Corn Salad with Green beans and Tomatoes.

July is the best time at the farmer’s market. There are so many kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits there, so every week when I go to the farmer’s market, I have the most difficult choice: I want to buy everything at once, but then I have to think what dishes I will make with all these foods before they go bad. That’s why I am trying to keep myself in control and buy something else every week. This rule doesn’t work for fruits: There is never too many fruits in our house, especially now when Sophia goes to summer camp, she always has at least 3 containers of fruits packed in her lunch box.

Last week when I saw corn at the farmer’s market for the first time in this season, I grabbed 5 and decided to make something special with it, not just grill or boil it.

The idea came the next night when I was making dinner: salad.  This recipe is very easy to make. It’s a great complement to any outdoor party. Fresh, juice and delicious.

Corn Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes.

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Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 ears corn, grilled or boiled
1 pound green beans, blanched and cooled
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup basil leaves, thinly shredded

Prepare vinaigrette by whisking together mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut kernels off corn cobs and put in a large bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, onion and basil. Drizzle vinaigrette over and toss to combine. Serve.

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Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Because it’s winter now, one of the seasonal greens you can find at the store is KALE.

I like Kale cooked, but I am not a big fan of the raw one. I tried some kale salads before, but never made them by myself. Raw kale always tastes too sour or to hard to chew on it, that’s why I avoided to put it in the salads before.

Because I am thinking we don’t eat enough greens recently, I forced myself to make a kale salad. I can call it a little success in my kitchen., because this salad was delicious, kale was soft and juicy and not sour at all.

The secret is to massage the cut kale before putting all the ingredients together, and let the salad stay for 10 minutes before serving.

Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.

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Ingredient:

4 cups chopped kale
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped pecans
 LEMON VINAIGRETTE

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup

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To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest and juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl; set aside.
To assemble the salad, cut kale in a large bowl and massage it for 1-2 minutes to make it more soft; top with avocado, quinoa, pecans. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
Let it stay for 10 minutes before serving.

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Avocado, Grapefruit and Beet Salad.

Sometimes I want to be fancy and make something extra ordinary on the usual day. Last week was one of those days, and I made us fancy Avocado, Grapefruit, Beet Salad for lunch.

It’s grapefruit season now, so why not to use it in your dishes?

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It tasted so refreshing and moved me to the summer days for a second.

Here is a simple recipe.

Avocado and Grapefruit and Beet Salad.

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I made two individual salads

2  Large Beets, roasted, peeled and cubed
1 C Grapefruit sections, cut into cubes
1 Avocados, cut in half, pit removed and cubed
1 cup Arugula leaves
1/4 cupPine nuts

Dressing

1 tbsp Grapefruit Juice
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
¼ tsp Cumin
1 tbsp Olive oil
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients into a small jar and shake well.

To prepare the beets, cut off the hard ends and rub olive oil all over them. Bake them for about 60 minutes at 350 degrees until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel and cube.

Lay the Arugula leaves on the bottom of each of the 2 plates.  Layer each one with the beets then the avocado and finally the grapefruit. Drizzle each one with the dressing. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and top with some arugula.

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Carrot, Mango Slaw With Tahini Dressing.

I was out of ideas recently to make salads. It’s so easy to fix some fresh salad in summer, because you have any kind of veggies or fruits in hand. When the cold comes, you only have few options:

cabbage,beets,greens,carrots,broccoli,cauliflower,avocado,mango, tangerines,apples,pears,pineapples.

We still eat a lot of fresh veggies every day, but I am tired of making the same salads every single day, and want to make something new all the time.

Because I had 2 carrots left in my fridge, a head of red cabbage, and a mango that I got 2 days ago, I decided to mix all these ingredients for the new salad recipe.

It was carrot, mango slaw.

My carrot, mango slaw  asked for some healthy dressing, and I made tahini (salt, oil free) dressing which worked great in this recipe.

To be honest, I ate the slaw by itself because it tasted super good, but I guess it will work with any burgers or fish dishes, tofu etc.

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Carrot, Mango Slaw With Tahini Dressing.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded mango
chopped cilantro

Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (depends what kind of a taste you’re in the mood for!)
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp garlic
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1 tbsp tamari

1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together with a fork.

2. Mix all slaw ingredients together. Dress to taste. Dig in!

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Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chickpeas.

What is Quinoa?

This amazing gluten-free grain provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a completely source of protein. It has been called as a superfood. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber.
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I personally love to make salads with quinoa. This is the best lunch for me, because you spend around 10 minutes to make it, it tastes delicious, and makes you full by dinner time.

One of the recipes, that I used recently, I will share with you today.

This salad has the fall flavors because you use pears or apples in the recipe, and the maple vinaigrette adds the  sweetness to this delicious dish.

Quinoa Salad with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chickpeas.

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Ingredients:

1 cup organic quinoa
Sea salt
2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions:

Place the quinoa in a saucepan or a rice cooker. Add 2 cups fresh water, and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

Add the baby spinach, pear, chickpeas to the quinoa and fluff.

Whisk together the vinaigrette, pour it over the quinoa salad and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

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Tomato, corn, avocado salad.

When it’s summer and you can get all the fresh and juicy vegetables at the farmers market, you are into making a lot of salads. This is about me. I like any kind of salad, and it doesn’t matter if I ate tomatoes three days in a row, and having tomatoes salad tonight again.
But I have to be creative for my family. They are not picky, although they like to try something new. You need to be creative for the salads sometimes. Salad sounds so easy to make, but one ingredient can make the perfect flavors or ruin it at once.
Last Thursday I picked some fresh tomatoes and corn at the farmers market. Usually I try to plan the menu for the week, but this time nothing was in my mind. I saw ripe bright red tomatoes, the other minute I saw juicy fresh corn, and I just bought them. At home my first thought was to boil corn for dinner, but then I decided to use it in the salad.
The combination of corn, tomatoes and avocados is perfect, and it tastes even better, when you use lime juice with it.

Do you know that tomato is considered both a fruit and vegetable and forms an integral part of the cuisine all across the globe especially in the Mediterranean region. Health benefits of tomato include improved eye sight, good gut health, low hypertension, relief from diabetes, skin problems and urinary tract infections.

Enjoy ripe and delicious tomatoes in my salad recipe.

Tomato, corn, avocado salad.
2-3 ears of corn, silks and husks removed
2 big tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
1 head of purple onion, diced
Lime juice from one lime
1tbsp. Olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Parsley

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Stand ear in a large wide bowl; with a sharp knife, carefully slice downward to release the kernels.
Discard cob.
Add onions, tomatoes, avocados, lime juice and olive oil.

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Season with salt.
Add some chopped parsley.
Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately, otherwise the salad becomes watery because of tomatoes.

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How to make your kids eat vegetables.

We know how important is to eat vegetables and fruits and get all the vitamins from there.

Many parents struggle with their kids’ food every day. Kids don’t want to eat vegetables, they refuse any green color on their plate and want to eat anything but no veggies.

There are some ways to make your kids like vegetables and actually eat them.

1. Lead by example.

If you children see you eating pizza while you’re telling them to eat broccoli, they’re going to tune you out. I remember Sophia didn’t want to eat salad at all. She never wanted to try it. We usually have salad for dinner, and our example helped her to like it too. One day, she just asked for salad, and now she loves it. The same thing happened with the guacamole and hummus. Show the right example.

Our plates are identical, except mine doesn’t have pasta on

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2. Books and games with vegetables.

Get some books, coloring books with vegetables and fruits. Read them from time to time. Sophia has a lot of fruits and vegetables in her toy kitchen. She always cooks salad or vegetable soup for her dolls, makes veggies sandwiches for us.

We also have some kids books about the importance of vegetables and fruits in our diet.

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3. Make it fun.

Garden with your children, shop together and include them in preparing meals.

Before we go grocery shopping I always ask my daughter what we are going to buy. In the store she shows me, where to get bananas, tomatoes, avocados etc.

She loves going to the farmers market and picking up the fresh produce.

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Cooking together is important too, she can see what her dish is made of. This makes the happiest girl in the world. Imagine, your kid watches you every night putting the chicken nuggets in the oven, or microwave. Does it sound fun to you?

4. Eat the rainbow.

Hang a color wheel on the fridge and ask your kid: “Did we eat something from nature in each color group today?” This trick sounds fun and will make your kids try at least one piece of vegetable.

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5. Hide the vegetables in the dish.

This works a lot of times for kids who don’t touch vegetables at all. There are a lot different recipes with hiding vegetables in them: turkey meatballs with zucchini, pumpkin muffins with carrots, meatloaf with bell pepper, chocolate dessert with avocado in it, different kids of ice-pops made of veggies and fruit.

This recipe hides avocados in it.

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6. Don’t give up.

Expose your kids to new and different foods over and over again. Continue serving food that’s been rejected, and never remind them that they didn’t like it before. Often the veggie they “hated” last months becomes their new favorite the next months.