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Simple and Tasty Labor Day Recipes

If winter is the season of soups and stews, then summer is the season of crisp, refreshing salads. Check out two easy and delicious recipes to add fresh flavor to you Labor Day menu. 

Watermelon Salad

Summer salad with watermelon, mint, cucumber and feta cheese close up in a white plate

Watermelon and feta cheese salad

You’re probably thinking: watermelon… in a salad? While a bit unusual, sometimes the best flavors come out of the most unexpected combinations. Watermelon and cucumber pair nicely because they’re both water-heavy vegetables, while the feta cheese and mint add a welcomed kick. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed or balled
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced cucumber (seeds removed)
  • 2 tablespoons mint, thinly sliced or small mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (block feta is preferable to pre-crumbled feta)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place the watermelon, cucumber and mint in a large bowl
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper
  • Drizzle the dressing over the melon mixture and toss to coat
  • Sprinkle with feta and serve

Credit to Dinner at the Zoo for the recipe.

Cowboy Caviar

Salad with beans, corn and other vegetables

Cowboy caviar

Admittedly, “Cowboy Caviar” is a bit of a misnomer. As a dish filled with vegetables like corn and red bell peppers, there’s nothing caviar-y about it. It’s also chock-full of legumes, like black beans and black-eyed peas. Use it as a standalone salad or add it to your favorite burrito recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 large avocados, pitted and diced (add last-minute to avoid browning)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large bowl, stir together the black beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, and lime juice.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, cumin, cayenne, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture. Fold in the avocado and cilantro, and season to taste.
  • If time allows, refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry. Serve with tortilla chips.

Credit to Love and Lemons for the recipe.

 

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