Red Kidney Bean Summer Salad

How fun is this salad? You can eat it as is or you can serve it with pita chips on the side. It’s a healthy and quick summer snack that you can make in just a few minutes. You can even eat this for lunch or have it as a side salad for dinner. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 1 can red kidney beans, rinsed

  • ½ cup cilantro, diced

  • ½ red onion, sliced

  • ½ lemon, squeezed

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Add everything into a salad bowl, toss and enjoy.

Minted Blueberry Lemon Water

How refreshing is this? Blueberries, lemon and mint are the perfect combo on a hot summer day. It’s hot out there so it’s important to keep hydrated. This will make it easier to drink more water. Make a pitcher of it and drink it all day!

Do you have any fruit combinations that you would like to share? Would love to hear what you use to help you drink more water!

Ingredients

  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 sprigs of Mint
  • ¼ cup of Blueberries

Directions

1) Drop blueberries in a cup of cold water and use a fork to crush them in the water to release its flavor. Add 2 slices of lemon to the water and do the same.

2) Put the mint inside, garnish with a lemon on the side of cup and serve.

Makes 1 serving. 

Ground Beef Tacos

Who’s in the mood for tacos? I love tacos because they’re quick, easy and fresh. You’ll hear me saying those 3 words a lot because that’s what we all want these days, right? Especially in the summer!

I like tacos because everyone at the table can make their own taco! If someone doesn’t like tomatoes they don’t have to use them because there are other toppings to choose from.

I like to keep it fresh and simple but you can really put anything you’d like in tacos!

What do you like to put in your tacos?

Ingredients

  • ½ pound of ground beef
  • 2 cups lettuce, cut
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup red onions, diced
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups water

Directions 

1) Put ground beef in a heated pan, break apart the beef with a spatula and brown for about 10 minutes. Pour 2 cups of water over beef, close lid and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

2) Once the beef is done, put in corn tortillas, add toppings and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings (2 tacos per person).

Citrus Rice Salad

I’m a huge fan of a good rice salad that you have the option of serving both hot or cold. This variation of Giada’s recipe is so fun to make.

This colorful dish can go as a side or just as is.

The key to making any rice dish rich is making it with chicken stock and not water.

The freshness of the citrus flavors reminds me of summer and the honey/soy sauce combo makes me think of the Caribbean islands.

Ingredients

Rice Salad:

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Vinaigrette:

  •  1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Rice Salad:

1) In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat and stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 40 minutes.

2) Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, half of the lemon zest, and green onions.

For the Vinaigrette:

1) Combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin together and whisk with a fork for about a minute. Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture.

Garlic Asparagus

Everything about asparagus screams summer…the color, how light it is when you eat it and the actual name a-s-p-a-r-a-g-u-s.

SONY DSC

This is one of my favorite ways to eat this super healthy veggie.

SONY DSC

If I can ever avoid salt I make sure to do so and use lemons every chance I get.

SONY DSC

The combination of the all the ingredients helps the asparagus bring out its flavor without it taking over and becoming too overwhelming.

SONY DSC

Garlic Asparagus

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1.  Wash the asparagus and set aside.

  2. In a skillet add wine, minced garlic, olive oil, 1 juice of lemon, and black pepper. Add washed asparagus and cover lid of skillet. Let simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes or until the asparagus are tender. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Spicy Feta and Pita Chip Salad

Summer is rolling right in and I’m a huge fan of salads when the weather starts warming up. Especially super light salads that you can toss together really quick when all you want to do is run outside and bask in the warm summer sun.

SONY DSC

Do I have you thinking about sunblock, water and swimsuits? That’s a good thing because the time has come, especially here in the south.

This salad is kind of one of those things where you can adjust accordingly depending on if you’re using it as your side salad or if you’re going to eat it as your actual meal. When I’m eating it as a meal I like to throw in some more feta and pita chips…the two things that will help fill me up. I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this salad as much as I do.

Spicy Feta and Pita Chip Salad 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of mixed greens, rinsed
  • ½ cup crumbles of Stacy’s Pita Chips
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 cucumber, washed and peeled
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Directions

  1. Put washed and rinsed mixed salad greens into a bowl, then cut cucumber and jalapeno and add to the bowl. Also add crumbled Stacy’s Chips and Feta.

  2. For dressing mix olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 lemon, and cayenne pepper together.

  3. Pour dressing over salad bowl and mix.

Makes 2 servings.