Alas, summer is quickly passing us by and fall is approaching. It’s no secret that summer is my favorite season, fall comes in with a close second due to all of the beautiful colors of the leaves during Autumn. Spring ranks right behind as third since it’s a time of new beginnings and is so green and lush. No surprise, but winter trails behind in fourth place because of the cold howling wind and lack of bright colors. I don’t participate in skiing, ice fishing or snow mobiling much and I would just as soon sit inside by a warm fire near the fireplace sipping on hot chocolate than to be outside that time of year. The end of summer isn’t all bad since this is the time of year that us Minnesotans harvest our gardens. I have a bumper crop of tomatoes and green peppers this year. My kale crop was lush and green as well but my squash, spinach and lettuce crop didn’t fare so well. Some nasty critters attacked my squash plants. I planted my spinach and lettuce from seeds instead of from plants this year and they refused to grow in my garden. We enjoyed only one squash this year, gave up on the greens that didn’t come up and planted flowers over them. Low and behold, lettuce was coming up in my flower garden recently. It was only two months late and I had enough to prepare one salad.
I really enjoy creating new recipes, cooking as well as blogging. I took a break from blogging over the summer months since I have not posted a food blog since last April. I promise to be more faithful and post a new food blog at least once a month. I was pleasantly surprised to read some encouraging, positive comments from my blog audience and this has motivated me to continue writing and creating healthy. easy to prepare recipes. I love to include nutritious, tasty food in my diet but I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen either!
- 2 cups sliced grilled skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup sliced green, red or yellow peppers
- 8 sliced small roma or cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- Honey Vinaigrette Dressing
- 4 oz each honey, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and water
- ¼ tsp each sea salt, cracked pepper and Italian Seasoning
- Place salad greens, sliced tomatoes, peppers, blue berries and chicken breast in a large salad bowl and toss gently. Add salad dressing to salad mixture and toss lightly again. Top salad with sliced almonds and serve. To serve individually: Add 1 cup salad green to a salad plate or individual salad bowl. Top salad with sliced tomatoes, peppers, almonds, berries and chicken breast. Drizzle dressing on each salad and serve.
- Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Cover and shake well. Refrigerate until serving time. Top salad with this dressing.
Information presented in this food blog is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical advice.
Plan to serve this salad as a first course for your summer menus or double the recipe to serve as a summer meal.
I love to make a meal out of salads this time of year so I used my garden produce that I had on hand as well as some leftover grilled chicken breast and my favorite fruit blueberries to create this salad. Since I love the taste and health benefits of honey, I experimented in my kitchen and came up with a Honey Vinaigrette Dressing to serve with my salad. It is very easy to prepare and doesn’t contain all of the preservatives, sugar and sodium that bottled commercial dressings contain. It is also very economical since you can purchase healthy bottled dressings but you will end up paying a premium for the additional health benefits.
Blueberries are a nutritional superstar and one of the best food sources of disease fighting antioxidants. They are also a good source of heart healthy resveratrol, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Blueberries have a host of health benefits in which some scientific studies have concluded that they boost focus and memory, support good digestion, promote heart health and slow the aging process.
Tomatoes are so plentiful this time of year that I not only use them in salads and BLT’s but also use the extra to make salsa, spaghetti sauce and freeze them so I can enjoy them in chilli and casseroles in the cold winter months which lie ahead. Tomatoes are very filling, naturally low in calories and an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium. Cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce are an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene has been found to be beneficial in the prevention prostrate cancer. Below are some pictures that I snapped from my garden recently.
Green peppers are an excellent source of immune system boosting vitamin C, fiber and are also very low in calorie content. Due to my bumper crop of peppers, I am planning to prepare some stuffed green peppers for dinner tonight and I also add them to salads, scrambled eggs, meatloaf, chilli and tacos. They freeze very well also so you can enjoy them all year long.
Enjoy these last few days of summer and plan on taking some leaf watching trips as autumn approaches. The garden spot below is a beautiful area for my husband and I to enjoy our morning coffee. Bon Appetit!