Pepperoni “Pasta” Salad

pepperoni noodle salad 2

The warmer days are becoming more and more abundant and we’re getting closer to actual summer, which means more salads and other cold foods. I love the change in eating that each season brings and look forward to the variety that each season offers.

This cold “noodle” salad is reminiscent of pizza and tastes incredible. It’s fresh, light, and full of Italian flavor. The “Rawmesan” really brings the salad together and adds a wonderful cheesy flavor minus the actual cheese. If you don’t want to buy it, you can also make your own by following this recipe. It’s very easy. Alternatively, you can opt for some high-quality Parmesan if you tolerate it. I personally do okay with small amounts of aged cheese, like Parmesan, but find that I feel better without cheese completely and prefer to mostly avoid it. So, I opted for the Rawmesan. Do what’s best for you.

I recommend eating this within a couple days, as the zucchini starts to soften slightly and more water is drawn out (of course, it still tastes good though). If you do have leftovers, it works well to add a little more zucchini and fresh basil the next day.

Meanwhile, I’m off to NYC bright and early this morning for an intense 3-day kettlebell training and then some fun. I can’t wait, as I love NYC!

Cheers and enjoy!

pepperoni salad 3

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 4 oz package Applegate Farms mini turkey pepperoni, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • About 1/3 cup Rawmesan or high-quality Parmesan cheese, if tolerated

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini noodles, cherry tomatoes, basil, red onion, and pepperoni.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic granules, sea salt, and black pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and mix well with tongs. Lastly, mix in the Rawmesan or Parmesan cheese. Serve.

 

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Classic Summertime Coleslaw

coleslaw

Summer is nearly here, though the weather has been pretty nice in Portland for quite some time now.  We finally cleaned our little grill and got it in tiptop shape for summer. Since then, we’ve been making burgers regularly and love eating this coleslaw alongside. I’ve actually made it twice in less than one week (it makes a big bowl too). We’ve eaten it mainly with burger patties, but with chicken too, and I even ate it with eggs and sausage the other day. It seriously tastes good with nearly everything! I’m a big fan of it.

Be sure to taste the dressing as you go and adjust the flavors to your liking. The coleslaw tastes even better the next day and the flavors are more abundant. Also, I recommend making the homemade mayo with avocado oil for this salad, as the flavor is a little more neutral (though the macadamia nut oil version in my recipe link is awesome).

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2/3  cup homemade mayo or Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • 2.5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1.5 tsp dried mustard or 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the mayo, vinegar, raw honey, mustard powder, celery salt, sea salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
  2. Pour dressing over cabbage and carrots, and mix well to coat.
  3. Place in fridge to chill for at least an hour, but longer if possible. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if needed.

Paprika Cucumbers in Vinegar

paprika vinegar cucumbers 2

It had been a long time since I ate cucumbers this way and the taste definitely took me back to childhood a bit. Cucumbers in vinegar was a summertime side dish that I loved as a kid, and still enjoy today. My mom often made it to go with grilled meat and it was something we ate a lot of out at our cottage or at family cookouts. Sometimes, she would make creamed cucumbers instead, but I never liked those…or at least thought I didn’t. I don’t think I ever actually tried them though because I didn’t like how they looked. Typical kid thing to do and something I did a lot when I was young!

This is a slightly different take on the traditional cucumbers in vinegar, but still just as tasty. The bright red paprika adds a nice pop of color too. You can also use hot paprika instead of sweet paprika for a spicy twist or just add a pinch of cayenne if you like. Supposedly, this recipe is very similar to Hungarian cucumber salad. At least that’s what my friend Naz at Cinnamon Eats says.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus extra for salting cucumbers
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I like this brand with the mother culture)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp raw honey

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice cucumbers with a mandoline slicer or knife. I actually used the mandoline/slicing attachment blade on my food processor (I have this food processor).
  2. Place cucumber slices in a strainer and generously sprinkle with sea salt. Place strainer over a bowl and drain for 45 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tsp sea salt, the apple cider vinegar, black pepper, paprika and raw honey. Add cucumbers after draining and mix well to coat.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Use a slotted spoon or fork for serving and sprinkle with extra paprika.

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad

Well, summer is officially here! Jesse and I enjoyed the summer solstice by taking a nice stroll up to the Mississippi area and finding an outdoor patio to enjoy a couple happy hour cocktails. Once we walked back home, it was time to start dinner. I didn’t want to fuss with much and already decided prior we would have chicken breast and garlic scapes, but wanted a refreshing side salad to go with it. Luckily, I almost always have a bag of broccoli slaw in my fridge. Seriously, I love this stuff and its versatility. It works well for hot dishes or cold, and is one of my favorites in a veggie and meat sauté.

Normally, I think salads like this taste better the next day, but Jesse and I both liked it better the day I made it, after letting it marinate for about 20 minutes. It still tasted good the next day, but was a bit more mustardy tasting from the Dijon. It was more subtle on the day I made it and I guess we both liked it better that way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of granulated garlic
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 large or 1 small avocado, sliced
  • 2-3 chopped green onions, optional

Summer Broccoli Slaw Salad close-up

Directions:

  1. Pour the broccoli slaw in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl or dressing shaker, combine all the remaining ingredients, except the avocado and green onion. Mix well with a whisk or shake well if using a dressing shaker. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Pour dressing over the broccoli slaw and stir well. Add the avocado slices and chopped green onions, if using. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes. Serve with something grilled!

Yields: 4-5 side dish servings