After weeks of complaining about the lack of sunshine in West LA, I’m thrilled to report the sunshine found me – I mean us! Though the temps are really just starting to heat up today, it’s been sunny all week and I can tell my outlook is happier! Though I love every season, I really thrive in the sunshine! With so much fresh produce available in the summer (and considering I put on shorts for the first time yesterday), I’m looking to add more healthy summer salads to our mix. With lean proteins, I’m really big on these easy salads with dinner. And then they’re great as lunch over the next few days too. You’ll see some ingredients in a few dishes like berries, watermelon, summer tomatoes (yum!), green beans, corn, and avocado! The berries and cherries are interchangeable in all of the recipes and you can use whatever variety and size of tomato you have access to in each of the salads. Some of these recipes have whole grains in them as written, but you could add cooked quinoa to any of these for a little extra protein!
I’m big on making my own salad dressings – they usually have less than 5 ingredients and I love the flavor so much more than store-bought ones now. Each of my dressings has olive oil, salt, and pepper. Past that it’s usually one or two of these basic ingredients: lemon juice, vinegar, minced garlic, whole grain mustard, and occasionally fresh herbs. We keep them in these small (4.5 oz) hermetic jars. They’re the perfect size for the recipe and great for shaking the ingredients together.