by Kathleen Walck

Summer is a great time to go gluten-free, or at least add some easy gluten-free recipes to your usual kitchen repertoire.  While my family is not a gluten-free one, I have noticed that we eat less wheat over the warmer months, mostly because I have no desire to bake or eat doughy foods.  I find that the lack of extra carbohydrates (and gluten, perhaps) in our summertime diet gives us more energy, making trips to the park and pool a little less sluggish.

Summer also yields and amazing bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, a gluten-free wonderland of flavorful food.  I find myself making lots of bean and veggie salads for lunch and dinner, and not even needing lettuce to make it an official salad.

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This week, with zucchini and cucumbers chugging away in our tiny backyard garden, I thought I’d make a simple green and bean salad with a lemony vinaigrette to use up the bumper crop of these prolific veggies.  I added in some local green beans as well.  You could add anything other vegetables you have on hand too.

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Summer Green and Bean Salad  (makes 4 servings)

1 zucchini, thinly sliced (preferably a zucchini on the smaller side as they’re more tender raw)

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (peel if your cuke is large with a tough skin)

2 cups blanched green beans, cut into 1″ pieces

1 small red onion, minced

1 15oz. can of navy beans (or other white beans of choice)

1 roasted red pepper, diced

 

Dressing

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp lemon zest (grated from above lemons)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

6 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

minced fresh herbs (optional. I like dill, oregano and lemon thyme)

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the salad dressing.  When thoroughly emulsified, add the vegetables and coat well.  Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes for the vegetables to absorb the full flavor.  Enjoy with grilled meat, rice, or another grain, or just on its own.  It would also be good with feta cheese, though since I’m not a fan, I opted to omit it.

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