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?

recipe: south african smoked tomato leek soup

Cleaning out my fridge is always an interesting catalyst for creating unique, random recipes, like my latest soup.

The first word that pops into my head to describe this recipe is “rustic.” I feel like it should be “ethnic,” given the South African Smoke, but you can’t argue with instinct!

Photo credit

In a pot, caramelize chopped onions and leeks {I used about half an onion and a full trimmed leek}. Roast half a red pepper and one clove of garlic. Meanwhile, coarsely chop a large can of whole tomatoes; reserve liquid. When the onions and leeks are fully caramelized and the pepper and garlic are fully roasted, combine all ingredients, including the tomato liquid, in the pot {peel the garlic first}. Sprinkle with a dash of red pepper flakes and a dash of South African Smoke. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the flavors have blended well. 

I didn’t blend the soup using my immersion blender, but I bet it would be tasty as a smooth soup too! Add the smoke seasoning a little bit at a time- if you add too much, it ends up much too smokey, at least for my dainty palate 🙂

Recipe: Prasoryzo (Rice with Leeks)

Back from an unintentional blogging hiatus with a new recipe!

So easy, a time-pressed recent college graduate can do it. In a skillet, saute onions and leeks with olive oil and a touch of butter. Pop Minute Rice (I used the chicken kind) into the microwave. When leeks and onions are tender, combine with heated rice. Add a dash of lemon juice, a generous sprinkling of dill, some salt and pepper, and a handful of sun-dried tomatoes.

This is fantastic as a side dish, but I bet it would be good with shredded chicken as a main entree. Serve it with other Greek-inspired dishes!


recipe: spinach fontina chicken sausage with sun-dried tomato rice


photo credit:

As part of my limited gluten challenge, I whipped up a simple, balanced dinner that made use of my leftover brown rice from a Chinese restaurant.

  • Drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium
  • Toss in pearl onions {I bought a bag of Trader Joe’s peeled and frozen ones}
  • Throw in chopped chicken sausages {I used Trader Joe’s Spinach, Fontina, & Garlic Chicken Sausages}
  • Add in chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • Saute until chicken sausage is cooked through and onions are slightly caramelized
  • Combine with prepared brown rice and a tablespoon of Alouette Garlic & Herb Spreadable Cheese. Enjoy!

marinated caprese salad


Here is a simple, easy twist of a traditional caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil).

Slice cherry tomatoes in half. Chop mozzarella into small cubes. Cut basil leaves into smaller pieces.

Combine in a lidded Tupperware or bowl with the following: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and Italian seasoning. Marinate overnight.

Caprese traditionalists might balk at this untraditional variation, but I think it adds the extra flavor that caprese salads often lack.

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!

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… 🙂