Avocado BLT Pasta Salad

Avocado BLT Pasta Salad
I can't believe that summer is going by so quickly! This weekend is the last long weekend of the summer and it's a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts! If you are planning on having a picnic, throwing a party of having a get together do I ever have a tasty dish for you, an avocado BLT pasta salad! This pasta salad is inspired by the BLT, a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, which only gets better with avocado so this pasta salad contains all of those ingredients along with pasta. Instead of going with regular lettuce I decided to go with baby spinach but otherwise the ingredients are the standard bacon, tomato and avocado. I don't think that you can ever have too much avocado so I went with my favourite creamy guacamole dressing which is a guacamole themed dressing with buttermilk that is so creamy and good! No matter what you're doing this weekend, this quick and easy avocado BLT pasta salad would be a perfect addition to your day!

Creamy Avocado Dressing (aka Guacamole Buttermilk Dressing)

Creamy Avocado Dressing (aka Guacamole Buttermilk Dressing)

For a new salad that I have been thinking about I wanted a nice and cool and creamy dressing and I was thinking about trying something a little bit different, an avocado dressing. I am so totally addicted to avocados and I am always looking for new ways to enjoy them! I was originally planning on including diced avocado in the salad but I liked the idea of a creamy avocado dressing even more. For the avocado dressing I was thinking about starting it off a lot like a guacamole with plenty of fresh ingredients like cilantro, lime juice and even some jalapeno peppers to add a touch of heat. A quick search of the internet for these ingredients turned up a recipe for an avocado dressing pretty much just like the one that I was thinking about on Skinny Taste . I did make one quick change to the recipe by including some mayonnaise which goes fabulously well with avocados. I have to say that this avocado dressing is amazingly good; nice and creamy so so fresh and vibrant! Now I just need to resist eating it all by the spoonful so that it can make it into the salad!

Tzatziki Sauce (Greek Cucumber Salad)

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki is a Greek meze or appetizer that is made from strained yogurt, cucumber and garlic. Optional ingredients include herbs such as dill, mint and/or parsley and lemon juice is also common. If you are feeling daring you can even hit it up with a splash of ouzo. In addition to being served as an appetizer it makes a great dip or condiment especially when served in gyros or with souvlaki.

Zucchini and Feta Breakfast Casserole

Zucchini and Feta Breakfast Casserole
I certainly have been enjoying zucchini season and up next I have a Greek flavour inspired zucchini and feta breakfast casserole! I always enjoy a tasty savoury breakfast over a sweet one and it's nice to be able to sneak pack some seasonal veggies into it. This breakfast casserole has a base of eggs and cottage cheese and it's filled out with shredded zucchini and feta cheese along with plenty of fresh herbs including dill, parsley and green onions. In addition to being packed full of flavour this casserole is light, healthy and easy to make, taking less than 30 minutes. If you want to save a bit of time in the morning feel free to mix the ingredients the night before so you just need to bake in the morning. The leftovers are also great reheated so make a large batch for quick breakfasts all week long! This zucchini and feta breakfast casserole is a great way to enjoy some of the fresh summer zucchini!

Chicken and Avocado Burritos

Chicken and Avocado Burritos
Today I have some tasty chicken and avocado burritos for you! They are so easy to make, you simply wrap the chicken, avocado, cheese, salsa verde, sour cream and cilantro up in a tortilla, grill it and enjoy! Just make sure to put the cheese on the top or bottom of the burrito so that is melts and gets all nice and ooey and gooey when it's grilled. Feel free to serve these burritos with extra salsa and sour cream for dipping! These burritos don't take long to make, they are nice and portable, filling and most importantly, packed full of flavour!

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
One of the best things about the summer is all of the fresh basil and one of my favourite things to do with that basil is to make pesto! Basil pesto is as easy to make and pureeing basil, garlic, pine-nuts, parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice in a food processor so there's really no excuse to not make your own in the summer! Once you have made your basil pesto it can be used on so many thing from pastas to sandwiches to soups, salads, etc (Take a look at the huge list of recipes to use your homemade fresh basil pesto in below the recipe!) Another great thing about basil pesto is that it freezes well so you can save the essence of summer for later.

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with Fried Zucchini, Halloumi and Toasted Seeds

Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with Fried Zucchini, Halloumi and Toasted Seeds
When I came across this recipe for a Greek goddess grain bowl with fried zucchini, halloumi and toasted seeds on Half Baked Harvest I knew that I just had to make it, I mean it has so many of my favourite Greek/Mediterranean flavours in it! This recipe includes plenty of tasty ingredients but the stars of the show are the crispy fried zucchini, fried halloumi cheese (a Mediterranean cheese that holds it shape when fried and 'squeaks' when you chew it) crunchy toasted seeds and a fresh basil and lemon tahini dressing! Other ingredients in this salad include, crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, salty kalamata olives, sweet and smoky roasted red pepper, artichoke heart, cool and creamy avocado and fresh herbs like basil and mint. This salad is amazing with it's wide variety of different flavours, textures and even temperatures with the hot crispy fried zucchini and they all work so well together, especially in that tasty basil and lemon tahini dressing!

Korean Style Cold Tofu Shirataki Noodle Salad with Shrimp

Korean Style Cold Tofu Shirataki Noodle Salad with Shrimp
It certainly has been hot the last few days so I thought that it would be a good idea to make a meal that did not require any cooking and that could be served chilled, this Korean style cold tofu shirataki noodle salad with shrimp. This is a noodle based salad and I went with some tofu shirataki noodles to keep things nice and easy (no cooking required!) and light (low calorie and low-carb)! For the veggies in the salad I like to go with a rainbow of colours for a nice presentation and they include green lettuce and cucumber, yellow pepper, orange carrot, red kimchi and purple cabbage. To make this salad a meal you need some meat and pre-cooked shrimp fits the bill perfectly since you don't need to cook is and it's already chilled! The final component of the salad in a simple and tasty dressing with gochugaro (Korean chili pepper flakes) for a bit of heat. If you are looking for a way to keep cool on a hot summer day, you can't go wrong with this Korean style cold tofu shirataki noodle salad with shrimp!

Summer Salads Cookbook on iTunes

Summer Salads eCookbook

The Closet Cooking Summer Salads eCookbook is now available on iTunes!

Caprese Stuffed Avocados

Caprese Stuffed Avocados
During the summer one of my favourite things is all of the fresh ripe tomatoes and basil and the combination of the two is absolutely fabulous! Things get even better when you add some fresh mozzarella and touch of balsamic vinegar to the mix, caprese salad style, and I often like to throw some diced avocado in as well. These caprese stuffed avocados are a slightly different take on that idea where an avocado half is filled with a mixture of diced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella tossed in a homemade basil pesto served on a bed of salad greens all topped with a drizzle of balsamic reduction! The combination of the cool and creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil pesto and tangy balsamic vinegar is simply divine; pure summer on a plate!

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken

Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes and Grilled Chicken
It's time for another summery zucchini recipe and this time it's fresh pesto zucchini noodles with roasted tomatoes and grilled chicken! Ever since I came across the idea of zucchini noodles I have been a little obsessed with them! I mean what's not to like about them? They behave just like spaghetti noodles and they are lighter and healthier! This recipe could not be easier, you simply roast the tomatoes, grill the chicken, slice the zucchini into noodles and then toss it all in a fresh homemade basil pesto! In addition to being nice and light and healthy, this dish is pure summer in a bowl with the juicy roasted tomatoes bursting in your mouth balancing off the creamy pesto. The zucchini noodles can be served cool making this dish perfect for hot summer days!

Grilled Zucchini Nachos

Grilled Zucchini Nachos
Zucchini season is definitely here! The stores are full of it and it 's pretty cheap so I picked up a lot of it with the plan to start off by making these grilled zucchini nachos! The idea is to slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch discs, grill them until just tender, but still crisp, and then to top them with a bunch of nacho toppings including plenty of melted cheese! As far as the toppings go I start out with some grilled corn off the cob, black beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, avocado, cilantro and a finish of sour cream. With all of the fresh summer ingredients, these grilled zucchini nachos are pretty healthy in addition to being nice and tasty! One of the great things about these zucchini nachos is that you can top them with whatever you want so feel free to use your favourite nacho toppings! This years zucchini season is off to an amazing start with these grilled zucchini nachos which will quickly become a staple in my summer meal plans!