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Summer salad sizzles

KYSHA HARRIS Special to the AmNews | 10/12/2012, 4:20 p.m.
It's officially here! Happy summer to all! Have you begun to thrust your summer plans...
Summer salad sizzles

One of my emerging new favorite creations is a red quinoa and beluga lentil salad. It is a nutrient-dense salad packed with protein and fiber that can be eaten hot, warm or cold and mixed with traditional salad ingredients to make a complete meal.

For this salad I use the undercooking technique so each of the main components holds its own. I cook the quinoa and lentils separately using the same method, with chicken stock (or you can use vegetable), a bay leaf and one chile de Arbol (you can use crushed red pepper). Remove from the pots and let cool separately.

I use the quinoa as the base and fold in the desired amount of beluga lentils. To that I add sliced scallions, fresh oregano and flat-leaf parsley, lemon zest and juice, crumbled sheep's milk feta and a good fruity olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. It is ready to be eaten right away or you can chill it for later.

I make a complete meal out of this salad by using it as a base for a chopped salad, laid over some greens. Accompanying this with some grilled chicken or shrimp would be lovely too.

Now I could go on...what about the chipotle, corn and black bean salad, or the cold Asian spinach and sesame salad...oooo, or the rosemary cranberry chicken salad? YES! Or the...

I hope you will give some of these salads a try. Follow the rules as best as you can and start creating some salad magic this summer. And let me know what happens.

Enjoy, get eating and thanks for reading!

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Questions at dinnertime? Chat with me at AskSCHOP, Monday through Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Kysha Harris is owner of SCHOP! which is available for weekly service or for home entertaining. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Email kysha@iSCHOP.com.