The South Carolina heat is definitely moving in. It’s the “I’m standing still outside, and I’m pouring sweat” kind of summer so far. And I have a feeling it’ll be around for a while.
So, we might as well get used to it, have some friends over for a cookout, and eat things like watermelon and berry cobbler.
Except for my husband–he won’t eat watermelon. Serious question, who doesn’t like watermelon?
In my book, it’s almost like the symbol of summer, and I’m the only one in my house who eats it. Hey, at least I don’t feel so bad when I eat a whole watermelon by myself. Quite a different feeling than the bag of chips 🙂
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Forks Over Knives. I made some adjustments to make it fit what we normally have on hand, and the taste we prefer.
I hope this makes your summer cookout a little nostalgic–but without all the bad stuff.
There’s just something about that sweet and savory combination that satisfies our taste buds. It’s probably why I used to follow my Wendy’s Fry with a Frosty. (Ok, ok, stop drooling. If you need a Frosty fix, try something like our Chocolate Milkshake).
This Mango & Black Bean Salsa is light & fresh and can be served as a topping for burritos, tacos, or salads OR would make a fabulous dip on its own as an appetizer.
You’ll love it because it uses simple, inexpensive ingredients, and doesn’t have to be cooked 🙂
I can picture this beautifully at a summer picnic or potluck!
A note about cilantro: I really don’t like a ton of cilantro on anything. I don’t LOVE the taste, but I like it. So in my recipes, I tend to do just a little sprinkle. BUT if you love the taste, you can always up it. For this recipe, I only used 1 Tablespoon chopped, but feel free to add as much as you like, up to about 1/4 cup or so!
Allergen Information:Contains dairy (can leave out to make dairy-free)
With spring and summer around the corner, a perfect go-to pasta salad recipe is a MUST for cookouts and potlucks.
I love this one because: 1) It’s gluten free, but you wouldn’t know it 2) It’s slightly sweet, but has the goat feta saltiness to make a perfect combination 3) It’s packed full of sneaky veggies
If you are gluten-free, you’ve probably entered the world of rice pasta. I never knew such a thing existed until rice was one of the only foods one of my sons could eat during his medical treatment for his disease.
And we found out something important. We LOVE rice pasta….It not only tastes great, but accommodates our whole family!
If you aren’t gluten free, I don’t think it’s ever a bad thing to lessen the amount of wheat we eat in general, so I would say go for it! But if you are having trouble with the idea, choose some 100% WHOLE WHEAT noodles for your salad. No, the plain old white ones won’t work!
My favorite brand for rice pasta Tinkyada because they don’t get mushy when you cook them correctly! You can find them in most grocery stores!
A note on the cheese: For this recipe, we have chosen local goat feta (which is UUUHHHMAZING). If you are local to the Augusta area, you can order this on your Augusta Locally Grown order, or pick it up at The West End Market & Bakery. If you aren’t local, find some near you or spring for some high quality cow feta. We just personally like how goat dairy is more digestible. You can read more about that here.
Before making this pasta salad, make sure to make a batch of our Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. You’ll use the whole batch here 🙂
And as always, feel free to experiment. Want it a little sweeter? Add more maple syrup! Want a more pungent taste? Try adding more Dijon mustard! Need more sea salt? No worries–add a little! Dairy allergy or vegan? Leave out the feta. Make it your own!
1 12 oz bag rice macaroni noodles, cooked according to package directions and rinsed in cold water* (See note)
½ cucumber, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
3 green onions, chopped (white parts removed)
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 oz goat feta cheese (buy local if possible!)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour one batch of Creamy Poppyseed Dressing (link to recipe above in the blog post) over the salad and stir until well combined. Chill for best flavor! Serve cold
Do NOT overcook the noodles. Rice noodles get mushy very quickly. Definitely air on the side up al dente rather than mushy! Watch them carefully, remove, and rinse when ready!
As the days get sunnier, my soul longs for summer-like foods. I literally dream of cookouts and berry cobblers and friends. Oh that beautiful smell. (Ok, maybe not the friends 🙂 )
This salad is a wonderful side for a pot-luck, BBQ, or just to have in the fridge for a lunch. It’s easy to double the recipe to make for a large group.
Maybe if we all make this next week, we’ll shooooo the cold weather away and bring on the heat! Who’s with me?!
For the dressing, we use the Soy-Free version of Vegenaise so that our Beckham can eat it, but if you have no allergy to soy, you can use the regular kind. It makes a little too much for this salad, so you can save some of the dressing for another salad for the week if you like (or add more broccoli).
*If you’re a bacon lover, add some crumbled bacon to this salad for some extra flavor. Just make sure to buy bacon without nitrates from a humanely raised animal. Check your local health food store or local farmer’s markets for the good stuff!
2 large heads broccoli, de-stemmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
½ cup raisins
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
2-3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled (optional, see note)
Mix first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined.
Fold in desired amount of dressing (I don't put all of it in there) until combined.
Best if chilled for about an hour (but not necessary).
I don't put bacon in mine, but you can! Just make sure are getting "good" bacon without nitrates from a humanely raised animal! The best option is to buy from a local farmer through a co-op or at your local farmer's market.