Summertime and the livin’ is easy! Or so the song goes. I’m not so sure sometimes, but I love it anyway. We sure have had our share of extra hot and humid days. They slowed me to nearly a snail’s pace. Cold, easy to fix meals are essential to my survival and pleasant spirit! Salads to the rescue!
We all know salads make the summer, but most people seem to think of green, leafy salads.
I start with a base of cold, cooked quinoa because I appreciate salads which double as a complete meal. They’re tops for summertime food lovers who want to cut back on time in the kitchen or are looking for the lighter fare!
Think of quinoa as a basic white attire needing accessories. We can use other options, too, such as rice or potato but I like using quinoa because it’s nutritionally balanced and tastes great! One cup of this cooked seed has 222 calories; 8.14 grams protein; 5.2 grams; 39.4 grams fiber; many essential nutrients and vitamins. Add whatever we have that feels right.
The other night I tossed in chopped fresh garden tomatoes; cubed caramelized onion, white cheddar cheese; minced fresh chives and basil leaves. In my small blende, I spun together a fresh vinaigrette using
• ½ cup olive oil
• ½ Hall’s Maple Balsamic Vinegar (locally made)
• 1 Tablespoon English lemon marmalade
• ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
• Fresh ground pepper to taste
I then drizzled the vinaigrette over the ingredients in my bowl; lightly tossed everything together, and let the flavors meld for 20 minutes.
The seasoning we choose reflects our mood (or what we have in the cupboard!). Mine was savory and sweet. Try Asian or go Mexican or Latin! Black beans, lentils, or chickpeas are healthy protein and fiber additions and add texture.

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