Hot days mean crisp meals. And nothing is crispier than a salad. Make a salad a heartier dinner with lots of warm seasoned veggies. 

Toss vegetables with your favorite seasoning (garlic and pepper, or cumin or just salt). 

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Don’t forget about texture! Mix cooked vegetables with crisp, cold veggies for more flavor and contrasting textures. Celery, sprouts, cucumbers and carrots are great for added crunch. 

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Romaine flower?! Crisp romaine is great for more crunch! Mix with spinach or other salad greens for more nutrition. 

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Toss everything into a bowl and top with your some dressing. There’s lots of flavors going on here, so a mild dressing should do. I topped with some rice vinegar- gives a oriental feel that mixed well with the sprouts and mushrooms.

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I’m always looking for new ways to prepare my favorite vegetables- and yes, although it may be weird, cauliflower is one of my favorites. This recipe was a perfect side to the festive meal I cooked over the holidays.

To serve 2 big helpings, use 1/2-1 head cauliflower. Chop down to florets and place onto cooking sheet. Drizzle with some olive oil and put in 400 degree oven. Cook 10-15 minutes until tender; toss every 5 minutes or so. Sprinkle with some fresh herbs- parsley, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon work great here. Add some fresh garlic too then bake 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven and combine cauliflower with a few tablespoons fresh lemon juice, some fresh grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Toss well!

You can eat this as a side- or even toss it into a salad!

I served my orange & arugula with the meal too- such a great winter salad.

This may be the easiest sweet desert you can make. No baking or real prep is needed. And it’s healthy. Start off with your favorite sweet “flavor” of mini-rice cakes. I used chocolate, but saw others like vanilla creme-brulee that could work well. Place 8 un-broken cakes onto plate.

Use cool whip as filler- 1/4 cup is enough for 8 sandwiches

Scoop tablespoon onto each cake then top with another. Add any decorative sprinkles that you want! Think differently colors/themes for different occasions. Mine are red & green from Christmas, but you can use orange for Halloween, pink for Valentines, etc. Place plate into freezer for minimum 1 hour to harden.

Crispy, cold and creamy! Enjoy fairly quickly once you take them out of the freezer as the cool whip tends to melt quickly.

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