Summer Salads {recipe}

Well, to let the truth be told…I haven’t felt like cooking for the past couple months.  Why you may ask? Pregnancy kills every ounce of love I have for cooking…but I am expecting to be back in the kitchen in the next couple weeks 😉  In the meantime, here are a couple of yummy summer salads that would be great alongside any cookout menu you may have in the coming months!

As I was finishing up putting this salad together, the hubsters came up with a concerned look on his face and shaking his head. He said I should have made a fruit salad or a pasta salad…they should not be combined. After he tried it, he changed his mind! I love all the fruit, and the cheese filled tortellini really taste out of place amongst the yummy fruit. Definitely a keeper.
Tortellini Fruit Salad

9 oz. three cheese tortellini, cooked as directed then drain and rinse w/ cold water
1 c. sliced strawberries
3/4 c. halved green grapes (red ones were cheaper this week!)
1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 c. blueberries
1/4 c. sliced almonds (opt.)
Dressing: 1/2 c. poppyseed dressing (I used Kens brand)
Combine tortellini and fruit in a bowl, add dressing right before serving and toss lightly. Refrigerate till ready to serve.

From: our Ward’s Cooking Club (thanks Jami A!)

This salad reminds me of Spring.  It is light enough to be a side dish, but add some grilled chicken strips and you have a phenomenal meal!

I first had this at a friend’s house, and loved it…knew I would be making it again.  The dressing is super yummy, would be great on any salad!

Spinach Mandarin Poppyseed Salad

8 oz. (1/2 bag) of baby spinach
1/2-1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 thinly sliced medium red onion
1 large avocado, cubed
8 oz. mozzarella or Swiss cheese, shredded
1 12-oz. package bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large can Mandarin oranges, drained
Poppy Seed Dressing, to taste (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients except dressing in a large bowl. When ready to serve, toss with desired amount of salad dressing and serve immediately. If you anticipate leftovers, just let your eaters dress their own salads because the dressing will make the greens wilt.

Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. mustard
1 green onion, ends removed (both the “hairy” end and where the green part starts to get floppy)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
In a blender, combine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard. While the blender is running, add the green onion. Continue running the blender and add the oil in a steady stream and is fully incorporated into the dressing.
Pour the dressing into a serving or storage container and whisk in poppy seeds. Serve over leafy greens.