I don't know about you but, during the summer, my eating habits change. I'll often go for a lighter meal than something heavy as the heat can really take away my appetite. When this happens my cravings go straight to salads! I've compiled a list of my mom's favorite salad recipes. Here are the top 6 salad recipes:

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is my favorite late-spring salad because when we hit the peak of strawberry season you can find the plumpest, juciest berries. Even so, I make this salad all the way through summer, too. I love the flavor of the fresh berries marinated in Maywine combined with the homemade poppy seed dressing over crisp spinach leaves. If you are in a hurry—just top salad with your favorite poppy seed dressing—it will still be just as good!

Beef Salad with Asparagus and Broccoli

About 25 years ago my mom was hosting a luncheon baby shower for a friend and wanted to serve a variety of salads. After searching for recipes she combined several ideas and came up with this salad. The flavors are so perfectly matched that you'll find yourself craving them every week. I love it because it has beef for protein and vegetables, which are so healthy for you. Still to this day, my mom whips this salad up for any luncheon she hosts. Yummmmm! I’m hungry just thinking about it.

Guilty as Charged Pasta Salad

The ingredients for this pasta salad just serve as a guideline. I often add a bit of veggies, olives, or any other item that looks good when I rummage through the refrigerator. Another nice touch is adding salami or cut-up summer sausage. I'd recommend pairing it with a Merlot. The big, bold, intense flavors with lots of fruit make it a great pasta salad pairing wine.

Asian Chicken Vermicelli Salad

This is one of my all-time favorites because it's not what you expect when you think salad. It's light and fresh and the flavors are to die for. I usually serve this salad the next day after all the flavors have had a chance to blend together. Eat well, eat simple and enjoy!

Salad Anjou

The recipe is originally from Portugal where my mom and dad first experienced it at a winery luncheon in the region of Anjoulina, Portugal. The radishes, golden raisins and sunflower seeds add a delightful flavor and texture to the salad. The salad is enjoyable whether served in cups of butter lettuce, halved avocados, or served as a side dish to grilled poultry or pork.

Berries and Pork Salad

Last but not least, is the ideal summer salad. From fresh berries to light protein, this one is just downright delicious. I'd recommend serving with a crusty baguette and a bottle of Huckleberry D’Latah and you are good to go!

Happy eating friends!