Oh man. Is it ever hot in Los Angeles this week! Let me just preface by saying that we normally have a temperature fluctuation of absolutely no more than ten degrees (fahrenheit) on any given day. We normally are just around 73 degrees. All the time. There’s not really any exceptions to that rule. AND it’s not humid, ever. (My curly hair is so excited about this!!)
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However, this week, the tropical storms have found us! On one hand, I’m really happy about that, because we need rain so badly. However, there is the little pain-in-the-butt-problem of having 90 degree weather. I’m dying a little, and also sporting a huge curly afro… My way to combat the problem of how hot it gets in my apartment is to eat no hot food ever during this time (no air conditioning and eating hot food makes for a very unhappy and overheated Jess). I do have a really strong fan though, so at least that’s a plus!
My solution? THIS LITTLE BEAUTY!! I love salads at any time of the year, but during this hot hot heat (if you get that music reference, major bonus points to you!), they are so refreshing. I didn’t want to cook any meat for the salad (because cooking hot things would just make the apartment even toastier!), so I loaded it with TONS of fresh veggies! Jump down to see the benefits of using these vegetables.
Ingredients (health benefits/why I chose these veggies are at the bottom of the article):
2 cups of lettuce (I have this red bibb lettuce mix that’s really nice)
The only step in this that takes any time is cooking the potatoes. I made some potatoes the other day, so I had these as leftovers. But if you need to cook your potatoes, just throw them in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, until they’re done. You’ll know they’re finished cooking when you can poke a fork into them and it comes out easily and cleanly.
The other veggies you can just wash and chop up while your potatoes are cooking. Once you have all your veggies chopped up, you can just toss them in a bowl. But if you’re super OCD organized like I am (it’s really a blessing and a curse) you can put them in rows and take a pretty picture. 🙂
Then you add a little drizzle of the dressing on there. I think the serving size is two tablespoons, but a little goes a long way with this one! It has so much flavor. So I’d suggest airing on the side of caution and putting on less than you think you may want. You can always add more later if you need!
Look how pretty that is! But there’s something even more important than it just being a pretty salad. All the veggies I chose have great health benefits. Check them out:
Health benefits/Why I used the veggies I did: You can use any veggies you have on hand, but I chose these all for specific reasons.
Bibb Lettuce: This lettuce is sweet, and not at all bitter. I’ve been eating a lot of arugula and mustard greens lately, so I wanted a change! Plus it has a lot of vitamin A (60% of the RDA), which is good for vision, reproductive health and the immune system.
Red Pepper: I’m not a huge raw-bell-pepper type of girl, but they have SO MUCH vitamin C. Did you know a cup of chopped bell peppers has almost three times as much vitamin C as an orange?! That’s a lot of vitamin C!
Cucumber: This is a heat-busting salad staple for me. Cucumbers have a 97% water content, so eating them in a salad is a great way to boost that hydration! Plus, they have such a satisfying crunch.
Tomatoes: They’re my favorite food. I don’t think you’d ever catch me making a salad without tomatoes! Tomatoes are rich in lycopene (it’s the color pigmentation that makes them red) which has been linked to bone health and lowering the risk of stroke.
Potatoes: Growing up, I always thought potatoes should be a side dish. However, as I’ve gotten older I find that the best place for tomatoes is either in a salad or on a pizza! It just adds so much flavor and texture to the salad. If I have time, and potatoes on hand I always try to toss them in my salads. Potatoes get a lot of bad publicity, because everyone talks about them when they’re fried or covered with salt, but potatoes in their natural state actually have a lot of health benefits For one, they’re high in B6, which is good for maintaining healthy brain function and creating red blood cells.
Avocado: I wanted the smooth texture that avocados provide, because most of my salad had some crunch to it. It was nice to have a change and not have everything be crunchy. Plus, avocados have a lot of potassium. A serving of avocado has more potassium than a banana! Wonderful! (want to know more about avocados? Check out my Avoca-do’s and Avoca-dont’s)
Cesar Dressing: This was actually the wild card for me! I was going to make my own dressing but I ended up having to leave pretty quickly and drive across town to pick up a makeshift lighting desk for my future blogging photos (but more on that later- in fact, I’m sure I’ll probably dedicate a whole post to it sometime soon). I really like how the salad turned out with this dressing though! It wasn’t what I had planned, but it tasted delicious. Sometimes you have to be open to change!
Fresh Veggie Salad
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
2 cups of red bibb lettuce
1/4 (ish) of a red pepper, chopped
1 baby cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/4 of an avocado, chopped
2 baby potatoes, cooked and chopped
2 tablespoons Newman's Own Lite Cesar Dressing
Bring water to a boil and cook the potatoes until done, about 10-15 minutes. You'll know you're done when you poke them with a fork and it comes out cleanly and easily.
While the potatoes are cooking, throw your lettuce in a bowl.
Chop your veggies and layer across the lettuce.
Chop your potatoes and add to the salad.
Drizzle on the dressing.
Well that’s my yummy Fresh Veggie Salad! It’s so simple and takes only minutes to throw together. I hope you enjoy it! And I hope you’re keeping cool in this hot hot heat!