Mexican Street Corn Style Grilled Zucchini

Mexican Street Corn Style Grilled Zucchini
It's the middle of summer which means that zucchini is everywhere and I am always looking for tasty new ways to enjoy it! The other day I was thinking about one of my favourite summer foods, elote or Mexican street corn, which is corn on the cob that is slathered in butter and mayonnaise and sprinkled with cheese (cotija or queso freso or feta or parmesan, etc.), cayenne, lime juice and cilantro and that lead me to the notion of serving some grilled zucchini up with the same toppings! So the basic idea was to quarter some zucchini into sticks, grill it, toss it in a mixture of butter and mayo and the sprinkle on some cheese, cayenne, lime juice and cilantro! This Mexican street corn style grilled zucchini could not be easier to make and the flavour combo of the toppings is just as fabulous on grilled zucchini as it is on corn! What a great new way to enjoy some zucchini and it's the perfect side dish for any summer meal!

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
Of all the great meals that I had on my vacation in Greece a few years ago perhaps the most memorable one was the chicken gyros from a small shop in Plaka. The shop was so small that it was really just a window in the street where you ordered and then you got to eat while walking down the street. The gyro was easily the best that I have ever had! What stood out about the chicken gyros was that there was roasted red peppers layered in amongst the chicken.

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Salad with Creamy Feta and Dill Dressing

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Salad with Creamy Feta and Dill Dressing
Not too long ago I was making one of my favourite summer salads, this grilled chicken souvlaki salad, and I figured that I would take the opportunity to update the photos for the recipe which I originally posted back in 2012! It's really hard to beat a salad with grilled meat for a nice, tasty and light summer meal, especially when that grilled meat is chicken souvlaki with its summery lemon, garlic and oregano flavours! This salad is super easy to make where you just need to marinate the chicken in it's simple marinade, skewer it up, grill it, serve it over a tasty greek style salad and top it all off with a tasty dressing! For the dressing I sometimes go with a tzatziki sauce but more often these days I have been enjoying a creamy feta and dill dressing which is just perfect for this salad! Everything in this salad works so well together from the juicy tomatoes to the crunchy cucumbers, salty olives, tangy onions, creamy dressing and of course the grilled chicken souvlaki! If you are looking for a nice, light and tasty meal this summer, look no further than this grilled chicken souvlaki salad with creamy feta and dill dressing!

Creamy Feta and Dill Dressing

Creamy Feta and Dill Dressing
Looking for a new salad dressing? How about this creamy feta and dill dressing? This dressing gets it's creaminess from a combination of greek yogurt and milk so it's nice and light and healthy. It's packed full of tasty crumbled feta and fresh dill for the main flavours and it has a hit of lemon juice for some extra tanginess. This creamy feta and dill dressing goes perfectly on Mediterranean themed salads, basic salads and cucumber salads and no matter what salad you use it on, it won't be boring!

Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Weber Grills Canada. All opinions are 100% mine.

Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken
It's time to pull your grills out and celebrate summer by making these bacon wrapped guacamole stuffed chicken breasts! I took two of my favourite foods, bacon and avocado and combined them into a tasty dinner that is just begging to be grilled! Although this recipe might look a little challenging with the stuffing and the wrapping, it's actually pretty easy! You start off by pounding the chicken breasts until they are about 1/4 inch thick with a meat mallet (I have used a rolling pin to do this) and then you just place the guacamole on top of one side and roll it up. You can either wrap the bacon around the chicken one slice at a time to ensure a single layer of bacon or you can just lay a few strips of bacon out, place the chicken on one end and wrap it all up in one go. The essential thing about this recipe is to get the bacon nice and crispy and this is easy on the grill but if you are stuck indoors you can either pan fry the wrapped chicken and then place it in the oven or you can cook it in the oven and then turn the oven up to broil. No matter how you do it this bacon wrapped guacamole stuffed chicken is sure to be the talk of the town!

Bacon Cheeseburger Omelette

Bacon Cheeseburger Omelette
When I made the bacon cheeseburger salad the other day I made sure to make extra burger seasoned ground beef to use the next morning in these bacon cheeseburger omelettes! Yes, that's right, all of the flavours of bacon cheeseburger in an omelette for breakfast! These omelettes are stuffed with burger seasoned ground beef and burger topping such as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and lets not forget that bacon, which goes perfectly with eggs! I worked the cheese in be topping the omelette with it after folding , covering the pan and cooking until the cheese melted on top. Don't let the sound of these omelettes deter you, they are truly amazing and so good for breakfast! Make the meat the night before for even less effort in the morning!

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad
Do you love burgers but want something a little lighter? How about a bacon cheeseburger salad with all of the flavours of a bacon cheeseburger in salad form. This salad starts out with ground beef that is seasoned with common burger patty ingredients and condiments including worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard. The salad continues with other common burger topping including lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle and of course plenty of cheese and bacon along with a warm bacon vinaigrette! If these aren't your favourite burger toppings, you can easily change the salads ingredients to what you want! This meaty salad sure does eat like a meal and it's perfect for for salad for dinner especially if you are a fan of bacon cheeseburgers!

Updated (July 22, 2015): This is one of my favourite salads and since I was making it again the other day I figured that I would take the opportunity to update the photos!

Grilled BBQ Chicken, Zucchini and Corn Quinoa Salad

Grilled BBQ Chicken, Zucchini and Corn Quinoa Salad
Today I have another summer salad for you that is perfect for outdoor cooking, a grilled BBQ chicken, zucchini and corn quinoa salad! This warm salad is super easy to make and most of it, the chicken, zucchini and corn, is cooked on the grill/bbq so the only other thing that you need to do is cook the quinoa and that can be done ahead of time! Crumbled feta, green onions and cilantro finish the salad off along with extra BBQ sauce as the 'dressing'. If you are looking for a hearty summer salad that eats like a meal and can be cooked outdoors, in 30 minutes or less, then this grilled BBQ chicken, zucchini and corn quinoa salad is what you are looking for!

Summer Salads Cookbook

Summer Salads eCookbook
I am very pleased to announce the release of my latest eCookbook: Summer Salads!

Salads truly are amazing! I like a lot of different kinds of foods but the one thing that I probably eat the most is salads whether as a side dish for a larger meal or as a meal by themselves. Salads are very versatile, they can be lettuce based, potato based, pasta based, grain based, meat based, etc., they can be served as either a side dish or a main course and they can be as simple or complex as you want. I especially enjoy salads during the summer when there is plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and berries around and very often after a long hot day a salad makes for a perfect light meal! In addition to tasty ingredients most great salads have a dressing and I see the dressing as a way to turn a great salad into a truly amazing salad! I spend many an hour during the sumer dreaming up tasty new salads and this book contains a few of my favourites along with plenty of tasty dressings and extras to go with them.

It seems that you enjoy salads as well as they are some of the most popular recipes on Closet Cooking so I decided to create a cookbook with them. The Summer Salads cookbook contains 25 salad recipes including some of your favourite salads from Closet Cooking, some of my favourite salads and a few completely new ones along with plenty tasty dressing recipes, recipes for grilled meats and even more! (The Summer Salads cookbook is in a format that can be viewed on any computer, smart phone or tablet and the recipes can easily be printed.)

BBQ Chicken COBB Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

BBQ Chicken COBB Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
It's time for another salad and boy do I have a tasty one for you, a BBQ chicken COBB salad with cilantro lime ranch dressing! This salad is a southwestern twist on the classic COBB salad which uses BBQ chicken instead of plain chicken, adds corn and black beans to the regular lineup of tomato, bacon, egg and avocado, replaces the blue cheese with feta and the red wine vinaigrette with a tasty cilantro lime ranch dressing! This is definitely a salad that eats like a meal and given that it takes less than 30 minutes to make, it's perfect for light summer dinners! If it's a nice day head outside and grill the chicken and corn and enjoy the salad under the sunny blue sky! ...um, are you still reading this? Hop to it! This salad is just screaming to be made right now!

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing

Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing
Very often the difference between a good salad and a great salad is the dressing and a tasty homemade dressing will really make your salads shine! Ranch dressing is one of the most popular dressings around and during the summer it's even better because you can make your own using fresh herbs! A ranch dressing is a creamy dressing with plenty of herbs, typically including chives and dill and for this version I added cilantro, making it the primary flavour, along with lime juice, which is a fabulous combination! This southwestern style ranch dressing with cilantro and lime is so nice and fresh and tasty and it's perfect on a basic salad or any salad with a southwestern or texmex theme. No matter what salad you use this homemade cilantro and lime ranch dressing on, it's sure to be the talk of the town!

Strawberry Cheesecakeadillas

Strawberry Cheesecakeadillas
I'm a big fan of quesadillas, I mean whats not to like about gooey melted cheese sandwiched between crispy tortillas, so when I came across the idea of a dessert quesadilla, a cheesecake quesadilla (aka a cheesecakedilla) none the less, I knew that I would have to make them! These cheesecake quesadillas are pretty much just cream cheese sandwiched between tortillas that are toasted until the tortilla are nice and crispy and the cream cheese filling is perfectly melted before sprinkling on some cinnamon sugar. I have to say that these cheesecakedillas are amazing, they taste just like cheesecake and they are so much easier to make! The recipe as written is for a basic cheesecakedilla and from there you can add fruit or berries, nuts or whatever your heart desires and you can also top them with or dip them into syrups, sauces, etc. Since strawberries are in season I topped these ones with a fresh homemade strawberry sauce and they were simply divine! I may never have thought to make a dessert style quesadilla but now that I have tried them I will definitely be making them very often!

Long live the cheesecakedilla!

Strawberry Sauce

Strawberry Sauce
One of the best things about summer is all of the fresh fruits and berries and it's hard to resist using them to make sauces, syrups and jams to be poured or slathered on anything your heart desires! Since sauces are the easiest to make I make them often and I always enjoy a nice strawberry sauce! The recipe for a strawberry sauce is so easy, it's just fresh strawberries and a sweetener to taste that is simmered in water until the flavour from the strawberries infuses the water and it gets all nice and thick and syrupy. The strawberry sauce can be made in less than 20 minutes and once done you can use it on anything from pancakes to waffles, ice cream, cheesecake, etc. or even just by the spoonful!

Kung Pao Chicken Salad with Sichuan Dressing

Kung Pao Chicken Salad with Sichuan Dressing
Summer is salad season and if you are board with plain old lettuce, tomato and cucumber salads with ranch dressing or italian dressing, etc., then try this salad inspired by the flavours of your favourite Chinese takeout dish, kung pao chicken. The salad itself is pretty simple with lettuce (I like to use kale sometimes), chicken, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, green onions and peanuts but it's the tasty dressing that really makes this salad shine! The sichuan flavour inspired dressing starts out with the usual suspects including rice vinegar, oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and some sesame oil for that amazing aroma. The main focus of the dressing is of course the sichuan chili oil which is an oil that is infused with chilies and sichuan peppercorns where the chilies provide the spicy heat and the sichuan peppercorns add their signature mouth numbing effect in addition to a fabulous aroma. (You should be able to find the sichuan peppercorns at your local asian grocery store or you can order them online or you can just omit them.) The dressing is finished off with some sesame paste or peanut butter making it nice and thick and creamy! When you combine the tasty and spicy dressing with the cool and crunchy salad it's like a magical symphony of flavours and textures in your mouth! The next time you have a craving for kung pao chicken, try this salad instead; it's lighter, healthier and it can be made in just 15 minutes!

Barbacoa Quesadillas

Barbacoa Quesadillas
The other day I was craving some tender slowly braised beef barbacoa and since it's so easy to make in the slow cooker I whipped up a batch and used it to make these tasty barbacoa quesadillas! Beef barbacoa is packed with flavour and although it's great enjoyed simply in tacos with onions and cilantro you can't argue against using it in some cheesy quesadillas! There is just something about biting into those crispy toasted tortillas filled with the tasty barbacoa and loads of ooey gooey melted cheese that is so irresistibly delicious! I like to keep these quesadillas nice and simple to allow the flavours of the barbacoa to shine through so a fresh pico de gallo is perfect in them.

Fresh Pea Salad

Fresh Pea Salad
As nice as potato salads and pasta salads are one of my favourite summer salads has to be the fresh pea salad, sometimes called an English pea salad. A pea salad typically consists of peas, in a mayo based 'dressing' along with bacon and cheese and it's super easy to make! Although frozen peas will work year round I particularly enjoy the fresh summer peas where you can usually find them in bags in the fresh produce section of your grocery store or even still in their pods at the farmers market. The sweet peas go so well in the creamy dressing with the salty bacon and cheese and contrastingly tangy onions and I like to add a touch of mint for even more freshness. This is one of those salads where it is even better to make it a day ahead of time as the flavours have a chance to come out and mingle while sitting in the fridge overnight and serving it chilled, straight from the fridge is perfect on hot summer days!

Update 2015/07/02: Since I was making this salad again this summer I took the opportunity to update the photos!

Loaded Cauliflower Salad

Loaded Cauliflower Salad
Continuing with my summer outdoors theme this week I have a loaded cauliflower salad for you today! This loaded cauliflower salad is essentially a potato salad using cauliflower instead of potatoes and it has all of the flavours of a loaded baked potato including sour cream, green onions, bacon and cheese! The recipe for this salad could not be easier, you just need to cook the cauliflower, let it cool and mix all of the ingredients! In addition to being super tasty this salad can be made a day ahead of time which is always nice to cut down on kitchen time if you are making a lot of food. Feel free to change things up a bit by replacing some or all of the sour cream with mayo and/or ranch dressing, making this more of a bacon ranch cauliflower salad. When looking for sides for your summer dining skip the potato salad and go for this lighter and healthier cauliflower salad!