TIKA’S TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD – (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

Tomato and Avocado Salad

It’s Tomato Season!
Chew Wanna Eat?

Tika’s Tomato and Avocado Salad

It’s Mediterranean Diet Friendly! Very colorful and tasty, one of the most requested summer recipes in our household, and it’s quick to make.

SALAD:
1 large tomato, diced
1 – 2 large avocados, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 TBSP chopped red onion
OPTIONAL: ¼ cup diced cucumber
2 TBSP diced roasted red pepper

DRESSING:
1 TBSP honey
3 TBSP Olive or canola oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 dashes cayenne pepper or chipotle powder
¼ tsp Cilantro
Salt and pepper
Bit of parsley, fresh or dried

Mix dressing and pour over salad. Serve

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Tomato and Avocado Salad

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Greek-Style Watermelon Salad (Mediterranean Diet Friendly)

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   I saw this recipe in the NY Times. It’s featured in Watermelon All Day Long. The beautiful colors caught my eye, but after reading the ingredients I decided it was weird. I looked again because it was rated quite high by those who made it. I decided to give it a try since I had everything to make it on hand. What a surprise! I served it to four people and everyone loved it! I did NOT add the mint. I used just a drizzle of Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Very low in calories and so flavorful. Try it!

The Times says: “It’s not an immediately obvious combination – watermelon, cucumber, olives and feta – but one bite will leave you convinced that this savory-sweet summer salad is something truly special. The astringent punch of the olives and feta provides a sophisticated counterpoint to the watery mellowness of the melon and cucumber. With a hunk of bread, it’s a lovely light lunch; with practically any grilled meat or fish, it’s an ideal summer supper.”

INGREDIENTS
• 3 cups cubed watermelon
• 2 large ripe tomatoes
• 1 medium cucumber
• 1 small red onion
• ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
• ⅓ cup crumbled feta
• Some chopped parsley and mint (I omitted the mint)
• Olive oil and red-wine vinegar (or Balsamic vinegar)
• Salt and pepper

PREPARATION
I let the cubed watermelon and tomatoes sit in a strainer for about 10 minutes while I was doing the other prep to let some water drain.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups cubed watermelon; 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped; 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped; 1 small red onion, sliced; 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives; 1/3 cup crumbled feta; and some chopped parsley and mint. Drizzle with olive oil and red-wine vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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TWICE-BAKED POTATO SALAD

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     This is such a great side dish!  I’ve been making it for years and everyone loves it, and it’s so flavorful!  Think of eating a twice-baked potato.  Whatever you would like on that would be delicious in this salad.  It will be your new family favorite or something different for potlucks, picnics, or bbqs.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Idaho potatoes, baked or boiled, and peeled

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 mini sweet pepper, diced

2 TBSP diced red onion

½ cup frozen or fresh broccoli

1/3 – ½ cup sour cream

Splash or two milk

3 oz cheese, grated

Seasonings:  Pepper, garlic powder, parsley, salt, chives, dash paprika for garnish

 

PREPARATION:

Drop the frozen broccoli in the pan with the potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.  You will see in the photo that I added some minced garlic to the water to add some additional flavor. Add the drained broccoli to the serving bowl.  On a cutting board, quickly mash the potatoes.  Add remainder of ingredients and garnish with paprika.  Chill.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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TIKA’S POTATOES

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     Is your family tired of baked and mashed?  Yep, me too.  They get boring after a while.  Give Tika’s Potatoes a try.  Potatoes, onion, and bacon layered in a cast iron skillet and baked right along with your main course.  Prepare and cook in the same pan.  You may never go back to plain potatoes again.   Excellent served with chicken, pork, fish, meatloaf, etc.

INGREDIENTS:  4 -6 Servings

2 large russet potatoes, thinly sliced

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 medium onion, sliced

5 TBSP butter, melted

Seasonings for top: Pepper, Parsley, Paprika, Garlic Powder

 

PREPARATION:

In 10” cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crisp, crumble, and set aside.  With wadded up paper towels, remove grease from skillet.  While the bacon is cooking, slice potatoes and onions.

In same skillet, place a layer of potatoes, lay onions on top, sprinkle bacon, drizzle about 2 TBSP butter.  Repeat layers.  Try to make sure at least the top layer is placed nicely, with potatoes arranged in a circle with edges slightly overlapping.  Sprinkle with seasonings and the last of the melted butter.

Cover with foil and bake anywhere between 350° F and 400 ° F until potatoes are tender.  Remove foil and allow to brown.  (The range in temperature is varied to allow you to cook the main course at the same time).  Allow 45 minutes to an hour, depending on temperature of oven.

NOTE:  If making enough for a family, double everything, use a larger cast iron skillet and add a little extra baking time.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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DUMP-IT SEAFOOD PASTA SALAD

Dump-it Seafood Pasta Salad (2)

     You’ve heard of dump-it cakes.  Have you ever heard of a dump-it salad?  Well, let me introduce you to an outstanding mix of seafood, pasta, and whatever!  That’s right.  You put the main ingredients in the bowl and dump in whatever you have on hand.  I wanted seafood in mine.  I always want seafood.  In anything.  And here you have my latest creation . . .  Dump-It Seafood Pasta Salad.  And boy, is it ever good!

 

BASIC RECIPE INGREDIENTS:

Cooked pasta.  I used Farfalle here

Mayo

A bit of sour cream to add creaminess

2 hard cooked eggs, chopped

Seafood – I used cooked jumbo shrimp and some crab meat

Veggies:  I used peas, corn, chopped mini sweet peppers, onion, cherry tomatoes, and celery.  I definitely would have added sliced black olives, but I didn’t have any.   A bit of cucumber from the garden might have been nice.  Or some chopped avocado.  Maybe even some Mandarin Oranges.  Yum!  Grated cheddar cheese would be great also, but I’d have skipped the oranges.

Seasonings:  Garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Salad Supreme.

PREPARATION:

Cook whatever needs to be cooked.  Dump it all in a bowl and stir.  Eat.  Say, “Oh, my goodness!”

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

Dump-it Seafood Pasta Salad

Dump-it Seafood Pasta Salad (2)

HEALTHIER MACARONI SALAD

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With summer coming up and everyone conscience of their waistlines, my friend Sharon Knapp Geisenhof contributed this spectacular healthier macaroni salad. Sharon explains that the carbs from the whole wheat and whole grains break down to sugar at a much slower rate, and the yogurt cuts way down on fat without hurting the taste!

INGREDIENTS:

1lb whole wheat macaroni, cooked
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1 small can Albacore tuna, drained
1/2 of a sweet onion diced
1/3 cup chopped dill pickles
1 c plain greek yogurt
1c mayo
3 tbs mustard
1 tbs parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

PREPARATION:
Cook macaroni and drain. Set aside. In large bowl, combine tuna, eggs, onion, pickles, yogurt, mayo, mustard, parsley, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add cooked macaroni, garnish with paprika and chill.

Add anything else you like, taste it as you go and adjust it to your own liking:) Sharon sometimes adds yellow pepper rings or olives instead of pickles. NOTE: All measurements are approximate.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

HAM SALAD

Ham Salad (5)

     One of my favorite things to do with leftover ham is to make ham salad.  This is how we like ours, but know that you can customize it to your own liking.  The secret to getting kids to eat it is to tell them that it’s dip.  They’ll love it.  Silly kids, but I do love tricking them into trying something new. 

INGREDIENTS: 

4 cups ham, chopped

1 celery rib

6 – 7 Sweet Gherkin pickles

2 TBSP onion, chopped fine

2 TBSP spicy brown or Dijon mustard

Pepper to taste

1 – ¼ cup mayo

Optional:  Chopped hard boiled egg

PREPARATION: 

Place ham in food processor and chop or mince to your desired size.  Remove to a serving bowl.  In processor, pulse celery, pickles, and onion until finely chopped, and add to ham.  Add pepper and mayo, stirring to combine.  

Serve on bread, crackers, toast points, croissants, ciabatta bread, or rolled in a lettuce leaf.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

HAM SALAD

Ham salad (2)

Ham Salad (3)

Ham Salad (4)

Ham Salad (5)

TIKA’S BEST PICKLED BEETS

Pickled Beets (2)

Sweet and tangy. A family favorite forever! 

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup white vinegar

¼ cup sugar

¼ cup water

Scant ½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

Scant ¼ tsp ground cloves

One 15 oz can whole or sliced beets, drained

PREPARATION:

Drain beets.  In a small saucepan, add vinegar, sugar, water, cinnamon, salt and cloves.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Add beets, return to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Chill in liquid at least 8 hours.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of pickled beets.  In the summer when we are doing more barbequing, I often double the recipe.

Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets (2)

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

 

ORZO WITH GARLIC PARMESAN SAUCE AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

ORZO WITH GARLIC PARMESAN SAUCE AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
ORZO WITH GARLIC PARMESAN SAUCE AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

     A delicious side dish that’s quick and easy.  Customize it by changing the Brussels sprouts to asparagus, peas, or other favorite vegetableI think it would be wonderful with fish, meatloaf, poultry, or just about anything.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup orzo pasta

¼ cup butter

1 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP garlic, minced

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup milk

Parsley

Salt and pepper

2 cups Brussels sprouts, cooked

PREPARATION:

Cook orzo according to package directions; drain.

In a large skillet, place butter and olive oil.  Sauté garlic until tender. Add the Parmesan cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Add cooked Brussels sprouts and cooked orzo.  Heat through.

YIELD: 6 servings

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON

GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA
GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA

Here is another healthy and fabulous dinner recipe contributed by Debra Slater-Manter. Oh, she’s just so good. Look at this! Thank you, Debra!  NOTE:  Also pictured is Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa which you will find in another post.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015