Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Every BBQ, summer picnic or cookout needs a salad! I usually make pasta salad or ask my mom to make macaroni salad (I haven’t perfected her recipe yet!), but now this salad is going to be my go-to recipe! Today’s #CookOutWeek recipe features broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and bacon in a creamy, tangy sauce! I love the crunch of the veggies – plus you can’t go wrong with bacon and cheese! My kiddos were iffy on it, but ended up devouring it after their first bite!

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Cilantro Lime Steak Bowl

The weather has been getting warmer and that means grill season is upon us!! We grill most of the summer and I can’t wait to try new recipes this summer. Grilled meats, vegetables and fruit – YUM!! I took advantage of the warm weather to whip up a steak bowl. You could always add in a scoop of cilantro rice; I opted to leave it out and pack my bowl with veggies. The steak had a great flavor even with only a short amount of time to marinate. I completely forgot to take it out of the freezer the night before to start thawing. Next time, I plan to marinate it for the full 2 hours to really pack in the cilantro lime flavor. Cilantro Lime Steak Bowl | Join Us, Pull up a Chair Continue reading

Strawberry Pecan Chicken Salad

Strawberries are finally in season here and I love seeing all the quarters of fresh picked strawberries at roadside farm stands. This salad is the perfect place to use delicious, fresh berries. It would be great with some blueberries thrown in too. The salad is quick to throw together and you can always pre-grill the chicken breasts to have on hand for a quick dinner or even lunch!

I loved the combination of baby greens, pecans and feta. The light dressing is so delicious too! So, so good! You’ll definitely want to make this recipe ASAP!

Strawberry Pecan Chicken Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Spring Vegetable Barley Salad – The Secret Recipe Club

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you all have a fun day planned with your friends and family. It’s raining here today and we’ve spent the last few days working outside in the yard and getting our pool ready. We’re planning to go to the movies later today – not sure what we’re seeing yet, but I’m looking forward to a day to relax before another busy week of work starts.

May had an extra Monday and that means a special theme day for The Secret Recipe Club! The theme was picnic or BBQ foods. So many options to choose from! My assignment  blog was Thyme for Cooking. Such a fun blog name, right?! Katie shares about her life in France, restoring an old farmhouse and all the amazing food that comes along. She also keeps busy with weekly menu planning that she shares over on her other site.

Spring Vegetable Barley Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Apple Brie Salad

As usual things have been a little crazy around here! I have been neglecting my blog and I’m going to start adding post topics to my calendar so I can make sure I’m updating it on a regular basis. Cooking and baking has been sliding to the back of my plate lately…I’m in a little bit of a funk and struggling to get out of it. I’m not sure why, maybe the weather and gray days are dragging me down. Spring can’t come soon enough!

I made this salad the other week after I had a LuLaRoe pop up boutique and had half a wheel of brie leftover. (Side note – do you love LLR leggings as much as I do?!?) I knew I need to make something with it and found this recipe. It was delicious and so refreshing! I’m tempted to buy brie again this week so I can have it again. The dressing was perfect compliment to the creamy brie and crunchy apples and pecans.

Apple Brie Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

1 bag of mixed greens
4 oz brie, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large apple, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used a gala apple)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 scallions, chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Mix together the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients and shake well. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and dig in!

Source: Lemon Tree Dwelling

Pesto Roasted Potato Salad

I’m always on the hunt for new side dishes to make for picnics and this one was a unique twist on a traditional salad. I’m not a fan of potato salad, so I rarely make it, but when I saw this recipe, it was one that I knew I would like. It’s different and wasn’t a big hit at my son’s birthday party, but breaking traditions with family doesn’t always go as planned.

Roasting the potatoes made a big difference and I loved that the recipe was made without mayo. Plus you can’t go wrong with using pesto and avocado! When I made this, I skipped the step of boiling the potatoes and will do that the next time I make this salad. Our potatoes were a little more crunchy then soft and there were a few complaints. Oh well. Regardless, definitely give this recipe a try for your next summer picnic!
Pesto Roasted Potato Salad | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
Handful of fresh chives, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 avocado
½ cup fresh basil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 – 4 splashes of hot sauce
Salt & fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Boil the cubed potatoes in salted water for 5 to 8 minutes until they are partially cooked. They should be able to be pricked with a fork, but not fully cooked. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium pan, toast the walnuts. Transfer ½ cup of the toasted walnuts into a food processor. Add in the garlic, avocado, basil, lemon juice and hot sauce. Process until the pesto is smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, toss together the roasted potatoes, diced red onion, chives and remaining ½ cup of walnuts. Add about ¾ of the pesto to the potatoes and stir to coat. Add more pesto if you want the salad to be wetter. The remaining pesto is great to top with pasta or as condiment on a sandwich.

Source: Ceara’s Kitchen

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

Happy New Year! One of my goals for this year is to eliminate as much processed food as possible and this salad is a great start. I made it for lunch on Christmas Day and it was so good! It’s a nice break from all the heavy food usually adorning our dinner table, plus it takes delicious. It’s a quick and easy salad to make. I had everything prepped and ready to take to my mom’s, where I made the dressing.

A tip when you make this salad it to massage the kale helps to take it from bitter and tough to sweet and silky. It’s super easy and takes about five minutes. You’ll notice the texture changes and it becomes darker green.

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
half a lemon, zest and juice
1 bunch of kale, very thinly slice
1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, massage the kale with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt for a few minutes until it becomes tender. Set aside. In a large saute pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the shallots and saute for five minutes or until tender and cooked through. Saute the garlic for one minute and then add in the cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey, lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine and turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the prepared kale and top with the almonds. It would be great to throw in a few crumbles of blue cheese.

Source: Gimme Some Oven

Wild Rice Butternut Squash Salad

Are you planning your menu for Thanksgiving? It looks like I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year, so I’m excited to try a few new recipes in addition to our family favorites. This is one of the dishes I’m planning to make. It’s refreshing and the flavors scream fall. Both my husband and I loved it, the kids weren’t sold on it, but I’m going to make it anyway.

Do you experiment with new dishes for holidays or stick with your family favorites? Share your Thanksgiving sides with me! I’m always looking for new ideas.

2 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced kale, lightly massaged
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 cups cooked wild rice, warm

Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, minced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the cubed butternut squash with the olive oil and spread over a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 25 minutes until the squash is fork tender.

While the squash is roasting, combine all the dressing ingredients together and mix with an immersion blender.

In a bowl, combine the kale, cranberries and basil. Toss in the warm rice and roasted squash to slightly wilt the kale. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper if needed. This salad should be served at room temperature.

Source: Heart Beet Kitchen 

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

I’m always looking for different type of salads to bring to picnics and parties. I wanted to try this one because it was different and not something I’ve made before. I wasn’t 100%  sold on it, it’s really tangy from the Dijon and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but not sure I would make it again. Neither of the kids like and it ended up making a lot, so after three days of eating it, I was done too. So while this recipe wasn’t a hit, I think there’s potential and with adjusting some things, I might be able to get make something that we all enjoy.

This is one of the reason that I love food blogging, it gives me an opportunity to try different things and share them. If any of you have suggestions on what you would do to make the dressing of the salad not as tangy, share them! I’m all up for trying it again, but not sure where to start.

1 lb orzo pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, diced
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Cook orzo according to package directions. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, water, oregano, basil, and garlic. Drain orzo and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine. This salad can be enjoyed warm, cold or at room temperature.

Crunchy Quinoa Salad #TheSaladBar

It’s time for the monthly installment of The Salad Bar Monthly Blogging Group.
Each month, a theme is assigned and there’s pretty much free reign to make a salad that highlights the featured ingredient or salad type. This month’s theme was Asian inspired salads. There’s so many ways to follow this theme but I decided to go with a quinoa based salad that has a peanut dressing, lots of veggies and topped with green onions and peanuts. It was so good and it makes a lot…we were eating it for lunch and dinner for days. It can be either eaten at room temperature or cold and it was good both ways.

1 cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup lightly salted peanuts
Dressing
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp olive oil
In a medium pan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, stir and cover. Reduce heat from high to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. 
For the dressing, combine the peanut butter and honey in a small bowl. Microwave for 20-25 seconds to soften. Add in the ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and both oils. Stir until well combined and smooth. 
Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add in the dressing. Stir to combine. Add in the chopped vegetables except for the green onions. 
Scoop out a serving and top with green onions and peanuts. 

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