Broccoli Tomato Tortellini Salad

broccoli tomato tortellini salad done

It’s hot outside.  Super hot and humid.

If you’re looking for a cool dinner idea, this is your recipe.

I wish I could say that I had garden fresh tomatoes for this dish, but my plants have yet to decide to really produce tomatoes.  All I have are a few small green maters that taunt and torment me because they haven’t changed in size or color for weeks.

I’m a gardening failure.  But that’s a whole ‘nuther post.  For this dish I used a couple of store bought tomatoes and grape tomatoes (tragic because this is August) and 3 delicious cherry tomatoes from my garden.

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Potato Salad

potato salad done

There must be a million and one variations of potato salad.  This is my mom’s version, which is a lot like my Grandma’s version.  The main difference is that mom adds sweet pickles to hers.  Grandma’s was full of paprika and is one of my favorite foods that she made.

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Black Bean and Corn Salsa/Salad

black bean and corn salsa done

I thought I was making a salad, but my family decided it was a salsa.  It did taste good scooped up on chips.

There must be a kachillion ways to make this dish.  I put mine together based on what I had available in the pantry.

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Tropical Salad

This salad was perfect with the Hawaiian Grilled Chicken.  It’s full of pineapple, green onions, macadamia nuts, bacon…Yum!  I found the recipe on Bethany’s blog, For the Love of Grub.  I made the salad on Saturday, so we could eat it Sunday after church.  I mixed the dressing up, but did not add it until right before serving. [Read more...]

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Cranberries and Oranges

cranberries and oranges done

I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not that good with side dishes.  For week night suppers, I put the emphasis on the main dish and do very simple things for side dishes.  This is one of those easy go-to sides.  When I’ve forgotten that we might want something to go along with a casserole or chicken, this salad comes in handy.

It’s so easy, I’m almost embarrassed to post it.  But I figure you might want an easy side dish too, so here goes. [Read more...]

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7 Simple Ways to Spiff Up Your Salad

salad

Eating salad is a great way to get in all those veggie servings that are recommended, but it’s easy to get in a rut after a while.  Here are 7 ways to add flavor and variety to your greens.

Onions

Red onion is good in nearly any salad.  It adds such a kick and contrast to the other flavors.  Chopped green onions are good too, but red onion remains my favorite.

Fresh Fruit

Add oranges (fresh or mandarin from a can), diced apples or pears.  Strawberries are also good in salads if they’re in season.

Dried Fruit

Dried cranberries, blueberries or even raisins add interesting flavor and texture to the greens.

Granola

Why should croutons have all the fun? Pull out the box of granola and give your salad a generous scattering.

Cheese

Shredded swiss, crumbled feta, gorgonzola.  Adding cheese is a quick and easy way to dress up the salad.

Nuts and Seeds

Sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds or pecans add crunch.  As a bonus, they’re a healthy alternative to croutons.

Vinegar & Oil, Salt & Pepper

Skip the bottled salad dressing.  Give your salad a shake of red or white wine vinegar and a splash of oil.  A bit of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper finish it healthy and delicious.

How often do you eat salad? How do you dress it up and keep it interesting?


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Cajun Beef Southwestern Salad – Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner

southwest beef salad done

I was contacted recently by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  They have asked several bloggers to be part of “It’s What’s for Dinner Wednesday” challenge.  Each week in September NCBA will share a recipe on their facebook page and the bloggers will create the recipe at home  (or our version of it) and share it on our blogs.  You can also participate and enter to win a cool prize pack from the NCBA by visiting the facebook page.

The recipe this week is Cajun Southwestern Salad.  The original recipe can be found here.  I will say that I altered the recipe quite a bit.  I had a couple reasons for doing this.  First, I have a bunch of grape tomatoes that my sister-in-law gave me and I needed to use them.  Second, the original recipe called for figs and blood oranges.  I wasn’t at all sure I would be able to find those ingredients.  Besides, the closest I’ve ever gotten to a fig is in a Newton.  So, I’ve altered the recipe for the average, non-adventurous family.

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Turkey Italian Sausage and Tortellini Salad

italian-sausage-and-tortellini-salad-done

It’s not often that you can satisfy the pasta lovers, meat eaters and veggie people all with one dish.  That’s what happened when I served this meal though.  The recipe is adapted from a cookbook that my sister-in-law gave me.  She is married to a career army man.  When they were stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany (2007) she helped put together a cookbook with recipes from the families of those serving with the Vanguards 18th Infantry Regiment. That book is full of wonderful recipes, including this one.

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Tomato and Artichoke Heart Salad

tomato-and-artichoke-heart-salad-done

A plate full of this and some bread along side would make an excellent dinner.  I think this might be my favorite way to eat summer tomatoes.  It’s definitely in the top 59 ways to eat them ;-)  We had this salad with Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Boats.  It makes for a fabulous combination.  This recipe also comes from the New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant cookbook.

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Cucumbers and Onions

cucumbers-and-onions-done

It’s hot outside.  Want something cool and crunchy with lunch or dinner?  Here you go.

I wish I had cucumbers from the garden for this, but my cucumber plant is pitiful.  It got hit hard by a late frost and just can’t seem to grow at all, let alone produce cucumbers.  Luckily, I can still find good cukes at the farmers market or plain ol’ Walmart.

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