Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Seafaring Summer Salads

July 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

summer salads 1

Nothing is more welcoming on a sweltering summer day than a chilled salad. Instead of using leafy greens as the key ingredient, how about cool and inviting dishes centered on farm-fresh produce like crisp cucumbers, colorful sweet peppers, ripe tomatoes, and aromatic herbs? These delightful salads travel well and are a breeze to serve aboard.

With some fresh seasonal ingredients and 30 minutes or less in the kitchen, you’ll enjoy spectacular salads that will make dining on the boat even more festive. Summer Cucumber Salad adds a fresh, crunchy flair to any hot weather meal. For main dish options, Penne and Black Bean Salad is a jazzy twist on the classic cold pasta dish and Red Quinoa, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad features tasty and tempting textures and an impressive, colorful presentation. Quick Tomato Salad whips up in a flash and tastes like “summer in a bowl.”

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Penne and Black Bean Salad

Makes 8 to 10 servings



1 pound whole-grain penne, cooked al dente and drained

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

5 carrots, chopped

1 sweet red pepper, chopped

1 sweet orange or yellow pepper, chopped

1 small sweet onion, diced

1 can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

12 to 14 leaves chopped fresh basil

4 to 5 leaves chopped fresh oregano

4 leaves chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley



⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise, plus more as needed

¼ cup Dijon mustard, plus more as needed

1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar or any dry sugar

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper 

Put all the salad ingredients in a very large bowl. Put all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Add the dressing to the pasta salad and toss gently until well combined. If a creamier consistency is desired, add more mayonnaise and/or Dijon to taste.

Cover and chill for three hours or more until the salad is thoroughly chilled. Serve chilled over a bed of crisp greens with crusty whole-grain bread or rolls on the side.


summer salads 3Red Quinoa, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings


¾ cup red quinoa (see note), rinsed very well

1½ cups filtered or spring water

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small red onion, diced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup sweet red pepper, diced

2 medium avocados

Put the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.

Meanwhile, place the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, diced onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Let the bean mixture stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Put the cooked quinoa in a medium bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil while it is still warm. Let the quinoa mixture cool for about 15 minutes.

Add the quinoa to the chickpea mixture. Add the parsley, red pepper, and remaining lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover and chill for two hours.

Right before serving, cube the avocados and add them to the salad. Toss gently to combine. Serve over lettuce leaves with whole-grain bread on the side. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: White quinoa may be used in this recipe.


summer salads 4Summer Cucumber Salad

Makes 2 servings


1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

½ large sweet or red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

¼ teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Put the cucumber and onion in a medium bowl. To make the dressing, put the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and paprika in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions and toss to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and chill for one to six hours. Sprinkle with additional paprika if desired and serve chilled.


summer salads 5Quick Tomato Salad

Makes 2 to 3 servings


1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

2 to 3 small cloves garlic, minced

1/8teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Toss all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature for five to 20 minutes and serve.

Happy, healthy boating!

 By Laura Theodore

Laura Theodore is a TASTE Award-winning television personality, radio host, vegan chef, award-winning jazz singer and actor, and author of Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites and Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine Made Easy and Delicious. Season five of the Jazzy Vegetarian show premieres nationwide on July 1, 2015. www.jazzyvegetarian.com

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