Top 7 Summer Salads

As we move from Spring towards Summer, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Summer salads. These are a perfect starter or a side dish for those hot summer nights. Click on the link below the photo to take you to the recipe.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Tabbouleh (cracked wheat salad)

Arugula Salad with Peaches

Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Grapefruit and Avocado SaladThe avocados are ripe, fresh and delicious right now, let’s get down to business! A big thanks to my dear friend Alli (and Ina of course), who introduced me to this recipe during one of our monthly supper clubs. I have to say, usually I am not a fan of sweet and savory combos (mango salsa, yuck!) but I do have a liking for fruit in my salads. And this one is  not only super simple, but also raw, vegan and gluten free!

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 large red grapefruits
  • 3-4 cups butter lettuce or arugula
  • Handful of toasted pepitas or sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
  2. Before serving, cut the avocados in ½, remove the seeds, and carefully peel off the skin. Cut each half into 4 thick slices. Toss the avocado slices in the vinaigrette to prevent them from turning brown. Use a large, sharp knife to slice the peel off the grapefruits (be sure to remove all the white pith), then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments.
  3. Atop a bed of arugula, arrange the avocado slices around the edge of a large platter or individual plates. Arrange the grapefruit segments in the center. Spoon the vinaigrette on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.

Serving Suggestion: If you like a little cheese, try some feta or a hard cheese like parmesan or pecorino.

Photo Credit: About.com

Get Your Juice On!

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I had heard about juicing for quite a while before making it part of my daily routine. It seemed too time consuming, too expensive and too much for someone with a teeny tiny San Francisco kitchen. Well, after reading Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet, I decided it was about time to start juicing. Below are just a few of the benefits of juicing:

1. By removing the plant fiber during the juicing process, you get a direct shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and oxygen without your body having to do any of the work of digestion, which helps nourish your cells and restore the immune system.

2. When you juice, you use more fruits and vegetables than you could actually eat. As a result, you are drinking a densely packed amount of vitamins, minerals and other plant-based nutrients.

3. Vegetables are alkalizing and your body is designed to function at its best at a slightly alkaline pH level. Many of the things we do in our daily lives (certain foods and drinks, stress, etc) create an acidic environment (it is MUCH easier to become too acidic than it is to become too alkaline) so by juicing you help bring your pH levels back into balance. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and lots of other yucky things that in turn make us feel yucky!

4. Lots of juicing means lots more vitamins and minerals which are responsible for all sorts of necessary chemical reactions promoting health and vitality and therefore lots more energy.

5. And just a few more: Juicing helps to slow the aging process, reduces inflammation, helps cleanse the body (which is especially important post-holiday season), improves the look of your skin, regulates digestion and can help peel off pounds… sold yet? If not, for some real motivation check out Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead!

Here is a simple juice to start with but as you become more comfortable with the taste of veggie juice, the produce isle will become your best friend. Rule of Thumb: At least 3 veggies to every one piece of fruit and the greener the better!

Get Your Juice On!
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cucumbers
  • 1 head romaine
  • 3-5 stalks of celery
  • 3-5 stalks of kale
  • small bit of ginger
  • Carrots, apple, pear or grapefruit (if you want to sweeten it up a bit)
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Juice.
  2. Sprinkle with turmeric and cinnamon.
  3. Squeeze lemon on top. Enjoy!