Right about this time in the summer, I have two choices: 1) Eat a salad and look good(ish) in my swimsuit, or; 2) Cover my booty up and chow down! I'd say it's about a 50/50 chance that either one happens. It's all about balance, right?!
So, here are a few alternatives to that lettuce-laden beast that we all dread this time of year, featuring some of my favorite ingredients and some hassle-free methods!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 6 minutes / Servings: 6-8
|Mexican Street Corn Salad|
- 3 ears of white or yellow corn (or 3 cups of frozen corn)
- 1/4 chopped Red Onion
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (cotija works too)
- 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
- 1/2 chopped jalapeno (optional)
- 1/4 cup Poblano Ranch Dressing
- Grill the corn on high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and remove the husks. Remove the kernels by placing the ear upright in a large bowl and run a sharp knife down the side of the ear. If you're working with frozen corn, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil on high heat and add the corn. Allow it to blacken for about 2 minutes on each side, remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chopped red onion, crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro, lime juice and chopped jalapeño (optional).
- Drizzle in the dressing, toss combine and serve.
Alternative Dressing: 1/4 cup sour cream or Crema Mexicana and 1/2 tsp. chili powder
Mediterranean Pearl Cous Cous Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings: 6-8
- 3 cups cooked Israeli or Pearl cous cous
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped or sliced Kalamata Olives
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 1 chopped large Tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped Red Onion
- 1 cup chopped, raw asparagus
- 1/4 cup Honey Dijon Dressing
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pearl cous cous according to the package directions and allow it to cool completely (I usually rinse it in cold water to cool it quickly). Transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chopped cucumber, Kalamata olives, Feta cheese, chopped tomato and chopped red onion.
- Drizzle in the dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste, toss to combine and serve.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pancetta, Cranberries and Praline
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 10 minutes / Servings: 6-8
- 3 cups thinly sliced or "shaved" brussels sprouts (about 24 brussels sprouts)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta
- 1/4 cup Praline pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and stir to brown/wilt them for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer them to a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- In the same skillet, add the pancetta and continue to cook on high heat for about 5 minutes, until the pancetta is browned on all sides. Remove from the heat and transfer to the mixing bowl with the brussels sprouts. Allow the mixture to cool before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- When the mixture is cooled, add the praline pecans and dried cranberries.
- Drizzle in the dressing, toss to combine and serve.
Hassleback Caprese Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 4
- 4 large Roma tomatoes
- 16 slices Buffalo Mozzarella cheese
- 16 large basil leaves
- 1/2 cup Four Leaf Balsamic Dressing
- salt and pepper
- Lay each of the tomatoes on their side and cut four slices about 3/4 of the way through each tomato.
- Stuff each of the slices with a slice of mozzarella, then with a large basil leaf.
- Drizzle each tomato with the dressing, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and serve.