Here’s a Fourth of July guest post from Holly Clegg featuring a recipe from her new cookbook, Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis: 200 Easy Recipes and Practical Tips to Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Symptoms [affiliate link]. Serve leftovers (if you have any) as a pasta salad the next day.
Red, White and Blue
Fourth of July is right around the corner, and I wanted to share the perfect summer recipe to add to the red, white and blue festivities. For a classic, any-occasion dish the pasta salad is where it’s at – and this Sensational Summer Pasta does not disappoint, especially since it is “red and white!” Fresh ingredients at their best, ripe juicy tomatoes, basil, and creamy mozzarella, meld together for an all-star crowd favorite.
An easy tip to seed tomatoes - cut the tomato in half from side to side and gently squeeze the tomato to watch seeds easily pop out. Try growing basil in pots as it is fairly easy and nothing beats fresh basil in the summer! You can easily chop fresh basil by rolling it up and slicing it into pieces. If you don’t have fresh basil handy, you can use dried at a ratio of 3:1. In other words, 1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Add a side of blueberries, or your favorite blueberry cobbler and you have a delicious red, white and blue spread! Highlighting the fresh ingredients of the season to accompany the meat you throw on the grill, this trim&TERRIFIC recipe is sure be worthy of the fireworks on those hot summer nights.
Sensational Summer Pasta
- 4 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn or chopped
- 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces bowtie or curly pasta
- In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, green onion, basil, cheese, and olive oil. Season to taste. Cover, and keep at room temperature at least 2 hours up to 6 hours.
- When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to tomato mixture.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Calories: 278
- Calories from Fat: 97 (35%)
- Total Fat: 11g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Unsaturated fat: 8g
- Sodium: 19mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 36g
- Sugar: 4g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 9g
- Cholesterol: 12mg
Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat
Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.
Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.
You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.
With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!
California Fiesta Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed. Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds. Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes. This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
- Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
- Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together. Toss lightly with salad. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.
Recipe and picture used with permission.
The Salad Bar Nation initiative by the Whole Kids Foundation is committed to improving the nation’s health by challenging Americans of all ages to eat a salad every day. A great idea in my opinion, because we all need more leafy greens and vegetables in our diets! They’re also utilizing text-to-give and online fundraising with the hopes of raising $5 million to fund 2,013 salad bars in schools across the country 2013. That’s is why I’m sharing the the infographic below, so you have some quick stats about Salad Bar Nation and the benefits of salad bars in schools.
In addition, to inspire you to eat more salads, the campaign’s website, SaladBarNation.org, is featuring a new salad each week along with simple healthy salad tips, so check it out! This week’s salad is the Mediterranean Crunch Salad – yummy!