Summer Salad

Summer is creeping up on us in Florida. Our watermelon is perfect right about now! This is a summer salad that my sister Ali makes. It tastes light and refreshing just like summer…

By Alexandra Salvatore

I wanted to emulate one of my favorite appetizer salads I’ve been going crazy over. In Long Island we wait all winter for warm weather and summer fruits. This salad is on almost every menu on the East end of Long Island and all are done with their own twist.

It contains all of my favorite things – watermelon, feta cheese and a peppery, crunchy green like arugula. You can also use baby spinach for a less bitter green. You can also crumble the feta for a less intense salt/cheese flavor. I use the balsamic glaze pictured. I’ve actually used that glaze for many other things like a simple mozzarella and tomato salad. I would suggest having one in the house. You can get it at Costco or an Italian market. It doesn’t have a close expiration date which is great too. Enjoy this refreshing and savory salad. It would be a great thing to serve as an appetizer or even as a side salad with a fish entree. 🐠🍉🧀

Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • a bag of arugula or baby spinach
  • a seedless watermelon(about 4-6 pieces cut into thick triangles)
  • a block of imported feta(in water), cut into rectangular chunks(can crumble as well)
  • balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper
  • (Optional) – chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the greens before the feta

Directions

  1. On a large platter lay out the chunks of watermelon.
  2. On top of the watermelon, place a handful or two of arugula or spinach.
  3. Then top it with the chunks of feta cheese.
  4. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe you’ll love:

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Shoepeg Corn Salad

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Fill em Up!

Believe it or not, when I make salmon everyone eats it! I never have any left over. It seems like when I make it, nobody gets filled. So I usually make this orzo side dish along with it to fill them up and it is amazing! I love pasta and I love vegetables, so for me this is perfect. I eat it leftover for lunch and it could be cold right out of the container…

You can use any vegetables you have in the house, not just the ones I used! 

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Orzo Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 box of orzo pasta
  • EVOO
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 package of mushrooms chopped
  • A bunch of tomatoes chopped
  • handful of Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, boil salted water and cook the orzo per directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a pan over low to medium heat.
  3. Add onion.  After a couple of minutes add the garlic.
  4. Toss in the bell pepper and mushrooms and saute until they are tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.  Take off the heat.  Toss in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Put the drained orzo in the pan with all the veggies and mix together.  Top with a little grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

See below for other similar dishes…

Simple Side

Italian Pasta Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

I got this recipe from my sister Ali.  She got it from one of her friends.  When they make it, they serve it as a dip along with Tostitos or some sort of corn chip.  This is also a great side dish for a summer gathering.   It’s sooo good and refreshing.  It’s hard to stop eating it once you start.  I had no idea what shoepeg corn was or where to find it until I made this!  FYI, it’s just a can of Green Giant corn that’s shaped like a shoepeg!  I found it at Publix…

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Shoepeg Corn salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 can of reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced small
  • 1/2 of a small red onion diced small
  • a bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup of safflower oil(it calls for vegetable oil but I don’t use vegetable oil due to the fact that it is not the healthiest option)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar(Yep, but it makes it soooo good.  You can use less if you prefer or none.  Still will be delicious!)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Put the first 6 ingredients in a large serving bowl and stir gently until combined.
  2. Add the oil, vinegar and sugar.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir gently until combined.
  5. Serve with your favorite chip or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

I found some great summer essentials for your 1st BBQ of the season.  Of course you have to serve the shoepeg corn salad and maybe some Guac and chips!

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Don’t miss out on some of the best recipes for summer entertaining…
Appetizers:
Main Course:  
Side Dishes:  
Desert and drinks:

Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad

I love going to Long Island to visit family in the summer. And the food. I love the food. My sister Ali and brother-in-law Joe really embrace Long Island summers. Their house is in walking distance to the bay. They always have fresh fruit and vegetables growing in their garden and somehow there is always someone dropping off fresh fish and clams caught that day! Dinner usually includes fresh fish fillets and a simple salad.

Joe prepared this the other day with my nephew Joseph and this is a perfect example of my summers in Long Island. Uncle Joe’s Simple Salad takes a few minutes to prepare and will get you dreaming about simple summers…

BTW, Joe makes the best fresh cocktails. So stay tuned for drinks that will make the sun shine…

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Uncle Joe's Simple Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 grape vine tomatoes, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 of an onion diced
  • handful of Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice, squeezed from 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place the tomatoes, peppers cucumbers, and onions in a medium bowl and toss gently.
  2. Add the parsley.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Toss gently one more time.

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe you will love…

Salsa Salsa

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Summer Salad

 

BBQ Chicken and Cabbage Steaks

By Alexandra Salvatore

Tonight I wanted a healthy and simple dinner. That’s exactly what this is.  It literally took 5 minutes to prep!

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BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Steaks

Ingredients


Cabbage Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper

BBQ Chicken Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 2 bunches of chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  3. Cut the cabbage into 1 inch steaks.
  4. Brush both sides with olive oil.
  5. Salt and pepper both sides of the cabbage.
  6. Place on a baking sheet.
  7. Cover the chicken thighs in BBQ sauce
  8. Top the chicken with chopped scallions.
  9. Place on a separate baking sheet.
  10. Bake both the cabbage and the chicken for 40 minutes.  It will be perfect!

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you will love…

Irish Soda Bread

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

 

 

 

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Let’s face it, I love all pasta.  I love it hot, cold and leftover!

When I think of pasta salad I think of summer. But this Italian Pasta Salad can be served all year long hot as a main dish, cold as a side dish, and packed in the lunchbox the next day for a yummy lunch your kids will love!

pasta salad

Don’t want the pasta? Put it over Romaine lettuce instead! I love making an Italian Salad for a crowd because sometimes I don’t want to make an antipasto and a salad. So, I combine them and there you have it! Like everything else this recipe can be adjusted depending on what you have in the house.

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Italian Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

With Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of small elbow pasta(or any type you prefer)
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup of Giardeniera Italian mix, drained
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones)
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • big bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on box.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  5. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the ingredients except for the dressing.
  7. Toss together. Make sure you added enough salt and pepper. It needs a good amount.
  8. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing and mix again.
  9. Add enough dressing so that everything is coated and tasty.
  10. Before serving you may need to add more dressing to moisten the pasta.

Without Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones) or shredded mozzarella
  • 1 can of hearts of palm
  • 1 can of marinated mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  2. Lay your lettuce on a platter.
  3. Top the lettuce with all the toppings except for the dressing.
  4. Season with salt and pepper salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing.

Enjoy!

Listed below are some of my other favorite salads…

No Romaine, No Problem

Shoepeg Corn Salad

 

 

Game Day

If you ask me whose playing in the Superbowl, I promise you I will NOT know the answer. My husband says he stopped watching football once he started dating me. And that’s pretty accurate. No one in my family ever watched sports, so that is that. Lol. He can totally watch it, but my main focus will always be the food and the halftime show! But now that we have 2 boys, he has made a point to start watching it again. I’m ok with that, as long as there is some good food, not just a bowl of Doritos!

So if you are planning on watching the game and are having friends over, here are some of my favorite game day foods that will keep everyone happy, whether they watch the game or not… Feel free to pick and choose your favorites and throw in some classics like chicken wings and chili!

  • You have to start with chips and dip! People come hungry on game day and love to pick. These are two of my favorite dips that will start the day off in the right direction.

Guacamole and Salsa: This combo is always a hit and goes quick on days like this, so make double batches!

If you were asked to bring a dish to a friend’s house, this Shoepeg Corn Salad is amazing! Make ahead and bring a big bag of Tostitos. It will be the star of the game.

 

  • I like to serve pizza as an appetizer. I highly recommend you keep the toppings simple and use a pizza slicer to slice them into small, handheld slices. For some reason everything tastes better when it’s bite size.
  • Stuffed Bread is a great option for game day. It’s a hearty meal for big eaters.
  • And who doesn’t love a big platter of meatballs? I would make them small enough so that you can serve them with toothpicks and your friends can just pop them in their mouth!

If your’e crowd isn’t full after all this food, you may have a problem. But I think everyone should be full and happy.

I know most people want beer on Game Day, but if I was at a Super Bowl party after hours of drinking and eating I’d be looking for strong coffee and a sweet treat! Hello, Annie’s Crumb Cake… It’s simple, delicious and will feed your crowd.

Go Mets! JK, but not kidding…

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Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

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Can’t Have a Party Without a Punch

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