04 June 2006

Simple Summer Salads

Simple Summer Salads... try saying that one five times fast! Let me pretense this whole post by commenting on the temperature outside. It was 113 (degrees F) the other day, 112 today and is supposed to be about the same or maybe 111 or 110 (does that even matter?) for the next few days. Did I mention never a cloud in the sky (until monsoon season)? Then they call it "cooling down" to the 107's range through the week, and anything above 105 is considered hot. And yes it's a dry heat, and yes I'd rather have this than humidity or coldness, and no I am not the local forcaster.

Based on the conditions and it's not even July/August yet, I have primarily feasting on the following: fresh fruit smoothies, cereal, ice cream and fruit salad. I decided to get away from some of that, for dinner at least, and whipped up some summer salads that were nice and cool. First you will see a return of the pasta salad. It's a vinaigrette with simple spices, olive oil, red wine vinegar and cucumbers and carrots. Everything's organic except for the olive oil (too costly to buy for now) and the cuc's aren't organic. I had a personal battle at the store today, and decided to just go for it. You can see that I washed and scrubbed it like it fell in the toilet or something (would that have been better than eating conventional produce?!) and I even peeled part of the skin. I did leave some skin on in the case that there may be lingering vitamins and minerals under the waxiness and crap. Anyway, this is what it looks like. Yum.
I made another simple summer salad to go with the pasta salad. This one's a simple one because I went for it and bought a bag (well, 2) of Newman's Organics spring mix. I think there is about 20 kinds of greens in here and "three times washed". Sweet. I took the bag of spring mix, tossed it with the leftover carrots and cuc's from the other salad, added some walnuts and called it good. The hardest part about this meal was deciding on a dressing. Then got Ray involved and he wanted some sort of mustard-y kind. I thumbed through 10 old magazines of Veggie Life and VT... and then found my brain and picked up The Everyday Vegan & Vive le Vegan. I decided to make Dreena's "Simple Cider Vinaigrette" which has apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup and a few other secret ingredients. It was simple to make and tasted bold and vinegary, just the way I like my salads, but with a sweet hint. Overall, this meal was tasty, refreshing, simple, and great for summer.


funwithyourfood said...

I'm so glad you posted about salads. It's getting hot here in CA too.. Thanks for letting me know! : )


raising_kahne said...

yumm...I have been craving a pasta salad for awhile now, but never could think of a pasta dressing, so I guess Ill have to get off my lazy butt and find one in Vive!

Johanna3 said...

those salads looks really awesome.

you inspire me to go and get more organic from the moments i start to read your blogg, many weeks ago :)

Harmonia said...

Great, indeed!

I could use your feedback about my Quinoa Pasta Dish I just posted when you have time.

Catherine said...

I hate it when I lose my brain, too! ;-)

I'm making a double recipe of my tabouli tomorrow night to take to a potluck on Wednesday. I've adjusted the recipe a little bit, and I'll pass it along to you if you'd like to take another pass at it!

I hope you have air-conditoning. Dry heat or not, 110 degrees sounds like my own special version of Hell.

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

I have been in that Arizona heat before...scorchin!

This salad posting gets be excited for our first crop share arrival on the 15th. All the produce is pre-washed for us, which is nice.

Vinaigrettes are great! Now I am craving a salad.


Vicki said...

fresh lookin' salads, leslie! dreena's "Simple Cider Vinaigrette" is amazingly yummy & simple.

Chris said...

Great photos!

I remember well our 2 summers in Tempe. It's a dry heat but so is an oven. My self-imposed limit for riding my bike to work was 110. But then there was the one day the forecast was off and I rode home in 112 degree heat. Yuck.

Jody from VegChic said...

Nothing wrong with great salads like that. Fields greens with any kind of light vinagrette...yum!

113 degrees? I'm melting when it is 85 here.

Carrie™ said...

I love the convenience of those bags of pre-washed organic greens. Your salads look so refreshing. What a great meal.

ningostar said...

fmhey leslie,

i have been out of town for the past 12 days... it has been fun to come back and read all your posts. some really good stuf happening!! i got married just over a year ago in phx. the day we got married we had record breaking heat ( i think it was 112) AND the air conditioning in the building where we got married broke that morning. oh god, it was soooo hot! anyway, all your food looks great. it is good to be back.



Harmonia said...

Hi there! Just checkin in...hope all is well today!

Anonymous said...

salad mania!!!!

Dori said...

WOW, it hasn't hit hot time in Iowa yet... but then you are over there in the desert.

Great salad posts, I'll save them for when we get the heat wave in July.