Summer is the perfect time for salad. They’re relatively quick and easy, make the most of homegrown and local produce, and can be done (usually) without turning on the oven. Salads, however; are so much more than raw vegetables served over greens.
I’m a little territorial when it comes to our little space on the internet. A control freak, maybe even? In the almost five years I’ve been writing in this space I’ve never had a guest writer. Oh, I’ve been asked but I’ve always said “No, thank you.” Until now.
Today, I’m going to give you a taste of a fun project that my friend Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living has created. Kathie is passionate about seasonal living. So passionate that she hosts seasonal living ecourses and has written a seasonal living workbook. I’ve asked Kathie to share an example of something you’ll get from her courses and workbook. I’ve taken several of Kathie’s courses and one thing that always makes me happy is that they are never overwhelming. The topics are simple and they are starting points.
Also, my kids go along on this journey with me. They don’t do everything, but they do some and it’s always fun. If you are needing some seasonal encouragement or inspiration I want to encourage you to check out Kathie’s workbook.
So, let’s hear from Kathie…
A fresh, raw green salad is an amazing thing but everyone can get bored with that in time and they don’t always make great picnic or potluck fare. Use these ideas to make the most of seasonal produce and serve up healthy salads for summer meals:
So everyone is familiar with the basic, mayonnaise drenched shredded cabbage coleslaw. Those most definitely have their place but slaws can be so much more that. Most any shredded vegetable can be converted into a slaw and they can be done with any dressing of your choosing.
The great thing about making a peanut slaw is that it doesn’t spoil without refrigeration as fast as many creamy dressings do, making it better for the church picnic.
Macaroni salad is a staple but again often served with a creamy dressing. Consider making a pasta salad with lots of fresh, chopped vegetables (all those little bits from the garden or end of the week CSA box) and use pesto instead of mayo as the dressing. Throw in some bits of pepperoni or ham if you’re so inclined for a little extra touch that can easily turn the salad into a main dish.
Pasta makes a great salad and can even be made gluten-free if the right brand is purchased, however; all the other grains can work just as well. Consider using cold rice, quinoa, even barley. Just like a pasta salad, mix those grains with chopped vegetables, fruits, and herbs before tossing with the dressing of choice. Refrigerate for an hour or more for optimum cold, refreshing flavor.
Don’t be afraid of making a salad without lettuce or other greens all together. Toss together chunks of cucumber, tomatoes, and feta cheese for a filling salad. Fresh peas with a little leftover bacon and a light dressing is an amazing salad too. Don’t get trapped by convention, just serve those vegetables and other bits with dressing and call it salad for a great lunchbox meal.
The basic fruit salad is always a tasty thing. It’s hard to go wrong with the ripest, sweetest summer fruits all tossed together maybe with some mint or lemon balm and served cold. However, don’t be afraid of mixing those fruits with leftover bits of meat and serving on fresh bitter greens for a different and wonderful take on the summer classic.
Other Fiercely DIY Articles
About Kathie N. Lapcevic
Kathie is a freelance writer, teacher, and blogger living in northwest Montana with her soulmate Jeff. She lives a fiercely D.I.Y. lifestyle in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature. You can follow her blog at Homespun Seasonal Living.
As summer approaches and takes hold, be sure to serve up some of summer’s freshest flavors in anything but boring salad.