Pineapple Cucumber Salad

pineapple salad

This salad makes a wonderful dessert

Not just another fruit salad. This fresh-tasting salad works as a dessert, side dish, or even a between-meal snack. The lime juice is the only dressing necessary. Many people don’t care for cilantro and you can use parsley if you must, but it’s the addition of cilantro and cucumber that makes this unique. Using salt and pepper sounds a little odd, but they do round out the flavors.

1 pineapple, peeled and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered
2 limes, zested and juiced
1/2 cup cilantro (or parsley), roughly chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients and toss lightly to distribute the lime juice and zest evenly.
2. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
3. Serve immediately or keep chilled until ready to serve.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

tabboleh salad

Quinoa Tabboleh Salad

This recipe is light on calories and a delight to my vegan friends. Not vegan? You can toss in a little feta cheese if you like. That’s always good. Instead of mint, which is more traditional, I love using cilantro in this along with the parsley.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large English cucumber, finely diced (1/4 inch)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or cilantro)
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. Cook quinoa to package directions, drain and let cool (spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet).

2. Whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill, reserving remaining dressing and other ingredients until serving time.

4. Just before serving, add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

5. Options: feta cheese, black olives or kalamata olives.

Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Refrigerator Salad

7 large pickling cucumbers unpeeled sliced thin
1-1/2 cup sliced onions
1-1/2 cup sliced red peppers
1 T salt
1 c white vinegar
½ c sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
2-3 fresh (or dried) bay leaves
¼ to 1/2 tsp hot red pepper flakes

Makes 2 quarts. Most refrigerator salad recipes I found were way too sweet, so I made my own, reducing sugar by 3/4 and came up with a delightfully fresh and clean tasting salad. It was half gone the 1st day.

Mix cucumbers, onions, peppers and salt in one bowl and let sit for about an hour, then pack lightly into a 2-quart mason jar.

Put vinegar, sugar, celery seed, bay leaves and mustard seed in a cooking pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before pouring over cucumber mixture.

Store in refrigerator, shaking to distribute brine once or twice the first day. Ready in 24 hours. Will keep for up to 2 months. Use as is or spoon over lettuce or tomatoes in a bowl.

Adjust ingredients to your own taste. My husband prefers fewer onions, I like lots of cucumbers. You can’t go wrong as long as overall volume of vegetables and brine are okay.

Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Refrigerator Salad

Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Refrigerator Salad

Spiralized Zucchini Salad

This is both easy and healthy. There is no real recipe, simply a method: Spiralize a zucchini, add a few of your favorite ingredients and use a simple vinaigrette-style dressing. You can use the dressing I show you consisting of honey, mustard and vinegar, or one of your own.