Summer Rotini Salad

Pasta salad is a summer classic. It’s refreshing, filling, and can be healthy as long as you choose the right dressing.

One of my favourite things about making pasta salad is that you can usually enjoy it warm as well as cold. In this salad, all of the vegetables are raw, which means that when you combine them with the freshly cooked pasta, they stay juicy and cold. This creates a nice contrast of textures and temperatures if you’re digging in right away, but this salad is equally tasty once the pasta has cooled completely.

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Simple Summer Salad

Oh boy have I been bad with my blogging lately! I was expecting to find that I would have more time to cook and blog once summer came around, but I’ve been surprised with how little of both I’ve managed to fit into my schedule.

On the bright side, the things I have been cooking have been really simple, fresh, and tasty, just like this salad I’m about to share. I visited my cousin in Toronto a few weeks ago and she turned me onto “chunky” salads, i.e. salads without greens in them. There’s something to be said about biting into nice big cubes of fresh summer veggies — especially when there’s also cheese involved!

This salad reminds me of a traditional Greek salad, but the choice of cheeses and the inclusion of avocado give it a bit of a new twist.

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Foodie Friend Friday #3: Becca’s St. Patrick’s Day Salad

Happy Friday, everyone!

This week, I am so excited to feature a recipe from my friend Becca. Becca is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We met when we were 15 and we are kind of like soul sisters… the type of friends who lose sight of one another every once in a while, but pick up wherever we left off when we reconnect. We had a wonderful reunion back in February and I’m glad we’re keeping in touch more these days. I absolutely love this girl, and I wish I could be in her kitchen at all times because the type of food she makes is just my style! Perhaps someday the stars will align and we will live in the same city…

Becca also started her very own food blog recently, so you should check her out at The Cozy Kitchen and spread the food blogging love — especially if you’re on a gluten free diet. She’s got you covered, and then some!

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, she has created a detoxifying salad for you… so if you’re planning on having a few drinks tomorrow, keep this recipe in mind as a pre- or post-celebration meal. You may want to use it to nurse your body back to health later.

If you’d like to see the last two installments of Foodie Friend Friday, click here (#1) and here (#2).

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Fresh Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

I have been eating lots of quinoa lately! It is a delicious, healthy whole grain, and apparently I can’t get enough of it.

I made this crunchy and colourful salad about 10 days ago and ate it every day for an entire week. There was so much of it! However, it did ensure that I was getting lots of veggies in every day. As a rule, I try to have a lot of variety in my diet. So, even though I ate the salad daily, I was still getting 6-7 different types of vegetables into my body in one sitting. That’s the kind of recipe I like!

I ate it for a week straight and looking at this picture, I'd eat it again now!

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Foodie Friend Friday #2: Garrett’s Cilantro Lime Couscous Salad with Shrimp

This is the second installment of my March series, Foodie Friend Friday, in which I’m asking my fabulous cooking friends to write up their favourite recipe to share. For the first recipe, as well as a bit more background, click here.

This week, I am featuring my friend Garrett’s cooking skills! Garrett is a total whiz in the kitchen, and I was so stoked when he agreed to cook for this series. I have known him for about two years now; we met while we were both working at our university’s student government, and we’re now working together again at David’s Tea. Garrett is hilarious and I love his dry wit and every single article of clothing he owns. He is also really really good at his job and we have a lot of fun when we work together.

I first realized Garrett was an amazing cook when I found some pictures he had posted to Facebook of all these amaaaaaazing dishes he was making. The descriptions of his meals were seriously mouthwatering, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me by the time you’ve read through his recipe below.

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Kale Salad

Kale is one of my favourite vegetables. It is definitely my favourite leafy green. Because, you know… I see those as two separate things.

I like my kale pretty tough, so when I make it I try to cook it for 5 minutes max — it’s usually the last thing I add to my recipes. That being said, it can become quite soft when you cook it longer, so if that’s what floats your boat, keep the heat on for as long as you want. Kale is delicious in pretty much every form. I kid you not.

However, there is another way to soften and season your kale that doesn’t involve cooking it at all, which is how this salad is made!

Gorgeous veggies just waiting to be eaten!

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Couscous Salad

Couscous is the greatest word to type.

It is also a delicious grain and I love it mixed up with lots of yummy vegetables and beans for a nice, light salad. It’s great both hot and cold and is a fantastic option when you’re pressed for time.

This salad was inspired by the random vegetables in my fridge. I have to say I’m happy with the way it turned out. It definitely has Fall written all over it: hearty, chunky, darkly coloured vegetables stud the couscous and the flavours are earthy and comforting. Yum!

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Mango and Steak Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

I find it difficult to eat a lot of hot dishes in the summer, especially when meat is involved. It just feels too heavy when it’s warm, and especially when it’s humid.

This salad was my way of getting around the heat issue while still enjoying some steak (plus… I needed to eat it before it got freezer burn). The dressing was zesty and light, and the crunchy summer veggies refreshing; the juicy mango added a burst of juice and sweetness to every bite. I also really liked the mix of spices I used to season the steak. It was a bit spicy and worked very well with the salad dressing.

I would definitely make this again!

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