Friday, August 23, 2013

Nonnie's Chopped Veggie Salad

Dinner at our house almost always consists of some form of protein, a carb side, and a veggie side. The veggie is usually something hot, like a roasted or grilled vegetable, or some other cooked vegetable dish. Last night I served something different alongside Jon's meatloaf and scalloped potatoes - a cold, chopped veggie salad.

I was given the recipe for Nonnie's Chopped Veggie Salad from the blog Life and Kitchen in this round of the Taste of Home Cooking Recipe Swap focused on salads. It has a lot of fresh, chopped veggies and a very simple dressing.

I love chopping veggies - to me it's therapeutic. Nice quiet time (well, as long as the little one is napping or interesting in something besides me!) with just the "crunch, slide" rocking sound of the knife sliding along the cutting board and time for my mind to wander. Ah, I love having time in the kitchen.

Ok, back to the recipe. I have to admit, as I was making the dressing I was a little skeptical. It seemed almost too simple! But yea, it totally works. This salad was awesome, especially after it had some time to sit in the fridge once I dressed it. I'm glad Lindsay's Nonnie passed this recipe along to her! Thanks for sharing, Lindsay and Nonnie!

Nonnie's Chopped Veggie Salad
Source: Life and Kitchen

(below is the original recipe; I cut it in half and had 6 side dish servings)

  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 1/2 cups peas
  • 1 small jar pimentos, chopped (I didn't use these) 
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced (I used a red onion)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
For the dressing:
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used light olive oil)
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water

  • Combine all of the ingredients of the dressing and bring to a boil. The recipe didn't specify how long to boil, so I let it boil for a few minutes. Let cool.
  • Combine all of the vegetables (which vegetables you choose can be adapted based on what you like) and pour the dressing over. 
  • Mix well and chill for 24 hours (I chilled it for 3 hours and it was really good. I ate it again the next day and it was still really good!).  Drain the excess liquid before serving.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Caprese Bites

Summer is slowly winding down, but I'm not giving in yet! I'm holding on to all of my favorite things about summer cooking - grilling, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs, and of course, tomatoes. Nothing beats local summer tomatoes.

I made these perfect little Caprese Bites for company a few weeks ago and my only wish was that I made more! They disappeared in just minutes and when you try them you'll know why. In just one bite you get the bright and fresh basil, the juicy tomato, and the creamy mozzarella cheese. Perfection!

To make them I simply cut grape tomatoes in half, cubed a bunch of mozzarella, picked and cleaned small leaves of basil, and then assembled. Onto a toothpick I put the top of the tomato, a piece of mozzarella, the bottom of the tomato, and topped them off with a small leaf of basil. Once they were all assembled I drizzled the plate with good olive oil, a touch of balsamic vinegar, some Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

The perfect bite!!