Greek Pasta Salad

I am NOT adventurous when it comes to cooking and trying new foods.  So the fact that I made this pasta salad AND liked it is still a miracle in my mind.

My family has recently discovered Penzey Spices. This spice store will overwhelm your senses; I’ve been known to sniff a few too many spices and seasonings and end up in a sneezing fit.  There is a great variety of sodium free options, although this recipe was not inspired by one.  This recipe was inspired by the Greek Seasoning: a traditional blend of lemon, garlic, and oregano.

This past Sunday was a warm and cloudless day that was perfect for sitting outside while grilling and catching up with family.  I wanted to make a contribution to the meal so I decided to be inspired by a seasoning.  I found a great Greek Salad Dressing recipe from Penzey and added it to a pasta salad.  Here is the recipe and proof of my actual cooking:

Greek Salad Dressing:

Mix 2 Tablespoons Greek Seasoning with 2 Tablespoons water and let it stand for 5 minutes
Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup salad oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tablespoons water, and 1 Teaspoon sugar
Stir the dressing into cooked Rotini Noodles
Let the noodles cool before adding in Black Olives and Feta Cheese as you desire

Feel free to add in other veggies or cheeses to your pasta salad.  Black Olives and Feta Cheese were as adventurous as I was willing to get.  And honestly, I picked MOST of my Black Olives out.  I tried a few though, so I’m calling it a win! ENJOY!

Berry Good Salad

I might be late to this whole salad craze, but I’m trying to make up for lost time.  I only started liking salads about a year ago because I was sick of eating fast-food during my busy work schedule.  I’ve learned that salads don’t take that much time to make and are a better alternative to eating out.

Salads are great because they are full of fiber and protein if you add the right ingredients.  It’s easy to throw in leftovers from last nights dinner to make an exciting salad!

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Here is the recipe for my newest salad:

  1. One Package of Salad Greens

  2. One Can Mandarin Oranges; drained

  3. One Cup Raspberries

  4. One Cup Shredded Mozzarella

  5. 1/3 Cup Crushed Peanuts

  6. 1/4 Cup Raspberry Vinaigrette

This salad is one of my new favorites because I can get fresh lettuce and raspberries from my dad’s garden.  Also, it takes no time at all to whip it up.

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ENJOY!

Friday Favorite: Smoothies

Breakfast To-Go!

My favorite breakfast when I’m in a rush is a smoothie.  I will buy fruit/berries in bulk and freeze them to make them last a little longer.  With cold and flu season in full swing, I always have orange juice, which is perfect for my smoothies.  Without even trying, I already have half the ingredients for my smoothie.

Easy 4-ingredient Smoothie:

  1. Cup of Ice

  2. Cup of Orange Juice

  3. Cup of Frozen Fruit

  4. 1/2 Cup Yogurt

One container of Yoplait yogurt is pretty darn close to 1/2 cup so I usually don’t bother measuring it.  My favorite combination so far has been peach yogurt with strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.  Mix it up however you would like and ENJOY!

Crock Pot Taco Dip

This time of year Crock Pot recipes are my absolute favorite!  They are super easy and I always end up with leftovers to last a few days.  I recently discovered my new favorite Crock Pot recipe: Taco Dip.  There are so many different ways to spice up taco dip that everyone can make it to their liking.

Here are the basics:

  • Crock Pot (obviously)
  • 32oz Velveeta cheese
  • 2 pkgs Taco Seasoning
  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • Tortilla Chips

Stir-In Options:

  • Salsa
  • Refried Beans
  • Black Olives
  • Tomato
  • Avacado
  • Sour Cream

The steps to making Taco Dip are simple: brown your ground beef over medium heat.  Add the taco seasoning after draining out the grease. Fill your Crock Pot with the seasoned beef, cubed Velveeta cheese, and the remainder of your Stir-In Options.  Keep your Crock Pot on low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally.  Turn the heat up to high right before serving and you’re done!

I love recipes like this for days I have a lot of household work to do.  It’s easy to keep an eye on the Taco Dip while doing laundry, cleaning dishes, dusting, or even setting out Holiday decorations.

 

Enjoy!