Lettuce eat healthy!

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Perk up those summer blahs with light and tasty salads that are easy to prepare and delicious.

To Tabbuleh or Not to Tabouleh

I love this salad – it is tart, tangy and delish. I always make a bunch and eat it for days for a quick lunch. It is great in a pita wrap with leftover lamb and unflavored yogurt with sliced cucumbers and lots of mint.

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Bulgar (presoaked for one hour)

3 cups parsley, finely minced

1/4 cup mint, finely minced

3 TBL freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1/4 cup ground cumin seed

1/2 tsp salt

1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained

3 TBL olive oil

To presoak Bulgar, place 2 cups Bulgar in a pan. Add 2 cups water and let stand for an hour. Meanwhile, put parsley, mint and green onions in a food processor and chop. When Bulgar has softened, add minced parsley, mint, and onions. Add rest of ingredients and stir. Taste for seasoning – it should be tart and tangy, salty and spicy. Arrange over romaine lettuce if desired. You can also toss in sliced cucumber. This recipe comes off of the back of the package of Bob’s Red Mill Bulgar. It’s easy, it’s refreshing and perfect for summer!

Caprese Salad

This is our absolute favorite, salad-wise. My husband got some Heirloom tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market this morning and we are going to have them in a salad this evening. Don’t you love the Farmer’s Market? All that beautiful produce…all those colors…all those smells. Don’t even get me started on Ali’s pastries. YUM!

2 Brandywine tomatoes (thank you, Tom – I bow at your feet!)

1 pound of whole milk mozzerella

lots of fresh basil (you can use dried also)

fresh mint (or again, dried)

Balsamic Vinegar

Lemon olive oil if you have it, if not plain will work

OK, to assemble this, I slice the tomatoes about 1/4″ thick. Spread them, one overlapping the other, with slices of the glorious mozzarella in between each slice. Drizzle with a little Balsamic then drizzle on a little olive oil (a heavy hand will result in a soggy, oily mess) and lavishly sprinkle on the basil and chopped mint. Serve with a crusty bread, like La Brea Italian Boulee and a crisp wine.

Crab Louie

This is another of our favorite salads and meets the requirement of being quick, easy and light.

1 6 oz package Blue Star Jumbo Lump Crabmeat (don’t use claw if you can avoid it – it just isn’t as good)

2 eggs, hardboiled, chopped

1 1/2 cup Best Mayonnaise (I’ll leave it up to you if you want to use fauxnnaise)

1/2 cup catsup

1 TBL sweet pickle relish

1 TBL dill pickle relish

1 TBL capers

1 tsp chopped Kalamata olives

romaine lettuce or butter lettuce

chopped bed bell pepper

any other veggies you happen to have in your fridge

To make the dressing, just toss everything together except the crab and the lettuce and veggies. When ready to serve, arrange the lettuce and any veggies you might want to add onto two plates, gently divide the crab between the plates and spoon on the dressing. I know the crab is rather expensive, but hey, you’re worth it!!!

How Hot Was It?

We spent last week in hot, hazy, humid Maryland. To give you an idea of how hot it was, picture this: You step on to the street and the asphalt sticks to your shoes; you’ve given up on vanity, hair styles, make-up and anything else. It was 118 heat index (105 + 95% humidity). Oh my gosh, it was like hitting a wall. If you feel like living in NM is making you feel like a raisin, living in MD is like biting into a big, fat cherry tomato, with seeds and juice spraying all over – lots of fluid. We were there for 7 days and 5 of those days it was over 100. The other days it was in the 90′s with 98% humidity. I don’t want to hear anyone complain about heat around here – you don’t know heat if you’ve never experienced the Mid Atlantic in summer!

Contact me at cfowler505@msn.com with questions or comments. Stay cool!