Easy dinner recipes: Great salad ideas in 40 minutes or less

Easy dinner recipes: Great salad ideas in 40 minutes or less
Recipe: Balboa Cafe's kale slaw (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

It has felt a lot like summer lately. Why spend your evening cooking over a hot stove? Beat the heat tonight with three cool salad ideas. Each comes together in 40 minutes or less:

Balboa Cafe's kale slaw: For this slaw, incredibly simple to make, thinly sliced kale is tossed with colorful carrots, red cabbage and fresh fennel, then coated with a light but tangy dressing. Toasted walnuts are added at the end for more crunch. Balboa Cafe was happy to share its recipe for the salad, which is perfect served as a side or light meal.


BLD's fresh vegetable salad: BLD tosses its homemade dressing -- fresh, lightly herbal, sweetened with a touch of honey and with just the right amount of tang -- with a wonderfully bright and colorful salad of crunchy fresh corn, edamame, roasted bell peppers and green beans, along with diced avocado and toasted cashews. They top the salad with fresh sprouts and a drizzle of nutty hemp seeds. Enjoy!

Lunch's green apple chicken salad: Lunch's chicken salad is a deliciously simple dish. It combines diced chicken with a little red onion, celery, currants and apple for a nice crunch, great color and a wonderfully fresh combination of flavors not unlike a classic Waldorf. And it's just as easy to prepare.


Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
Note: Adapted from Lunch.

    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    2 cooked boneless and skinless chicken breasts, diced (a generous 2 cups)
    2 small celery stalks, cut into small dice
    1/2 red onion, cut into very small dice
    1/2 green apple, cored and cut into medium dice
    1/3 cup currants (raisins may be substituted)
    Salt and pepper, if desired

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard to form a dressing.

2. To the bowl, add the chicken, celery, onion, apple and currants. Toss everything together, taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. Chill before serving. This makes about 1 quart chicken salad.

Each of 6 servings: 188 calories; 12 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 11 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 39 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 163 mg sodium.

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