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5 Quick & Easy Summer Dinner Salads

Jun 27, 2011 at 11:15 AM Chime in now

Quick & easy summer dinner salads


SWEET POTATO 5: Quick & Easy Summer Dinner Salads

By Laura Keogh, Sweet Potato Chronicles

If you say salad to most kids you get that face. You know the one—it's the same cranky expression you receive when you tell them they can't have the blue ring pop out of the birthday party loot bag. (To the Nice People Who Make Ring Pops, can you make those with fruit? Please and thank you.) However, for most parents, especially in the summer months, a big salad is an easy and healthy way to knock off dinner. I, personally, love a salad filled with tuna, asparagus, cheese and onions—the more you shoe-horn into my salad, the better. Actually, overstuffing a salad with fresh, seasonal ingredients is also a way to make it more kid-friendly. Including lots of lean protein, veggies, nuts and even some fruit, gives kids lots to pick and choose, from so they'll still wind-up with a nutritious meal. And, hey, if the errant piece of baby spinach winds up on their fork, who can complain.
Here are our favorite easy dinner salad recipes, starting with this family favourite:

Salmon Dinner Salad
This omega-3 rich meal is perfect for summer suppers, because you can make all the delicious parts ahead. It's also ideal for entertaining, spread out on a long table.

8 small red potatoes, washed and sliced in half
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 head of tender lettuce (Boston or butter), washed and chopped into ribbons
1 avocado
6 or 7 plum tomatoes, washed, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
2 filets of salmon
glug of olive oil
1/2 lemon’s worth of juice
salt and pepper

For the dressing:
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 cup washed, and finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 lemon’s worth of juice
1 Tbsp honey

1. Boil or steam potatoes until tender. Drain and put aside to cool.

2. Turn oven broiler onto 450 degrees. I always rinse fish before I cook it. Pat it dry with paper towel before coating in a light slick of olive oil and lemon juice, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before placing on a rack or cookie sheet. Shake the corn around the salmon on the sheet. Place on the highest rack of the oven. Watch it fairly closely, it will only take between 5 and 10 minutes. The salmon flesh will be opaque and the corn will start to char. Pull the rack or sheet out of the oven and just use a fork to break into the salmon to check that it’s cooked through. Allow to cool either to warm or room temperature.

3. Slice the avocado in half lengthwise  and remove the pit. Do you know the trick? Hold the pit half of the avocado in one hand. With a sharp knife in the other, whack the blade firmly into the pit. Rotate the pit with the knife before gently lifting it out. Careful prying the pit off the blade! Score the flesh of the avocado into squares with a regular table knife and run it under the flesh to flick out all the squares.

4. Get out a nice big platter. Lay down a bed of the chopped lettuce. Arrange the potatoes, avocado and tomatoes evenly across the lettuce.

5. Once the salmon has cooled at least a bit, gently peel off the skin. Break it into bite size pieces with your hands. Arrange on the salad. Shake the charred corn over top.

6. To make the dressing put all the ingredients into a jar and shake. Either dress the salad or just serve it on the side so everyone can do it themselves. Which is sort of the point of the whole dinner!

Here are our four other favourite quick & easy summer dinner salads:

Chicken and Asparagus Salad is an SPC favorite for its ease as well as nutritional punch.
Grilled Shrimp Salad is a great meal for entertaining that can also feature grilled salmon or chicken.
Cobb Salad is an American luncheonette classic that offers plenty of vitamins and minerals courtesy of avocado, peppers and juicy tomatoes.
Asparagus and Potato Salad can be made more hearty with chopped hard boiled eggs as well as some chopped carrot.

For more kid-friendly recipes and snack ideas, sign up for the awesome & indispensable Sweet Potato Chronicles newsletter!

Sweet Potato 5 favourites from iVillage:
5 Light & Easy Superfood Dinners
Three-Step Cranberry Granola Balls
No-Bake Strawberry Pie

5 Picky Eater Strategies for Easier Mealtimes


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