I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. But during the summer, I’m done. Summer in Texas makes me never want to turn my oven on again. However, it turns out my family still expects dinner every night, even in the summer. So, I’ve discovered a few go-to salads that save my sanity and fill our bellies during the hot summer months.
Taco ‘Bout a Good Salad
This summer salad is everything you love about taco night, but served on a cool, crisp bed of lettuce.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- Juice of one lime
- 2 hearts of romaine
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips, crumbled
- Brown ground beef in a skillet until no longer pink. Drain fat.
- Stir in taco seasoning and water. Add tomato paste and lime juice, stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While taco mixture is cooking, chop the hearts of romaine. Dice the tomatoes, avocados, and onions.
- In a large bowl or serving platter, top the romaine with the taco meat mixture, then add the tomatoes, avocados, onions, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and tortilla chips.
Serve this salad with a refreshing margarita or ranch water.
My Favorite Chicken Salad
This recipe has been adapted from my dear friend (and college roommate) Laura Williams’ family recipe. Every time we visited her hometown of Shreveport, her mom would greet us with a huge bowl of this chicken salad. Warm, comforting, and homemade are all things that appeal to college students!
There’s not much that’s healthy about this salad, but it certainly is delicious. (Did someone say bacon?) It’s great as a summer meal paired with crackers and fruit, or it would be the perfect dish to take to a backyard summer barbecue.
- 3 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 heaping spoonfuls Duke’s mayonnaise, more if needed
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Shred the cooked chicken breasts with a food processor or stand mixer.
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, green onions, eggs, and bacon. Add the mayonnaise until the mixture comes together.
- Add lemon juice, stir.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
DIY Market Chicken Salad
My favorite salad on the menu at Chick-fil-a is the Market Salad. With a delicious combination of cool greens and refreshing fruit, it is the ultimate summer salad. An added bonus is that it is simple to make your own version at home.
- 16 oz. package of Spring mix
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 green apple, such as Granny Smith, diced
- 1 red apple, such as Fuji, diced
- 1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Combine all ingredients and toss.
This salad is also delicious with rotisserie chicken meat. It also pairs wonderfully with your favorite vinaigrette dressing.