Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Too Hot to Cook - Fun Salads

Many of us seem to be suffering the same malaise recently - too hot to be able to cook any of our favorite recipes.

But we still have to eat.

Today I'm sharing two delicious salads.

The first one is my husband's favorite. Sliced chicken salad. It's basically a chicken caesar salad but without the Caesar dressing and no anchovies!

The salad starts with basic greens. I used a mix of romaine and iceberg because iceberg is his favorite.

Ruthy mentioned last week that iceberg is her favorite even though it's not nutritious.  That reminded me of a blog post I did many years ago on Healthy Writer Blog.  Here's the relevant part:

Iceberg Lettuce
Growing up, the only lettuce I ever encountered was iceberg. These days iceberg is said in a voice dripping with scorn, as if the lettuce isn’t worthy of being called a vegetable. So I was curious. Are there any health benefits to the much-maligned iceberg lettuce?

Turns out it’s not all bad.

Compared to other greens, iceberg lettuce falls on the lower end, but it isn’t without health benefits. First of all, it’s low in calories and high in water content. It’s also high in folate (Vitamin B) which makes it good for preventing heart disease and strokes. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamins A, K, C, B6, and Thiamine. Iceberg lettuce is high in dietary fiber and is an excellent source of potassium and manganese and a very good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It also contains traces of sodium, copper, zinc. (Organic Facts)

Just a bit of trivia I found – Christopher Columbus was said to have brought lettuce to the new world. “Crisphead” was what iceberg was called originally until the 1920’s when transporters began shipping it beneath ice to keep it fresh, which is how it came to be known as iceberg lettuce.(From The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Iceberg Lettuce)

So back to the salad.

All that lettuce needed some color.

I had these cool carrots. We love the multi-colored ones and they look so pretty when they're shredded.

Add some sliced radishes, some sliced chicken (I did have to cook this, but you could use precooked.) croutons, and vinaigrette.


I thought this striped tomato was too cute.

Salad number 2 -

I don't eat chicken and I'd been waiting to try out an idea, so for my salad after I made the bowl of greens I sliced some yellow and green squash, some low acid tomatoes from the farmer's market, and peaches.

I had intended to grill them on the stove - but it was too hot! So I roasted them quickly under the broiler. (Can you call it roasting if it's under the broiler? Well, I did.)

Tossed them with the vinaigrette and it was done. I did add half of a salmon burger that I had because I wanted to add some protein.

Delicious! The roasted peaches gave the entire salad such a sweet taste. I will definitely be making this again.

What are your favorite/unusual things to add to salads?



  1. I love salads and about anything leftover goes in the salad. I do like to add a crunch, but don't like to eat too much bread, so instead of croutons, I add sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, or just about any kind of nut. Gives the salad a nice touch of salt and crunch.

    1. Sandra,as I typed this, I remembered that I had intended to add sunflower seeds. I was going to toast them while I was roasting the vegetables. I really do think the heat in my kitchen was affecting my brain.

      I often add nuts or seeds (hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame) for just that extra crunch!

    2. Cate, I like to add walnuts, goat cheese and mandarin orange sections.

    3. Hi Jenna, Thanks for stopping by. I loved your breakfast treat that you posted this morning. Such kindness!

      I'm with you on the walnuts and mandarin oranges. I love to make an orange almond salad that I had many years ago at a restaurant in Manhattan (The Magic Pan) long since out of business I'm afraid.

  2. I've had oranges and strawberries in a salad but never peaches. Yum! I need to start thinking outside of the box when it comes to salad making.

    Lettuce dilemma for a single person is having it wilt before you can eat it all. That's why I stopped buying iceburg lettuce. I've found spinach lasts longer in my fridge so that's my usual green. Or I get Boston lettuce that still has the root on it...hydroponics? Where they grow in water? Anyway, it comes in a plastic container and that will last a week or more. I'm hoping next year I'll be sorted out enough to have a vegetable garden again. Then I'll just walk outside and pick a few leaves as I need them. :-) Happy salad making!

    1. Kav, my husband bought some sort of green bags on Amazon to store lettuce in. It really did help to keep it fresh longer. He bought some sort of blue spheres too, but I haven't tried them yet.

  3. Both of these salads sound yummy, Cate - - thank you! And I must add that I'm very "proud" of you adding PEACHES to that 2nd salad (*wink*). I need to try that!
    Hugs from VERY warm Georgia, Patti Jo

    1. :). Patti Jo.

      I should have tagged you for my praline peach shortbread a few weeks ago.

  4. Oh, this looks so good, Cate! Fresh and crisp and delicious. And iceberg has a "crunch!" that other lettuce types don't. I love crunch! Mixed with broccoli slaw, it's so satisfying. Love it! Thank you for posting this.... And I love the idea of roasted peaches. That's absolutely mouth-watering!

    1. I'm so glad you got to see that iceberg is healthy Ruthy. BTW, Fenway shares your love for iceberg lettuce. He doesn't like romaine but he loves to munch on iceberg.

  5. Thanks for the ideas! I love trying different combinations. Interesting to put peaches with the squash!

    Thanks also for the info on iceberg! It caused a lively discussion with my family! LOL And now I won't feel guilty when I order a wedge salad (well, except for the bacon and bleu cheese). ;)

    1. Missy, I had some cantaloupe that I was considering adding too. I think the flavors would have worked except for the vinaigrette. I ate it separately. :)