quinoa & corn salad

This summer salad features delightfully crunchy quinoa and sweet corn kernels in a tangy dressing. Never tried quinoa? It’s similar to millet; look for it in the bulk section of your local natural foods store. We used red quinoa for this recipe, but other colors are available.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups corn kernels (canned, frozen, or fresh; if fresh, briefly cook kernels in boiling water, rinse with cold water, and drain)
1 medium cucumber, diced
8-oz. package cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Several large romaine leaves, sliced into ribbons

1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 large, fresh lemon
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt

1. Combine rinsed quinoa, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat. Let quinoa simmer until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat. After about 10 minutes, “fluff” the quinoa with a fork by lightly stirring.

2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the corn kernels, diced cucumbers, and tomatoes.

3. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together, and stir into the salad.

4. Arrange romaine ribbons on plates. Scoop quinoa salad on top.

mediterranean pasta salad

2 cups tricolor fusilli or rotini pasta
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 Tbs. Italian flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

Cook pasta; drain and cool. Combine with chopped vegetables and herbs. Toss with your favorite oil and vinegar dressing (we like Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette).

great grilled veggies

Summer vegetables are wonderful on the grill. Pick your favorites, chop and skewer them, marinade them in your favorite sauce, and grill them to perfection. Served over a bed of rice, veggies are always tasty — and healthy — summer dinner fare.

Choose your favorite vegetables. Some ideas:

Bell peppers: red, green, yellow, orange
Yellow summer squash
Sweet yellow onions
Cherry tomatoes

Brush on a marinade of oil-and-vinegar dressing, such as Newman’s Own (the original), or use a bottled spicy Thai peanut sauce. Or mix pineapple juice, agave nectar, vinegar, and a bit of vegetable oil for a sweet/sour Hawaiian-style flavor. Whatever your marinade, set aside a little extra for pouring over the grilled veggies and rice. Yum!

wisconsin summer veggie salad

Sue named this salad in honor of her Wisconsin garden, which produced not only a healthy crop of mosquitoes, but also red and green peppers and yellow squash.

1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 small zucchini, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raspberry or balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients and apply to combined chopped vegetables, or use your favorite bottled dressing (Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette is a good one to try).

tuscan pasta salad with eggplant

The pine nuts in this quick, simple recipe really stand out amid the simple blend of vegetables. Use Italian flat-leaf parsley if you can (it has a better flavor than other varieties and is not bitter). The results are delizioso! This dish is especially good with a loaf of crusty Italian bread and a Tuscan red wine, such as Chianti.

1 lb. penne pasta
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, sautè the celery in olive oil for about 3 minutes.

3. Add eggplant, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook on medium heat until eggplant is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary to prevent sticking.

4. In a separate bowl, combine tomato paste, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add to eggplant mixture. When eggplant is tender, remove from heat and stir in pine nuts, parsley, and pasta. Chill before serving, but keep in mind that gently heated leftovers taste great as well.

pasta salad with tofu

Baked tofu is a good way to incorporate isoflavones into our daily diet. It’s pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, and therefore instant (fast and easy), healthy food.

2 1/2 cups rotini pasta, cooked al dente and drained
15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
2 1/2-oz can sliced black olives, drained
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz. baked tofu, tomato-basil flavor, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar and oil salad dressing (or balsamic vinegar and olive oil combined)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix cooled pasta with remaining ingredients. Chill.