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From the Diary of a Kitchen Goddess: Lemon Juice adds a Touch of Sunshine to Salads

Updated on July 12, 2018
Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama (Karen) loves to lose herself in the culinary arts by mixing her story-telling with sharing recipes.

Saturday, June 23, 2012~Capture the Golden Evening Rays in your Supper

At the End of a Summer's Day

Saturdays are busy days for me. From sunrise to sundown I can be found tending the garden, cleaning, or adding a touch of charm to the inside of my cottage. As the late afternoon sun begins to hang lower in the sky, I often sew in my rocking chair, and encourage neighbors to join me in sipping iced sun tea when they walk by. That is how I have gotten to know most of the families in my small village. On certain evenings of special magical significance, I invite them over for a picnic dinner at the big, round table on my back patio. Most are very pleased to stay outside their own kitchens in favor of a cool evening of rest, play, and lively conversation.

Garden salad of lettuce, kale, kiwi, parsley, and grapes tossed with fresh lemon juice
Garden salad of lettuce, kale, kiwi, parsley, and grapes tossed with fresh lemon juice | Source

Let the Magic of a Summer Night Begin

Today is the eve of the feast day of St. John the Baptist, otherwise known as St. John's Eve . It is often a night for revelry, and unexpected magic is often afoot, especially where there are cozy tree groves. It is the perfect evening to picnic outside on my patio, by the light of colorful paper lanterns. These homemade lights seem to encourage the fireflies to float in the direction of my backyard. They seem to know how much heart and soul the children of my village put into their creations. The lanterns also encourage fairies to visit and dance among the trees that separate my backyard from that of other neighbors.

On such nights, I often make a salad to share with Esperanza, and whoever decides to visit me. Together, we set out several different types of salad, including garden salads, coleslaw, and ambrosia. I set out dress-up clothes for the children to put on and play in. Bubbles and musical instruments are also provided for them to play with, but sometimes they bring their own. Young ladies, and a few young men, often stop by early in the evening to ask me a candid question, or to share a confidence. Later on, the young ones run in to give me a hug and kiss, drink the tea, play games, and eat a chocolate treat, such as brownies. Esperanza often engages the children with her charming gifts as a storyteller while I chat with the adults. We often end our evenings together with a giant sacred circle dance for the adults and children to enjoy together.

Capture the Sunshine with Friends

On hot summer evenings, the perfect meal is often a salad, chased down with a tall glass of fresh sun tea. Fresh-squeezed lemon adds a sweet and savory zest to the salad that satisfies the palate as it cools the rest of the body. The lemon juice blends together all of the flavors form the different ingredients to taste scrumptious. They belong together, like a small village of vegetables in a giant wooden bowl. The brave little souls give up their lives for our health, and we thank them for their gift before we eat them.

There are many ingredients that can be thrown together for a filling salad that makes a complete and colorful meal. Some of my favorites are listed below. Quinoa, tofu, or chicken can be added for extra fiber or protein. Fruits and nuts add extra flavor and crunch to a salad.

Do have a blessed evening with friends and family, and enjoy a salad to keep you cool.

Savory Salad to Serve on a Warm Summer Evening

Garden salad topped with shredded mozarella
Garden salad topped with shredded mozarella | Source

Can you taste the sun's golden rays in this salad?

Cast your vote for Garden Salad Tossed with Lemon Juice

Time spent at the cutting board~

Prep time: 45 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves 6 to 8 guests 1 bowl of salad

Adding in the sunshine~

  • 3 large Lemons, halved and juiced
  • 5 leaves Kale, chopped
  • 1 cup Spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup Lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 cup Parsley, leaves removed from the stem
  • 1 cup Strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup Grapes
  • 1 stalk Rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 cup Tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup Tomatoes, halved
  • 1-3 Carrots, chopped thin
  • 1 or 2 Avocadoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 leaves Basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme leaves, fresh or dried
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sunflower seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons Pumpkin seeds

Garden Salad Tossed with Lemon Juice

  1. Wash and chop all vegetables.
  2. Mix vegetables with all of the other ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  3. Toss the salad with the lemon or lime juice in it.
  4. Leave for 15 minutes for all of the flavors to mix.
  5. Serve salad into bowls.

A bowl of salad is a powerful meal for strength and healing

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bowl
Calories 80
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 12 g4%
Sugar 5 g
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 5 g10%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

© 2012 Karen A Szklany

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    • Seafarer Mama profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen A Szklany 

      6 years ago from New England

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Kelley. How much is the ratio of lemon and water that you drink? Hope you enjoy making salads with lemon juice. Enjoy, and I hope you are having a great summer!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 

      6 years ago

      I think lemon juice is wonderful in so many things. I drink fresh lemon water daily. I'll try some of your suggestions. Take care, Kelley

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