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Three salads to make summer eating a breeze

By Sue Knorr

Here's a trio of easy salad recipes that will keep you in the Zone and out of the kitchen this summer. Each one contains only a few ingredients and can be put together in minutes, no cooking involved. Bring one to your next barbecue and share good health with your friends!

Each of these recipes makes one serving. For a crowd, multiply the ingredient amounts by the number of desired servings.

Salmon and Chickpea Salad

(Makes one 4-block meal)

The chickpeas make this a hearty dish, but the salmon is the real star of this salad. To get the most of the omega-3s salmon has to offer, choose wild caught over farmed.

Salad Ingredients

6 ounces purchased cooked, flaked salmon (or use canned salmon)
1 cup chickpeas
1/8 of one red onion, minced or finely slivered

Dressing Ingredients

1 1/3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
dill or your favorite herb, to taste

Optional Ingredient

Romaine lettuce leaves

Directions

Toss the salmon with the chickpeas and red onion. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together with a fork. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly to coat.

Serving suggestion: Layer lettuce leaves on a plate and spoon the salad on top.

Three Pepper and Mozzarella Salad

(Makes one 2-block side salad or two 1-block snacks)

For a real taste of summer take a trip to the farmer's market or use fresh-picked peppers and tomatoes from your garden. This salad can be served immediately or made ahead and allowed to marinate for a fuller flavor. Turn this into a 4-block meal by serving it with 2 ounces of lean protein and having 1 cup of blueberries for dessert. The additional fat in the cheese will round out the 4-block meal.

Salad Ingredients

2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 peppers, one each of orange, green and red, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1 medium tomato cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar

Directions

Toss the cheese, peppers and tomatoes together with the Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Add the dressing to the salad and toss well.

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

(Makes one 1-block serving of carbohydrate)

The slightly salty flavor of tomato and the sweetness of watermelon blend well to create a surprisingly refreshing taste. Add to that the vibrant purples, oranges, greens and reds of these fruits, and you have an irresistible treat. The tomatoes used in this salad are the size of a large cherry tomato and can be found in most grocery stores.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of halved multicolored gourmet tomatoes (if unavailable, substitute cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup seedless watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
sea salt, to taste

Directions

Gently toss the tomatoes and watermelon until evenly distributed. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and toss just enough to blend it in. Enjoy!