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Soups, Salads & Sides

Soups, Salads & Sides

Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad

Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad

I was invited to participate in a blogger recipe challenge by Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries. The challenge was to create an original recipe (drink, appetizer, side, salsa or salad) using cranberries as a featured ingredient. Cape Code Select graciously provided two large bags of their premium frozen cranberries for the recipes, but all of the opinions in this post are my own.

For many Americans, cranberries evoke nostalgia for Thanksgiving. But I enjoy the tart flavor of cranberry nearly every day in my low-calorie cran-raspberry drink. I find most standard juices too sweet to drink, so I appreciate the balance of sweet and tart that cranberry can offer. The same is true in almost any dish when cranberries are used to provide a tart, sweet balance to the other ingredients.

I decided to create a warm salad recipe that you could serve any night of the week: Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad. What I really like about this recipe is there are only a few ingredients and it takes less than 5 minutes to prep the food before you pop it into the oven. Don’t the colors sing!?! The green of the firm asparagus stalks. The bright red of the cranberries. And this is before you cook the dish!

Depending on your heat source, I recommend turning the asparagus and cranberries a midway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. You could also adapt this recipe for the grill by using a grill-safe pan or aluminum foil to hold the ingredients.

When the dish is out of the oven, you can drizzle it with the reserved garlic oil and lemon juice. Then zest a lemon on top and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and chopped pistachios. And voila! You’ve got a vibrant side dish that everyone will love.

Even up close, the dish invites you in to explore all the layers of texture. The crunch of the pistachio and cranberry. The smoothness of the Parmesan.

Here’s the glamour shot. Are you ready to sink your teeth into a sizzling salad?

With the remaining cranberries, I’m going to try next a Cranberry-Apple Crisp. Apple and cranberry balance each other so well. I have to say I was very impressed with the product quality of the Cape Cod Select Premium Cranberries, which are non-GMO verified. And I was extremely pleased to discover that Cape Cod Select is a women-owned business run by the Rhodes family. The Rhodes family has been growing cranberries on their 800-acre farm in Massachusetts for more than 75 years with a focus on sustainability.

Here’s a locator to find where to buy Cape Code Select frozen cranberries near you. Or you can order frozen cranberries from Cape Cod Select online. For more cranberry recipe ideas that you can use now and throughout the fall, follow Cape Code Select on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad

Rating: 51

20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Asparagus & Cranberry Salad

Ingredients

3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup cranberries
3/4 lb medium asparagus, trimmed
1 large lemon for zest and juice
2 T toasted pistachios, chopped
1 T shaved Parmesan cheese
fresh ground black pepper for seasoning

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture for later use.

Toss the asparagus and cranberries in the garlic oil mixture to coat. Place asparagus and cranberries on a roasting pan. Season lightly with black pepper.

Roast for 10 - 15 minutes, turning occasionally. When done, transfer to a platter. Drizzle with the reserve garlic oil and lemon juice.

Top with lemon zest, Parmesan and pistachios. Serve immediately.

http://bakedchicago.com/roasted-asparagus-cranberry-salad/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

pasta primavera summer salad

Making pasta salads, which taste great warm or chilled, are a great meal option especially in the summer when you don’t want to have a heavy meal. And when the vegetables are fresh from the garden or local farmer’s market, it’s time for some pasta primavera.

I adore albacore tuna, especially when it’s packed in olive oil. Because there’s garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil coating the pasta and vegetables in this pasta primavera salad, it blends beautifully with the tuna.

pasta primavera summer salad

Doesn’t it look absolutely delish!?! And it’s beyond simple to make.

To get started all you need is some of your favorite pasta, two of your favorite fresh, in-season vegetables, albacore tuna, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. These eight ingredients will come together in less than 15 minutes of cooking time (all in the microwave, so you get to stay cool in the kitchen!).

To make garlic-infused olive oil couldn’t be simpler. Take some minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon) and put in a small bowl. Cover with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let it steep while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

I chose to use sugar snap peas and baby lima beans, but you can use any fresh vegetables you love. I blanched them in the microwave by putting them in a glass bowl and lightly submerging in cold water. Cook them on high for 5 minutes and voila! Drain the water and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking, which can cause them to lose color, nutrients. Set aside the vegetables while you cook the pasta.

The pasta cooks in the microwave on high in about 10 minutes (for 2 servings). Drain the water and put the pasta in a large mixing bowl.

Combine pasta with the vegetables and add the albacore tuna. Drizzle with the garlic-infused olive oil and toss to coat.
pasta primavera summer salad

Season with salt and pepper and you’ve got a classic summer salad that’s perfect for a light lunch to enjoy at home or at the office. And for when you don’t have even 15 minutes to make lunch, you can still enjoy savory albacore tuna with sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil.

 

Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 - 4 servings (2 as entree or 4 as side dish)

Ingredients

15 ounces baby lima beans
4 ounces sugar snap peas
1/2 pound uncooked mini farfalle pasta
5 ounces (2 packages) Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, season to taste

Instructions

Put the minced garlic in a small condiment cup or bowl. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil and set aside. The garlic will infuse itself in the olive oil while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

Blanch the lima beans and sugar snap peas in a microwavable bowl. Add enough water to cover vegetables; microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and drain. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Using a pasta cooker for the microwave, follow pasta package directions to prepare. For 1/2 pound of mini farfalle pasta, cook on high for 10 minutes. If you don't have a microwave pasta cooker, use a glass or microwave safe bowl. Put pasta in bowl and cover with water. Do not overfill; all pasta should be lightly submerged. Do NOT put a cover on the bowl; that will cause it to boil over before it's done cooking.

Drain the cooked pasta. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the vegetables. Add the Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna. Drizzle the garlic-infused olive oil over the pasta and vegetables. Stir until all ingredients are well coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Notes

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Pasta Primavera Salad, 2003.

http://bakedchicago.com/pasta-primavera-summer-salad-2/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad

canta mato salad #FuelTheLove #ad

When summer arrives, I get very excited. Excited because summer means fresh fruits and vegetables.

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

There’s a lot to love about this recipe. It has only four ingredients. And the key to its refreshing, sophisticated taste is quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint. Seriously. A quality olive oil can make all the ingredients of a dish work together beautifully.

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad

Rating: 51

12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Instructions

Gather your ingredients. Slice the tomatoes. Cut the cantaloupe. Chop the mint.

Put the tomatoes and cantaloupe in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, add chopped mint and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

http://bakedchicago.com/tomato-cantaloupe-salad-2/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Authentic Parisian Parsley Potatoes

This recipe is an adaptation of a traditional Parisian Herbed Potatoes dish. I like this Parisian Parsley Potatoes dish because it’s got only 5 ingredients, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and its flavor is simply decadent. You could use any small (or new) potato but I recommend the traditional red new potatoes. They have such a great color and the skins are quite tasty.

Parisian Parsley Potatoes

You melt the butter in a heavy pan. Then add the potatoes, salt, and pepper – and stir to coat. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes so that the potatoes on the bottom of the pot don’t burn. When the potatoes are done, toss with parsley and serve.

These Parisian parsley potatoes are missing something....

Don’t these potatoes look delicious. Did you notice which of the 5 ingredients is missing? The parsley! Even when you only have 5 ingredients, you must pay attention to the recipe. I had plated the potatoes and after shooting a photo  realized I had totally forgotten the parsley. What’s Parisian Parsley Potatoes without the parsley? Potatoes that are buttered, salted and peppered. Still good ,but missing a star ingredient.

ooh la la - Parisian parsley potatoes

Even if you make an error with this recipe, it’s easy to fix. I simply put the potatoes back in the sauce pan and tossed with the parsley. Situation under control!

Authentic Parisian Parsley Potatoes

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, cut in half
2 teaspoons sea salts
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons parsley

Instructions

Melt the butter in a large heavy sauce pan. Add the potatoes, then salt and pepper. Toss well until potatoes are coated.

Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender when tested with a small knife or fork. Occasionally shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning.

Turn off heat and let potatoes continue to cook (with lid on the pan) for another 5 minutes. Toss with parsley and serve hot.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Herbed New Potatoes in "Barefoot in Paris" cookbook.

http://bakedchicago.com/authentic-parisian-parsley-potatoes-recipe/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Rustic New Potatoes with Bacon & Edamame

rustic new potatoes

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be potatoes. Hands down. No need for discussion. Potatoes are so versatile and so comforting. The neatniks of the world say “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” I say a mouthful of scrumptious potatoes is as close to heaven on earth as you can get (with food).

What I like about rustic cooking is that it’s simple. There’s no fuss. And this recipe uses a slow cooker, which makes it almost effortless. The only work you have to do is quarter the potatoes and turn on your slow cooker. And as slow cooker recipes go, it’s relatively fast to cook. This is a great side dish for a pot roast or chicken. You could even cut up some oven-roasted turkey breast or chicken and add it to the mixture for a one-pot meal.

Baked potatoes with sour cream, crunchy tater tots, hash browns with scrambled eggs, au gratin potatoes with anything – I luv ’em all! So now you know just how much I love potatoes. Which kind of potatoes is your favorite?

rustic new potato edamame salad_hero

Rustic New Potatoes with Bacon & Edamame

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 2 hours

Yield: 4 servings

Rustic New Potatoes with Bacon & Edamame

Ingredients

12 ounces shelled edamame
1.5 pounds new potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 slices thick-cut bacon, crispy and crumbled for garnish

Instructions

In a 4-quart slow cooker, add the edamame and potatoes. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Drizzle the oil mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat.

Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours, or until potatoes are fully cooked. Garnish with crispy, crumbled bacon and serve warm.

http://bakedchicago.com/rustic-new-potatoes-recipe/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Soup Comforts, Warms Up a Brutal Winter!

Thank you Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups for sponsoring this post. Grab yourself a bowl and celebrate National Soup Month with me!

I have a love, yet hate relationship with winter. I love how picturesque and pristine everything looks after a fresh snowfall. And consequently my dogs love romping around in the backyard through the drifts of snow. But when the wind chill goes below zero, that’s when my love for the beauty of winter turns to annoyance for the reality of just how cold it can be. The extended periods of cold, dry air saps my energy. Most of all, winter can make me a bit grumpy.

But one of the ways that I like to warm up my winter — and it’s been brutally cold so far — is with soup, soup, and more glorious soup! Whatever powers that be which named January as National Soup Month picked the perfect time to celebrate how comforting, nourishing, and totally satisfying a hot bowl of soup can be.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeUnkdAF0VP/?taken-by=bakedchicago

Personally, I love the versatility of soup. It can be simple or sophisticated. It can be a snack, a meal starter or the main course. For all of these reasons, I was excited to try for myself the new Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups, available in four varieties:

  • Cheddar Broccoli
  • Loaded Potato
  • Creamy Potato
  • Cheddar Potato

Idahoan Steakhouse Soups

When I’m preparing soup, I look first for flavor and then for convenience. Idahoan Steakhouse Soups bring together real, red Idaho® potatoes with flavorful seasonings and rich cheeses to provide a creamy taste in every spoonful.

Idahoan Steakhouse Soups Cheddar Broccoli

First of all, I boiled four cups of water. Then I whisked in the Idahoan Steakhouse Soups Cheddar Broccoli flavor. So simple!

Soup’s On

For the first soup I tried, I decided to make a sourdough bread bowl — which is much easier than you might think. So I took a whole loaf of sourdough bread from my local bakery. I cut off the top third of the loaf. Then I hollowed out a bowl. Finally I garnished it with some shredded Cheddar cheese.

sourdough bread bowl with Idahoan Steakhouse Soup

I was really impressed with the texture, because it had a variety of sizes of potato chunks. As a result, it made for a delicious balance of textures. It was almost like having little potato dumplings in a thick, creamy potage. Hence, my taste buds were very happy!

Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are made with real Idaho potatoes

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Soups, Salads & Sides

Wild Rice with Edamame & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

slow cooker wild rice with edamame

My immediately family is quite large. When we get together over the holidays, it’s like a yule tide flash mob has descended on Grandma’s house! Feeding this army can be a challenge, but we manage by dividing and conquering the holiday menu.

Grandma makes the turkey and dressing. My sister-in-law makes the desserts. My sister makes cheesy potatoes  with help from my nieces. My brothers and I make assorted menu items to complete the smorgasbord. This year, I wanted to make a wild rice dish because my dad, who died in 1995, loved having wild rice at the holidays. Wild rice can take quite a while to cook, so it’s perfect for the slow cooker, which is great for transporting a hot dish on a road trip to Grandma’s.

I almost put bacon in this recipe, but because I was traveling with the dish I decided to go with Italian sausage instead. Bacon would have been great, but you wouldn’t want to put it in the dish until 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve. Otherwise it would lose it crunchiness. I’ve also tried versions of this recipe with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, but I find in general that vegetable broth has such a subtle flavor that it doesn’t hold up against the earthiness of wild rice. So a chicken (or turkey) broth is a better option.

For me the star ingredients are the edamame (possibly my favorite vegetable – after potatoes, of course!) and the sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes pack a lot of flavor and it adds a nice counter-punch to the wild rice.  This recipe makes at least 16 servings (I was feeding an army, remember), so if you have a smaller group just halve the recipe for your brood.

Wild Rice with Edamame and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups uncooked blend of wild rice, brown rice and red rice
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
42 ounces chicken broth
16 ounces edamame, shelled
16 ounces bulk Italian sausage
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Instructions

In a medium skillet, brown the Italian sausage and break into chunks. Cook thoroughly and remove from heat.

In a 6-quart slow cooker, mix all the ingredients. Stir to incorporate, then cover and cook on high heat for about 1 hour. Stir again. Set heat to low and cook for another 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

http://bakedchicago.com/wild-rice-with-edamame-and-sun-dried-tomatoes-recipe/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Fall Flavors: Chicken Sausage & Basmati Rice Soup

Disclosure: I was given an assortment of free Pereg® Natural Gourmet Food samples to review. I get no additional benefits for talking about this product or company. All opinions about this product are 100% my own.

Nothing comforts more when the weather turns colder than a hot bowl of soup. I rarely make soup from scratch. I’m not sure why because it’s so simple. I used a package of Pereg Basmati Rice with Vegetables as my inspiration.

8-1356800114-0_3.jpg

I grabbed some chicken broth and some chicken sausage links and headed to the stove. In a medium sauce pan, I heated up the entire container of broth (32 ounces) over high heat until it boiled. Then I added the Pereg Basmati Rice with Vegetables mixture and lowered the temperature to medium-high to let the ingredients simmer.

While it was cooking, I sliced the chicken sausage links and added them to the pot.  After about 15 minutes, I had this intoxicating Chicken Sausage & Basmati Rice Soup that was just about the best chicken soup I’ve ever made.  I had two bowls, with enough left over to freeze two single-serving containers so I have soup on hand for the next time I need some comfort food with great fall flavors.

chicken sausage rice soup closeup

 

Disclosure: I was given an assortment of free Pereg® Natural Gourmet Food samples to review. I get no additional benefits for talking about this product or company. All opinions about this product are 100% my own.

Soups, Salads & Sides

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad

canta mato salad #FuelTheLove #ad

When summer arrives, I get very excited. Excited because summer means fresh fruits and vegetables.

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

There’s a lot to love about this recipe. It has only four ingredients. And the key to its refreshing, sophisticated taste is quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint. Seriously. A quality olive oil can make all the ingredients of a dish work together beautifully.

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad

Rating: 51

12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Instructions

Gather your ingredients. Slice the tomatoes. Cut the cantaloupe. Chop the mint.

Put the tomatoes and cantaloupe in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, add chopped mint and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

http://bakedchicago.com/tomato-cantaloupe-salad/

Soups, Salads & Sides

Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

pasta primavera summer salad

Making pasta salads, which taste great warm or chilled, are a great meal option especially in the summer when you don’t want to have a heavy meal. And when the vegetables are fresh from the garden or local farmer’s market, it’s time for some pasta primavera.

I adore albacore tuna, especially when it’s packed in olive oil. Because there’s garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil coating the pasta and vegetables in this pasta primavera salad, it blends beautifully with the tuna.

pasta primavera summer salad

Doesn’t it look absolutely delish!?! And it’s beyond simple to make.

To get started all you need is some of your favorite pasta, two of your favorite fresh, in-season vegetables, albacore tuna, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. These eight ingredients will come together in less than 15 minutes of cooking time (all in the microwave, so you get to stay cool in the kitchen!).

To make garlic-infused olive oil couldn’t be simpler. Take some minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon) and put in a small bowl. Cover with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let it steep while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

I chose to use sugar snap peas and baby lima beans, but you can use any fresh vegetables you love. I blanched them in the microwave by putting them in a glass bowl and lightly submerging in cold water. Cook them on high for 5 minutes and voila! Drain the water and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking, which can cause them to lose color, nutrients. Set aside the vegetables while you cook the pasta.

The pasta cooks in the microwave on high in about 10 minutes (for 2 servings). Drain the water and put the pasta in a large mixing bowl.

Combine pasta with the vegetables and add the albacore tuna. Drizzle with the garlic-infused olive oil and toss to coat.
pasta primavera summer salad

Season with salt and pepper and you’ve got a classic summer salad that’s perfect for a light lunch to enjoy at home or at the office. And for when you don’t have even 15 minutes to make lunch, you can still enjoy savory albacore tuna with sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil.

 

Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 - 4 servings (2 as entree or 4 as side dish)

Ingredients

15 ounces baby lima beans
4 ounces sugar snap peas
1/2 pound uncooked mini farfalle pasta
5 ounces (2 packages) Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, season to taste

Instructions

Put the minced garlic in a small condiment cup or bowl. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil and set aside. The garlic will infuse itself in the olive oil while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

Blanch the lima beans and sugar snap peas in a microwavable bowl. Add enough water to cover vegetables; microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and drain. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Using a pasta cooker for the microwave, follow pasta package directions to prepare. For 1/2 pound of mini farfalle pasta, cook on high for 10 minutes. If you don't have a microwave pasta cooker, use a glass or microwave safe bowl. Put pasta in bowl and cover with water. Do not overfill; all pasta should be lightly submerged. Do NOT put a cover on the bowl; that will cause it to boil over before it's done cooking.

Drain the cooked pasta. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the vegetables. Add the Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna. Drizzle the garlic-infused olive oil over the pasta and vegetables. Stir until all ingredients are well coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Notes

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Pasta Primavera Salad, 2003.

http://bakedchicago.com/pasta-primavera-summer-salad-2017/

Kitchen Confessions/ Soups, Salads & Sides

Quality Oil Fuels Better Performance for Road Trips…and Picnics

canta mato salad #FuelTheLove #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias

When summer arrives, I get very excited. Excited because summer means fresh fruits and vegetables. And summer also means it’s time to jump in the car with my four pugs to take a road trip. When I can combine the two – like a road trip that ends in a fresh foods-filled picnic – I’m in heaven.

But before I head out on any road trip, I’ve got to gas up the car and have the oil levels checked. I mean who wants to break down on the side of the road in the summer heat? Just like your body needs water to hydrate and run properly, your car needs quality gas and oil to perform its best. [On the night of my high school graduation, my car broke down after midnight in the middle of the country with no houses in site. I was stuck for hours – this was before cell phones were invented – and I promised myself that would never happen again. So I always make sure my car is serviced and ready to roll before heading out of town.]

So I drove to my local Walmart Super Store and dropped off my Nissan Rogue (The best car ever! And the first car I’ve ever really loved.) at the Auto Center for an oil change and to get all the fixings for a picnic.

Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

I learned that Pennzoil was offering a Rollback price at Walmart Automotive Care Center Stores until September 9, 2015.  I always get the Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil because it provides the best protection and cleanliness among all Pennzoil oils.

Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

I trust Pennzoil and have used it in my cars for years. It helps clean out the sludge that other oils can leave behind, which keeps my car in top performance. And I like that Pennzoil provides a free warranty for its products.Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

I dropped my car off with the friendly Automotive Care Center Department Manager, and I was on my way to get the ingredients for a fresh tomato and cantaloupe salad. [Spoiler Alert: They were done with my oil change before I was done grabbing my grocery goodies. How convenient is that!]

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

There’s a lot to love about this recipe. It has only four ingredients. And the key to its refreshing, sophisticated taste is quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint. Seriously. A quality olive oil can make all the ingredients of a dish work together beautifully, much like how a quality automotive oil can help your car’s engine work more smoothly.

tomato cantaloupe salad Pennzoil Summer Rollback #FuelTheLove #CollectiveBias #ad

Now I’m ready (as is my car) for a summer filled with road trips, picnics and fun. If you could go anywhere on a road trip picnic, where would you go and what would you bring in your picnic basket?

Where will the road take you this summer?

Tomato-Cantaloupe Salad

Rating: 51

12 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cantaloupe, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

Instructions

Gather your ingredients. Slice the tomatoes. Cut the cantaloupe. Chop the mint.

Put the tomatoes and cantaloupe in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, add chopped mint and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container.

http://bakedchicago.com/quality-oil-fuels-better/

Soups, Salads & Sides

My Official Salad of the Summer: Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

pasta primavera summer salad

When summer heats up, the last thing I want to do is make things even steamier by cooking over a hot stove or cranking up the oven to get a meal ready. Yet, I do want to prepare a nutritious and satisfying dish. So I rely on my microwave even more to whip up a delicious meal for myself or friends and family. And it keeps my kitchen – and me – feeling cool.

I recently learned how to cook pasta in the microwave. Yes, I bought the not-so-fancy plastic pasta cooker I saw on television but you could easily cook almost any pasta with a microwave-safe glass bowl. It’s so simple, I can’t believe I never thought of it before.

Making pasta salads, which taste great warm or chilled, are a great meal option especially in the summer when you don’t want to have a heavy meal. And when the vegetables are fresh from the garden or local farmer’s market, it’s time for some pasta primavera. Pasta Primavera Summer Salad pairs perfectly with Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet® Gourmet Flavors Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes and Olive Oil.

I adore albacore tuna, especially when it’s packed in olive oil. Because there’s garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil coating the pasta and vegetables in this pasta primavera salad, it blends beautifully with the tuna.

pasta primavera summer salad

Doesn’t it look absolutely delish!?! And it’s beyond simple to make.

To get started all you need is some of your favorite pasta, two of your favorite fresh, in-season vegetables, Bumble Bee® Albacore Tuna, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. These eight ingredients will come together in less than 15 minutes of cooking time (all in the microwave, so you get to stay cool in the kitchen!).

To make garlic-infused olive oil couldn’t be simpler. Take some minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon) and put in a small bowl. Cover with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and let it steep while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

I chose to use sugar snap peas and baby lima beans, but you can use any fresh vegetables you love. I blanched them in the microwave by putting them in a glass bowl and lightly submerging in cold water. Cook them on high for 5 minutes and voila! Drain the water and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking, which can cause them to lose color, nutrients. Set aside the vegetables while you cook the pasta.

The pasta cooks in the microwave on high in about 10 minutes (for 2 servings). Drain the water and put the pasta in a large mixing bowl.

Combine pasta with the vegetables and add the Bumble Bee® Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes and Olive Oil. Drizzle with the garlic-infused olive oil and toss to coat.

pasta primavera summer salad

Those sundried tomatoes and sugar snap peas almost make you want to dive in with your fingers…..

pasta primavera summer salad

…..but be civilized and use a fork!

Season with salt and pepper and you’ve got a classic summer salad that’s perfect for a light lunch to enjoy at home or at the office. And for when you don’t have even 15 minutes to make lunch, you can still enjoy savory albacore tuna with sundried tomatoes and olive oil. Bumble Bee® Prime Fillet® comes in a very portable single serve pouch. Just grab it and go.

pasta primavera summer salad

Share which type of pasta, fresh vegetables and Bumble Bee® tuna you’d use to create your own version of the perfect Pasta Primavera Summer Salad in the comments section below.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Pasta Primavera Summer Salad

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 - 4 servings (2 as entree or 4 as side dish)

Ingredients

15 ounces baby lima beans
4 ounces sugar snap peas
1/2 pound uncooked mini farfalle pasta
5 ounces (2 packages) Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, season to taste

Instructions

Put the minced garlic in a small condiment cup or bowl. Pour in the extra virgin olive oil and set aside. The garlic will infuse itself in the olive oil while you prepare the vegetables and pasta.

Blanch the lima beans and sugar snap peas in a microwavable bowl. Add enough water to cover vegetables; microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave and drain. Rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.

Using a pasta cooker for the microwave, follow pasta package directions to prepare. For 1/2 pound of mini farfalle pasta, cook on high for 10 minutes. If you don't have a microwave pasta cooker, use a glass or microwave safe bowl. Put pasta in bowl and cover with water. Do not overfill; all pasta should be lightly submerged. Do NOT put a cover on the bowl; that will cause it to boil over before it's done cooking.

Drain the cooked pasta. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the vegetables. Add the Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna. Drizzle the garlic-infused olive oil over the pasta and vegetables. Stir until all ingredients are well coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Notes

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's Pasta Primavera Salad, 2003.

http://bakedchicago.com/pasta-primavera-summer-salad/