Peach & Tomato Summer Salad

Remember when I mentioned that the July section of my Cooking Light cookbook focuses heavily on peaches? After reading that, I stumbled across flats of peaches at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 and decided to pick one up. Mine has 13 peaches in it, so it equals out to about $.46 per peach- not bad!

Now that I’m a wild child who makes sweet and savory salads {like watermelon & feta!}, I decided to try a peach & tomato summer salad from It turned out so well and I would absolutely make it again. It would be the best salad to take to a July potluck!

For exact measurements, see the recipe or just follow my haphazard winging it approach (serves 1).

  • Chopped red onion
  • 1/2 ripe peach, pitted and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 large tomato or a handful or cherry tomatoes
  • A dash of red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil
  • A very small spoonful of honey
  • A dash each of sea salt and ground pepper
  • A small handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • A sprinkling of torn basil leaves
Combine all ingredients and let marinate anywhere just a few minutes or overnight.

Next on my peach agenda? Peach salsa!

On the Menu for the Week

It’s the beginning of July, which means I can crack my Cooking Light: Annual Recipes cookbook open to a new month! I picked this cookbook up for $2-$3 at the thrift store and it was the best find. It catalogues every single recipe from a year’s worth of Cooking Light magazine into one hardback book. Though it’s from 2004, it doesn’t really matter because food is timeless 🙂 The July section features recipes based around tomatoes, peaches and dinner at dusk, which will undoubtedly make appearances in my On the Menu posts for July!
Traditional & buffalo chicken gluten-free pizza bites {recipe to come}

Cool as a cucumber salad

Tuna and white bean salad {update: not blown away; will post recipe if I can adapt it!}

Salad with Asian ginger dressing

Potato salad

Rice noodles with peanut lime chicken

Chicken salad

And something with my big flat of peaches!

What are you cooking this week? Any great tomato or peach recipes?

instagrammed meals

I’ve had such a busy week [tennis, meetings, business planning, a field trip to Lake Johnson, Triangle Restaurant Week at Chamas, etc] so I haven’t been cooking very elaborate meals for lunch or dinner. Here’s an overview of some of my simple, thrown-together snacks and meals this week!
Edamame pulled from the freezer, sprinkled with sea salt, and defrosted over night then microwaved for ~30 seconds at snacktime

Sharp cheddar cheese cut into cubes and thrown into an Easter egg!

Cherries from the Dupont Farmers’ Market
A delicious simple summer salad: chopped tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and corn cut off the cob with olive oil, gluten-free soy sauce, sea salt, pepper, dried red chili peppers, and garlic powder
Edamame pulled from the freezer, sprinkled with sea salt, and defrosted over night then microwaved for ~30 seconds at snacktime

Salted tomato slices

Cheddar cheese cubes

Trader Joe’s Organic Foursome vegetable medley

Pan-fried Harris Teeter sun-dried tomato polenta with a scoop of ricotta and sun-dried tomatoes

Round two of sun-dried tomato polenta

Pickled cucumbers, carrots, and edamame {recipe to come}

Green olives


Also on this week’s list of “gluten-free wins”: I went to a luncheon and was faced with two options: a light salad or a sandwich. I filled up my plate with salad and then grabbed a tuna sandwich; I put the filling of the tuna sandwich on top of my salad and set the bread aside. Yes, it’s wasteful and no, it wouldn’t work for a Celiac but a gluten-free girl’s gotta  be creative!


In other news!

to my friend Sara D!

watermelon inspiration

Trader Joe’s is currently selling $4 seedless watermelons, which means my roommate and I have bowls of watermelon in rotation in our fridge. It’s hands-down my favorite fruit, so I thought I’d dig up an old watermelon daring pairing from Harmonized Living.

Pink & green home decor 

[via My Pear Tree House]

A unique savory & sweet watermelon salad

[via Jessica Mayo]

  • 3/4 cup halved, thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 quarts seeded, cubed watermelon
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olive halves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the onion slices in a small bowl with the lime juice. Let stand for 10 minutes [the acid of the lime will mellow the flavor of the raw onion]. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, feta cheese, black olives, onions with the lime juice, and mint. Drizzle olive oil over it all, and toss to blend. Serves 6.


recipe variations

Rumor has it that variety is the spice of life…and it certainly is the spice of cooking! So what easier way to infuse variety (both literally and figuratively) into your cooking than to make slight alterations to your go to recipes?

Here are a few easy swaps that I often make:

Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Chicken: Prepared as outlined but served on a “bed” of mashed potatoes!

Mashed Potato Vegetable Pie: Swapped out feta, added grilled chicken and Garlic & Herbs Alouette Spreadable Cheese; added yellow squash in addition to zucchini

Creative Salad Mixes: Swapped out feta and Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinaigrette for Parmesan cheese and homemade Italian dressing

Spiced Tomato Chickpea Soup: Swapped out chickpeas for potatoes

Pizza Alternatives: Swapped out zucchini boats for green bell peppers or a gluten-free cauliflower crust {that I gotta try}

For more inspiration on versatile ingredients, check out my posts on quinoa bowls and tofu.

What are your recipe staples that you feel comfortable adjusting? 

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4 Continue reading

on my menu for next week

Zucchini Bakes via All Recipes

Asian-Inspired Chopped Salad [tomatoes & cucumbers with sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, & rice vinegar]

Walnut Anchovy Pasta

More Corn Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Vichyssoise [chilled summer soup]

corn quinoa black bean salad

I mentioned earlier this week that I was going to make this corn-rice salad from BHG. I just whipped  up my own version and let me tell you- woww. Might be the best salad I’ve ever had…and it’s perfect for summer. And I bet it would be great if you made it ahead of time too.

My version

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa (cooled to room temperature), black beans, several pieces of chopped jalapenos, sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, slices of red onion and avocado, several planks of corn (or a handful of canned corn), and a dash each of sea salt, pepper, olive oil, and rice vinegar. Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Confession: I put in about 10 dashes of rice vinegar and a dash or two of Crystal hot sauce! Yum.

Note: To cut planks, place an ear on its side on a cutting board. Holding the corn firmly with fingers away from the blade, cut off a side of the corn. Rotate and repeat until all sides are removed. Use a spatula to gently move planks to salad.

*I didn’t list measurements; get inspired and play it by ear (no pun intended…ear of corn? Get it?). Salads are very difficult to mess up!

beginnings of the salad

fiddling with aperture settings 🙂

working lunch- twitter, v8 juice, water, and salad!

on the menu for next week

Carrot-Cumin Salad via EatingWell

Chickpea, Lemon, & Cumin Salad via TwoSpoons

Zucchini Bread via MyRecipes

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers via Bethenny

Crustless Broccoli Cheese Quiches via Martha Stewart

Greek-Style Quesadillas via BHG

Fresh Corn Rice Salad via BHG

cucumber dill summer salad

Remember how I wrote this morning about creative salad mixes? Immediately afterward, I was browsing Martha Stewart Living (at 5:45am before my 6:00am Pilates class, eek!) and was inspired by the spread on zucchini, which featured a zucchini dill salad. I decided to make an adjustment and use cucumber instead!

I’m currently sitting at Weaver Street in Carrboro, enjoying the dregs of my salad marinade.

Photo credit

Coarsely chop cherry or grape tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion if you’d like. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle on sea salt, pepper, and plenty of dill. Let sit for several hours before eating so that vegetables fully absorb the juices. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.

So refreshing! And fantastic enjoyed with an almond iced coffee, mango peach applesauce, half of a hummus London broil sandwich, and baby carrots. Or you know, whatever… 🙂

on the menu this week

taco soup via lauren conrad

cheesy zucchini pizza via eat live run

green monsters via oh she glows [coconut, soy milk, almond butter, spinach, grated carrots, flax seed…all in my new magic bullet!]

creative salad mixes via cristina roman [chickpeas, walnuts, feta, corn…]

masala tofu stir fry via cristina roman

balsamic roasted brussel sprouts via cristina roman