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When temperatures rise and the time comes to make a meal, the thought of cooking over a hot stove or an outdoor grill probably makes you wilt even further. Cooking indoors during the summer may cause your air conditioner to work overtime and operating a grill can be potentially dangerous if you have limited experience with the unit. However, you can stay cool and enjoy a refreshing, crisp treat for lunch or dinner with these five savory summer salad recipes.
1. Cucumber and Avocado Salad
This salad features the versatile and delicious avocado, which has a wide variety of possible health benefits that have made this stone fruit rise in popularity in the United States over the past decade. This salad requires about fifty minutes of prep time and contains around 130 calories per serving. You will need one large cucumber, one large avocado that has been pitted and peeled, one small red onion, 1/3 cup of fresh dill, two tablespoons of white sugar, salt to taste, four quarters of a clove of garlic, and ¼ cup of red wine vinegar.
To begin, slice the cucumber into thin discs. Then chop the avocado into small cubes and set them aside. Add thinly-sliced pieces of the red onion before tossing together the cucumber, onion, dill, garlic, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl; refrigerate this mixture for twenty minutes before adding the avocado. Then return the mix to the fridge for ten more minutes, drain it, and discard the garlic cloves. Finally, toss the mixture with the red wine vinegar, and serve. One packet or one tablespoon of Stevia may be substituted for the white sugar if necessary.
2. Summer Corn Salad
If you are looking for a light yet zesty summer salad for a hot summer afternoon, then this corn-and tomato combo may fit the bill. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and is a good source of fiber. You will need six ears of husked and hulled corn, three large chopped beefsteak tomatoes, one large diced onion, ¼ cup of chopped basil, ¼ cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Begin by preparing the corn off the cob; you will need to boil the cobs for about ten minutes before you hull them. Then set the corn aside to cool. In the meantime, toss all the other ingredients together before adding the corn, and then chill the mixture until serving time. Each serving contains about 305 calories.
3. Egg-Free Potato Salad
Potato salad is a summer side staple, and this version might be a good fit if you are allergic to eggs or must avoid them for dietary reasons. It is made with Hamptoncreek Just Mayo, which is dairy, gluten, and cholesterol-free. To create this salad, you will need four cups of potatoes, 1/3 cup of green bell peppers, ½ cup of chopped celery, 1/3 cup of chopped red onion, one head of garlic, three teaspoons of Just Mayo, and ½ teaspoon of salt.
First, roast the potatoes in two tablespoons of oil for about twenty minutes or until tender. Then wrap the garlic in foil and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees until the insides have a buttery consistency, then mix the insides of the cloves with the potatoes. In another bowl, combine the other ingredients, and then add those to the potato and garlic; be sure to mix all ingredients thoroughly.
4. Broccoli and Bacon Salad
This salad is substantial enough to make a meal all on its own and includes crisp and tasty bacon crumbles as well as good-for-you ingredients, such as cashews and raisins. Each serving contains about 330 calories. You will need two pounds of broccoli florets, ten slices of crisp, crumbled bacon, ½ cup chopped red onions, ½ cup of golden raisins, ½ cup of cashews, ½ cup of sliced water chestnuts, one cup of mayonnaise, ½ cup of white sugar, and two tablespoons of vinegar.
First, toss the bacon crumbles, broccoli, red onion, cashews, raisins, and water chestnuts together in a large bowl and set it aside. Then combine the mayo, sugar, and vinegar together with a wire whisk and toss the other ingredients in this mixture. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least four hours before serving.
Beating the heat is simple with these simple summer salad recipes, no matter your level of experience in the kitchen. Remember to gather all ingredients before you begin, experiment with levels of flavor, and most of all, to have fun!