Cumin-Lime Corn Salad

We have this constant issue around my house.

My husband is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, and I’m a “want to make sure my jeans button when I sit down” kinda girl.  These two eating personalities don’t always match up at my dinner table.

The good thing is that since I cook ninety-five percent of the meals around here, I usually get to choose the menu. Which is good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

Bad in the sense that some days I get reallllllllly tired of thinking up what to make for dinner, and good in the sense that I also get to decide what to make for dinner.

I’ve been making this cool summer salad for years, and it’s still one of my top favorites.  Even better, it passes muster with the meat and potatoes guy in my house.  In fact, there’s usually very little left over at the end of the meal.  The very light lime viniagrette is the perfect compliment to the crisp vegetables in this side dish, and the addition of cilantro and cumin give it just enough punch to keep things interesting.

If you’re like me, and have indulged in just a few too many tempting goodies over these hot summer months, make this salad as the perfect accompaniment to a light grilled fish or chicken main course.  You’ll be back in your skinny jeans in no time!

Cumin-Lime Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained (or fresh corn; about 3 ears)
  • 1 each: green, red, and yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 to 2 jalepenos, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • For the viniagrette:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together viniagrette ingredients. Add vegetables and toss to coat.
  2. Refridgerate at least an hour prior to serving to allow flavors to meld. If needed, drizzle with additional lime juice before serving.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cumin-lime-corn-salad/

Have a super Tuesday!

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Cucumber, Red Onion, Feta and Dill Salad

Let me tell you something about vacationing.

It’s not the time to even attempt dieting.  At least not for me.

Look, part of our vacation included a cruise, which meant we got to eat five-course meals every night.  Don’t think for one minute that I didn’t take advantage of that, including the fact that I could have two! {or three!} desserts if I wanted them.  I felt a little gluttonous choosing something from each course offering when the two other people at our table were hemming and hawing over whether to have a soup or a salad.

“Get them both!” I advised.  “Live it up, we’re on vacation!”

Also, the food is technically already figured into the price of the trip.  And, because the Tall Boy and Doodle don’t really eat enough to cover what the cruise line charged us, I decided it was necessary that I eat enough for all of us to get our money’s worth.

The problem with this is that by the time I got home, even my elastic pants were getting a little snug and the idea of eating another decadent dessert kind of made my stomach roll (don’t worry, I’ll be over that in another day or two).

So, to sort of even things out a bit, I decided a salad was in order.

 

Except I’m really not one for traditional salads.  Also, I require some type of protein, lots of cheese, and enough dressing to cover up the taste of the lettuce.  And when there’s no lettuce involved at all, so much the better.

If we’re being honest here, I’m not really even a vegetable fan.  I do try to eat them, and often do a better job of it in the summer months, when I can throw them on the grill.

But I love, love, LOVE this salad, which is quick and easy to throw together, travels well, and is crisp and cool for the hot summer.  Plus, I can eat a huge serving of it and still have calories saved to justify eating dessert.

It’s a win-win.

Cucumber, Red Onion, Feta and Dill Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • crumbled feta cheese, to taste
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sweetener and salt/pepper. Toss in the cucumbers, red onion and fresh dill.
  2. Cover and chill--at least 1 hour, to let the flavors intensify.
  3. Before serving, toss with crumbled feta cheese.
  4. If you want to be naughty--add in some crumbled bacon!
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/cucumber-red-onion-feta-and-dill-salad/

Have a great Wednesday!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

I know, you’re probably wondering if you’re at the right blog today.

What’s up with the fruit, right? I mean, where are the super fattening cookies or pies or Mexican food?

Don’t worry, I won’t stay on this healthy kick for long.

Actually, today might be it and then I’ll be over it.

I try to eat healthy, but I’m also of the opinion that adding fruit to baked goods automatically makes things healthy.

Please say I’m not the only one.

I know most normal people can eat “fruit salads” by just mixing a bunch of fruits together and calling it good.  I don’t know–I try that, I really do–but after about three bites, I’m pretty much over it.  And then instead of eating more fruit, I’m shoving pancakes or breakfast casserole in my face because I’m still hungry and the “fruit salad” is totally not filling the void.

But this fresh-fruit dish is a little different.

Mostly because it’s doused in a can of frozen pina colada mix.  Quick, easy, and just enough extra flavor for me to forget I’m eating a big bowl of fruit.

And, if the Tall Boy didn’t have such an aversion to coconut, I would totally add shredded coconut to this.  Is he weird, or what?

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups green grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups red grapes
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained, with juice reserved
  • 10 can frozen non-alcoholic pina colada mix, thawed
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

  1. Combine fruit in a large serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together pina colada mix, reserved pineapple juice, and extracts. Pour over fruit and toss to coat.
  3. Top with shredded coconut, if desired.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/pina-colada-fruit-salad/

Have a great Monday!

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

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Tropical Fruit Salad

Given the choice between fruit and a buttercream-frosted cupcake, my son will choose fruit every time.  My husband finds even vanilla ice cream “too sweet” and much prefers carrots and Ranch dip to any form of dessert.

What is wrong with these people and why are they in my house?

I, on the other hand, have to make deals with myself in order to eat healthy.  For example, if I eat well all week, I can reward myself by purchasing Martha Stewart’s “Cookies” recipe book or “How to Cook With Butter” by Paula Deen.

I’m always looking for ways to liven up my fruit dishes so that I’m not tempted to consume an entire jar of Nutella when eating a banana or an apple.  Not that this wouldn’t be great with Nutella.  In my book, pretty much everything is great with Nutella.

Tropical Fruit Salad

  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 6 medium oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 4 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 2 mangos, peeled and cubed

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup juice
  2. Stir together reserved juice, honey, and next 3 ingredients; add pineapple, orange slices, and remaining fruit, tossing gently to coat.
  3. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.  Garnish with coconut, if desired.

 

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Grilled Potato Salad

My husband and I took this week off work for a stay-cation.  As our (un)luck would have it, we’re setting record temperatures here in Kansas, and it’s too hot to do anything but sit on an air-conditioner vent and eat ice cubes.  Plans for the zoo and mini-golf?  Not happening.

It was 111 degrees here on Sunday.  No joke.  I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be that hot anywhere outside of the Mohave Desert.  Maybe not even there.

So, not being in the kitchen is top on my priority list this week, at least not while the oven and/or stove is on.  Am I cooking everything I possibly can on the charcoal grill?  Absolutely.

Grilled Potato Salad (click to print)

  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions:

In a heavy-duty aluminum foil tray, pile in your potatoes and veggies.  Drizzle with olive oil, and place bacon slices on top.

Grill over medium to high heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

While vegetables cook, whisk together vinegar, broth, vegetable oil and garlic.

Place grilled vegetables in a large bowl, and crumble bacon slices over the top.  Shake vinegar dressing to mix and pour over veggies.  Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

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Chicken Salad Sandwiches

 

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the Midwest, it’s hot, hot, hot

I think I saw actual steam floating off my dash yesterday when I left work.  My plants are suffering, no matter how much water we try to give them; my husband has resorted to using our son’s slip and slide to attempt relief; and my makeup instantly evaporates when I walk outside.  

I am not one of these girls who have a “shimmery” appearance in this kind of weather.  Unless by shimmery, you mean sweaty.

Trust me, it’s hot.  And this is coming from a girl who wears a knee-length wool sweater around the office year round. 

Since my kitchen/dining area gets southwest exposure (good in the winter, not so much this time of year), I try to avoid using my oven in the summer months as much as I can.  Also, when it gets this hot, I simply can’t eat the heavy foods that I love during the fall and winter months.  Hmm…maybe moving to a warmer year-round climate would be good for my waist-size.

Anyway, this is a great, simple recipe that’s great for lunches or a light dinner.  And, if you’re like me, you typically have some leftover chicken in your fridge that you need to use up.

Chicken Salad (click to print)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 3 cups green grapes, sliced
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2  tablespoons sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon each:
    •  seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper

Preparation Instructions:

Toss first six ingredients to combine.  Mix remaining ingredients in another bowl, pour over chicken mixture and stir to coat.  Chill before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

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Red, White and Blue Salad

What can I say, I looooove salads this time of year.  I don’t know about you, though, but I get awfully bored with the same old iceberg lettuce, cucumber, carrots and tomatoes.  Bleck, who wants to eat that??

Coincidentally, in the summer, I always have huge containers of fresh berries in my fridge.  And while I do my best to eat as much fruit as I can during the week, I’m always looking for various ways to use up my berries by the end of the week.  This has become my new, favorite, summer salad.  It’s crisp and cool, and not your same old run-of-the-mill mixed salad.  Add some grilled chicken to this, and you’ve got a meal.

 Start by toasting some pecans on the stove top.  Almonds would also be yummy!  Melt some butter over low heat and add your chopped nuts.  Sprinkle with a little brown sugar and cook until lightly toasted.  Remove from heat and place on a paper towel to cool.

Meanwhile, thinly slice your cucumber and strawberries.  Mix with fresh spinach leaves, and toss with blueberries and freshly sliced parmesan cheese.  Drizzle with a berry viniagrette dressing.

Berry Viniagrette

In your blender, mix together:

  • 1/4 cup fresh fruit spread (I used blackberry, since that’s what I had on-hand, but blueberry or strawberry would work great, also);
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Process until smooth.  With blender running, slowly add in 2/3 cup of vegetable oil.  Refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

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Greek Pasta Salad

Carbs are not my friend.  Well, actually they are; just maybe a little too much.  I could probably live off of bowls of steaming hot pasta, warm bread straight from the oven, and my own personal downfall, tortilla chips and salsa.  In fact, I’ve found myself begging my husband to remove the chip bowl from the table at Abuelo’s, or asking him to throw his used, wadded up napkin into the bowl at the end of the meal so I didn’t keep eating them.


Embarrassingly enough, sometimes even that doesn’t stop me.


But not all carbs are bad, and certainly not in moderation.  Especially when you add a lot of vegetables, right?  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


We have the best mediterranean restaurant near our house, and besides their hummus, my favorite menu item is their pasta salad.  While my recipe isn’t exact, it’s still pretty darn tasty.  Also, this is a great summer salad recipe; you can take it to picnics or barbeques and not worry about it sitting around wilting.

Greek Pasta Salad (printable recipe)

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 3 dill pickle spears, chopped
  • 1 small jar arthichoke hearts, marinated and quartered
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • feta cheese, to taste
  • your favorite Greek dressing

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil.  Make sure to salt your water; it helps ensure your pasta does not turn out too bland.  While your pasta is cooking, grab your ingredients:

As soon as your pasta is done, run it under cold water to cool off:

Add your chopped pickles, tomatoes, artichokes, capers and olives.

Then mix with your favorite Greek dressing.  I used this recipe:

Greek dressing, from Our Best Bites

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c. white vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this will not make the dressing spicy, just flavorful)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 c. canola oil (or other salad oil)
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. dry oregano

In the jar of a blender, combine all the ingredients through the garlic. Blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and add the feta and pulse the blender a few times (more if you want a creamier consistency). Whisk in the herbs.

If possible, allow salad to set for 1 to 2 hours before serving, to allow flavors to meld.

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