Light Fare for Summer Evenings

With the heat of summer, heavy foods lose some of their appeal. We naturally want lighter food. That’s what got me digging through a cookbook I picked up recently.

The Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook is no light book. The one I picked up at a garage sale is a hardback and weighs about 5 pounds or so. Or at least it seems to.

I flipped to the salads section to see if there were any fresh new salads hiding there. And there were!

Black Bean Salad

3 cups black beans, cooked

2 cups corn, cooked

1/2 cup red onions, minced

1 cup red peppers, diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup parsley

1 teaspoon chile peppers, crushed

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup flax seed oil

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine beans, corn, onions, red peppers, cilantro, parsley and chile peppers. Mix garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, and sea salt. Pour dressing over salad and mix. Serves 7.

The recipe doesn’t specify, but canned black beans would work just fine here and make this salad very quick and easy.

Sesame Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked rice

2 cups cooked chicken breast, sliced

1/4 pound snow peas, sliced into strips

1 medium cucumber, cut into strips

1 medium red pepper, cut into strips

1/2 cup sliced green onion

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Dressing

1/4 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon peanut oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all salad ingredients. Stir well then toss with dressing. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled. Serves 6.

Dressing: Combine all ingredients in jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Yields 3/4 cup.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon peel

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup salad oil

12 dried apricots, moist packed preferred

4 cups bite-size pieces cooked chicken

1 apple, cored and diced

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds

Stir together honey, mustard, poppy seeds, lemon peel, juice, and oil. Add apricots and let stand 30 minutes. Remove apricots and set them aside. Add chicken and toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To serve: Add apple, celery, green onions. and almonds to chicken mixture. Divide onto lettuce-lined plates and garnish with apricots. Serves 6.

 

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