Meatless Monday – Salad Days

It’s hot, hot, hot this NorCal August and no one wants to cook – oven, stovetop, or BBQ, all Too Much Heat.

Good thing we love salad!

Last week we took a picnic to our small town’s Thursday night summer concert series. A gorgeous salad, a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, a fun and quirky 80’s band, and good friends – what’s not to love?southwest salad

The salad tasted even better than it looked. I ate next-day leftovers for brunch, and then again for a late lunch, until it was all gone. I kept the dressing separate and still had a little leftover. This week I’m doubling the recipe and making it again for an end-of-summer Moms-and-Kids overnight camp out.

Southwestern Chopped Salad (from the Change Your Health for Life Facebook page)
Large head of Romaine
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

Dressing:
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (in a pinch, sub 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt

Make the dressing in a food processor or blender. Toss to combine or serve dressing on the side (unless serving a large group, I generally leave dressing on the side).

And a bonus recipe: Asian-inspired Salad Dressing

2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp garlic-chili paste
1 tsp sesame oil
Note: you can add heat by using more garlic-chili paste or subbing sriracha, and you can decrease by using pressed garlic and a dash of dried red pepper flakes (or omit).

Double or triple ingredients as needed. Combine in a jar and shake.

I started with a bag of prepared super food salad (brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale). I added some Napa cabbage, shredded carrots, and cucumber, and topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and dressing.

So good, so fresh, so quick, no need to cook. Yay for summer!

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