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Healthy summer salads

Broccoli bacon salad 

Ingredients:  

2 pounds broccoli 

1 pound bacon, cooked and minced 

1/2 cup red onion, minced 

1/2 cup sunflower seeds 

1 cup raisins 

For dressing 

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 

1/3 cup sugar 

3 tablespoons lemon juice 

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Instructions: 

Begin by cooking the bacon until crispy, then chop it into small pieces. While the bacon is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and salt. Whisk together the ingredients until they are smooth. 

Then, cut the broccoli florets and mince the onion. The florets are the part of the broccoli that look like little trees that branch off the green stem. Next, toss together the broccoli florets, bacon, red onions, sunflower seeds and raisins with the prepared dressing. The salad can be served immediately but tastes best when chilled for approximately an hour then served. 

Strawberry spinach salad 

Ingredients: 

1/3 cup mayonnaise 

1/4 cup milk 

1 1/2 tablespoons honey 

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

1 tablespoon poppy seeds 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

1 tablespoon canola oil 

4-5 cups baby spinach 

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries 

1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and sliced 

2 small cucumbers, sliced 

1/2 cup sliced red onion 

1/2 cup toasted pecan halves 

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese 

Instructions: 

Begin by making the dressing for the salad. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, honey, vinegar, poppy seeds and Dijon mustard. Season it with salt and pepper to taste, then put it in the refrigerator until the salad is ready to serve. 

Grease a pan with oil and turn it on to medium high to cook the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, turning it occasionally until it is cooked through.  

To construct the salad, place the spinach in a large bowl and top it with the chicken, strawberries, avocado, cucumbers, onions, pecans and goat cheese. Pour the chilled dressing over the top of the salad and toss it together to combine.  

Mexican street corn salad 

Ingredients: 

2 cups frozen corn 

1/4 cup radishes, finely diced 

1/4 cup green onions, chopped 

1 tablespoon lime juice 

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 

1/3 cup cotija cheese, crumbled 

1/4 teaspoon chili powder 

1/3 cup chipotle mayonnaise (mayonnaise, lime juice, milk, chili powder mixed together) 

Instructions: 

Begin by cooking the corn. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat and add two cups of frozen corn in a single layer. Cook the corn until it begins to char, then stir and cook it for an additional two minutes. Remove the corn from the stove then allow it to cool completely before using it in the salad. 

To assemble the salad, combine the corn with the radishes, green onions, lime juice, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Toss the corn mixture with the chipotle mayonnaise and sprinkle it with the cotija, cilantro, and chipotle powder. 

Serve and enjoy! 

Commentary: 

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy refreshing and health salads. They are perfect as a side dish at dinner or at a barbeque. Here are a few of my favorites that can be enjoyed as side dishes, or for the heartier one with chicken, even as a meal.

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