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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Now that the heat is on, about the last place any of us wants to spend time is in a hot kitchen. Our favorite foodie, cookbook author andfood writer, offered up some fresh and easysalad ideas perfect easy meals this summer.

Beth is also leading a FOODIE Kayaking trip through the Apostle Islands... gorgeous kayaking around the Apostles, local food on trail, and AMAZING dinners with local fish and cheeses, fruits and veggies in August. Clickhere for details.

The idea is to whisk togetherthree vinaigrettesand toss them withthree different entree salads that are light & healthy.

Faro with chick peas
Whole grain pasta with roasted peppers
Hominy with green beans

Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 shallot chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1-1/4 cup vegetable oil
Whisk together the juice, herbs, shallot, sugar. Slowly whisk in the oil.

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup vegetable oil
Whisk together the vinegar, shallots, mustard, and syrup. Slowly whisk in the oil.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk together the vinegar, shallot, brown sugar. Slowly whisk in the oil.