Healthy recipes to lighten up your next outdoor soirée
Photo by Nicole Quinn
1. WILD RICE SALAD
3 (2.75-ounce) packages quick-cooking wild rice, cooked and cooled (I use Gourmet House.)
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3/4 - 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook rice according to the package directions. Fluff and let cool.
2. Add pecans, cranberries, green onions, parsley, mint and feta cheese.
3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Whisk. Pour over rice mixture, and toss to coat.
4. Season with salt and pepper and chill until ready to serve. Serves 6 - 8.
2. EDAMAME AND SHRIMP SALAD IN A TOMATO SHELL
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 - 2 cups chopped cooked shrimp (Beth likes to sauté the shrimp in a little oil and garlic.)
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeños
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1. Cook edamame according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water. Drain again.
2. Combine edamame, shrimp, cannellini beans, onion and jalapeño pepper. Refrigerate.
3. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, cut the top 1/3 off each tomato.
4. Working over a colander set over a bowl, gently squeeze each tomato to remove as many seeds as possible. Then, scoop out the tomato flesh, being careful not to break the tomato shell.
5. Dice the removed tomato flesh. Add to the refrigerated edamame and shrimp mixture.
6. Combine cilantro and the remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over the edamame mixture, and toss gently to combine.
7. Cover mixture and tomato shells, and chill for several hours or overnight.
8. When ready to serve, sprinkle a little salt and pepper inside the tomato shells, then spoon the salad into each shell. Serve 4.
Photo by Elise Poché
3. APRICOT GINGER CHICKEN SALAD
2 - 4 cups cooked chopped chicken (white meat only)
1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Apricot Ginger Dressing, see below
1 head romaine lettuce, sliced into ribbons
wonton chips or Chinese noodles, for garnish (optional)
1. Mix chicken, apricots, green onions, carrots and cilantro in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Toss the chicken mixture with Apricot Ginger Dressing and serve on top of romaine ribbons.
3. Garnish with wonton chips or crunchy Chinese noodles, if desired. Serves 4.
APRICOT GINGER DRESSING
1 (10-ounce) jar apricot preserves
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
Combine preserves, vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until melted. Let mixture cool. Makes approximately 1 cup.
Photo by Elise Poché
4. BLACK BEAN, EDAMAME AND WHEATBERRY SALAD
4 cups water
1/2 cup dry wheatberries
8 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup corn
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
lime juice, to taste
salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Combine water and wheatberries in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 55 minutes, or until wheatberries are tender. Place in a fine mesh strainer. Run under cold water to cool quickly. Drain.
3. Boil edamame according to instructions on the package. Let cool, and then pop beans out of the shells.
4. Combine wheatberries and edamame with remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours in advance. Serves 6 to 8.
5. CRAB, MANGO, CUCUMBER SALAD
1 pound of lump crabmeat
2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups washed fresh mixed greens
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds
White Balsamic Dressing, recipe below
1. Carefully combine crabmeat, mangos, cucumber and green onions in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Arrange mixed greens on a salad plate and top with the crabmeat mixture and the toasted almonds.
3. Drizzle the desired amount of White Balsamic Dressing over the top of the salad and serve. Serves 4.
WHITE BALSAMIC DRESSING
1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and white pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until dressing emulsifies or has a creamy appearance. Makes approximately 2 cups.
Photo by Elise Poché
6. SHRIMP, AVOCADO, ROMA TOMATO SALAD
1 pound of fresh Gulf shrimp, peeled, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and diced
4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
1. Mix the shrimp, avocados, Roma tomatoes, red onion and cilantro in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Combine with fresh lime juice and season with the salt to taste.
3. Serve on a bed of greens or as an appetizer with baked wonton or tortilla chips. Serves 4.
7. ROASTED VEGGIE PASTA SALAD
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped bell peppers
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups chopped yellow squash
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces whole grain penne pasta
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil (for easy clean up).
2. Toss chopped onion, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and squash together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Transfer to baking sheets and roast for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in garlic, and roast another 10 to 15 minutes, until veggies are lightly golden. Let cool.
5. Meanwhile, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and reduce heat to a low boil. Cook until pasta is just barely cooked (approximately 8 minutes); do not overcook. Drain and set aside to cool.
6. Once cooled, toss together in a plastic or glass bowl with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt and remaining olive oil. Add more salt or vinegar if needed. Makes approximately 8 cups. Serves 8 - 10.
8. AVOCADO CRABMEAT SALAD
2 ripe avocadoes
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green onions
1 teaspoon minced or grated garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (may substitute black pepper)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound crabmeat, preferably jumbo lump
1. Mash the avocadoes in a bowl, and stir in lemon juice.
2. Add in red bell pepper, green onions, garlic, salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir until well combined.
3. Gently fold in crabmeat so as to not break up the lumps. Serve in lettuce wraps or with crudités or whole grain crackers. Makes approximately 4 cups. Serves 8 - 10.
9. Corn Salad with Honey Lime Basil Vinaigrette
6 ears fresh corn, shucked and de-silked
2 cups pineapple, small diced
2 avocados, small diced
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, small diced
1/2 green bell pepper, small diced
1/2 cup red onion, small diced
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and add corn. Cook for 3 minutes and then remove corn to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.
2. Once the corn has cooled, cut off the cob. Combine the corn kernels and the remaining ingredients except the avocado together in a large bowl.
3. Toss salad with Honey Lime Basil Vinaigrette. Add avocado and toss again right before serving. Serves approximately 10-12.
Honey Lime Basil Vinaigrette
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
zest and juice of 1 lime
8 basil leaves
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a blender. Purée.
2. While the blender is running, pour in the olive oil, and purée until well combined. Makes approximately 1 cup.
Photo by Todd Douglas
10. Thai Summer Roll Salad
2 zucchini, spiralized or thinly grated
2 cups chopped kale
2 cups cooked quinoa
Peanut Dressing (see below)
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons each fresh basil, mint and cilantro, thinly sliced
2 scallions, chopped
1 lime, cut into 4 pieces
1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, kale and quinoa. Top with half of the dressing (or to taste) and toss to coat.
2. Divide the salad between 4 plates and top with red bell pepper, almonds, herbs and scallions. Drizzle a small amount of dressing over salad and save the leftovers in the refrigerator for another use. Serve with a lime wedge. Serves 4.
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-inch knob of ginger, grated
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
water, as needed
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water as needed to thin out the dressing until pourable.Edit Module