If it still feels like summertime, shouldn’t the livin’ be easy?

It still feels like summertime, and the living should be easy. Easier actually because the kids are back in school. Finally.

But it’s still so dang hot!

It’s bad enough that as adults, we no longer get spring break, or summer vacation, or rest period. We grown-ups have to stay in our regular grind while our kids slept in late all summer, watched cartoons and lounged by the pool.

We need a perk or two, and putting cooking on the back burner, or better yet, no burner at all, is much deserved. Making the kitchen any hotter is adding insult to injury, when it is supposed to be FALL already!

At least there is no reason to turn on the stove after you make up a big batch of these salads.

These super-easy summer sides can stay in the fridge until we come home from water-skiing or swimming or if the truth be known, work. These recipes are low-fat, but taste just as yummy as the high-fat variety. And they are packed with healthy veggies.

Lazy evenings go without saying in this heat. All you need to do for an easy dinner is to pull out three or four Tupperware containers of these side salads, holler that supper is served, and take your large wine cooler out to the porch and stay put until the masses have cleared and you are through reading People magazine.

Broccoli Salad

2 bunches broccoli florets (cut very small)

1 cup diced red onion

1 cup raisins

½ cup sunflower seeds

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

2 pieces fried bacon, crumbled (optional)

Combine all ingredients, and mix with dressing.

Dressing

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

Shoe Peg Relish Salad

1 can French green beans

1 can very young green peas

1 can shoe peg corn

1 red onion, sliced into thin rings

1 green pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 cup chopped celery

1 (2-ounce) jar pimentos

Small can sliced water chestnuts

Drain and rinse all veggies and put in large bowl. Add hot marinade, mix well, cover and chill overnight. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Marinade

1 cup sugar

¾ cup vinegar

¼ cup oil 1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Blend ingredients together and heat until almost boiling.

Pasta Salad

2 cups or so corkscrew noodles (wheat), cooked and drained

½ bottle or so low-fat Italian dressing

1 small can chopped black olives

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

½ cup diced red onion

1 cup broccoli florets

½ cup red or yellow pepper, chopped

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Mix all together in a large bowl and refrigerate.

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