“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers— Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.
– Jeremiah 17:7, The Message
Summer always seems to be a time for relaxing and having fun. You don’t have to put on the trappings of winter before stepping outside–there’s a freedom the colder months don’t offer.
Just as our clothes are lighter, our diets often seem light too, preferring fruits and salads to soups and stews. Spending long hours inside cooking may seem like a nice way to get through a cold winter day, but not so for summer. Summer meals need to be quick and light. Gardens are overflowing with fresh fruit and vegetables that our taste buds have longed for, in fact I know many people who would choose the “garden” tomato over the store bought any time.
If you have never been creative in making your salads, start now. My only rule to a great salad is that the food in it be fresh. A great salad base can be anything from spinach, to pasta, to the many variations of lettuce.
To the salad base you can add almost any combination of fruit or vegetables. But don’t stop there. Pick a favourite cheese, and some nuts. Top with your favorite salad dressing and you have a gourmet feast. To make your salad more of a main-course, add some meat or eggs. Don’t stick with the same old–same old, mix it up a little–be daring!
When in Phoenix I discovered the most interesting “salad” restaurant. Pretty much the whole restaurant was dedicated to salad, offering endless containers of lettuce greens, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats and nuts. There was also a great selection of dressings. You could eat there every day, and with enough imagination probably never have the same meal twice.
I tried this concept in my own kitchen. I went to the market and picked up a variety of greens, vegetables and fruit. I spent a few minutes chopping them salad size and then placed the varied containers in my fridge. It was wonderful having my own salad bar at my fingertips! It was a great way to enjoy a delicious light meal without taking away any time from the summer sun.
If a sandwich is your passion, make sure you try a toasted tomato or cucumber sandwich. If you have never had one it will be on your list of things you crave.
One more thing… Don’t just fill your bodily passions this summer – remember your spirit. Just as we all long for the fresh fruits of summer, our spirits longs for those fresh fruits too. That fresh fruit that can be had during any season by the Christian who trusts in their God the way Jeremiah advises!
A few months back, I offered 27 variations of spinach salad. Since that went over so well, I’m giving you a sample fridge bar that offers 65 different ways to fix salad:
Sample Fridge Salad Bar:
Offering more than 65 salad varieties!
Pick one choice from each category or, pick all choices from each category. You can even leave out categories altogether! No rules to a good salad. Add meats and eggs for even more variety. Don’t forget to try a new salad dressing with it!