Our Favorite Labor Day Weekend Summer Salad Recipes
Every year on the first Monday in September, we celebrate Labor Day - a national holiday that pays tribute to all hard working Americans. Workers are given that day off to rest and celebrate their contribution to the American economy.
Most people mark Labor Day as the day that ends the summer season. And since Labor Day is upon us, it’s your last chance to indulge in all your favorite summer recipes. Here are a few of our favorite 2015 summer salad recipes from the ladies who make up Joan Lunden Productions. Take a look...
After eating so much BBQ all summer, I think it’s nice to switch it up for the last hurrah! This summer I’ve been obsessed with the fresh watermelon I see everywhere so I would love to have a great fresh summer salad with fruit! Baby spinach, watermelon, blueberries, strawberries, feta or goat cheese depending on preference, pine nuts for some crunch and a light balsamic or champagne vinaigrette! It’s a salad that will make people talk, not the same old veggie salad and might as well enjoy the beautiful summer produce while it’s still around!
Greek Pasta Salad
I saw this recipe on The Food Network and tried it out on our family that very night. I love it because it’s a light dish for the summer, but you still get to have some pasta which I love! It’s perfect for a BBQ and you can bring it with you to a party since there’s no mayo to go bad in the sun. I love the combination of greek flavors in greek salad and this changes it up a bit! Also, the dressing is SO simple!
- 1 cup of orzo
- 1 cucumber chopped
- 1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar, whatever you have!)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bring 8 cups of cold salted water to a boil, add the orzo and cook till al dente, drain and set aside.
- While the orzo is cooking, go ahead and make the dressing: whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper till smooth. Slowly whisk in the olive oil till emulsified. Set aside.
- In a big bowl, combine the orzo, cucumber, tomato, green onion, salt and pepper. Crumble the feta and sprinkle the dill over the top. Stir.
- Drizzle half the dressing and stir.
- Add more dressing as needed or serve extra on the side.
For fun, try new combinations of contrasting colored vegetables, chopped into bite-size pieces. The presentation is quite spectacular when you layer the ingredients in a clear glass serving bowl.
- 1 head of romaine lettuce (or lettuce of choice), rinsed, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 6 cups, loosely packed)
- 1 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch beets, cooked, peeled, and chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 fresh ears of corn, grilled or boiled and cut off the cob (or 1 cup defrosted frozen corn)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups cooked, chopped turkey or poached chicken breast
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped, mixed fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, dill, basil)
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, optional
- 1 1/2 cups Low-Fat Ranch Dressing or your favorite purchased low fat dressing
Spread the romaine on the bottom of a large glass bowl, and layer the remaining ingredients on top of the lettuce. Add the dressing, and toss well.
Nutritional Analysis per serving: 217 calories; 25% calories from fat; 6 grams of fat; 357 milligrams of sodium
Orange and Black Olive Salad: serves 4
I LOVE this orange and black olive salad taken from Joan Lunden's Healthy Cooking, I'm always intrigued by the combination of ingredients! When Joan first introduced me to this salad, I wasn't sure I was going to like the taste of oranges next to olives, but the pair is surprisingly delightful and extremely refreshing. The recipe calls for arugula, but I prefer to mix all types of lettuce together to create a "mixed greens" combo. But you can use any kind of lettuce you like!
- 4 juicy oranges
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 to 1 garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon), or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch of cayenne, optional
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt to taste
- 1 large bunch of arugula, stems removed, rinsed well and spun dry
- 2 tablespoons sliced pitted black olives (either Californian or Mediterranean)
- 1 cup 1/2-inch croutons
With a serrated knife, cut away orange peels and pith and discard, and cut oranges crosswise into thin slices. In a bowl toss the slices gently with the mint, olive oil, garlic, coriander, cayenne (if using), sugar, and salt to taste. Line the bottom of a platter with the arugula. Arrange the oranges on top, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle the olives over the oranges, and serve each portion topped with one-fourth of the croutons.
Nutritional Analysis per serving: 171 calories; 36% calories from fat; 7 grams of fat; 138 milligrams of sodium
Source: Joan Lunden’s Healthy Cooking by Joan Lunden and Laura Morton