Summer Veggie Salad With a Crunch!

I really loved this for many reasons!  First, because it is a diced salad, which I have never made before!!  All the little uniform cubes of veggies were so cute and colorful, and made it easy to eat!  Secondly, it’s just stinking delicious!!  Refreshing, simple, and quite Mediterranean feeling!  But lastly…and mostly…because this lovely little (actually, not so little, it makes a huge bowl of salad) salad comes with a SAVORY granola!  Say whaaat?!  Why yes.  I had never heard of savory granola, nor ever comprehended the idea.  But it was so delightful!!  The perfect crunch!  The dressing on the salad is extremely simple, so the granola adds layers of flavor and a hint of sophistication.

Those are all the reasons I love this salad!  Let me tell you how to make it so you can discover all the reasons you will too!  🙂

This was ever so slightly adapted from one of my favorite books you may have heard me mention before, Deliciously Healthy Vegetables!  I encourage all of you to look it up and give it a try!  Click here to check it out!

So, here’s what you need:

Granola:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (Or Coconut Oil if you don’t like heating olive oil)
  • 1 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/4 C Pumpkin Seeds (Make sure they are out of the shells.  I may have missed that little detail, but it was still fun!)
  • 1/4 C Slivered Almonds
  • 1/4 Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Salad:

  • 3 Medium Tomatoes, Diced (I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes so I decreased the amount…feel free to tweak!)
  • 4 Medium Cucumbers, Diced
  • 1 Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1/3 C Parsley, Chopped

Dressing:

  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

And here’s how you do it!  It’s kind of fun!

  1. Heat your pan over medium-low and add your oil.  I used my wonderful new big cast iron skillet!!  Toss in your oats and stir around for a minute or so.  Add the rest of the ingredients in your “granola” list and continue cooking for about 4 minutes or so, until it looks good and smells good!  It should get a bit of a golden color.  🙂  Granola, check!
  2. Dice your veggies!!
  3. Put them all together in a large bowl…
  4. Whisk together your dressing and pour over your veggies, then toss.
  5. Sprinkle with granola and eat!  (We let each person put the granola on top of their own bowl of salad, so they could choose how much they wanted!)

Now eat!!  Let me show you my pictures, I am excited for you to see how colorful and pretty it is!

Gather your ingredients!!  I love beautiful summer veggies!!

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 4

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 2

Start your granola!  Heat your oil over medium low heat and toss in the oatmeal.  Cook for a minute or so.

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 1

Add the rest of your granola ingredients.  Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes more.

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 3

Now prep your veggies!!!  Dice dice dice dice!!  Oh!!  Guess what?!  I was so excited when I made this, becaaaause….I have been watching Food Network, and am always so amazed when they go to cut their bell peppers…and suddenly wabam!  They are whipping them around and doing something fancy, and end up with perfect little uniform pieces!  Well.  For this salad…I did it!!  For the first time!!  Wanna see?!

First, you slice a small amount off both ends.  Then you slice into it along it’s length, and run your knife along the flesh so that all the ribbing and seeds come off.  Lookie!!  How cool is that?!

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 5

Now you can julienne it!  Which makes it super easy to dice it into perfect little squares!

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 6

Finish dicing the rest of your veggies and toss them all in a large bowl.Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 7

Add your dressing ingredients and toss…

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 9

Yummy!  Then, sprinkle some granola on top and eat it!  Unfortunately, because of the rush I was in, I ended up not getting a photo with the granola on top.  But you can take my word for it.  It completes the dish absolutely!  🙂

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 8

So perfect for summer, I tell ya!!!

Cucumber Salad with Savory Granola 10

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Asian Inspired Salmon Salad (AKA Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon Salad)

You know what I think is amazing?  Those moms who raise a bunch of kids and still have time to cook HEALTHY food that the kids actually love, on top of staying within a small budget.  Forget Superman.  I’d like to see Clark Kent try to do that!  To all you supermoms…you are phenomenal and I want to be just like you when I grow up! 😉  Shout out to my sister-in-love, Becca “Jim” Kirkwood, cause she’s got it down!!!

Anywho.  I just started a blog post with a bunny trail, ha.  Let me explain to you why my mind went there!!

LEFTOVERS.

Wonderful leftovers.  No, really, I love leftovers!  I have been blessed with the Kirkwood inability to make small portions of food.  Us Kirkwoods (or former Kirkwood in my case) always cook for an army.  It actually works out nicely, because the Kirkwood house is the hang out house…my parents are the cool parents that let all their kids have friends over at any time of night…and ALWAYS find something to feed them.  Usually something ridiculous like steak and mashed potatoes with garlic bread, even if its 11 at night.  Or if they are tired they’ll settle for a never ending supply of corndogs and dad’s famous rice krispy treats with essential oils!  Though my apartment here across the country from them is small…it is already starting to have the same legacy.  We have different people sleeping on our couch all the time, and you know how I love to feed people 😀  But lots of times I cook for an army…and it’s just me and Jay, and I have a lot of leftovers.  I still like it.  Cause that means less money spent next month on meals, cause this month’s meals are stretching out.  However, eating the same thing for dinner three or four nights in a row can get a little….”blah.”  So this brings me back to my adoration for supermoms.  Taking leftovers…and transforming them into something else so the family doesn’t know they are eating the same thing.  And BOOM! You saved lots of MOOOOLAH.  That was one of the first tips my sister in law gave me.  Transform your leftovers to save money and eliminate food waste.  I gave her the deer in the headlights look.  Hooooow do you figure out what to make?!  Well guess what.  I came up with this one.  Yeah baby!  Went from a tasty dinner to a creative, light, Asian style salad…all from my little brain!  Go me!  Not Super Mom yet…but maybe by the time I have kids, I will be good enough at it that I can put on the cape 😉

 

Wow.  What an intro!  Enough distraction, let’s get down to business 🙂

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce (or 2 if they’re small)
  • 3 C Spinach
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced or julienned (I decided to julienne mine because…I was thinking Asian…and when I think Asian, I think about our favorite sushi restaurant, Ruyi Asian Fusion.  And it just seemed like something they would do…because their presentation is never ordinary in any way!)
  • 1/4-1/2 a Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • Half recipe of Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon (About 1 lb Salmon, and 1/2 C chutney)

Dressing:  (This will make about enough for 2 platefuls of salad.  If you want to be able to dress the whole salad, you can double it. )

  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • Squeeze of Flaxseed Oil (Optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Citrus (I used lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acids ( my Soy Sauce substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger, paste or minced
  • Dash of Sriracha

 

And here’s how you do it: (Pretty self explanatory ;))

  1. If you do not have Sweet Pepper Chutney Salmon leftovers but still want to make this fantastically tasty salad, then click on the link and get it started now.
  2. Rinse your romaine and chop or rip it into bite sized pieces, and toss them into a bowl.
  3. Rinse and sort your spinach and add it to the bowl.  Toss with the romaine to evenly distribute.
  4. Slice your onions and cucumbers and scatter on top.
  5. Cut your (cold) salmon into small chunks and scatter on top.
  6. Distribute the chutney evenly over the top.
  7. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and serve on the side.  I do this because I hate it when I dress the whole salad and then we don’t eat it all and it gets soggy and I can’t eat it for lunch the next day.  Booooooo!!

 

How yummy does that sound?  Let me tell you a secret.  It was REALLY yummy!  And this is like…bare minimum for the salad…I didn’t have much in the cupboards, but think of all the variations you could do!  Here’s a few of my ideas:

  • Add a small can of mandarins, and sub the mandarin juice in for lemon juice.
  • Add raisins
  • Add apple chunks
  • Nuts or trail mix

What can you think of that would be tasty?!

 

Pictures, ready GO!

Get your veggies ready!  Clean them all, chop them all, and put in a large bowl!

Chutney Salmon Salad 2Chunk your salmon and add it to the top with the sweet bell pepper chutney

Chutney Salmon Salad 3

YUM!  Now take it outside and eat it in the sunshine!!!

Chutney Salmon Salad 4

 

Seriously, this was perfect for a spring front porch picnic with my husband!!  We took the puppies for a morning walk on a beautiful river-side trail and got some exercise…

Chutney Salmon Salad 1Aren’t they ADORABLE?!  The one on the right is mine 🙂  She needs a hair cut…anyways we started the day with fresh air, exercise, and their cuteness, then shortly after got to sit down in the shade, enjoy the sunshine, and eat something light, fresh, and oh-so-satisfyingly tasty!!  Such a good day 🙂

Chutney Salmon Salad 5Hallelujah!!  Enjoy!  🙂