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3 Simple summer salad recipes

Simple seared salmon served on a chopped salad

Simple seared salmon served on a chopped salad with a creamy Dijon vinaigrette. Credit: Marge Perry

Chopped Salad with Seared Salmon

4 Persian (mini) cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and cut across into 1/2-inch pieces

2 (assorted color) bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 celery stalks, cut across into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 head romaine, (1 pound), cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons canola mayonnaise

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

1. Combine the cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, and romaine in a large bowl.

2. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until well combined. Toss the dressing with the salad to coat and divide among 4 serving plates.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Season the salmon with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the salmon, skin side up, to the skillet and cook until nicely browned, 4 minutes. Flip the salmon over and continue cooking until the skin is crisp and the salmon is cooked through but still slightly translucent in the center, about 4-5 minutes longer. Place one salmon fillet on top of each salad and serve. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 452 calories, 42 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 26 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 800 mg sodium

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Grilled Steak, Watermelon and Arugula Salad

1 1/4-pound flank steak

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 cups bite-size watermelon cubes

6 cups baby arugula

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat the grill for medium (350 to 450 degrees) cooking.

2.  Season the steak with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.

3. Combine the watermelon, arugula, onion and mint in a large bowl. Add the oil, lemon juice, zest, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss well.

4. Place the steak on the grill and cook until it is well-marked on the underside and readily lifts from the grill surface, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook another 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and allow the steak to rest 5 minutes. Slice across the grain on a diagonal into very thin strips. Cut the strips into 3-inch lengths and add to the salad. Stir in the feta and serve. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 390 calories, 33 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 20 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 677 mg sodium

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Chicken Fajita Salad

1 pound chicken tender strips (or boneless chicken breasts cut in thin strips)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt, divided

8 cups torn romaine lettuce

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1 green bell pepper, cut in thin strips

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1. Toss the chicken with the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.

2. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the oil, the lime juice, zest and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl and toss with the lettuce.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and add the onions to the pan; cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the peppers, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp tender and the onions are translucent and soft, about another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and transfer to a plate.

4. Divide the dressed lettuce among four plates; top each with the chicken and vegetables. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 292 calories, 25 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 688 mg sodium

TIP: Swap in your favorite protein in any of these salads.

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