Italian-Deli Pasta Salad

28 05 2014

Wish I could take credit for this quick pasta salad, but it’s all Food Network Magazine on this one. Love the idea of using a jar of giardiniera (Italian relish of pickled veggies) – so tasty and such a fast ingredient to use. I just so happen to have an extra jar in the pantry. So when I saw this in my #FNMag, I knew I had to whip this up for our Memorial Day cookout!

Italian-Deli Pasta Salad

The following serves 8 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for mayo)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 16 oz jar of giardiniera, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup diced provolone (I suggest sharp provolone)
  • 1 cup diced salami (about 3/4 of a pound) – take some help from your deli, ask them to cut quarter-inch slices rather than giving you a large chunk of salami, this will make your chopping at home much easier!
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse pasta under cold water to stop the cooking. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil and vinegar. Toss the dressing with the pasta, along with the chopped giardinera, provolone, salami, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This Girl’s time-saving prep tip: Save yourself time day-of, and make most of this salad a day in advance. Chop the giardiniera, cheese and salami and store in individual ziplock bags or containers in the fridge. Chop the parsley and basil and store together in a ziplock in the fridge. Finally, make the dressing and store that covered in the fridge. Then the next day, cook the pasta and mix everything together…now you’re good to go to your party in no time!





Buffalo Potato Salad

27 05 2014

Each summer I try to have at least one new, go-to cookout side dish recipe at my fingertips that I know will be a winner and great addition to any potluck I’m headed too. Let me introduce you to this summer’s go-to…buffalo potato salad.

This combo by Food Network Magazine is brilliant, which got me rave reviews this past Memorial Day weekend! I’m basically down for trying anything that resembles buffalo chicken dip – and this did not disappoint! So much flavor and so simple, yum!

Buffalo Potato Salad

The following serves 8 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 and 1/2 lbs of potatoes, cubed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (original recipe called for mayo)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buffalo hot sauce (Frank’s)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cubed potatoes with olive oil and salt. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until softened and beginning to brown, turning occasionally (just be gentle). Remove and let cool.

Mix the yogurt, sour cream and hot sauce in a large bowl. Toss to combine with cooled potatoes and the carrots and celery. Gently fold in the blue cheese and green onions (or serve the blue cheese on the side if you have guests that don’t like blue cheese).

Taste, and season with salt if needed.

This Girl’s time-saving prep tip: Save yourself time day-of, and make this salad a day in advance. Roast the potatoes and store in a covered container in the fridge. Chop your veggies and store in a large ziplock bag or another container in the fridge. Finally, make the dressing and store that covered in the fridge. Then the next day, mix everything together with the blue cheese (or serve the cheese on the side) and you’re good to go to your party!





Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.