Things have been crazy around here lately, I’ve been dealing with 2 different illnesses back to back, technological difficulties, the threat of hurricane, and some other crazy stuff. In the meanwhile, of course, you have to feed your family. THM has taken a back seat sometimes lately, but I’m not discouraged. I’ll do it when I can, and not beat up myself up for it when I can’t.
We’ve enjoyed all of these salads multiple times this summer, and I think you’ll see why. Let’s start with a salad I’ve blogged about before that we recently enjoyed with a THM tweak. Either way you make it, the waldorf broccoli salad is a great side to so many meals. We just love broccoli at my house, but sometimes when it’s hot outside, you just don’t feel like turning on the oven to roast your veggies. Luckily, broccoli is one of those veggies that’s just as good raw as it is cooked. (If you just can’t stand raw broccoli, you could probably blanch it for just a minute or two.) Things I love about this salad include easy availability of ingredients all year round, lots of good for you fruit and veg, can be made without turning on stove or oven, can be enjoyed THM or regular, so many options. The original recipe is over here. Because it has apples and raisins, this would be a THM:E side. Because of that, I swapped the mayo in the dressing for fat-free Greek yogurt, then I put in just a touch of stevia extract to replace the honey. (I didn’t measure because it really was just a touch.) If you’re using a granulated stevia sweetener, I’d start with 1/4 tsp., taste it, and see how you feel about it. Since there are apples and raisins in it, you really don’t need that much sweetener in dressing. Other than that, the recipe works the same. 🙂
Now this next recipe is one that I tried out for the first time a few months ago, but we liked it so much, that we’ve had it several times since. Again, this one is easy to make with produce that’s found nearly year round at the grocery store. It’s easy to make a big or small batch. You can make it to use up your fresh garden produce. (If that’s something you’re handy at – I’m not.) And you can easily tweak it to fit whatever you serve it with. And again, it requires no heat to make. This is not a salad that I’d recommend making ahead of time, so I’ll give you some notes at the end about how I make just enough for the 2 of us to eat at one meal. This is really a simple idea, but it’s so summery and perfect to go with burgers, chicken, heavy meals that need a refreshing side, or light meals where you don’t want too much in your belly. As made, this is more of an S side, but you could easily use all yogurt to keep it FP for serving alongside an E meal. Check it out!
Cucumber and Tomato Salad (from Natasha’s Kitchen)
3 chopped tomatoes
2 cut in half, sliced cucumbers
1/2 thinly sliced onion (I actually leave this out since I’m not a fan of raw onion.)
1 clove minced garlic
3 tbsp. mayo
2 tbsp. sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/8 tsp. pepper
- In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, garlic, and pepper.
- Mix in the tomatoes, cucumber, and onion. Salt to taste right before serving.
NOTES: Okay, I’m usually going to make personal servings of this several times a week, so here’s what I do. First, I use equal amounts of quartered cherry tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumber. (I just kind of eyeball it, but maybe start with 1/2 c. of each for 2 people. It sort of depends on whether this is your only side or 1 of a few.) Then I mix together about equal sized dollops of mayo and Greek yogurt (or 2 dollops of Greek yogurt if I’m serving this with an E meal – again I eyeball it, maybe about a tbsp. of each.) that I season with a sprinkle each of onion powder, garlic powder, and dried dill. I stir the cucumbers and tomatoes into the dressing and add salt and pepper to taste right before we eat it.
I saved the best for last again! Honestly, I had to scour the blog because I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t already shared this recipe with you. This is a recipe that I grew up eating, and I really have no idea where it originally came from. It’s so delicious, and I missed it so much that I had to find a way to eat it on THM. I’ll give you the original recipe first and then my tweak. Part of what I love about this recipe is that it’s best if you make it the night before. It’s also great to use up several shelf stable foods in a new way. This another recipe that’s so cool and comforting during the hot summer months. It’s also a light and easy dessert for when you’re not feeling well.
Five Cup Salad (from my childhood)
1 c. drained pineapple chunks
1 c. drained mandarin oranges
1 c. shredded, sweetened coconut
1 c. mini marshmallows
1 c. sour cream
- Combine all ingredients together and refrigerate til served.
I mean it’s that simple and easy, but it’s just SOOO tasty. Obviously, there’s a lot of added sugar in that recipe though, which made it unsuitable for my THM journey. Because of the pineapple and orange, this is an E, but you definitely don’t want to pig out on it too much because of the coconut. (I haven’t really checked into the stats, so if I’ve got this all wrong, feel free to let me know.) Now, it really isn’t a Five Cup Salad this way, but I just don’t have any other name for it. So…
THM-ified “Five Cup” Salad
3/4 c. fat-free Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet (This is sweet enough for me, but you could easily adjust it to your preferences.)
1 c. drained pineapple (I prefer smaller bites, but the tidbits are a lot more expensive than chunks. I usually end up buying pineapple rings and cutting them myself into small pieces.)
1 c. drained mandarin oranges (This can be tricky/pricey. You want to make sure that you’re buying mandarin oranges that have been packed in fruit juice or water with no added sugar. Unfortunately those are more expensive. 😦 Costco carries a large box for a decent price; I’ve also seen a number of coupons in the papers for Dole and Del Monte.)
1 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, vanilla, and sweetener. Gently stir in the pineapple, orange, and coconut, and refrigerate til you’re ready to serve. I always find it better after chilling overnight in the fridge.
And there you go, several recipes that use easy to find ingredients, that don’t need heat to make, and that are light and refreshing sides (or dessert). Sometimes when it’s really hot out, I just can’t stand the thought of eating hot foods, so that’s why I love these sorts of dishes. Do you ever feel that way?