I am so lucky to be able to escape to my parent’s cabin on Shuswap lake in BC during the summer months. Although it takes about six hours of driving to get to, once I am there it feels like my own little peaceful oasis (although the water sports can get a bit intense…).
My family and I all live in different cities, so it’s such a blessing to be able to all come together for a week or two at the cabin and spend some quality time together with the most gorgeous backdrop.
I think one of my favorite parts about being at the lake is getting to cook up some fabulous summer meals with my mom. This last trip we grilled some killer pork tenderloin on the BBQ and even made some deep-fried chicken wings one night in my dad’s favorite toy – the turkey deepfryer.
One thing I am usually in charge of in the kitchen is the side dish or the salad, and some people may say this is the crappy job…but I disagree! I like to keep it interesting and surprise people with some creative and tasty dishes that have a summer vibe to them.
Check out these two awesome summer salads that are perfect for a dinner on the deck or as an item to bring to an outdoor BBQ potluck.
Greek Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or 1 cup chopped, seeded, tomato
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
I threw some black olives on the top because I LOVE olives 🙂
- feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
- 10 cups mixed greens
Balsamic Dressing Ingredients:
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
- pinch sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch of salt
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Give it a stir, put a lid on it, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Allow to cool until room temperature.
To make the dressing, just measure everything into a jam jar, put a lid on it, and give it a good shake. Set aside. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, cucumber, and onion, then toss them in a bowl with a little bit of your dressing. Toss with the cooled quinoa and some feta cheese. In a salad bowl, layer the greens, and then the quinoa mixture. Top with a little more feta and then sprinkle over some fresh oregano. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top.
Recipe from YMC
Chickpea Bean Salad
- 2 cups (500 mL) chopped green beans
- 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas
- 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans
- 1 sweet red pepper, diced
- 1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander
Chili Lime Dressing:
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
- 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) chili powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water; drain and set aside.
Drain and rinse chickpeas and black beans; drain well and place in large bowl. Add red pepper, corn and onions; set aside.
Chili Lime Dressing: Whisk together oil, lime rind and juice, chili powder, sugar and salt ; pour over beans and toss to coat. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate salad and beans separately for up to 24 hours.)
Add green beans and coriander; toss.
Recipe from Canadian Living.