Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad

 

Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad

I can remember when I was ten years old, wishing that I was thirteen. I wanted to be a teenager because I thought that was way cooler than being ten. Then like most, the next significant milestone was 16. I think I may have counted down the days until my birthday that year. I wanted a car but I did not get one.  It continued after that;  being impatient for graduation, first real job, wedding date, birth of a baby. Many other important dates that I looked forward to with anticipation that I now look back on with nostalgia.

Now, God willing, Greg and I will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary in November. I look forward to celebrating that date because I am proud that he has been able to put up with me for this long! However, if life has taught me nothing else, it is to enjoy the moment. I’m still a planner, and I look forward to special days, but I am trying to place more emphasis on the here and the now than the tomorrows. After all, I’m not promised tomorrow. My very wise mother always told me, “don’t wish your life away.” Well, Mama, after fifty-three years I’ve started listening to you!

It’s a bit difficult to transition from serious to pasta salad, but here goes.  😂 My family enjoys anything with a little spice. We love anything with buffalo sauce, and we enjoy some Mexican and Southwestern food too! I recently tried this Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad, and my family went nuts. Even if you prefer your pasta salad with little other than pasta, this dressing is amazing! The lime juice and cilantro are the key ingredients in my opinion,  but leave the cilantro out if you don’t care for it.

Southwestern Black Bean Pasta Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • ½ c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12-oz. rotini pasta
  • 1 can (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt.
  3. Add cooked and drained pasta, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, and cilantro to the dressing and toss to coat.
  4. Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

 

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Chicken Caprese Salad

Chicken Caprese Salad

 

It seems like we have had some pretty healthy years around our house. Some sniffles here and there, but mostly healthy, until this year! It has been our year to make up for lost time!

It all started when Wes came home sick. After that Greg and I both ended up with pneumonia, and I was sick well over three weeks. I do not wish that on anyone!

Thankfully, Savannah never got sick! After all, we needed someone to take care of us! When I finally had an appetite, Savannah made this Chicken Caprese Salad, and I am now obsessed with it! It may be the best salad I have ever had!

I have always loved the freshness of a Caprese salad, but I had never thought about using the same ingredients in a green salad. Everything about this salad is delicious, from the fresh mozzarella and fresh basil to this incredible balsamic dressing!

Chicken Caprese Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Salad:
  • 12 chicken tenders
  • 5 c. Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
  • 1 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ c. mini fresh mozzarella balls
  • ¼ c fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Salt and black pepper, to season
Instructions
  1. Whisk vinegar, oli, brown sugar, garlic, dried basil and salt together to combine. Place uncooked chicken in a shallow dish; pour a small amount of dressing over chicken and toss around to coat. Reserve unused dressing for later.
  2. Heat grill or a small amount of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until cooked through, set aside and allow to rest.
  3. Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella and chicken. Top with fresh basil. Drizzle with reserved dressing; season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve.

 

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Waldorf Chicken Salad

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Since having a few rooms painted in the house, I have been on a quest to purge. It’s amazing just how long it takes. Getting rid of old, unused “stuff” is something that I have done with each move, but you would be amazed at the “stuff” I have kept. Some things make me just shake my head and wonder exactly what I thought I would do with it.

For the past week, I have been weeding out cookbooks! Oh my, I did not realize I had such a cookbook hoarding problem until all of them were in stacks on the floor surrounding me! Even then, I’m hesitant to get just trash them before I go through them page by page. It’s a sickness! A sickness that I’m trying to overcome because the feeling of freedom feels so much better than clutter!

I ran across this Waldorf Chicken Salad recipe in an old cookbook from New York. I am typically a very plain chicken salad kind of gal but thought I would give this recipe a try. It is a wonderful fresh summer salad that I loved! The combination is perfect with the crunch of the celery, the tartness of the apple, and the vinegar added a delicious depth of flavor.

Wine vinegar tends to be milder and less acidic than cider or white distilled vinegar, so they make a great addition to sauces, salad dressing, and marinades.

 

Waldorf Chicken Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 8 - 10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Honeycrisp apples, diced (or other crisp, tart,and sweet apple)
  • Mayonnaise, to taste
  • White wine vinegar
  • 4 whole chicken breasts, cooked, and picked clean from bones, and chopped
  • 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • ½ to 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • Leaf lettuce
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine enough white wine vinegar with the mayonnaise to create the consistency of salad dressing.
  2. Add the chopped apples, chicken, walnuts, celery and poppy seeds.
  3. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve on leaf lettuce.

 

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Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad

Cucumber, Tomato, and Onion Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced into thin wedges and then cut in half lengthwise
  • 8 pickling cucumbers (about 4 cups), sliced
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, quartered, then sliced thin
  • ½ c. plus 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. water
Instructions
  1. Slice all of the vegetables and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, pepper, salt, oil and water.
  3. Pour over veggies and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.
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Mother’s Day Luncheon

mothers-day-luncheon-2

 

The older I get, the more that I realize that all of those times that Mama said: “don’t spend your money on me,” she meant it. She wanted then what she still wants, time spent together. Time is something we can never get back, and the older my mama gets, time becomes more precious to me.

In comparison to many families today, my mother’s family was a big one. She had six brothers and sisters.  Today, my mother and her sister are the only siblings that remain. I decided that my mama would like nothing better than a little family time for Mother’s Day. So on a recent visit, I invited my aunt and a couple of cousins to a luncheon at mama’s house.  I kept the menu simple with homemade chicken salad, pasta salad made with fresh vegetables and purchased Italian dressing, cucumber sandwiches, purchased cheese straws, and I bought a fruit tray, cut up and ready to eat and made a poppy seed vinaigrette dressing.  The table was elegantly set with mama’s best china and crystal and the memories we made are priceless.

                           mothers-day-luncheon-4                                 mother's-day-luncheon-1

As you struggle to come up with a gift for mom this Sunday, keep in mind that time spent with you is something she will always treasure!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Pasta Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¾ c. sliced black olives
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped bell pepper
  • 1 to 1½ c. Italian dressing
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Toss pasta, cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, and bell pepper with Italian dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Notes
You may need to add a little more Italian dressing to salad just before serving.

 
5.0 from 2 reviews
Fruit Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh fruit
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut up fruit, set aside. In a small bowl whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Pour over fruit an gently toss. Serve immediately.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Cucumber Sandwiches
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cucumber, peeled & seeds removed
  • 1 medium onion
  • dash salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • mayonnaise on bread, if desired
Instructions
  1. Grate cucumber and onion and squeeze dry. (I do this using a clean dish towel. Put in the center of a towel then roll towel and twist.) Set aside.
  2. Blend cream cheese with an electric mixer. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. If using mayonnaise, spread on desired bread. Top with cucumber spread and another slice of bread.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Chicken Salad
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 4 lg. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 to 2 c. mayonnaise, depending on how you like it
  • ½ to ¾ c. chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Mix shredded chicken, mayonnaise, celery, mustard, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl and refrigerate.

 

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