Four easy summer salad healthy meal recipes: Delicious!
Well here we are once again, heading back into summer and the weather is definitely starting to heat up! That means it’s that time again….
What time I hear you ask?
Salad time of course!
Ok. Sometimes I get a little bit excited about salads…
So it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to cool, light, healthy summer salad recipes and here I am, sharing what’s become a favourite of ours because this salad is simple, versatile and healthy!
We ate this salad lots during the time that we spent traveling around Australia in our campervan. We didn’t have a real kitchen and our cooking facilities were a little primitive and so this super healthy, simple but delicious salad recipe became a regular on our menu.
And because it was invented during our travels, I’ve named it….
Traveling Chicken Salad!
Clever huh? 🙂
Anyway. This salad uses chicken. Hot or cold it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s cooked!
And basically you can cook your chook any way that you like because this is a versatile salad. BUT I’ll let you in on a secret – my way of cooking chook is the best way for this salad!
The way I like to cook my chicken for this salad, and the reason that it became so popular with us while we were traveling, is using our EcoPot.
If you haven’t heard of the EcoPot, it’s a type of thermal cooker, and what a wonderful thing it is! Thermal cookers don’t need any electricity or gas. They are really well insulated (kind of like a heavy duty thermos flask), and so you basically start the cooking process on the stove top, then seal it up in the thermal cooker and it carries on cooking all day using it’s own stored heat.
This makes it brilliant for traveling and camping!
We bought ours just before we went away on our eighteen month adventure around Australia, and although we managed to break the handle on it very early in the piece (which was kind of annoying after paying nearly $300 for it!), but I wouldn’t be without it even now that we’re back living in a house with a real kitchen!
Cooking a chicken in the thermal cooker
So the way it works is that I put a whole chook in the large pot that came with our cooker and fill it about three quarters full of water.
Then I add a large heaped teaspoon of celtic sea salt and a peeled whole onion.
I then bring it to the boil, turn it down and simmer for about twenty minutes because it’s a whole chicken (smaller pieces of meat require less simmering time).
Then I place the pot containing the boiling chicken in the thermal cooker and seal it up to finish cooking over the next five to seven hours. I do this in the morning so it’s ready at dinner time.
No power or stove watching required! 🙂
When dinner time arrives the chicken is cooked to perfection. Falling off the bones and the most moist, tender chicken you’ll ever eat. Cross my heart!
I think that because it’s cooked in water, but slowly, like a water bath, it’s just amazing!
So then I pull the meat off the bones and use as much as I need for our salad, keeping the rest for another meal (or two).
Now for the ‘Traveling Chicken Salad’ recipe
The ingredients for this salad are flexible – very! Because this is a traveling chicken salad recipe, it has been traditionally made with whatever we had in our little camping fridge and our esky. The amounts of course will depend on how many mouths you are feeding, but it pretty much always goes something like this…
- Cooked chicken (the meat from one third to one half a chicken for two hungry adults – chopped or shredded)
- A variety of salad greens: lettuce, rocket, spinach
- Green herbs: parsley, coriander or mint
- Chopped spring onion or red onion
- Cherry tomatoes
- Chopped cucumber
- Chopped capsicum
- Shredded or grated carrot (I use a julienne peeler)
Put it together
- Tear up the lettuce and place in a large bowl
- Add all the other ingredients
- Season well with (good quality) salt and freshly ground pepper. Seasoning makes such a difference to the way a salad tastes but so many people miss this step! It’s no wonder some people think salads are boring…)
- Add a decent splash of a good quality olive oil (don’t be stingy…)
- Add a decent splash of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother (don’t know what ‘the mother’ is? Read this)
- Grab a pair of tongs or salad servers, combine well and serve.
Usually we eat this salad on it’s own, but tonight we had some yummy organic green beans that needed to be used up before they got sad and seeing as we were steaming those, we also boiled a potato so that the pot of boiling water under the beans wasn’t wasted. 🙂
Then because we were having that boiled spud, I mixed together some organic Quark (that’s an awesome cottage cheese in case you’ve not tried it) with a clove of garlic (crushed) and some salt and pepper to have with it and topped the salad with some of the glorious local (South Burnett) olives that I get from the FROG shop here in Hervey Bay.
So the simple salad kind of grew tonight into a bigger thing than usual, but the result was still quick, simple and super healthy.
Now here’s a video by a very enthusiastic young lady with three more super healthy summer salad recipes for you to try. I hope you like them and if you’re after something different, check out my post on how to make zucchini noodles with a veggie noodle maker!