Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, recipes

5 Easy Summer Salad Recipes

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Who doesn’t love a delicious salad? Easy, healthy and heat-free, make these salads ahead and refrigerate for cool relief all week.

Plus it’s a great excuse to try your tools: tongs, olive oil bottle, garlic skin remover, garlic mincer.

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella
Literally translated to “bread salad,” this is the easiest, and perhaps tastiest, summer salad and a fun one for kids to help with too.
Tip: You can use any dry crusty bread or toasted cornbread, as mentioned here! Skip the oven and use leftover stale bread (the traditional way!)

Grain Salad with Olives and Whole-Lemon Vinaigrette
Easy, hearty, flavorful – and great as leftovers! This actually gets better as it sits, which is true for all these salads.
Tip: Once you’re comfy making grain salads, you can add in whatever leftover ingredients (cooked meat, tofu, any veggies and even fruit!) you have to create your own recipe. You can also sub in any grain you have on hand or already cooked!

Kale, Apple and Walnut Tabbouleh
There’s probably no better go-to for salads than Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solomonov, since salads are a specialty and major part of Israeli cuisine. This is a great dish for breakfast or any time of day!
Tip: No sumac? No problem! Just omit it for a still-delicious recipe.

Cucumber Salad
This couldn’t be easier: a perfectly refreshing, 5-ingredient salad that’s a summer all-star!
Tip: The thinner you slice the cucumbers, either on a mandoline or carefully by hand, the more they’ll absorb the flavors.

Campanelle Pasta Salad
We love this version of pasta salad with pretty campanelle noodles and hearty tuna in olive oil. You can omit the tuna if you’re veg!
Tip: The secret to a great pasta salad? Don’t overcook the pasta.

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Box 3, Cooking, Food, recipes, Tools

Tools 101: Silicone Baking Mat

You have new kitchen toys, hooray! Now, what the heck do you do with them?

This series features some ideas to get you cooking – and eating – asap!

Meet your silicone mat

This mat is a super handy alternative to parchment paper, perfect for baking and roasting. While you can use oil as well, the mat does its part in helping food not stick so you don’t need as much oil. Trust us, nothing sticks to these mats.

Here are some ways to use it!

Recipes

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Get crunching with this addictive snack. Spice it up with cayenne or keep it simple with sea salt. Either way, so good!
Get the recipe.

Roasted Salmon

The easiest, tastiest weeknight meal. You can adjust based on what you like on your salmon! Lemon and herbs is always a good bet.
Get the recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower

Perfect to have around to add to salads, bowls and more throughout the week! Also delicious simply seasoned with salt & pepper.
Get the recipe.

Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies

From kale chips to cookies! We never said you couldn’t treat yourself! The mat allows easy clean up because the dough won’t stick.
Get the recipe.

How to clean

Use a soft sponge with warm soap and water. Dry with a clean dish towel or air dry.

Tips

  • Limit the amount of oil you use for your recipes; you really don’t need much! A great way to cut back on your oil intake. Instead, keep your olive oil bottle on the table for dipping bread.
  • If you do use parchment paper, make sure it’s parchment, and not wax paper. Wax coating will melt and can burn in a hot oven.

More info on Food52

Happy eating!

Basics, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Grilling, recipes, Tools

You Can Grill That!

Let your grill do wonders beyond burgers and dogs.

These are easy grilled foods for a party – or just for you! Not only does the grill work its magic in these recipes, but cleanup is super easy too so you can relax and enjoy.

Tip: Keep all your essential grilling tools (tongs, squeeze bottles, pastry brush, etc.) clean and handy for when the grill calls your name!

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  1. Pizza
    Perfect for al fresco summer dining, especially for groups, warm grilled pizza can be equally good and often better than a sad, soggy delivery pizza. That char really works wonders, and it’s super simple! Consider making a veggie one with no cheese for vegan/dairy-free friends and as a nice lighter option for everyone. Pair with a light red (chill it if you want!) or Lambrusco. The pizza can sit out for a bit, as long as it’s not boiling hot outside, so those who arrive late can still enjoy a piece (if there’s any left!) Use your sharpened knife or kitchen shears to slice it!
    Get the recipe.
  2. Grilled Lettuce
    This is an insanely easy way to impress friends and a great side dish for pizza! Channel your inner Giada with a colorful salad of grilled lettuces. All you need is your colander, cutting board, knife, tongs and olive oil bottle. You’ll just want to make sure this hits the grill before any meats, so your veg friends can enjoy without worry!
    Get the recipe.
  3. Avocado
    A quick few minutes on the grill, a little lime juice, salt & pepper creates individual guac bowls you can eat right out of the skin! Spice it up if you want with cayenne, paprika or hot sauce. No need for a huge bowl of guac to sit outside and brown in the heat when you can have a fresh, simple solution. (Also, yahoo for portion control!) Serve with tortilla chips and veggies of your choice.
    Get the recipe.
  4. Stone Fruit
    Warm dessert with no oven action? We’re in! There’s nothing like winding down a summer night with seasonal fruit, a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice cream (or whatever flavor you like!) and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy the glory of peaches, plums and nectarines while they’re here!
    Get the recipe.
  5. Grilled Pound Cake
    If you have a cake-loving crowd (the best kind of crowd!) why not throw an already made cake onto the grill? This is basically impossible to mess up because most of the work is done! If you don’t have peaches, try another stone fruit or serve with any fresh berries you have on hand!
    Get the recipe.

 

Basics, Box 1, Cooking, Essentials, Food, Kitchen, recipes, Uncategorized

It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer

They’re here! It’s July and we’re talking tomatoes. If you can resist eating all your ripe tomatoes with just a little salt & pepper, here are our favorite summer tomato recipes.

Grab your serrated knife and cutting board for the easiest tomato action!

  1. Tomato Peach Salad with Basil
    With all seasonal ingredients, this tasty summer treat is a show-stopping salad.
    Tip: Add burrata or mozzarella for a more substantial dish.
  2. Easy Vegan Bruschetta
    A simple go-to snack or appetizer. Kids like it too!
    Tip: Don’t have basil? Use up any fresh herbs you have on hand! Set aside a few plain ones for the kids.

  3. Tomato Margarita with Fennel Salt (or just regular salt!)
    Try this summer sipper in the backyard or on the porch. You’re welcome.
    Tip: Not feeling the fennel? Plain salt will do! Still feeling a bit fancy? Try a mix of Old Bay and salt on the rim!
  4. Easy Gazpacho
    Tip: Use your garlic tools & oil pourer from Box 1 to make this recipe even easier. This is a fun, customizable recipe, so don’t stress!
  5. Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce
    Tip: You can make this in advance and leave it either chilled or at room temp for later! It actually tastes better the longer it sits.

Continue reading “It’s Time! Tomato Recipes for Summer”

Cooking

6 Easy One Pot Meals

With summer heat in full effect, that last thing you want to think about is having to slave in the kitchen to make dinner. With so many activities and events to attend, a long meal prep just is not in the cards. This is where one pot meals become the real MVP of the summer and they are Uh-mazing.  Not only are they quick and easy to make, they can be prepped ahead of time to really cut down on the total cook time.

As I sit here writing this, I am already in the midst of a jam-packed week so to know that dinner will be done within 30 minutes and it only requires me to do the bare minimum amount of effort is KEY and a total stress reliever.

So what exactly is a one pot meal? It requires you taking all of the necessary recipe ingredients, throwing them together in one pot or sheet pan, letting them cook for 30 minutes or so and then you EAT! Simple as that, my friends. The beauty of this type of dish is that it is achievable with as much or as little prep as you have time for.

If you shop on the weekends, you can buy all your ingredients, prep and chop your veggies ahead of time, that way all that’s left is to add proteins, carbs, and herbs. I like to store my chopped veggies in storage containers or quart size baggies. If I am using protein I have in the freezer (like chicken or sausage), I usually take it out the night before and let it defrost fully in the fridge. That way, when its time to start cooking half of the battle is already done.

If you are just back from a long weekend away and left to weeknight food shop, one-pot meals are also SO doable for same-day food shopping. The same rules as above apply (minus the defrosting if you are buying your protein the same day). And if you are really tight on time most grocery stores sell pre-chopped veggies, because sometimes, its the little things in life like not having to chop up vegetables after a long workday.

Throw all ingredients into one pot, add some heat to it and you’ll be eating in NO TIME.

And just like everything else with cooking, if a recipe calls for an ingredient you don’t like, swap it out for what you do like. Make it your own by customizing your meal to what sounds good to you.

There are a ton of different one-pot and sheet-pan recipes out there and it really comes down to what you like. We have rounded up some of our summer favorites:

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One Pan Healthy Italian Sausage & Veggies
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Lemon Garlic Chicken & Rice Skillet
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One Pot Penne Pasta
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Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
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Beef Stir Fry
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One Pot Spinach Chicken Pasta
Homepage Feature

DIY Taco Seasoning & Best Cinco De Mayo Receipes

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Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday and I don’t know about you, but tacos give me LIFE! There is just something about Mexican food in general that I just never get sick of. And don’t even get me started on my love for Margaritas (but we will save that for another post).

One of the reasons why I love tacos so much is because of how versatile they can be, ground meat, chicken, pork, shrimp fish – you can never have to get sick of one kind and you can always find a type that you will like. The second reason for my love is how fresh the ingredients are, fresh cilantro, jalapeno and chili peppers, fresh lime juice, ripe avocados, they make you feel like you are beachside at a Tulum resort. The third, all it really takes is a little menu planning and food prepping and you can whip everything up together for a fiesta in no time.

With the warm weather finally here, Tacos and Margaritas are a regular on the dinner rotation so I always mix up a homemade taco seasoning to keep on hand for any impromptu Taco Tuesday (or Wednesday, or Friday or Saturday…OK I think you get my love for tacos now). It is super easy to make and doesn’t go bad and chances are you have most, if not all, of these spices in your kitchen cabinet. Pick your meat (or veggie), grab some tortillas (Team Corn), add in your favorite mix in’s – GUAC, sour cream, pico de gallo, corn, rice & beans or ALL OF THEM if you’re like me and you are ready to fiesta!

    • 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • ½  teaspoon dried oregano
    • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
In the meantime, to get the party started early, I have round-up food and drink recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers just in time for you to plan out your Cinco de Mayo menu. Try not to just pick one…its harder than you think!
Cocktails
 Sides
 Entrees
 Desserts
Uncategorized

Easy Homemade Salad Dressings

Dressing.jpgCongrats guys! We did it. We made it through yet another winter that felt like a bazillion days long (especially since NY is about to experience our 4th Nor’Easter in about two weeks) But we’re here, it’s staying lighter longer which is awesome and on our way to warmer weather.

And speaking of lighter, let’s talk about salads. Nothing says warmer weather than a salad with fresh & colorful ingredients with an amazing dressing. Because in my opinion, a salad is nothing without a bomb.com dressing.

Now, what goes into your salad is totally personal preference or what your in the mood for or what’s in season. Coming into spring we’ll see a lot of fresh lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, kale, broccoli, peas, radishes, spinach …AKA ideal ingredients for a salad. And although we can find almost all of these veggies year round, they are usually less expensive and in abundance when in season.

But let’s get back to dressing. Usually, oil and vinegar based (vinaigrette), a dressing is what holds the salad mix-ins and  most importantly provides the flavor. But a vinegar based dressing is not the only kind out there. You can incorporate avocado, mustards and citrus and create many delicious dressings. My favorite go-to when crunched for time is simply olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, salt & pepper. So easy and even more refreshing.

But it can be a little over whelming when searching for the right salad dressing in the store and often many store bought dressings hold very little nutritional value so why not save some money and calories by making your own?

So lets kick off the start of spring with a burst of flavor with some quick and easy DIY salad dressings:

Cilantro Vinaigrette
Cilantro Vinaigrette
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Italian Dressing
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Lemon Vinaigrette
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Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
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Homemade Asian Salad Dressing
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Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Continue reading “Easy Homemade Salad Dressings”