Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Easy Preparation Meals, Makeover Monday Meals, Summer Cooking Delights

Makeover Monday Meals- Salad Edition

 

 

 

 

The one thing most people can agree on is salads. The fact is a salad encompasses much more than just lettuce. By definition, a salad is a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.

Salads fall into the following principal categories:

  • Green salads
  • Vegetable salads
  • Salads of pasta, legumes, or grains
  • Mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Fruit salads

Salads are versatile and easy to prepare. Instead of picking up a pre-made salad for a light weeknight dinner, this recipe takes less than thirty minutes to make and some of the ingredients are pantry staples you already have on hand.

This pasta salad takes advantage of summer’s bounty of tomatoes, paired with black olives, fresh basil, and mozzarella. Moreover, it’s adaptable for low-carb lifestyles, vegans, vegetarians, and those with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease.  You can even add more veggies like broccoli and red bell peppers, or whatever other vegetables you like.

We have included a recipe for a homemade dressing that takes no time to make and can be kept in an airtight container in the pantry.

 

Caprese Style Pasta Salad

1 box of tri-color penne or rotini style pasta prepared according to directions, rinsed then cooled. (gluten-free tricolor or regular penne or rotini pasta)

1 bottle of Italian dressing or homemade 4 Seasons Style Italian dressing

1 can of medium black olives, drained and sliced

1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in halves

1 package of whole milk or part-skim mozzarella, diced into medium size cubes (vegan mozzarella)

Extra virgin olive oil

A bunch of fresh basil

 

Add the cooked pasta, black olives, and tomatoes to a large bowl, then toss them together. Add the mozzarella, then drizzle enough olive oil to coat over the mixture, then lightly toss together while adding the Italian dressing. How much you use is up to you.

Roll the basil leaves together and cut them chiffonade style. Add to the pasta salad and toss with two spoons to get the bail distributed throughout the salad. You can serve the salad immediately or if you have time,  cover and let it chill in the fridge.  This pasta salad gets better with time.

Savory Saver recipe for Copycat Good Seasons Garlic and Herb Dressing

2 Tbsps Garlic Powder ·

1 Tbsp Sugar ·

2 tsp Salt ·

2 tsp Dried Parsley ·

1 tablespoon Dried Basil ·

1 ½ tsp Onion Powder ·

½ tsp Dried Mustard …

½ tsp Black Pepper

¼ tsp Dried Oregano

¼ tsp Dried Thyme

¼ tsp Celery Seed

Ingredients for Making Dressing

2 Tbs Dressing Mix

2 Tbs Water

¼ Cup White Vinegar

⅔ Cup Neutral Oil (Canola, Vegetable, Safflower, Grapeseed or Peanut)

Instructions

Mix all dry ingredients in a small bowl.

Store in an airtight container.

To Make Dressing

Put 2 Tablespoons of the dressing mix in a Salad Dressing Shaker or Small Mason Jar.

Add 2 tablespoons of water and ¼ cup of white vinegar to the shaker.

Close Shaker and shake up well to mix and dissolve the ingredients.

Add oil to the mix and shake again until fully combined.

To Make the Carb-free version of this salad, spiralized 1 large or 2 small zucchini. In a lightly salted boiling water pot, add the zucchini noodles, and cook for 1-3 minutes. Remove from the pot, drain in a colander, and run cold water over the noodles. Set them aside and let them cool before proceeding with the recipe.

For a Vegan version of the pasta salad, you can use a vegan mozzarella. Miyoko’s Creamery makes a vegan mozzarella, there are also Great Value, Earth Grown, and Violife versions of vegan mozzarella, that are available commercially either in stores or ordered online.

Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal-Veggie Edition

An Easy and tasty way to get more veggies in your family’s diet

 

July is nearly over, but as the calendar changes to August with the heat still on in much of the country, you want to keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum.  This recipe comes courtesy of my sister, who spotted it in her Google feed just before Independence Day.

The recipe for this Cowboy Caviar is from the Dinner At The Zoo Blog. It works great as an appetizer, with a salad, or your favorite tortilla chips. The recipe requires a little knife work, but you can find a number of the ingredients pre-chopped at most grocery stores.  Low-sodium versions of the canned beans are widely available too. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley instead. If you like it hot, add more jalapenos. If you don’t like heat, leave it out. Play with the recipe until you get it to suit your palate.

 

It’s one healthy bite that I am sure you and your family will enjoy.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 1 minute

Total Time 21 minutes

Servings 8

Cowboy Caviar by Dinner at the Zoo

Ingredients

1 can of black beans rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained (low-sodium)

1 cup tomatoes seeded and finely diced (plum, cherry, grape tomatoes are great to use)

1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced

1 cup corn can be fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen

1 avocado chopped

3/4 cup red and/or orange bell pepper seeded and finely diced

1/2 cup red onion finely diced

1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Place the beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn, avocado, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin and salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve as a salad or with chips.

Notes

Make-ahead instructions: Assemble according to instructions, except omit the avocado. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Add the avocado right before serving.

 

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