12 Stir It Up! recipes to beat the heat wave

There are plenty of summer days when just the thought of cooking on the stove will bring additional beads of sweat to the forehead. It's the perfect time of year for a slew of simple salad and smoothie recipes. Cool off with these fresh ideas.

By , Contributer

1. Rustic spinach salad with roasted red pepper

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    Rustic spinach salad with roasted red pepper, feta, chickpeas and basil.
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1/2 cup raw chickpeas or 1 15-ounce can
4 roasted red peppers
1/2 cup feta
1/2 green pepper
2 green onions
1 large handful of basil
6-8 cups of spinach
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly cracked pepper

Cook the chickpeas according to directions.

Broil the peppers on a baking sheet until they are charred all the way around, rotating every 5 minutes or so. Remove the peppers from the oven and cover with a tea towel and allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the peel and the seeds and chop unto 1-inch square pieces.

Clean and chop the green pepper to approximately the same size.  Finely slice the green onions and the basil. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper according to taste. You may decide to adjust the salt using a little more cheese or reducing the salt by substituting goat cheese for feta.

If you plan to eat the salad in one sitting, follow the instructions above. If you’ve got leftovers, then keep the spinach separate until right before serving in individual bowl or plates.

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