Fresh D'lights by Stacy: Summer Salads 2020

Summer Salads 2020

By Stacy Carroll

I admit, when it is cold, dreary, and snowy in the winter I want warm comfort food, not salads. So, bring on summer and the light, fresh tastes of the garden vegetables that go along with it!  I am bringing you some different salad recipes that I have made, once again from Fresh D’Lites lunch days where I wanted to serve something healthy, yet filling and budget friendly.

That is how I came across the coleslaw pasta salad recipe.  Lots of veggies, but with pasta added to make it less expensive, yet filling.  You can add anything to this recipe just like any other pasta salad recipe.  The “potato” salad turned out great as well.  I like adding a little salt and turmeric to my water while steaming the cauliflower. Also try using half mayo and half greek yogurt for a replacement for the olive oil mayo.  As for the three bean salad, it has more vegetables than most of I have had before plus the addition of herbs.  It goes great with a BBQ type sandwich to cut through the rich taste of the meat. 

I never served the asparagus pasta dish for lunch, but it is a new quick go to this spring for weeknight meals.  I don’t often have sun dried tomatoes on hand, so I use grape or cherry tomatoes and roast/grill them with the asparagus and I use a Tuscan flavored olive oil.   Mushrooms make a good addition as well.  I usually eat it with out the egg and sometimes I cook a chicken breast to add protein to the dish.  I like to serve it warm and then eat the leftovers cold like a salad.  Hope you all make the best of out your summer and try these recipes!

Coleslaw Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 20 min

Fridge Time: 4 hours

Servings: 16

Calories: 300kcal


1-16 oz. box ditalini pasta

1-16 oz. bag coleslaw mix

1 sweet onion, finely chopped

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 red pepper, chopped small

4 oz. or ½ a bag of shredded cheddar cheese

1 1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/3 c. granulated sugar

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

1/2 t. Mrs. Dash & pepper


Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl; add the coleslaw mix, onions, celery, cucumber, green pepper, water chestnuts, and eggs. Mix together. In separate bowl combine the dressing ingredients and stir with a whisk. Pour over the pasta salad and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours before serving.  This recipe can be adjusted to add in any vegetables you like.  Original recipe included hard-boiled eggs and water chestnuts.  I like to add carrots sometimes

Low Carb Potato Salad

Total Time: 35 min

Yield: 6 servings

Calories: 222kcal

Carbs: 5.5g

Protein: 8 g


1 pound cauliflower florets, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

½ c. olive oil mayonnaise,

1 t. yellow mustard

1½ t. fresh dill

1¼ c. finely chopped dill pickle

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1/4 c. chopped red onions

1 T. pickle juice

6 hard boiled eggs, sliced

Salt & Pepper

Paprika, for garnish


Place 1 inch of water in a large pot with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, pickle juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside. Chop 4 of the eggs and add to the bowl with the cauliflower along with the celery, pickles, and red onion.  Slice the remaining two eggs for topping.

Add the dressing to the cauliflower and toss gently to evenly coat. Garnish with remaining sliced eggs and sprinkle with paprika.


Mediterranean Three Bean Salad

Yield: 6 servings


15 oz. can kidney beans

15 oz. can garbanzo beans

15 oz. can black beans

3 roma tomatoes

½ of a red onion, diced

1 english cucumber

½ c. parsley

½ c. cilantro

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 T. apple cider vinegar

1 -2 T. olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste


Drain and rinse beans in a colander.  Dice vegetables and chop herbs; add to a large bowl along with the beans.  Combine the dressing ingredients: garlic, vinegar, lemon, and oil in a small bowl until combined.  Pour dressing over the bean mixture and toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Best if allowed to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Omit cilantro if you do not like; add other vegetables if you desire such as bell pepper, avocado or green onions.

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 25 minutes


8 oz. medium shell pasta

1 lb, asparagus, trimmed

2 T. olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 to 1/2 c. pesto

1/3 c. julienned sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained

1/4 c. diced mozzarella cubes

Fried egg, for serving


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.  Place asparagus in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste; gently toss to combine. Place into oven and roast for 8-12 minutes, or until tender but crisp. Let cool before cutting into 1-inch pieces. in a large bowl, combine pasta, asparagus, pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella.  Serve immediately with a fried egg, if desired or serve cold as a salad.

Pesto Recipe:

1 c. fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, peeled

¼ c. pine nuts or pecans/walnuts

1/3 c. parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 c. olive oil


Combine and pulse the basil, garlic, nuts and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt and pepper, to taste. With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. I also grate my garlic before adding. Depending on your food processor you might find it helpful to prep the ingredients as well.


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