Who wants to slave over a hot stove when the summer temperatures are climbing? Okay, yes, there are occasions when I actually don’t mind, if I want to prepare something I can’t live without and it requires the use of my stove. But for the most part, this time of year I do appreciate meals that are meant to be eaten cold. I am always on the hunt for recipes that fit the bill, so it is my hope that in this little collection you find at least one that appeals to you and your family.
Garbanzo bean and corn salad
When I make this, I like to use my salt and pepper grinders that have dried garlic in them.
2 1/2 cups corn kernels
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups (about 1 pound) cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 green bell pepper, diced (I like to use red ones)
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. In a large salad bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and stir until everything is mixed well.
3. Refrigerate until serving or at least for a half an hour to let the flavors blend. Makes 12 servings.
Veggie soba noodle salad
1 bundle of soba noodles
5 baby carrots
1/2 red bell pepper
2 broccolini spears
1 cup kale
1 to 2 sprigs fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon white cooking wine (I use any white wine)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
A few grinds black pepper
Sprinkle of sea salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Chop the baby carrots, bell pepper and broccolini spears and place in a large bowl.
2. Remove and discard the hard stems from the kale and chop the leaves into small pieces. Also, chop the cilantro and combine the two in one bowl.
3. Put the soba noodles in a saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the noodles. Bring it to a boil, which takes up to 10 minutes (or even more on some stoves), then turn the heat off. The noodles should be cooked by now, if your noodles are still hard, let it cook a few minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the dressing by combining all the ingredients together and stirring until it is well blended.
5. Once noodles are ready, prepare a strainer. Put the strainer before the large bowl containing the baby carrots, bell pepper and broccolini, and pour the soba noodles and boiling water over the strainer. The hot water should all go inside the large bowl with the vegetables, while the noodles are caught in the strainer. Allow the liquid to drain from the strainer, then add the kale and cilantro to the noodles in the strainer. Mix the ingredients a little to blend.
6. Wait for about 1 minute, then pour the vegetables and boiling water into the strainer (with the noodles, kale and cilantro still in there). This should allow the cilantro and kale to warm up a bit. Allow all the water to drain, then pour everything (the noodles and veggies) into a bowl (without any water in it).
7. Drizzle in the dressing and stir it around until the dressing is evenly mixed, then add the toasted sesame seeds on top. Makes 1 serving.
Cold spaghetti salad
This recipe has been around for years but it is still a good one.
1 pound spaghetti
1 red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cucumbers, coarsely chopped
2 green peppers, coarsely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half (you could use cherry tomatoes)
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 to 2/3 bottle McCormicks Salad Supreme, divided
10 to 12 oz. Italian dressing, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Rinse in cold water until cool. Place in large bowl.
2. Add 1/2 Salad Supreme to spaghetti and 1/2 Italian dressing.
3. Add chopped onion, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, and olives to spaghetti mixture, toss gently.
4. Add remaining Salad Supreme and Italian Dressing to spaghetti mixture, toss gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Chicken salad wraps
If you want, use a cooked rotisserie chicken for this salad mixture. Adds great flavor! Also, use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas if you wish.
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 stalks)
1 cup halved, crisp red grapes
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of half a lemon
4 flour tortillas
1. Place the chicken, celery, grapes, green onion and pecans in a large bowl and stir to mix. In another bowl combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise with the dill, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and stir until coated. Taste and adjust seasoning until it's just right, if needed. You can also add another 1/4 cup of mayonnaise if you like your chicken salad to be thinner.
2. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or up to overnight to allow the flavors to combine, and serve wrapped inside tortillas. Cut each wrap in half with a sharp knife. Makes 4 servings (2 halves per person).