Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Light and Healthy Summer Salad

This summer we have been eating outside quite a bit. Friends and family have gathered, sometimes it is just the four of us and our dog Denver, but no matter who is present, our dinner is always tasty. We have been enjoying light meals that are full of flavor. The following recipe is my most fave of the entire season. It's my go to salad and I hope you will enjoy it soon. Seriously, I make this salad every other week, no fail.

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Mozzarella and Arugula


1 lb of your favorite fresh tortellini

1 cup grape tomatoes - halved

1 cup fresh arugula

1/4 cup your favorite olives

8 oz fresh mozzarella balls


1 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon whole fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

2 lemons, zested

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Handful grated parmesan for the top

Cook tortellini as directed, let cool. Combine pasta, tomatoes, arugula, olives and mozzarella. On the side combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until blended. Pour over top of pasta and toss. Top with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve warm or chilled for best results.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summertime Snacks with a Healthy Twist

We all love the summertime; beach trips, vacations, cook outs, fairs, amusement parks and lots of lots of food. I always seem to gain weight in the summer because the hours are longer and the food is more abundant, or maybe the sun makes me hungry. Either way, summer foods are creative, fresh and sometimes fatty, but they don’t have to be. Here are some of our favorite summer foods, with a healthy twist.

Watermelon and Feta Salad, sounds strange right? It is so refreshing and light, and full of flavor. Slice watermelon and top with crumbled feta cheese, drizzle with light olive oil and fresh dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remember to eat soon to avoid soggy melon.

Kabobs are the easiest way to cook in the summer. Better yet, grab a grill basket and toss all the ingredients inside, saves time layering the food and soaking the sticks. We love the combination of fresh vegetables or fruits and meats or seafood. It’s also smart to have two baskets, one for veggies and fruit and one for meat, since the meat takes a bit longer and no one likes overcooked vegetables.

Keep it light by cutting back on the marinade, substitute with a rub like McCormick’s Grill Mates® Cowboy Rub and double the amount of veggies. Grill 5-7 minutes on each side and enjoy with a salad or fruit on the side. It’s also smart to have two baskets, one for veggies and fruit and one for meat, since the meat takes a bit longer and no one likes overcooked vegetables.

Lastly, a low fat summer dessert is always an option with all the fruit in season. Grab some light vanilla yogurt and top with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey. Crumble a handful of graham crackers for some crunch and take pleasure in knowing you aren’t only having something sweet, but you’ll still be able to wear a bathing suit in the morning.