Summer is upon us, and eating vegetables is just easier in the warmer months because there are so many more in season. Nothing beats a summer tomato or some grilled okra. In that vein, we’ve gathered five of our favorite no-fuss salad and vegetable recipes to inspire you to EAT MORE VEGETABLES!
Recipe #1: Just the Right Spice: Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, Avocado and Jalapeño
First up, this is an easy recipe that simply requires lots of chopping, but that’s it. Think of the cucumber, tomato and onion salad that everyone loves so much. This is just a reinvented version of that, made with apple cider vinegar and avocado, along with some diced, seeded jalapeño. For days when the heat has beaten you up, just grab a big bowl of this. Other days, serve alongside some grilled burgers. If you make a lot and have leftovers, consider making this into your base for gazpacho (yes, blended avocado is great in soups!).
- 8 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
- 1-2 (depending on your preference) English cucumber(s), chopped into thin crescent-shaped pieces (If using regular cucumbers, slice the cucumber in half the full length of the cucumber and seed it by scrapping the center with a spoon.) You'll want 2-4 cups of sliced cucumbers in the end, depending on your individual taste.
- 1-2 sweet onions sliced thinly and then chopped.
- 1 seeded and diced jalapeno pepper (or two if you like it really spicy!)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 T light olive oil
- Juice of one lemon (or lime if you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to taste (and with all those tomatoes and cucumbers, it's more than you think!)
- 1-2 avocados (I toss salad with one, cubed, and then place more atop each serving)
- Combine everything and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Taste to see if you have enough salt and pepper or if you want more lemon juice. If you have extra herbs at home (mint, cilantro, basil, dill) do not hesitate to chop them all up and toss in as well! Toss in cubed avocado and add some more atop each serving, or if you prefer, just top each serving with avocado.
Recipe #2: Panzanella
Since we are talking tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, let’s go a different direction with these same three key ingredients and make Panzanella, which basically means adding in some bell peppers and hearty, stale bread to create a filling vegetarian meal. Yes, you can also serve this as a side.
Recipe #3: Watermelon, Strawberry and Jicama Cheese Salad (with or without feta cheese)
My middle daughter used to come home from school talking about the delicious watermelon that her friend would share with her. Her friend’s mom grew up in Mexico City eating watermelon seasoned with cumin, chili seasoning, pepper and salt. You’ve likely heard of watermelon sprinkled with salt, so consider this a more flavorful take on that. This recipe was inspired by tasting this watermelon, as it was so dang good. While the spiced watermelon is delicious on its own, this salad makes a beautiful presentation with the addition of strawberries, jicama, cilantro and onion. It’s positively addictive!
Recipe #4: Peach Salad with Corn & Bacon
As the peaches start to ripen, do yourself a favor and grill them. All you have to do is cut them in half, remove the pits and place on a hot grill. The heat sweetens them even more. Grill far more than you need as you’ll want to use them in this salad, on a BLT, chopped up over ice cream or simply graze on them throughout the day.
Recipe #5: Seared Broccoli with Cilantro Vinaigrette
We recently highlighted a recipe created by Southern chef Andrew Coins of Miel, located in Nashville. We made it with broccoli, and we also used many of the components with roasted heirloom carrots. Both presentations are delicious, bright and satisfying.
Happy vegetable eating! Summer makes it super easy to get your daily 7-10 servings in.
For more recipes, be sure to see our recipe archive HERE.