Clapping On The Down Beat

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Hotter than Hades August 1, 2012

Filed under: Meal Planning,Multiple Sclerosis — clappingonthedownbeat @ 6:29 PM

Texas summer has arrived.  The last few days have been in the 100’s.  Yesterday my daughter had her soccer evaluation (they do a few drills so the girls are evenly distributed on teams).  It was in the evening, but it was still 102.  We both came home feeling sick.  Usually when I get overheated I can feel the nerve damage down my arm and it goes a little tingly or numb, but last night I got stomach cramps and just laid on the couch all night (completely engrossed in the Olympics!)

With is being so hot all I can think about is salads.  Since there is an abundance of fresh produce, I am featuring salads this week.  If you have a great one, please share.  I also got caught up on my recorded cooking shows with the big kids in camp this week.  After watching a recipe for madelines, I called my neighbor to borrow her pans.  I think I am going to get a set for myself this weekend.

Arugula and Watermelon Salad

  • 2 (5 ounce) packages arugula
  • 1/2 large watermelon, seeded and cubed
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinaigrette
  • Toss the arugula, watermelon, red onion, and feta cheese with the balsamic vinaigrette in a large bowl. Serve cold.

Broccoli Salad

  • 2 pounds bacon
  • 1 large head fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  1. Place bacon in a large skillet. Cook, turning frequently, over medium high heat until evenly browned. Cool, and then crumble.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Spread slivered almonds on a cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once during toasting. Cool.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, crumbled bacon, celery, green onions, red onions, raisins, and toasted almonds. Toss with mayonnaise dressing. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator.

Tomato and Green Bean Salad

  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 pound thin green beans, trimmed
  • 1 (5 ounce) package arugula leaves
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat an oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and arrange them, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and the bay leaf; drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil.
  3. Bake the tomatoes until they are shriveled and dry on the outside, but a little moist inside, about 2 hours.
  4. Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-low heat, gently shaking the pan as they toast, until beginning brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.
  5. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil; cook the green beans in the boiling water until bright green but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
  6. Combine the roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, green beans, arugula, and basil in a salad bowl. Whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, honey, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl, and pour the dressing over the salad. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese just before serving.

Chickpea Salad

  • 19 ounces garbanzo beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, red onion, garlic, tomato, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for 2 hours before serving. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.

Macaroni Salad

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages multicolored spiral pasta
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 pickles, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup cubed cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook spiral pasta at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Mix yellow and red bell peppers, pickles, black olives, ham, and onion in a large salad bowl; stir in spiral pasta. Mix in the mayonnaise until thoroughly coated. Stir in poppy and mustard seeds; season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate salad until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

Warm Sweet Potato Salad

  • 6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  1. Place the diced sweet potatoes and potatoes in a Dutch oven, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool the cooked potatoes slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the mayonnaise, mustard, balsamic vinegar, turmeric, chives, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the bacon, green onions, red onion and cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Serve garnished with extra chives or green onion.

Picnic Potato Salad (or with a grilled steak)

  • 2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with lightly salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.
  2. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, mustard, basil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl; add the potatoes and onion. Toss gently to coat. Let stand until cool, about 30 minutes.
  3. Fold blue cheese and chives into potato salad until blended.

One Response to “Hotter than Hades”

  1. Paula Says:

    I would like to share my Fattoush salad which is a recipe from my husband’s Lebanese family. It’s so filling that it’s a meal in itself.

    Fattoush Salad

    2 pita breads
    3 tomatoes, diced
    4 green onions, finely chopped
    1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
    1 small head romaine lettuce, shredded
    60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh parsley, chopped
    1 English cucumber, diced
    60 ml (1/4 cup) whole black olives
    1-2 tbsp. Sumac (Lebanese seasoning)

    The juice of 1 lemon
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
    10 ml (2 teaspoons) fresh mint, chopped
    5 ml (1 teaspoon) fresh thyme, chopped
    Salt and pepper


    1.With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).2.Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until crisp. Let cool then break into pieces.3.In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients, including the pita pieces.4.In a bowl, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients.5.Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and sprinkle Sumac over salad. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

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