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Okay so can I tell you how I am so happy Mother Nature let up her death-grip on Pittsburgh and her incessant need to keep us in winter temps for what seemed like 9 months and FINALLY give us summer weather?! I mean for real lady – we NEED sun and summer. And nothing screams summer like vacations, beach trips and fresh veggies. For me summer cooking is all about ease, light & bright flavors and deliciousness. I mean let’s face it, no one really wants to spend hours over a hot stove or oven while your family and friends are outside enjoying the beautiful weather. So this Rainbow Tomato Roasted Corn Summer Quenching Salad is perfect for you then! Whether you’re having a backyard bbq, heading to the beach or just chilling out with friends.
But before we go to talking about this awesome recipe I want to take a minute and talk about summer sun safety. For me I’m pretty much opaque when it comes to skin tone. I’m very fair skin however I love the sun and that feeling of warmth on my cheeks. But being outside you need to take caution and make smart choices. Use sunscreen, apply frequently and hydrate! Keep in mind you need to follow these ‘rules of summer’ weather you’re at the beach, hiking, working in the yard or just out and about. Protect your skin – it’s the only one you have! All of these essentials you can pick up at your local Sam’s Club. Plus what’s also awesome is Sam’s Club offers free health screenings on the second Saturday of every month. The next one is scheduled for June 11, 2016. Check with your local Sam’s Club to see if they offer this service and if so, when the next screening will be. Plus did you know Sam’s Club has a Healthy Living Made Simple online magazine? It’s pretty cool! It’s your ultimate place for all of your health and wellness needs. Definitely check it out!
Now for those of you that know me you know I’m a creature of habit. Saturday mornings are “my mornings” as I have my routine that I’ve had for gosh – 8 years now at least. I get up, shower, put on my gym clothes and hit the gym for an 8am spin class. A quick shower and change then I’m off to do my weekly supply shopping. Sam’s club has been first stop in my routine for years. What I love about them is all of the amazing fresh fruits and veggies. With tomatoes being their Superfood for May and June I had to pick up a container of their rainbow cherry tomatoes the last time I was there.
Thanks to Wikipedia and many other awesome search engine results I found out a ton of information about just how great tomatoes are for you. Just one medium tomato (approximately 123 grams) provides 22 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates (including 1 gram of fiber and 3 grams of sugar) and 1 gram of protein. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. Tomatoes contain a wide array of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene and lutein. Alpha-lipoic acid helps the body to convert glucose into energy. Some evidence suggests that alpha-lipoic acid can aid in blood glucose control, improve vasodilation and protect against retinopathy in diabetic patients and may even help preserve brain and nerve tissue. Choline is an important nutrient found in tomatoes that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
Tomatoes are super healthy for you to say the least! They act as an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C and other antioxidants, tomatoes can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene has been linked with prostate cancer prevention in several studies. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies have shown that people who have diets rich in tomatoes may have a lower risk of certain types of cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach. Further human-based research is needed to find out what role lycopene might play in the prevention or treatment of cancer. Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health. High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones. Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams of fiber. The folic acid in tomatoes may also help with depession by preventing an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body, which can prevent blood and other nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine interferes with the production of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate not only mood, but sleep and appetite as well.
So yeah… why would I NOT have these in my diet?! With all those health benefits alone I’d be a fool not too! So while I was at Sam’s Club I also picked up some avocados (YUM!) and mini cucumbers.
Now this salad took all of MAYBE 7 minutes to prepare and that’s even pushing it. Once all of the veggies were washed all I had to do was slice up the tomatoes (they are SOOOOOOOOOOO fresh and juicy right now – the smell was intoxicating!), cube up the cucumbers and avocado, chop the cilantro and roast the corn. So okay if you don’t want to roast ears of corn you can cheat. Now fresh corn is always, always best. If you really don’t want to roast them then here’s a quick trick: remove the kernels from the husk. In a non-stick skillet add just a teensy bit of butter. When the butter melts add in the kernels and saute for about 5-6 minutes. If you must use canned corn, rinse the corn and then saute.
This salad is one I can recall my Mom making all the time when we were little. Now I did tweak it a bit to make it my own. I don’t think Mom even knew what an avocado was – they weren’t really “mainstream” back when I was a kid. Heck I don’t even know if my local Foodland sold them. Also Mom would have added peppers and onions to hers where as you can see, there are none in mine. I could have added red/yellow/orange peppers (never green as I hate those) but I didn’t have any on hand. Onions – yeah, never raw though shallots could have gone in. Also if you want to kick of the vegetarian protein aspect of it beans or chickpeas would be killer in this!
This salad is one of those salads that you can totally make your own this summer.
- It’s portable and is totally Summer friendly! It’s great chilled or room temp. You can pack it up in your cooler, take it to the beach or to a picnic and not worry about having to keep it ice cold for hours on end!
- It’s TOTALLY customizable! Add whatever veggies you want to this! Cubed zucchini would be awesome!
- It’s a great last-minute side or main dish! There’s no need for marinades. Just chop, cube, slice and you’re ready to go!
- Turn it into a full-blown meal by adding cooked steak, chicken or shrimp to it! FYI – grilled lime shrimp are EPIC with this!
This was one of those dishes Mom served at every summer party we had. It was inexpensive which meant she could make a ton and folks loved it. This was one dish folks went back for thirds and fourths then were always looking for extra to take home the next day. Mom always took straight from the garden veggies for hers. Living where I do and working as much as I do I rely on Sam’s Club for all of my garden fresh veggies. Have I mentioned just how much I love this store?! I mean seriously awesome produce (and meats) plus tons of bulk-items at a great cost! I’m able to eat healthy without having to sacrifice quality or flavor!
Sam’s Club truly does take a vested interest in its members and cares about their health and wellness needs. Ranging from sunscreen to tissue, excellent quality produce to meats – they care about what you put in and on your body.
Now when I took my Mom’s recipe I made it more ‘modern’. Obviously I had to add avocado just because they are pretty much the best thing in the world next to bacon. And for my dressing I just made a simple lime cilantro vinaigrette. She would use bottled Italian in hers. The first day I made this I had the salad as-is for a side dish to my grilled chicken. Since I made so much (of both) the next day for lunch I just added in some of the chopped grilled chicken. Mr. Fantabulous put some steak strips on his.
But wait.. there’s more <insert grin!> This, if you chop the tomatoes smaller (pretty much small chunk size), this makes one AMAZING burger topping as well as a topping for chicken or even bruschetta! It’s so light and versatile that it’s truly adaptable to whatever you’re eating!
I’m actually working on how I can incorporate this on a pizza! I’m thinking a cilantro pesto sauce on the crust, some feta or cojita cheese with grilled shrimp. Then when the pizza is done, top it with this salad. I know, right! Sounds INSANE!
This is one of the salads my Mom would pack up in a huge cooler and take with us when we’d go on our summer vacation to Sea World in Ohio. It was only a weekend trip and it was probably something they saved up for all year long. We’d drive which what seemed like forever to get there (in all reality only about 3 hours). Since we couldn’t afford to eat out Mom would make about 3 dozen eggs worth of egg salad sandwiches, bologna sandwiches, a big bag of chips, Faygo soda (it was always Grape for me) and a huge container of this salad.
When we’d get to the hotel Dad would repack the cooler with ice and all 6 or so of us would pile into a motel room with I getting the rollaway cot. Yeah, it sucked being the baby of the family as I got the crappy pseudo bed. We’d spend all day at the park and somehow they’d come up with the money that we could have lunch there which usually consisted of a hot dog, soda and ice cream cone. However when we got back to the room we’d have this salad and more sandwiches. I didn’t mind as this salad was awesome though to be honest I picked out the tomatoes. I just never got into them. They were…squishy. LOL
Yeah it wasn’t until maybe 2-3 years ago did I really give tomatoes their fair shake. Actually it was Mr. Fantabulous that talked me into giving them a try. You see he LOOOOOOOOOVES white pizza with tomatoes and thinly sliced onions on them. So we’d take turns picking out what we would have on our Friday night pizza. He’d always ask for the white kind which I would make it but only on half would get this stuff. My side was plain or pepperoni. Well the one day he asked me to make a whole pizza that way as he said “the pepperoni oil seeps into the rest of the pizza and I lose the flavor of the tomatoes and onions.”
Sigh… the things we do for our loved ones, huh? So like a good wife I made the whole pizza with sliced tomatoes and onions. As I pulled it out it didn’t look bad to be honest. The tomatoes didn’t look “squishy” and the onions were browned. But as we ate I pulled my toppings off and gave them to him. Well I finished my first slice and wanted another however I was so busy yapping that I just grabbed another and bit into it… without taking off the tomatoes and onions.
Folks if you would have seen my reaction when I bit down and realized I had something foreign in my mouth you would have lost it. My eyes got HUGE and I wasn’t sure what to do. Mr. Fantabulous realized what was ‘wrong’ and said “Suck it up Princess and try it. Just chew.” so I did. And yeah, it was actually really… REALLY good! I actually love cooked onions and roasted tomatoes.
But in this salad the tomatoes aren’t roasted. Yeah, that took me about 3 years to get the nerve up to eat a raw tomato that is still squishy. I’ll eat them like this, in a salad like this but I’m sorry I just can’t eat one on a sandwich, hoagie or burger. I’m weird like that. Yet in this salad, just simply sliced in half alongside the other veggies and stuff they transform into something amazing!
So this summer, while you’re out sunning your bun (while wearing your sunscreen and being safe) make sure you whip up a big bowl of this salad! This will definitely be the food hit of the summer!
- 3 cups rainbow cherry tomatoes from Sam’s Club, halved
- 2 mini seedless cucumbers, cubed
- 2 ears roasted corn on the cob, kernels removed from the cob
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 Tb plus 1 tspl lime juice
- 3 Tbl grapeseed oil *can use extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- pinch of sugar *optional
- In a large bowl add in the tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, avocado and cilantro; gently mix to combine.
- In a small bowl add the lime juice, salt, pepper and sugar – whisk to combine.
- While whisking constantly stream in the oil slowly. This will allow the oil and juice to emulsify and become a combined vinaigrette.
- Pour over the salad and gently stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust for more salt/pepper.
- Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.