Pea and Pesto Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Hold up. Just hooooolld up. Is it September? Have we already had a full week of it? I feel like I missed something… Like, summer.

photo 3

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. It’s seriously my favorite of all the seasons. I’m super excited about it and have already begun experimenting in the kitchen (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve been a getting sneak peak of what’s to come!). But it’s been 80 degrees here in New Haven, and I still have a few late summer recipes up my sleeve.

photo 4

Like this delicious pasta salad. It’s bright, fresh, versatile and oh-so-healthy. I had it warm, room temp and cold and it was super yummy each and every way. The peas and cannellini beans make it a hearty and filling pasta that could be a dinner OR a side! So many possibilities!

photo 2

As I squeeze in my last few summer recipes, I’d love to hear from you all… what do YOU want to see up on the blog this fall? What are you most looking forward to eating as the weather turns cool? This is the best season of all!!

photo 1

Recipe

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente and drained ( I used fusilli, but any kind will work!)
  • 1 cup pesto (I used my own mint pea pesto recipe)
  • 1 (12 oz) box of frozen peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix  pasta, pesto, peas and cannellini beans. Sir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining cheese. Can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled!

Advertisements

Pluot, Goat Cheese and Walnut Summer Salad

First of all, Happy Labor Day! I’ve made you the perfect salad to bring to the BBQ today. Because, if you’re like me, you totally need to bring something to, like, every gathering, ever. And this is a perfect last minute dish.

photo 4

Not to brag, but this miiiiight just be the prettiest salad I’ve ever seen. I mean, just LOOK at those colors! It’s to pluots. They totally make the salad special.

photo 3

What’s a pluot, you ask? It’s this crazy hybrid of plum and apricot. It’s a pretty pink little ball of sweet deliciousness, and it’s perfect here.

photo 2

Throw in some goat cheese and candied walnuts with them and it’s an amazing, refreshing summer salad (you could use regular walnuts, but, lets be honest, candied is always better). Oh yeah, and greens. Lots and lots of greens.

photo 1

All this salad needs is a simple, three ingredient dressing over the top, because the rest of it is just that good.  Seriously, If you’re in need of a salad for a crowd, today or any other day, this is a great option. You’ll be a very popular guest at any BBQ! Hope you are all soaking up the last of summer and enjoying a beautiful Labor Day!

Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves about 10-15 people

Salad

  • 4 bags prepared mesculin greens
  • 2 plutos, diced
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup candied walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Toss all of the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Toss salad with dressing just before you’re ready to serve and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cucumber Melon Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Um, has anyone else noticed how ridiculously hot it’s been lately?

photo 1

Like stupid hot. Like I-don’t-even-want-to-leave-the-comfort-of-air-conditioning-and-sit-on-the-pourch-and-drink-a-cold-beer-hot. And believe me, that’s saying something.

photo 2

When it’s that hot out, there are very few things that appeal to me to eat (again, that’s also saying something). I only want something cold, refreshing and only made out of fruits and vegetables. This salad was the absolutely perfect solution.

photo 3

The cucumber and melon both have a high water content and subtle flavors, making them prefect when the heat index is threatening dehydration. This light vinaigrette brightens up the melon and cucumber just enough without overpowering it. The red onion adds a hint of kick that I just could not get enough of. The salad tasted wonderful the second I made it, and fantastic the next night as leftovers.

photo 5

This is seriously the perfect summer dish, especially when the thermostat is hovering around 100º F. I know it will be appearing again and again in my kitchen. I highly suggest you try it in yours! Enjoy!

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

  • 2 cups cucumbers, seeds removed, cubed
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles

Combine the cucumber, cantaloupe and onion in a large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the melon and cucumber and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle on goat cheese and serve.

Blueberry and Corn Salad

Ok, I know this sounds weird.

photo 4

Blueberries and corn? Jalapenos? Onions? Honey? Whhaaattt?

photo 3

But oh my gosh you guys this salad was out of control delicious. I had seconds and thirds and maybe even tried to lick the  dressing off the bottom of the bowl. I’m legitimately proud of myself for sharing this with anyone else.

photo 1

The sweetness of the corn and blueberries was cut perfectly by the spiciness of the jalapenos. The cucumbers were super refreshing and the honey, lime and cumin dressing added a just little warmth. This salad is basically the definition of summer.

photo 2

Make this for you next party, or just keep in it your fridge and eat it for your next 6 meals in a row (you will not get sick of it, I swear). This summer salad is so unique and addicting, and will be a huge hit no mater what you do with it.

photo 2

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes + marinating time

Yield: about 6-8 servings

Salad

  • 5 ears of fresh corn, steamed and cut off the cob (grilled would be delicious, too!)
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, sees removed, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed

Dressing

  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1.5 tbs honey
  • 1.5 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic salt

Cook corn on the cob and then remove from cob and place in a large bowl. Add blueberries, cucumber, onion, cilantro and jalapeno and mix.

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad. Let salad marinate for a few hours before serving, up to 24 hours.

How easy is that? (Love ya, Ina)

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

 

Coconut Seafood Cakes with Tropical Salsa

You guys, I have a confession to make.

photo 1

I’ve been holding out on you. I’ve been keeping this yummy dinner a secret for a whole week. I know, I know. That’s pretty much forever. I feel terrible.

photo 3

The thing is, it was the weekend, I was working, and those cupcakes happened (which was obviously a huge deal) and time just got away from me.

photo 2

But I have faith that once you try this dish (and try it, you must), you will forgive my transgression immediately. Because here I have found what I believe to be a near-perfect summer dinner. It’s simple, fresh, has a hint spice, and the coconut/tropical fruit combo just screams warm weather. It’s gluten free, and serving it over spinach makes it super bikini-bod friendly. Yup, bikini bod season is here and must be dealt with appropriately. Trust me, there are much worse ways than this.

photo 1

The seafood cake is made with low-calorie shrimp and scallops, and the shredded coconut that holds the cake together is a fab alternative to the traditional bread crumbs. Sautéing the cakes in coconut oil instead of butter or olive oil kicks up the healthy factor a notch further. This dinner dominates bikini bod season.

photo 2

Totally dominates.

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 2-4, about 6-8 cakes

Salsa:

  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced papaya
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime

Seafood Cakes

  • 1 lb shrimp and scallops (I bought mine in the frozen food section at Trader Joe’s for, like, wicked cheap)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp diced chives
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/8 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • coconut oil, for sautéing
  • 1 bag spinach for serving

To make the salsa, simply combine ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well

In a food processor, pulse the shrimp and scallops until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add 3/4 cup of shredded coconut, egg, garlic, chives, cilantro and pepper and combine well. Form in cakes, about 4 inches in diameter. Pour remaining coconut onto a large plate and coat each cake with coconut.

Heat coconut oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the cakes to the pan and sear for about 4-5 minutes, flipping once about halfway through. You may have to do two batches depending on the size of your pan.

Place the cakes on a bed of spinach, top with as much or as little salsa as desired (you’re going to want a lot, though) and serve up!!

Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats.