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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Salads and Barbecues

I have been wondering why summer salads, like pasta and potato, always have to be in thick and heavy cream and/or mayonnaise based sauces? Summer is a time that can be fresh and light, as we all shove ourselves into shorts and swim suits. Why all the meat and cream? Even though I worked all of Memorial Day weekend and holiday, I ate more meat than ever, from grilled chicken to hamburger and grilled pork. Each meal came fitted with heavy beans and a cream salad or two. I am very thankful for any prepared meal I can get, especially when I get home after 8:00pm from work, but I need a complete overhaul in diet just from this past long weekend.
My thought is make it light. Instead of a heavy cream pasta salad, make your own dressed with olive oil and vinegar. If you want a little bit of a cream consistency add some cubed mozzarella or crumbled feta. Same holds true for potato salad. Try dressing it with a sauce made from lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, and maybe a hint of honey for sweetness. To go with more of a creamy side, try humus or find a recipe that utilizes Greek yogurt. Instead of a barbecue of hot dogs, brats, and burgers, try grilled portobello mushrooms or a medley of grilled vegetables. I usually marinate and grill onion, red pepper, green pepper, zucchini, eggplant and sweet potato. Once grilled I chop them up and mix them into prepared quinoa,  pearl couscous, or regular couscous. Top with a little bit of feta cheese and you have a wonderful tasting, yet light, meal.  

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