City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Colorful Summer Salads

Perfect salads for a summer cook-out

Article by Editorial Staff

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Cypress Lifestyle

Add a festive flair to your summer gatherings with these light, fresh and beautiful side salads. 

Bacon & Spinach Orzo Salad

  • 8 strips bacon (about 8 ounces)
  • 12 ounces dried orzo pasta (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces baby spinach (about 6 packed cups), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Asiago cheese, diced


Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy, flipping halfway through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, break the bacon into small crumbles. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the shallot to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper and whisk until emulsified.

Add the orzo to the water and cook until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and half of the dressing. Stir gently until the spinach is slightly wilted. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, add the bacon and cheese, and stir to combine. Serve warm.

Courtesy of

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted, OR 1 cup of fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled (approximately the amount of kernels from one ear of corn)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 5 ounces Queso fresco, Queso Panela, fresh Mozzarella or other mild farmer's cheese, cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-Inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems, packed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Put the rinsed quinoa, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer gently until the quinoa absorbs all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl and fluff up with a fork to help it cool more quickly.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Soak the red onions in the lime juice and set aside. Soaking the onions in lime juice (or lemon juice or water) helps take the edge off them.

Mix the prepped black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeños, cilantro, and oil into a large bowl.

When the quinoa has cooled, mix it into the bean mixture. Add the red onion and the lime juice and add salt, more oil or lime juice to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Courtesy of