Tag Archives: salad

What to eat in the summer | 4 favorite salads

Most days, my meal planning (if you can call it that) goes something like this:  

  • Consider what we have on the counter, in the cabinets, in the fridge and sprouting on the deck
  • Hold baby Nick with one hand, rummage with the other hand
  • Hope something miraculously falls out and a. doesn’t hit me or Nick in the head and b. somehow lands in my mouth and c. is delicious.  Oh, and nutritious.  

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to have a perfectly made summer salad fall into my mouth.  Or onto my head, for that matter.  As with most (all?) good things, it takes a bit of work.  But not much.  This is summer, after all.  If you’re wondering what to eat in the summer, I’ve got a few (simple, delicious) ideas.


Mixed greens with pears, bleu cheese, walnuts + dried cranberries

what to eat in summer 1

This is really as easy as slicing a pear and throwing it, along with everything else, into a bowl.  I added a drizzle of Champagne vinaigrette because I like to pretend I’m fancy.  In reality: It’s well past noon and I haven’t showered yet.  Also, I just congratulated myself on wearing my “nice” sweat pants.  

Caprese salad

what to eat in summer 2

I basically eat this breakfast, lunch and dinner… all summer long.  The heirloom tomatoes are Canadian, but the mozzarella is from Rhode Island and the basil is from South Boston (more specifically: my deck).  So… it’s mostly #eatlocal.  Or whatever.

Both babes were asleep at the same time for an entire 11 minutes last week, so I made myself an extra pretty platter from which to dine solo while Nick was traveling.  That was a long sentence.  The salad didn’t last nearly as long.

Chopped salad with sprouts

what to eat in summer 3

I tend to chop a bunch of vegetables at the beginning of the week for easy salads such as this.  Instead of the usual greens, though, I used some Earth Salad (sprouted lentils, sprouted chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) that I picked up at Whole Foods in the South End (it’s in the cooler next to the salad greens, alongside the cooked lentils). 

Heirloom tomato, lentil and arugula salad with green goddess dressing

Speaking of cooked lentils, I keep a package or two in the fridge because I am lazy like to avoid cooking as much as possible when it’s 90 degrees out.  And because I love making this salad.  And because I’m lazy.

I’m thrilled (and grateful!) that my recipe was included in Wayfair’s Simply Summer Recipes cookbook.  The cookbook is free to download and features over 100 pages of summer recipes created by bloggers and tested by Wayfair team members.  I love that they included their own notes after testing each dish.  I hope you’ll check it out!

In the meantime, I’m off to go shower.  Or eat another salad.  Or both.  Not at the same time.  OK.  Bye.  I love you.  And I love summer.  And cheese.  Bye.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • A favorite read: Sam’s weekly meal planning posts 
  • Closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise from The New York Times
  • Playing with Grace’s new water table (“All day!  All day long, mummy!  All day!  And when it’s dark!”)

What’s your ideal summer meal?


Today: Summer rolls with a spicy vegan aioli.

I’m a salad-for-lunch person.  Always have been.  I keep a big container of spring mix in my office mini-fridge (which reminds me, that thing needs to be defrosted #amIstillincollege?), bottle up a simple homemade dressing (olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper) and grab cooked lentils, tofu, and veggies at the market near my office a few times each week.

Inevitably, I spill half of the aforementioned dressing on my desk, end up schlepping home sixteen different reusable containers on Friday — some more science-project looking than others — and manage to lose at least two forks in as many days.

Summer rolls are a good alternative to this not-so-efficient system.  They come in their own little edible container, require no silverware, and are perfectly pre-portioned.  I worked from home one day this week, waiting for a contractor to arrive (which he never did…), and whipped up a couple for lunch.  Easy, mess-free, delicious.

Summer rolls with a spicy vegan aioli

Summer rolls


  • 2 Vietnamese brown rice spring roll wrappers (gluten free)
  • 1 cup cooked red lentils
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups spring mix with herbs (or your favorite lettuce)
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 small sweet peppers, thinly sliced


  1. Cook lentils (or beans of your choice) per package instructions and allow to cool.
  2. Set out two dinner plates on your work surface; add a bit of warm water to one, while leaving the other dry.
  3. Carefully dip your first wrapper into the warm water, being sure to soak both sides, and move wrapper to your dry plate.
  4. Fill the center of your wrapper with vegetables and lentils (you can add anything to your rolls… YOLO), gently tucking in the sides of your wrapper and rolling.
  5. Repeat with your second wrap.  Obvi.

While waiting for my lentils to cool, I made a spicy vegan aioli using Nayonaise.  I received two complimentary jars from Nasoya recently and was looking forward to giving the product a try.  The taste and texture are great, and the vegan, gluten-free ingredient list (all non-GMO) makes it a great alternative to regular ol’ mayonnaise.

Spicy vegan aioli with dill


  • 1/3 cup of Nasoya Nayonaise
  • 2 tsp Thai chili paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Add more lime juice as needed, until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. That’s it.  There is no step 3.

This spicy aioli is the perfect dip for my summer rolls.  It’s spicy, but not too spicy as the dill and lime help take the edge off a bit.  You might take things up a notch with a pinch of cayenne pepper or a bit more chili paste.

Leave your forks at home.

I received complimentary samples of Nayonaise.  I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.  Don’t ask me how I feel about the no-show contractor. 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Packing, packing, and more packing
  • We could all use a little panda cam
  • Clark thinks this weather is perfect for napping

What is your favorite utensil-free meal?



Today: Summer was meant for salads.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Being a rather unimaginative vegetarian, I am always pleased with myself when I think up something new.  And when that something new turns out to be both simple and delicious, well all the better.  With so much fresh New England produce to enjoy this time of year, I can’t help but believe summer was meant for salads.

Three of my favorites?  Read on, friends.

Melons, Bocconcini and Basil


  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed (or, if you have no life, pressed into delicate flower shapes)
  • 2 cups honeydew melon, cubed
  • 1/2 European cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup bocconcini
  • 10 large leaves of basil, chiffonade or chop coarsely
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Drain or press excess moisture from your cubed melon and cheese.
  2. Mix watermelon, honey dew melon, and bocconcini in a large bowl or serving platter, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  This is a case where less is definitely more.
  3. Top with a generous amount of fresh basil, and serve chilled.  This salad can be prepared the night before, and makes a delightful brunch treat.

Heirloom tomatoes with bleu cheese


  • 6 medium heirloom tomatoes (experiment with different varieties, or stick to a tried and true favorite)
  • 1.5 cups crumbled bleu cheese
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Carefully chop tomatoes in half, and then into quarters and arrange on a large platter, or in a large serving bowl.
  2. Top the tomatoes with crumbled bleu cheese (feta or Gorgonzola are excellent choices as well), and a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Makes a great addition to fresh greens, a crusty slice of French bread, or served alongside your favorite summer cookout fare.

Orzo salad with a Greek accent


  • Whole wheat orzo
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 European cucumber, chopped
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • Greek dressing (I prefer Yasou) and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare orzo according to package directions.  Drain, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Combine cooked orzo with chopped vegetables (onion, pepper and cucumber), feta cheese, and chickpeas and mix well.
  3. Slowly add Greek dressing, being careful not to overdress the salad.
  4. Top with fresh mint leaves and cracked pepper, and refrigerate before serving chilled.
  5. This salad is delicious when served over spinach, and make a perfect “leftover lunch,” as flavors continue to develop.

Also On Tap for Today:

What is your favorite summer meal?