Simple Salad Suppers

The calendar has turned to July, the temperature is now humid not warm, and my hair is no longer curly but frizzy. Yup, it’s summer! So when the heat and humidity turns up, I want to get out of the kitchen and away from the stove for easy and light dinners. These two salads are so simple and easy, I promise it will take you longer to go to the grocery store to buy the items than it will take you to make them!

Easy Cucumber Salad
(Note: Easy to double!)
One cucumber
– Diced tomatoes (I like grape tomatoes sliced in half, but you can use whatever fresh tomato you have on hand)
– Onion (I prefer Vidalia in this, but any onion will do. As you can see, I used red onion this weekend.)
– Feta cheese (optional, I don’t make an effort to add this, only if I have some in the house)
– Finely sliced fresh basil (optional)
– Apple cider vinegar

Peel the cucumber. Slice it in half horizontally and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Slice into thin half-moon shaped pieces and place in a bowl. Add the tomatoes (I want the ratio to be 3/4 cucumbers, 1/4 tomatoes, but of course you can change it to fit your mood). Add to the bowl. Add a few slices of onion. Mix together. Add the feta, if using. Add a couple of capfuls of the vinegar, about a tablespoon or so, mix, testing it to make sure it has the right amount of zing. Some freshly ground pepper, salt (if I don’t use the feta), stir, and serve!
*Note: This salad is a bit weak on leftovers. Although I eat it, it gets a little wilted and everything isn’t as crisp as when you first make it.  

Spicy Black Bean Salad
– One can black beans, rinsed
– About a half cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
– Sliced scallions (green onions)
– Diced jalapeno pepper (optional)
– Diced avocado (optional)
– Juice from a half lime, or to taste
– Salt and pepper

In a bowl, add the black beans, tomatoes, scallions, pepper, and mix. Add avocado, if using. Add the lime, salt and pepper, and chill until ready to serve.

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