4 Salads for a Healthy 4th of July

US flag4 Salads for a Healthy 4th of July

America’s Fourth of July holiday is traditionally celebrated with backyard picnics, boating and beach excursions, and county fairs. The typical side dishes which accompany our main course meal include potato and macaroni (or pasta salads) which are, of course, loaded with mayonnaise.

In a bold attempt to avoid the saturated fat of all that mayo, and the high starch content of potatoes and pasta (which spike your blood sugar in no time flat), I’d like to offer you four tantalizing side salads which will leave your guests licking their forks and asking for more—and never once missing the starchy mayo salads of the past!

Likely because I am an Italian, most of my “recipes” are a ‘handful of that’, ‘a pinch of this’, and ‘add it ’til it looks right’ sort of concoctions. So join me (or bear with me) in my non-exact style of food preparation presented here.

Cucumber, Watermelon, Feta Salad

Simply cut up equal portions of peeled cucumbers and seedless watermelon into one inch cubes. Add ½ inch cubes of feta cheese (cut from a block), roughly equal to ¼ of the volume of fruit and veggies. Toss with a dressing made with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and fresh squeezed lime juice.

Haricot Vert and White Bean Salad

Steam or blanch slender French string beans for 3-4 minutes and immediately immerse in an ice-water bath to halt the cooking. Strain a can of small white beans and rise well in VERY HOT water. (This makes them not gassy.) Toss both together in a dressing of balsamic vinegar, EVOO, S&P, and one clove of minced fresh garlic.

Berry Green Salad

Summertime is the best time to enjoy fresh, assorted berries tossed into your average green salad—making it anything but average! Sprinkle in some walnuts and toss with a lemon-poppy seed dressing.

Chickpea Confetti Salad

Use two 14oz. cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed as above. Add to them a tiny dice of red and yellow sweet peppers and red onion. Sprinkle with a chopped, fresh herb such as parsley, cilantro, or basil. This salad sparkles with the addition of a red wine vinaigrette—bottled or homemade.

Happy Independence (from Mayonnaise) Day!

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