3 FABULOUSLY FAST, SIMPLE & HEALTHY SUMMER SALADS by Kathie Madonna Swift

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The 4th of July is upon us! What to bring to the annual family gathering that won’t blow a hole in your dietary goals or theirs? My go-to summer dish for picnics and potlucks is a fast and fabulous make-ahead salad. But not just any salad will do – mine, of course, must come loaded with a boatload of nutrients and free of not-so-good for you ingredients like sugar, mayo or anything heavily processed.

At the top of my delish list are three, healthy, fiber-filled favorites that get rave reviews, stand up well to warmer temperatures, satisfy the desire for fresh, crunchy taste – and complement just about any protein you’re likely to find on the grill.

So don’t let last-minute invites throw you into a what-to-bring tizzy. Just whip one up towards the end of the week and you’ll be ready to go, delicious dish in hand, at a moment’s notice!

1.) QUINOA LENTIL TABOULI WITH OLIVE HERBED PESTO

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup quinoa, rinsed and soaked in 1 cup water
1 14 1⁄2-ounce can of lentils, drained
2 tablespoons Olive Herbed Pesto (see below)
1 small cucumber, diced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 cups mesclun greens

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. In a small saucepan, place the quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Set aside to cool.

Step 2. Mix the cooled quinoa and lentils with the pesto. Add in cucumber, tomato and carrot.

Step 3. Serve over the greens.

Olive Herbed Pesto
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 6 (2 tablespoons per serving)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup fresh herbs, cleaned and loosely packed (basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, etc.)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pitted olives
1 tablespoon miso
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or in the bowl of a small food processor and process until smooth.

Swift Tips
• Any remaining pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
• The tabouli can also be made with buckwheat groats, a gluten-free, magnesium-rich, alkalinizing food that offers a denser tabouli texture.

 

2.) ASIAN SALAD WITH PEANUT LIME TOFU
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

4 cups shredded bok choy or green cabbage
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Who Knew Tofu (see below)
4 tablespoons Peanut Lime Dressing (see below)

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Place the bok choy, bean sprouts, bell pepper, water chestnuts and cilantro in a bowl.

Step 2. Top with Who Knew Tofu and drizzle with the dressing.

 Who Knew Tofu
(Made Ahead of Time)

Prep Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

1 pound firm tofu

MARINADE

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup water

“UN-BREADING”

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice 1/4 cup almond flour

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Rinse and drain the tofu by gently pressing it with a linen cloth until the water comes out, then pat dry. Slice into eight pieces and place in a shallow baking dish.

Step 2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a glass measuring container and pour over the tofu. Marinate for at least 1 hour.

Step 3. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Step 4. In a medium bowl, add the Chinese five-spice seasoning to the almond flour. Remove the tofu from the marinade one piece at a time and dredge in the breading mixture. Coat both sides and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Step 5. Bake the tofu for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping it halfway through the baking time.

Peanut Lime Dressing
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 6 (2 tablespoons per serving)

INGREDIENTS

1⁄4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 cup lukewarm water

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor and blend until smooth.

 

3.) PINEAPPLE CABBAGE SLAW WITH MINT TAHINI DRESSING
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

INGREDIENTS

6 cups finely shredded cabbage
1⁄2 cup chopped celery
6 radishes, chopped
4 scallions (green part only), diced
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1⁄4 cup slivered almonds
1⁄2 cup Mint Tahini Dressing

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.

Step 2. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together until coated.

Mint Tahini Dressing
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Serves: 12 (2 tablespoons per serving)

INGREDIENTS
1⁄2 cup tahini
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves
1⁄4 cup water

DIRECTIONS

Step 1. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor and blend until smooth.

 

Kathie SwiftComment