Tag Archive | side dish

Mediterranean Pasta Salad & Mini Strawberry Pies

Both of these recipes are good for entertaining, and they were both tasty.  The little strawberry pies were great, and the blog that I got it from explained how to do them perfectly.  They were so cute yet soo easy!  I have to say I’m pretty excited that the next time I post it will be June!  You know what that means? Strawberry picking month!  Have a great weekend and thanks for reading. :)

Mediterranean Pasta Salad- slightly adapted from Food Network

Serves: 4-6

Kosher salt
1 pound tricolor pasta, such as bow tie or fusilli
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
2/3 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 large pickled pepperoncini peppers, diced (optional – I only used 1 small one because it was a little too spicy for my taste)
5 tablespoons halved black olives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tablespoons grated romano cheese

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain, then rinse with cold water to cool (I made the pasta the night before and chilled overnight in the refrigerator).
  2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in enough of the oil to make a smooth dressing; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, onion, pepperoncini, olives and oregano in a bowl. Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Add the vinaigrette  (Note: I didn’t use all of the dressing.  Add it slowly until the pasta is coated to your preference) and both cheeses and toss. Chill until ready to serve.

Mini Strawberry Pies

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Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad

This is going to be a pretty weak post, I’ll say it right now.  I had a big, brain draining test yesterday and as you can see, I’m barely getting this post in before midnight.

This salad was perfect, I didn’t change a thing from the original, so it’s only fair that I link you right to the blog I got it from.  What I love about it is that it made a LOT (it was leftover lunch for a few days).  If you’re not familiar with quinoa, you’re missing out!  It’s has a grain texture, similar to that of couscous, but unlike other grains it is high in protein.  It’s great for vegetarians because it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the nine essential amino acids. “Essential” means that they can not be made by the body, and must be consumed.  For vegetarians to get the same protein as a meat eater, they need to be cautious of matching foods that provide all of the essential amino acids (i.e. rice and beans), so it is nice that quinoa has already done that for them.  It’s also great because it kind of takes on the flavors that it is mixed with, and is not a strong flavor alone.

One important thing to look for when you buy quinoa is the stamp of “fair trade.”  Quinoa actually originates in the warm climates of Peru and Bolivia, where it was a staple crop for the people there.  Unfortunately since it has become so popular in America, we are willing to pay a lot more for it and the people who relied on it to survive can now no longer afford it.  It’s very sad, so please buy a “fair trade” stamped package, even if it is a bit more, in order to ensure that a fair price was paid for the grain and those people are not being taken advantage of.  Well enough of the nutrition lesson, and I hope you give the recipe a try! ;)

Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad

I served with a 5 oz piece of salmon and side salad of spinach