In Season Salads

Shopping seasonally is always a good way to save money. Right now at my local farmers market, I have been finding some of the BEST tasting red and green peppers my family has ever eaten. Remember when I said my family doesn’t really like bell peppers? Yeah, that has changed! My son will happily munch on raw green peppers as if they were an apple (like the Chairman on the Japanese version of Iron Chef). There has also been yummy tomatoes, fresh onions and garlic, and lettuce coming out the wazoo!

This screams salad to me. In addition to the Salata shown above, my family enjoys a good basic green salad.

Basic Green Salad
serves 4, 20 minutes, cost depends on what you put in it

Ingredients:
1 head lettuce (we like romaine or red leaf, cos varieties)
1 tomato (or 1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes)
2 c. additional chopped veggies (we love peppers, carrots, celery, avocado)
1/4 c. salad dressing

1. Chop, mix, dress. Enjoy. 🙂

You can take it up a notch by adding raisins, nuts, crumbled cheese, olives, or fresh herbs. You can turn this into a main dish meal by adding meat or beans (think Chef Salad).

But a salad is just a salad, right? Boring.

Wrong. Here are my Top 5 Exciting Salads:

1. If you are very careful when you chop the ingredients for Salata, and go for a very small dice (1/4″); you can then use the salad to fill cucumber cups.

2. Add some diced leftover chicken or shrimp to the green salad, and use it to fill pita pockets.

3. If you use Asian salad dressing, and put it on the side, you can use a nice basic salad as filler for fresh spring rolls.

4. Take a basic salad, using peppers and onions and avocados as your chopped veggies, and add some black beans and shredded cheddar cheese. Then serve in homemade taco bowls.

5. Think pasta salad has to be a mayonnaise filled glob of starch? Think again. Lighten up the amount of mayonnaise to only 1 or 2 tablespoons per serving, and add in 2 cups of chopped vegetables (like carrots, celery, peas, peppers, even shredded lettuce). Season well, and bring something a little healthier to the next barbecue!

So, whether it is from the local farmer’s market, your CSA share, or the produce department or your grocery store, get out the and enjoy some salads while the salads are good!

What’s your favorite salad recipe?

*oops, forgot the photo, but it’s there now!*

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