Foodie Friday! Summer Sides

Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad
Via Salt & Lavender

Summer is here and the time is right for...  cookouts!  Lots of hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages.  Delcious!  But what about the sides?  Whether you are hosting a barbeque or bringing a dish to pass to a summer bash, pleasing side dishes are a must.  We've found some great ones for you to try out this summer.  Enjoy!  


Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins | Total 30 mins
Author: Salt & Lavender
Yield: 4+

Ingredients:
4 cups uncooked penne
8 ounces fresh mozzarella or Bocconcini (see note)
1/4 medium red onion (about 3 tbsp), chopped
Handful grape tomatoes, halved
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
Large handful fresh basil, torn
Fresh parsley, chopped, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients.
When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse it under cold water. Ensure it's properly drained again before adding it to a large bowl.
Add the mozzarella, onion, tomatoes, vinegar, oil, basil, parsley, and salt & pepper to the bowl. Gently toss it. Adjust vinegar, oil, and seasonings as needed depending on how much dressing you like. Chill for an hour or serve immediately.

Notes
Serves 4+ as a side dish.
I bought an 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella and broke it into bite-sized pieces for the photos. You could also try those mini Bocconcini. I love the ones packed in oil & herbs. 

When I make this salad, I add extra balsamic vinegar and plenty of salt & pepper. I wrote this recipe with customization in mind. You have to play with the dressing to make it taste the way you like e.g. if you prefer more/stronger dressing.




Cucumber Salad with Dill Dressing
Via Slim Sanity


Cucumber Salad with Dill Dressing
Prep 10 mins | Total 10 mins
Author: Alysia

Ingredients
1/2 cup Chobani non-fat Greek yogurt
6 T extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
salt and pepper to taste
2 English cucumbers
1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion

Instructions:
To make the dressing: In a bowl, mix together Greek yogurt and olive oil completely. Mix in dried dill, garlic salt and minced garlic.
Spiralize cucumbers and add to bowl. Thinly slice the cherry tomatoes and red onion, and add into bowl. Stir to completely cover in dressing.
Let salad sit in fridge overnight, or at least 3-4 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Notes:
The dressing makes a large quantity. You could easily add more cucumbers and veggies to the mix. You can also optionally top the salad with chia seeds!




Tex-Mex Coleslaw
Via Homemade Interest

Tex-Mex Coleslaw
Prep Time 15 mins | Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 8
Authors: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell

Ingredients:
3 cups Coleslaw mix
1/4 cup Corn fresh
1/4 cup Black Beans drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Sweet Red Pepper chopped
1/4 cup Yellow Bell Pepper chopped
1 Jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped round
3/4 cup Litehouse Homestyle Ranch salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1 tablespoon Cilantro minced

Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
Pour Litehouse Homestyle Ranch, chili powder, and cumin over the coleslaw mixture.
Toss to coat.
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Refrigerate until serving.


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