Summertime always inspires me to eat light and healthy—well, at least semi-healthy. So, if you’re like me, here are some delicious salad recipes that keep me full and happy.
GREEN BEAN & ROASTED RED BELL PEPPER SALAD
TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins
1 lb. green beans, washed, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces (if using young small beans, you can leave them whole after trimming)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
1. Put 1 cup of water in a saucepan with the green bean pieces. Boil water and reduce heat to medium. Cover the pot and steam the green beans for 12-15 minutes until tender-crisp (smaller, younger beans may cook more quickly).
2. Dice the roasted bell pepper flesh into small pieces.
3. Drain the beans in a colander and run cold water over them to cool them down to room temperature. Shake them dry.
4. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper, salt, and parsley in a small bowl.
5. Place the steamed green beans and diced roasted bell pepper in a salad bowl and pour dressing over them.
6. Toss all ingredients gently until the beans and peppers are fully coated with the dressing.
Let the salad marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
GREEK PASTA SALAD
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hour
1 box Rotini Pasta
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked to your preference. I poach mine.
8 oz. black olives, drained and cut into halves
4 oz. green olives, drained and chopped
8 oz. feta cheese
½ a bottle of your favorite Italian dressing
Black pepper, to taste (I am pretty heavy-handed)
1. Boil, rinse and drain pasta. Let it sit in a bowl or colander in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Cook your chicken. As I said, I poach mine. To poach chicken, place breasts in a pot. Fill the pot with water only enough so the chicken is submerged. Place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Once it begins boiling, either turn off the stove or remove the pot. Place a lid on the pot for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pour out any remaining water and let the chicken cool. Poaching provides juicy, tender chicken EVERY time!
3. Once the chicken is cooled, tear it apart into bite-size pieces.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, chicken, feta cheese, black olives, green olives, Italian dressing and black pepper.
5. Let the pasta cool in the fridge for as long as you can stand. Serve cool. — Lindy Kirk