Memorial Day marks the start of the summer season. Some of us will be spending the day out on our boats or at the beach. Some of us will be traveling to visit relatives out-of-town. Some of us will be watching parades. Some of us will be attending barbeques and some of us can finally wear white. It’s great to celebrate living and enjoy the day off, but it is equally as important to take a moment and honor our brave U.S. soldiers who died in battle fighting for our freedom. As we gather with family and friends, we should pay homage to those brave individuals. It is important, especially for kids to understand that the freedoms they relish so much are the result of brave wars fought and lives lost. While children are learning the importance of Memorial Day, it is a great opportunity to also teach them to eat healthy.
As you gather together at mealtime, prepare and serve a variety of wholesome foods. If you have access to a local farm, pick up fresh ingredients and try these summer salads.
4 cups cooked chick peas (can use canned, but I prefer the old fashioned way)
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup finely chopped organic red and green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup grated carrot
2 heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp. cumin
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Soak beans overnight. Drain. Add beans and cover with water and simmer covered on stove for 1 ½ hour or until done. When slightly cooled, add all ingredients in a large bowl. Add seasonings to taste and mix gently. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Summer Rice Salad with Black-Eyed Peas
4 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas or canned
3 heirloom or vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 scallions finely chopped
4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. sea salt, pepper to taste
Combine brown rice, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, parsley and scallions in a large bowl. Gently toss. In smaller bowl whisk the rest of the ingredients. Pour dressing ingredients over the salad and gently toss again. Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
HAVE A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND SAFE MEMORIAL DAY