In the summer, when gardens and farmer’s markets are overflowing with an abundance of fresh vegetables, it’s easy to include a salad at every meal. In the winter, it takes a little more planning, but if you stock up on vegetables, a salad that includes protein can be a filling and nutritious main dish. Here is a sampling from

Chicken Fiesta Salad

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1.27-oz. packet dry fajita seasoning, divided

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1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

11-oz. can Mexican-style corn

1/2 cup salsa

10-ounce package mixed salad greens

1 onion, chopped

1 tomato, cut into wedges

Rub chicken evenly with 1/2 the fajita seasoning. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear; set aside.

In a large saucepan, mix beans, corn, salsa and other 1/2 of fajita seasoning. Heat over medium heat until warm.

Prepare the salad by tossing the greens, onion and tomato. Top salad with chicken and dress with the bean and corn mixture.

Mediterranean Three-Bean Salad

15-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained

15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

15-oz. can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, or to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Combine cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans in a mixing bowl. Add onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper; mix well.

Tuna salad

5-oz. can tuna, drained

15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 head iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup French dressing

In a large mixing bowl, combine tuna, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced cucumber, and iceberg lettuce. Toss well and add French dressing to taste.

Barley, shrimp and corn salad

1 cup barley

2-1/2 cups water

1 lb. cooked bay shrimp

2 cups frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

4 green onions, chopped

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. minced lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Combine barley and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 35 minutes.

Transfer barley to a large bowl, and toss with shrimp, corn, bell peppers, green onions, thyme, and lemon zest.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over barley salad, and toss to combine.

Green Salad

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 (10-oz.) packages mixed salad greens

4 thin slices chicken deli meat, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 tsp. onion powder

3 dashes garlic powder

1 pinch ground black pepper

2 pinches salt

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

In a large salad bowl, combine the onion, pepper, salad greens, deli meat and tomato. Sprinkle salad with onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and salt. Toss to mix. Pour on enough salad dressing or vinegar to coat, toss again and serve.

Readers are invited to submit four to five of their favorite recipes to enjoy, along with a note about what makes them special. Send recipes to or by mail to the Park Rapids Enterprise, 203 Henrietta Ave. North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 and they may appear in a future issue.