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As temperatures rise into triple digits, it can be challenging to keep our bodies cool and we also want to avoid spending time behind a hot stove, so I am offering you some simple, refreshing options for delicious salads that are colorful, delicious, and healthy.

Chickpea Salad

Loaded with fresh veggies and tossed in a light homemade dressing, this tasty vegetarian Chickpea Salad makes healthy eating easy!

Chickpea Salad

The Salad

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups chopped bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 avocado,chopped

The Dressing

  • 2 1/2 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. dried crushed oregano or paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried dill
  • crumbled feta cheese


    1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
    2. Chop bell peppers, tomato, and cucumber and toss in a bowl.
    3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together.
    4. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
    5. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.
    6. Peel and chop avocado just before serving and add to the salad.Note: You can drizzle lemon juice and a little olive oil on top before serving.

Pineapple Cucumber Jalapeno Salad

What I love about this salad is the combination of sweet and spicy flavors. It is a colorful dish to add to your table in the summer. Easy and quick to make and always a people pleaser!

Pineapple Cucumber


  • 2 1/2 cups diced pineapple (best with fresh pineapple)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (partially remove skin)
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lemon (or lime), juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine pineapple, cucumber, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.
  2. Place the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the flavors meld together.

Pineapple cucumber salad is great to pair with grilled fish or chicken. It also is excellent with crispy pita chips, eaten as a salsa.

Mandarin Pomegranate Spinach Salad with Dressing

This festive salad is a delicious combination of fruit and greens with a splash of nuts, making it a perfect dish for those hot summer days!

Mandarine pomegranate

The Salad

  • 5 oz baby spinach
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arlis)
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

The Dressing

  • 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP poppy seed
  • 1 TBSP milk, if needed (for thinning out dressing mix)

Instructions for Salad

  1. In a bowl, begin by layering with spinach, mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds, avocado, almonds, and walnuts.

Instructions for Dressing

  1. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, and salt until dissolved.
  2. Add mayonnaise, honey, and poppy seeds and whisk to combine.
  3. Add milk to the consistency of your liking for dressing. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Add dressing to the entire salad and toss or have guests add it to their salad portion on their plate.

Malfouf Salad (Cabbage Salad)

I love Lebanese dishes which are typically made up of simple ingredients but are packed with flavor. Because my husband is from Lebanon, I have had the pleasure of eating various delicious salads.


Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced into strips
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced in strips
  • handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 lemons, juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried mint
  • 1 tsp. zaatar (optional) (recipe for mix below)
  • 1 tsp. sumac (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Instruction for Salad

  1. Combine cabbage, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, and radishes.

Instructions for Dressing

  1.  Combine all the ingredients and whisk them together.
  2. Place in a jar.
  3. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.
  4. Shake (mix)  well before serving.

Add dressing on top and toss, evenly coating the salad. Store in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Greek Potato Salad

I grew up loving my grandmother’s homemade potato salad. This potato salad is mayonnaise free with a unique twist of fresh herbs to give it flavor.

Greek potato salad

Ingredients for Salad

  • 2 lbs. baby potatoes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients for Dressing

  • 1 TBSP zaatar (recipe below)
  • 1/3 extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lemons, juiced

Instructions for Salad

  1. Wash the potatoes and cut them in half or cut them into 6-8 pieces if you are larger potatoes.
  2. Cook potatoes (until soft) in salty water and drain.Note: You can pour ice water over the potatoes to stop cooking. Set aside and let them cool.
  3. Chop fresh parsley and dill into a large bowl.
  4. Finely chop red onion and add to the large bowl with herbs.
  5. Once potatoes have cooled, add them to the bowl.

Instructions for Dressing

  1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, and zaatar to make the dressing.
  2. Whisk together well.
  3. Add dressing to the potato mix.
  4. Add salt to taste.

Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Zataar Spice



  • 1/2 cup ground thyme
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 TBSP dried sumac
  • pinch of black pepper


In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Mix well and adjust proportions to your taste.

Sticking to fresh foods makes it easier to control calories and keep your body temperatures low. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables is a great source to hydrate your body.

Bon Appétit  Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.

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Happy Travels!

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