Even though we are at 4,500ft elevation in Arizona it’s running in the high 90’s during the day. We do not have an air-conditioner, we have a “swamp cooler!” This is our first experience with this, and apparently it’s very common at this elevation, as it does create some humidity in the house. It’s not as efficient as an air-conditioner, so it runs constantly to keep the house at 75 degrees during the day. That means cooking with the oven is limited and salads are on the menu!
I wanted to share some of my favorite main dish summer salads as we head into August. Wherever you live, August is going to be warm so enjoy!
Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
Don’t let the number of ingredients discourage you, it’s easier than it looks and so worth it!
- 2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
- 1/2 cup of sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 8 cups of lettuce “greens”
- (Optional, 1 avocado, diced)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons shallots, minced
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mix together egg whites, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Combine Bread crumbs, pecans, and spices.
Dip chicken breasts in egg white mixture and roll in bread crumb mixture. Place 1 Tablespoon avocado oil in cast iron pan, heat to medium heat and add chicken breasts. Cook approximately 10 minutes each side (depending on how thick) and until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool before slicing.
Mix together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
Arrange lettuce, sliced onion, feta cheese, cranberries, and sliced chicken on four dinner plates. Top with dressing!
Seared Scallop Spinach Salad
The key to this salad is to not over-cook the scallops so they remain soft and succulent!
- 1 cup apple juice (I usually use frozen concentrate)
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 large green apple, sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 20 large sea scallops (I usually find these in the frozen fish section)
- 8 cups washed spinach
Cook bacon in cast iron pan until crispy, crumble and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Add shallots to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add apple juice and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and add in apple cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle both sides of scallops. In a non-stick pan (we use porcelain, not Teflon) add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and saute scallops for 2 minutes on each side.
Arrange four plates with spinach, red onion slices crumbled bacon, and green apple slices. Top with scallops and drizzle dressing over all.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad
Fish sauce does it make you go “yuck!” Trust me, it’s just for the “salty” and savory flavor and that’s it! You can also add the option of some rice noodles, cook and cool and mix in with the cabbage. If you choose to do that, double the dressing. This salad is loaded with antioxidants!
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green onions, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)
- 3 Tablespoons sugar (or Monk Fruit)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 cups cabbage, shredded
- 1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks
- 1 red pepper cut into matchsticks
- 1 yellow pepper cut into matchsticks
- 1/3 cup basil, chopped
- 1/3 cup mint, chopped (optional)
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Place chicken and 1/2 cup green onions in saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for 10 minutes (depending on size of chicken breasts, may take longer). Drain and discard green onions. Cool chicken and “shred”.
Combine lime juice, sugar and garlic and microwave for 30 seconds or until sugar dissolves. Stir in fish sauce and set aside.
Combine cabbage, carrots, red pepper, yellow pepper, basil, mint, cilantro (rice noodles if using), and shredded chicken in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with lime juice dressing and mix well. Top with peanuts!
Stay cool my friend!!
P.S. Did you grab your “Top Nutrition Tips for COVID Protection?” If not go Here..