As the weather heats up in North Carolina, you want to keep your kitchen cool. Now is the perfect time to put salads on your menu as the star of the meal. In celebration of National Salad Month in May, the following recipes are easy and can be deconstructed for those little wee ones one may turn up their noses at a salad for dinner. But, we think everyone will love these crowd-pleasing and easy entrees.
Cucumber-Feta Salad with Chickpeas and Basil
I made Jessica Seinfeld's Cucumber-Feta Salad with Chickpeas and Basil as a side dish the other night for my family and served it with baked chicken. However, with chickpeas acting as a protein (about 14.5 grams of protein per cup), it could be served as a main meal. This salad is made in a snap and would be a great accompaniment to most any meat or seafood.
Steak Salad with Snap Peas
I like this Steak Salad with Snap Peas recipe from Martha Stewart because the ingredients are simple My kids love steak, snap peas and raw carrots, but give them a cooked carrot and they will not eat one bite. Salads like this make it easy for Moms to prepare a whole meal that can serve all in your family even if deconstructed to suit everyone's tastes.
Asian Rotisserie Chicken
Getting a rotisserie chicken at your local market is a quick and easy solution for dinner. If you are like me and want to get in more veggies in a meal. I think this Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad, again from Martha Stewart, is chicken dinner winner. The cashews and red cabbage give it the perfect crunch in every bite.
Antipasti Pasta Salad
My children eat pasta a lot. It is their preferred carb. They are also grabbing salami out of the fridge for a snack, too. This Antipasti Pasta Salad made me realize it's okay to put salami, pasta, and mozzarella on a plate and call it dinner in warmer weather But, as an adult, I need a little more pizazz for dinner so this salad is the perfect solution to dress up the pasta, salami and cheese. If you prepare this salad, you may want to add a little more olive oil and a few splashes of reserved pasta water.
Fajita Steak Salad
This Fajita Steak Salad is another twist for Mexican night in your house. It's quick and easy and if the kids say no to a salad then just put their ingredients in a flour or corn tortilla for them. You can also add black beans, corn, and avocado to this salad. To make things really simple, use a bottled ranch or blue cheese dressing. I'm a big fan of the Little Black Dressing Company, locally made dressings out of High Point, North Carolina. Jarred salsa would work well, too. Or use both ingredients for even more flavor. Another positive thing about this salad as a main meal is that each salad can be customized according to their likes. Treat the assembly like salad bar and let everyone make their own.
About Leigh Powell Hines and the HinesSightBlog. Leigh is a North Carolina native who is a former TV journalist turned online storyteller/publisher. On her personal blog, Leigh gives her Southern spin on food, hotels, and life. Leigh is also the founder of the OutaboutNC social media community which helps market travel and tourism in North Carolina. Follow Leigh on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.