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Smarter Health: Fantastic Summer Salads Kids Will Love

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I have been hankering for dinner salads. A bowl of lettuce or spinach, a dash of yummy, tangy dressing, tossed with who knows what in a big bowl. Perfection on a warm night. But, my kiddo isn't so keen on the leafy things, so how does this mama appease her hankerings and please her picky little one? Think beyond the greens and focus on other types of salad -- pasta, bean, veggie. I scoured some sites and found a few that I am going to try.

Ranch Turkey Pasta Salad (from Family.Go.com)

8 oz. uncooked macaroni pasta
4 cups of a combination of the following:
macaroni pasta
cubed turkey breast
cubed cheddar cheese
peas
shredded carrot
2 cups Ranch dressing
bacon bits for garnish

Cook the pasta until done to desired tenderness and drain well. Al dente is best since soaking in dressing can cause the pasta to become mushy. Cool completely. Toss with turkey, cheese, peas, carrots and dressing. Garnish with bacon bits. Chill for an hour before serving.

Black Bean, Rice, and Sweet Corn Salad (from MyRecipes.com)

1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup long-grain rice
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup rinsed and drained canned black beans
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Add rice to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice, oil, pepper, and garlic in a large bowl. Add rice and beans; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes or until completely cool. Stir in corn and cilantro.

Pasta Hero Salad (From weelicious.com)

16 ox box whole wheat fusilli

1 1/2 cup ham, turkey, salami or any of your favorite cold cuts, cut into thins strips or cubes

1 cup Monterrey Jack, shredded or cubed

1 cup garbanzo beans

3/4 cup pimentos, diced

3/4 cup olives, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wIne vinegar

1 tsp Italian herbs, dried

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

Cook pasta according to package directions.
 Strain and rinse with cold water. Place pasta in a bowl. Add the meat, cheese, garbanzo beans pimentos and olives to the pasta. Whisk the remaining dressing ingredients in a bowl to combine.
 Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss.

Which of these will you try? Share your best summer salad recipes!

©iStockphoto.com/ adlifemarketing


by on Jun. 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
powow65
by kimmy on Jun. 12, 2012 at 2:59 PM
both! They sounds awesome!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
fraujones
by Amanda on Jun. 12, 2012 at 3:06 PM

The Black Bean, Rice and Corn Salad sounds good. I love eating salads with fresh berries and walnuts. 

Luvmybooskies
by Tiff on Jun. 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM

That looks delicious! Too bad my and my youngest are the only ones who would eat it lol.

bether89
by Ruby Member on Jun. 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM

 We have been eating lots of salads at our house lately.  I would like to try the Black Bean, Rice, and Sweet Corn Salad.

wandep
by Pam on Jun. 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM

None, nobody in my family would eat them.

onecuteladybug2
by Ruby Member on Jun. 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM

I can't stand any pasta dishes, especially salads. I might try the black bean salad though.

mrswillie
by CeeCee on Jun. 13, 2012 at 7:57 AM

I make a chicken ranch salad.  

Grilled chicken breast, halved grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, broccli, wheat pasta, parmesean and wheat pasta

momofsixangels
by Colleen on Jun. 13, 2012 at 9:46 AM
My kids' love salads!
amy7243
by on Jun. 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

 I am eating my moms pasta salad as I type :) Mmm!!

koolkidsmom
by on Jun. 13, 2012 at 6:21 PM

 I've been eating pasta salad for a while now and need to vary it so I wont get burnt outwhich I tend to do when i like something. 

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