall bowl, using an electric mixer, whip cream cheese until it becomes smooth. It may bind up in the beaters, but continue as is and it will loosen up.
With mixer running slowly add creamer to the cream cheese. Add it about a tablespoon at a time and then mix until it becomes a smooth mixture and all of the creamer has combined into the cream cheese. Continue until all of the creamer has been added to the cream cheese. Whip until smooth.
Combine berries in a large bowl. Gently fold in cheesecake mixture until completely combined.
Chill until ready to serve or serve immediately.
NOTES: Do not pour all of the creamer into the cream cheese at once. It will get clumpy and no matter how long you beat it, it will stay that way. Trust me on this one.
If you have to substitute cream for the creamer, powdered sugar and vanilla would be the best swap. 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Title image @ www.gardeningknowhow.com
A patio set perfect for entertaining
A BBQ for outdoor cooking
A firetable for when the sun goes down