Sunday Caprese Salad

Oh Fresh Tomatoes!  The smell.  The taste.  A sweet friend gave me some of the best tomatoes right out of her garden.  With a few extra ingredients, I whipped up this yummy salad for dinner.  Will loves the drenched mozzarella!  Enjoy the smell and taste of the last few days of summer.

Caprese Salad

Sunday Caprese Salad

8 oz mozzarella

two large tomatoes

a handful of basil- cut in small strips

salt and pepper

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Slice the tomato. Slice mozzarella.  Arrange on platter alternating the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Top with basil.  Add fresh pepper and sea salt.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.  There is no messing up this salad.  Chill until ready to serve.

Bite-Sized Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

On this Meatless Monday, I wanted to share a favorite “meatless” salad. In the summer, I make this salad once a week to accompany pasta dishes, steaks, or even hamburgers. It perfect to bring as your side to the next neighborhood cookout. And with the 4th right around the corner, serve your salad in a blue bowl to capture all the red, white, and blue! Taste the summer!- Amanda

Bite-Sized Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

1 cup small cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped into pieces

1 1/2 T olive oil

1 t soy sauce (we use low sodium)

1 t balsamic vinegar

pinch of sugar

freshly ground pepper

Mix together the tomatoes and mozzarella. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. Toss the tomatoes and mozzarella in dressing. Then add the fresh basil. Top with fresh ground pepper.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

After a long, hot summer day, my family wants something cool and refreshing for dinner.    I believe in the summer you need to enjoy beautiful, seasonal fruits.  We will be eating lots of fruit salads (more to come).  This yummy salad is easy and leaves everyone feeling full but not heavy.  Serve as a side dish or add grilled chicken for the main entree.  Gotta love strawberries!- Amanda  

 Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 T poppy seeds

1 1/2 t minced onion

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 t Worcestershire

1/4 t paprika

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 bag (10 oz) spinach

1 pint (or more) strawberries, sliced thin

In blender, combine sugar, poppy seeds, onion, Worcestershire, paprika, oil, and vinegar.  Blend well.  If seems thick, add a few drops of water.

Remove stems of spinach (or not).  Arrange on plates, top with strawberries.  Drizzle the dressing over strawberries and serve.

To give a good punch of protein, add some grilled chicken.

Amanda Jean’s Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad is another one of those items that everyone has opinion to add.  At the end of the day, you have chicken usually mayo and then all the other ingredients that you love in your chicken salad.  This is my plain “jean” chicken salad.  We have several favorites but this is an easy go to.  I’ll share our others soon.  This was a special request from Chris for Father’s Day lunch.  We love our plain “jean” chicken salad on flaky croissants.  Happy Summer!- Amanda

Amanda Jean’s Chicken Salad

1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked, finely shredded

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced

1 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1/8 t pepper, freshly ground

1/3 cup Hellmann’s light mayo

2 T bell pepper, finely chopped

2 t prepared mustard

In a mixing bowl combine chicken, celery, green onions, lemon juice, and pepper.  Stir in mayo, bell pepper, and mustard.  Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Serve your chicken salad on crackers or our family favorite, croissants.  This makes about enough chicken salad for 4 croissant sandwiches.  Plus it makes great leftovers.

Basic (Greek Yogurt) Coleslaw

There is something about coleslaw.  It seems every family has a special way of making their slaw.  Regions have inspired types of coleslaw and generations have perfected the creation.  I am always typing new coleslaw recipes.  Everyone has their own way of doing it.  This basic coleslaw was a hit with our family.  I thought the greek yogurt changed the elements plus you didn’t have to add all that mayo.  The complimentary touch was the cider vinegar.  Serve this slaw up with your favorite barbecue.  I promise no great-great grandmother will bat an eye at you trying something new! – Amanda

Basic (Greek Yogurt) Coleslaw 

½ cabbage, sliced thin
¼ cup red onion, minced
¼ t salt
1 t cider vinegar
½ t sugar
½ t Dijon mustard
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 carrot, shredded
2 T fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 (7-ounce container) plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani- Fat Free)
2 T mayo

In a large bowl, stir together the cabbage, onion, salt, vinegar, and sugar. Set aside. This allows time for the cabbage and onion to slightly pickle.  When ready for the meal, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.  It’s ready to serve!  If you want to make ahead of time, feel free to add all ingredients at the same time.  Both ways are still delicious!

Second Course: The Fuller Beet Salad

Our second course to the birthday celebration was a salad that Chris always orders when we go out.  He loves beet salad.  This was my first attempt at beet salad but I thought I’m an educated girl, I can take this on.  And to be completely honest, I NAILED it!  I will admit it was easy with no thought required.  Chris was impressed and pleased with his second course.  Definitely a creation I will make again. Totally a winning situation when you can make a favorite creation at home! -AF 

The Fuller Beet Salad

4 medium beets,(red or golden) stems and root ends removed*

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1 T balsamic vinegar

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 T sunflower seed oil

2 oz. goat cheese

Wrap each beet in foil.  Roast until soft, about 1 hour.  Cool slightly and remove foil.  Rub off skins.  Cut the beets into wedges.

While beets are roasting, in a small bowl, walnuts with vinegar and set aside.

Toss beets with walnut/vinegar mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add sunflower seed oil and toss together.

Divide beets among 4 salad plates.  Crumble goat cheese on top.

*I used red beets this time.  Be careful with their stain.  I’m thinking golden is better for entertaining, etc.