Summer Calls for Salads – Make Them Allergy Free

Down here in the south, summer is hot! When it comes to food, I think of fruit and salads, nothing hot or that takes much cooking. Here a couple of yummy salad recipes, and don’t forget one of the best summer treats of all – watermelon. It’s a great thing to bring to a party or the pool, and all you need to do is slice it. Plus it’s free of the big allergens and healthy, too.

As for a salad, a cold orzo salad is always a winner and there are a few different ways to make one. First cook your orzo according to package directions, then you’re ready to start. If you need to substitute to a wheat free pasta, choose whatever you like best. Here is just one recipe, but you can add fresh or lightly steamed veggies, other beans or  whatever you have on hand.

Following is a green salad with fruit. Another easy thing about salads is you can adjust any measurement to your liking. I’ve been making a lot of homemade dressings lately, and like the ice pops in a recent blog, not only do you know it’s free of any allergens, but also unwanted ingredients. You can toy with the ingredients to get the flavors and tartness or sweetness you want. Basically with a dressing you need a base, which is the  oil, an acid which is the vinegar or citrus juice, and I like a mustard to bind it, plus something to add a bit of sweetness, like honey. Don’t be afraid to experiment and you many never buy a bottle of dressing again.

Orzo and Garbanzo Bean Salad
(serves 10-12 can be doubled or halved)

I box of cooked orzo pasta
2 cans garbanzo beans (I prefer the lower sodium)
1 handful fresh chopped Italian parsley
lemon zest from one lemon
halved cherry tomatoes
feta cheese (optional)

Mix together in large bowl

for dressing:
juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

(adjust the measurements as you like them, this is quite a sweet dressing)
Whisk these together and stir into orzo salad. Enjoy!
Fruits and Greens

1 bag of spinach or any other greens you like leaves
1 container of fresh strawberries, sliced
1 container of blueberries or raspberries

In a bowl, combine ingredients, serve dressing on the side or toss together

Homemade Pomegranate Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon grainy mustard

Mix together with a whisk or shake in a sealed container. Feel free to adjust amounts to your preference.

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