When the weather gets hot, I rarely feel like cooking a meal. I want to be able to reach into my refrigerator for something that will cool me off and fill me up. Our August recipe of the month is Cool Cucumber Salad and it is a cool recipe for a hot summer day.
The base for this recipe is chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. Stir in some feta cheese, oil, lemon juice, and ground black pepper and you have a side dish or a whole meal. I like to let this salad cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating it to let the flavors come together. I also tend to have more cucumbers than the recipe calls for, so I double or triple this recipe depending on how many cucumbers I have. This recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
The three vegetables in this recipe are currently in season so they are plentiful in gardens, farmers markets, and stores. If you have a lot of any of these vegetables, check out our produce basics below for information on how to store, clean, and use them.
Our December recipe of the month is Mushroom Quinoa. This recipe includes sautéed mushrooms, and any recipe with sautéed mushrooms is a win for me. The mushrooms are cooked with onions, garlic, herbs, ground black pepper, and salt. At the end, cooked quinoa is stirred in to make a tasty side dish. If you are not a mushroom lover like me, you can substitute a different soft vegetable such as bell peppers or zucchini.
Since I love any recipe with mushrooms, this recipe is the perfect lead in for a theme we are going to explore all month. We are each going to take a week to share our favorite Spend Smart. Eat Smart. recipes with you. To start us off, here are some of my favorites:
Soup:Autumn Soup, I like the smooth texture and the rich flavor of this soup. I use it often in the fall when winter squash is abundant.
Salad:Croutons, I know this is not technically a salad, but these homemade croutons make it more likely that my family will eat salad.
Main Dish:Black Bean Burgers, my family loves burgers and this is an economical and tasty way to serve them more often.
Side Dish:No Knead Whole Wheat Bread, my family will eat this homemade bread for any meal or snack, it also makes a great grilled cheese sandwich.
This time of year I know that I need to eat fewer treats and a lot more vegetables. I have a sweet tooth plus pregnancy cravings for chocolate, so it takes a lot of willpower for me to avoid the dessert table at holiday meals and parties. I can easily fill up on sweets so that I am not hungry for the nutritious foods that my baby and I need. One solution to my problem is our recipe of the month for December, Broccoli Salad.
This Broccoli Salad recipe satisfies my sweet tooth with the combination of a lightly sweet dressing and dried fruit. On top of that, it gets me the nutrition packed broccoli that I need. I get the sweetness I want and the vegetables I need in one simple recipe!
Here are some other great things about this recipe that cannot be ignored:
It stores well in an airtight container the refrigerator. For some, it may even taste better after a day or two because the flavors have a chance to mingle.
It is a quick and easy dish to take along to holiday meals or parties.
It can easily be packed in small containers to put in lunch bags for a side dish.
It is inexpensive and it will cost even less this spring when broccoli is in season.
Try out our Broccoli Salad to add vegetables to your meals this holiday season.
Serving Size: 1 cup
Cost Per Serving: $0.56
1 bunch broccoli
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard
1/3 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
3 tablespoons cider or white vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, diced (1/2 medium onion)
1/2 cup raisins
Cut 1/2″ off bottom of the broccoli stem and discard. Peel the outer layer of the stem. Chop the tender inner portion of the broccoli and florets.
Mix sugar, salt, mustard, and mayonnaise together in a large bowl. Add vinegar and stir with a wire whisk or fork.
Add the broccoli, red onion, and raisins.
Stir until mixture is coated with dressing. Serve salad immediately or store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Store salad for up to 4 days.
Choose broccoli with green (not yellow) stems and florets.
A bunch of broccoli usually has 2 to 3 stalks and weighs about 1 1/2 pounds. It should make 6 to 7 cups of chopped stems and florets.
You may use sweet white or yellow onions instead of red.