To Toss / A Cantaloupe Panzanella

 
404BE0E5-.jpg

     Hi there! I hope your summer is going amazing so far! We're almost smack in the middle of the season, and it's weirdly cooler most days now than it was before it was even technically summer. LOL. We're soaking it up while we can though, spending days outside, grilling up a storm, and enjoying all of the refreshing produce! My farmers market pick of this week? Cantaloupe! I used to despise it, but have found it doesn't merit that opinion when paired with fresh herbs. I took that idea and applied it to a new favorite summery Italian salad: panzanella! 

    Panzanella is traditionally a bread and tomato laden salad, originating from Tuscany. Any salad that includes chunks of bread needs little improvement, but I couldn't resist tossing in cucumbers and sharp white cheddar along with the aforementioned cantaloupe and fresh herbs (basil, in this case)! Dressed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this salad will surely put a smile on your face - especially if you're in more sweltering conditions than we're experiencing. Get the recipe below! 

6202E876-.jpg

Ingredients (salad):

- 1 cup of cubed ripe cantaloupe

- 1 heaping cup of cubed bread (I used a baguette)

- half a ripe tomato, cubed

- 6 or so slices of cucumber

- 1/4 of an onion, sliced

- sharp white cheddar (parmesan would also be amazing!)

- a few basil leaves

Ingredients (vinaigrette):

- 1/4 cup of olive oil

- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

- a pinch each of salt and pepper

B6021B84-.jpg

Directions:

1. Toast your bread cubes until crispy and slightly charred. While bread is toasting, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and s+p.

62287733-.jpg

2. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cantaloupe. Toss with your vinaigrette.

B2CA72C9-.jpg

3. Top with fresh cheese and torn basil leaves. 

15A3CEB7-.jpg

4. Toss once more, and serve cold with an iced coffee (or a light pinot gris if you're in the Italian mindset!). Enjoy!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Assemble / Strawberry Pico Chicken Salad

 

      Hi there! As you may know, I'm in the thick of my Whole 30 health reset. It's going swimmingly so far, and I'm feeling much more confident in being able to make healthier choices once those 30 days are up! What I've enjoyed the most so far about this process is letting my guard down when it comes to new flavors and not just sticking to what's comfortable. I'll try most things once, and if it contributes something new to my palette, then all the better!

     This mindset is what brought me to today's recipe. I'm always looking for ways to get the trifecta of fruit, veggies, and protein all in one dish, because I'm not big on just eating fruit on its own. Unless it's an apple or banana, it's going into a recipe! So, when I was searching for a way to incorporate the massive amount of strawberries I needed to use up (because a certain little toddlers' tastes change on the daily), the thought of strawberry pico de gallo came to me. I'm a huge fan of pico (it's so fresh!), and strawberries add just enough sweetness to whatever they touch. Perfecto! With the addition of a balsamic vinaigrette, the flavors of this salad balance just right, breathing life into something that could easily be bland. Taste for yourself through the recipe below! 

Ingredients:

- a large handful of spinach

- grilled chicken

- 5-6 ripe strawberries

- 1/2 cup of pico de gallo (our local grocery stores all stock fresh pico made there on the daily!)

- 1 avocado

- chives

- 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar

- 1 tsp. of lime juice

- 1 tsp. of olive oil

Directions:

1. Dice your strawberries and mince your chives. Stir these into your pico!

2. Assembly time! Chop up your avocado, and toss together your pico, spinach, and chicken. 

3. Whisk together your vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil. Drizzle on top of your salad. 

4. Serve with the leftover vinaigrette (if there is any!), and enjoy!