Summer Side Show

I wish I could take credit for this idea, but Brian was making this refreshing summer salad long before I came into the picture. It regularly makes an appearance at family get-togethers and a slimmed-down version sometimes pops up as a weeknight dinner side. If you time it just right (usually sometime in July or August) you can get all of the ingredients while they’re at their peak for freshness and flavor.

Brian's Summer Salad by

Brian’s Summer Salad by

We recently whipped up a big batch and it was gone in less than 48 hours. Yes, it’s that good. Go ahead, make some and see for yourself.

Brian’s Summer Salad

Makes about 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 ears corn, cooked and cooled
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and plunge into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process, drain and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and set aside.

3. Cut the corn from the cobs and place in a large bowl. Add the sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Top with dressing and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well to combine. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to develop.

SWWU Tip 1: We’ve also prepared this salad with string beans instead of sugar snap peas. Both are equally delicious. Just choose whichever one looks the freshest. 

SWWU Tip 2: This salad also makes a lovely topping for mixed greens. 

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Quick and Delish: Vegetarian Dinner

Brian and I both love to cook. The only thing that gets in our way is time. Our demanding jobs keep us at the office past the dinner hour on some nights, so quick meals that don’t make us sacrifice on taste and healthfulness are a must. The first person to arrive home gets the dish started and the other is usually able to lend a hand at least midway through. If not, dish duty it is! Last week we whipped up this tasty meal in no time (we’re talking 20 minutes or less) with ingredients we happened to have on hand. It’s definitely going to be a new staple in our repertoire. I bet you’ll enjoy it just as much!

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables by

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables by

Maple-Tahini Noodles with Vegetables

Makes 2 servings

  • 4 ounces udon noodles (2 sleeves)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch long pieces
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then cook the udon noodles according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, tahini, soy sauce and mayonnaise until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Add the sesame oil to a large pan and heat over medium. Add the broccoli and cook stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Mix in the snap peas and cook 1 to 2 minutes more until heated through. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the maple-tahini sauce and toss to coat. Add more sauce if desired.
  4. Strain the noodles and toss with 2 tablespoons of the maple-tahini sauce. Divide evenly between two plates and top with vegetable mixture. Additional sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

SWWU Tip 1: The maple-tahini sauce can also be used to make a tasty chicken salad. Just make the sauce as stated above and combine with cooked shredded chicken.

SWWU Tip 2: Make this dish gluten-free by swapping in gluten-free soy sauce and replacing the udon with soba noodles. Be sure to check the package to make sure you’re using 100 percent buckwheat noodles; some are made with a bit of wheat flour.