by D.J. DeJong

Mail Staff Writer


As the weather starts to warm up, salads of all kinds become a good choice for main meals and side dishes.

Here are a few recipes to provide a cool choice for mealtime from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate program.

The USDA has a collection of recipes featuring salads, main dishes and much more at


Summer Fruit Salad

Source: University of Nebraska Recipe Collection.

  • 1 cup strawberries (diced, fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup watermelon (cubed)
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned packed in natural juice (do not drain)

Stir fruit together in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and chill. Serve as soon as possible.

Refrigerate leftovers (or try freezing for a smoothie).


Carrot Raisin Salad

Source: University of Wyoming, Cooperative Extension, Cent$ible Nutrition Cookbook.

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced

In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix carrots, raisins, sugar and lemon juice. Serve chilled.

For a little added pizazz, add canned pineapple chunks.


Caribbean Bean Salad

Source: Food and Health Communications Inc., Cooking Demo II.

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Add black pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together in large salad bowl.

Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one hour.


Banana Waldorf Salad

Source: Food and Health Communications Inc.

  • 3 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced, with peel
  • 4 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup walnuts (ground)

Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl.

Place in individual serving dishes and chill until ready to serve, up to one hour.

This dessert looks great when topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

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