The Family Meal: Summer Salads


the-family-mealCould it get any hotter in the Big D this summer?

I gave up watching the forecast because it’s too depressing, especially when Al Roker says that our own fair city will see no relief anytime soon. Since the boy and I stay inside most days to avoid sweating, there are toys everywhere. I trip on trucks and other random hard objects and stickers and cracker crumbs seem to be permanently stuck to the bottom of my feet. I found half of a plastic Easter egg in the guest bathroom the other day! By the time I start thinking about our dinner I absolutely have no desire to drag out pots and pans let alone heat up the kitchen. Thank goodness for salads.

Y’all, I love salads for dinner in the summertime.

They require little preparation on my part and they are cool, refreshing and healthy. One of my favorites is a recipe my Me-Ma passed on to me and I serve it at least once a week. The Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad is a fabulous accompaniment to grilled chicken or can be served on its own. The second is just ridiculously delicious.

The Mexican Frito Salad typically makes appearances at potlucks but we love it as a main dish or it can be served alongside tamales for a very easy meal. I hope you make one or both of these salads this week and give the oven and yourself a rest. We moms have enough to do this summer to keep cool and try to maintain our sanity. After all, most of us have days filled with things like trying to fish crayons out of our kids’ noses…we need all the help we can get.

Week 5

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad

1 bag of spinach salad leaves
1 small can of mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup toasted almonds
1 small bunch of green onions, diced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 drops of almond extract

Top spinach leaves with oranges, almonds and onions. Mix oil, vinegar, sugar and almond extract and pour over salad.

Mexican Frito Salad

1 can (15 oz.) Ranch style beans drained and rinsed
1 head of lettuce, torn or chopped
1 bunch of green onions diced (I just use my kitchen shears and cut them right over the bowl)
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese (I use fat free)
2 tomatoes diced
1 to 2 avocado, diced
1 green or red bell pepper diced
1 bottle (8oz) Catalina salad dressing (I use fat free and not an entire 8 oz., a little really goes a long way)
8 oz. of Fritos

Mix all ingredients together and wait until right before you are ready to serve this to put the Fritos and dressing in. If you have a small family and know you will have leftovers I would just top the salad with the Fritos and dressing on your plate instead of mixing it in because leftover soggy Fritos are just bad.


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