Summer Salad With Heartiness
Although this salad is delicious as a side dish, it is hearty enough to be the main course. This organic salad is high in protein, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it; you won’t be hungry in just two hours!
To soak up the vinaigrette, serve with hearty whole-grain bread on the side, preferably organic and baked by a local baker.
2 cans organic chickpeas, 15 oz (garbanzo beans)
2 cans organic black-eyed peas, 15 oz.
2 cans organic artichoke hearts (15 oz.)
4 large organic tomatoes
a large organic onion
6 large fresh organic garlic cloves
1 cup organic olive oil
1 cup organic balsamic vinegar
A few pinches dried organic parsley
Season with freshly ground salt and pepper for taste
Drain the chickpeas and black-eyed peas and place them in a large mixing bowl. Artichoke hearts, chopped (into eighths if they’re whole, or into quarters if already halved). Chop the tomatoes and dice the onion; combine the artichokes, tomatoes, and onion in a mixing bowl. Crush the garlic cloves with a garlic press and toss them into the luscious pile of goodies.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then drizzle over the pile. Your mouth should be watering right about now. Add a generous pinch of parsley, then season with salt and pepper to taste. With a large spoon, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients and coat them with vinaigrette.
If you want the vinaigrette to be tangier, increase the ratio of balsamic vinegar to olive oil! If you want the salad to be juicier, increase the overall amount of oil and vinegar.
You can also experiment with different vinegar flavors to see which one you prefer. This dish pairs well with red wine or raspberry balsamic vinegar.
Fresh ground salt and pepper can be added to the oil and vinegar mixture, sprinkled over the ingredients before stirring, or both.
Fresh chopped basil–or any other fresh organic herb you think would complement this dish–is also an option. You can also use organic scallions (green onions) instead of diced onions to add more color.
The key to creating delectable recipes is to cook according to your own preferences, rather than following the recipe exactly. After all, how much fun would cooking be if you couldn’t taste the dishes as you made them?
This dish, which serves 6 or more people, is also ideal for summer cookouts, especially if you’re vegan. You can’t always rely on nondairy, high-protein dishes at such gatherings, but you can rely on this hearty summer salad!
Summer Snacking That Is Healthy
In the summer, your air conditioner isn’t the only thing that consumes energy; your children do as well.
Children tend to spend more time outside during the warmer months. All of that running, jumping, and swimming expends a lot of energy, so it’s critical to keep your kids fueled up. Here’s a recipe that can help you do just that. It’s a fun, portable snack mix made with California raisins, which gives it a sweet taste and a lot of energy.
Sunshine Snack Mix
2 cups raisins, California
2 cups granola cereal (low-fat)
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and thoroughly combine.
Yields: 5 1/2 cups
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
The potassium in California raisins lowers blood pressure, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Raisins, in addition to adding fiber to the diet, are high in antioxidants and even contain phytochemicals that benefit oral health.
The Taste of Health
Of course, nutrition facts are unlikely to be important to your children. California raisins hold up well in terms of taste, which is important to children. They make sweet, plump treats, which can be an easy way to help your children maintain a healthy diet while also keeping their energy levels up throughout the day.
Are you looking for more summer snack ideas? The California Raisin Marketing Board provides a variety of tasty, easy-to-make recipes that require little to no time in the kitchen, allowing you to spend more time with your children. For a quick snack, make Raisin Peanut Butter Balls, or Spiced Apple Pie Party Mix for a healthy dose of dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Raisin Nachos with Cinnamon Dipping Sauce is sure to please, as are Raisin Delights, which are bite-size cream cheese and sunflower seed balls rolled in coconut. Or simply eat California raisins straight from the box.