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Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint

Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint

Nothing says summer like sweet, juicy watermelon. With bright chunks of watermelon, this salad is loaded with crisp kale, fresh broccoli, crunchy almonds, red onion, blueberries and salty feta cheese. It’s a marriage of some of my very favorite superfoods for a salad that’s full of flavor and nutrition. Tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, this colorful salad will be a hit at your next summer cookout.

I remember the first time I ever saw a watermelon salad on a menu. It was at one of my favorite Milwaukee lunch spots. Made with arugula, feta cheese, and grilled watermelon, I was immediately intrigued by this super unique salad. When my plate arrived, I took one bite and fell in love. The spicy, bitter arugula and salty feta cheese paired beautifully with the sweet, succulent watermelon. It was perfectly balanced and perfectly delicious. Ever since then, whenever I’ve been out to eat somewhere with a watermelon salad on the menu, I’ve ordered it. No questions asked.

This week, I’m sharing my own version of a watermelon salad. I think the secret to a great watermelon salad is getting the right balance of flavors. Because watermelon is sweet, you want to pair it with ingredients that bring their own acidity, saltiness and bite to the dish. This recipe delivers that balance with a few key ingredients that also deliver a heavy dose of nutrition.

Blueberries

Blueberries are among one of the most nutrient-dense berries. Just one cup of these little super fruits is packed with 4 grams of fiber, 24% of your recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin C,  35% RDV of vitamin K and 25% RDV of manganese. Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries have also been linked to preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and improving brain function. 

Kale

It doesn’t get much better than kale. A single cup of these dark leafy greens provides you with a hefty dose of key nutrients including vitamin A,  vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Kale is also packed with vitamin C. In fact, one cup of kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange—134% RDV. 

Almonds

A handful of almonds makes a tasty snack, but I love them sprinkled in this salad too. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. A diet rich in this vital fat-soluble vitamin can help lower one’s risk for heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  If that’s not enough, almonds are also a great source of fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats.

Broccoli

Perhaps one of my favorite vegetables, broccoli contains a number of vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, manganese, and iron. Known as a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli contains unique plant compounds called isothiocyanates. These compounds have been found to lower one’s risk for several types of cancer.

Mint

Yes, even mint offers several great health benefits. Just 1/3 cup of fresh mint leaves offers the body several key vitamins and minerals including folate and vitamin A. Studies have also linked mint to relieving irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion symptoms.

Beyond being ultra nutrient-dense, this salad is topped with my favorite homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette. For some reason, I always use to be afraid of making my own salad dressings. In the past, I’d just buy something from the store and call it a day. Eventually, I realized that salad dressings are not only simple to make but a game-changer too! Just shake a few basic pantry staples together in a mason jar and you have a super simple dressing that adds just the right amount of acidity to any salad. It’s safe to say that I’ve been forever converted to homemade salad dressings.

The final reason why I love this salad? The colors! With 4th of July right around the corner, you can bet that this watermelon salad will be sitting front and center on my table for dinner. The red, white and blue colors in this salad make it the perfect patriotic side dish for your Independence Day cookout. The ingredients also hold up well in the summer heat—no soggy salad greens here!

What are your plans for the 4th of July? I always like to try and make it to Summerfest at least once here in Milwaukee. The people watching is always worth braving the crowds. If you make this Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint, be sure to give the recipe a rating and leave me a comment below with your thoughts.

Want to keep up with me on social media? It’s @frydaeblog and #frydae absolutely everywhere. Give me a follow and say hello—I share recipes, behind the scenes cooking fun (plus failures) and other tasty content.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July and thanks for stopping by. Happy Frydae!

Watermelon Salad with Kale, Feta, Blueberries and Mint

Nothing says summer like sweet, juicy watermelon. With bright chunks of watermelon, this salad is loaded with crisp kale, fresh broccoli, crunchy almonds, red onion, blueberries and salty feta cheese. It's a marriage of some of my very favorite superfoods for a salad that's full of flavor and nutrition. Tossed in a homemade vinaigrette, this colorful salad will be a hit at your next summer cookout.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cups kale (roughly chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups watermelon (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup broccoli (stems removed, florets roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (sliced or slivered)

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and chop the salad ingredients as directed. Then in a large bowl, toss to combine.

    Next, in a mason jar, or container with a tight-fitting lid, combine Greek yogurt, balsamic vinegar, dijon, honey, salt and pepper. Seal the mason jar with its lid and then shake vigorously for 1 minute.

    When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and then toss until evenly coated in the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Lemony Goat Cheese Spaghetti with Garlic Herb Pangrattato

Lemony Goat Cheese Spaghetti with Garlic Herb Pangrattato

This simple pasta dish will quickly become a new favorite with your family. Tender al dente spaghetti noodles are coated in creamy goat cheese infused with bright lemon juice and zest. Then rustic pangrattato (bread crumbs) are toasted in melted butter with garlic and herbs and sprinkled over the pasta. Serve this pasta as a main dish with a side of crusty bread or as a side dish to grilled chicken or fish.

While I love fancy gourmet foods with wild ingredients and involved cooking processes, once in a while, it’s nice to get back to the basics. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite simple pasta dishes—lemony goat cheese spaghetti with pangrattato.

Hey, stop rolling your eyes. I know what you’re thinking. There goes Lauren being all fancy again. Pangrattato may sound fancy and exotic, but it couldn’t be more basic. Pangrattato simply translates to bread crumbs in Italian. See? Not fancy. In fact, for centuries, pangrattato has been referred to as “poor man’s parmesan cheese”. Don’t let these budget-friendly crumbs fool you though. These are not your average bread crumbs. Usually toasted in olive oil with garlic, herbs, and spices, these little morsels are jammed packed with flavor.

The magic of pangrattato happens while it toasts. The olive oil gets infused with whatever herbs and spices you’re using and then gets soaked up into the bread crumbs. It only takes a few minutes to toast the crumbs over medium heat. You know they’re ready once they’re golden brown and super fragrant. Beyond flavor, pangrattato also gives any dish you top it with great color, texture and crunch. These little crumbs are truly a great way to elevate even the most basic pasta dish.

Speaking of basic pasta dishes, the one I’m sharing today is the perfect candidate for a little pangrattato. Cooked al dente spaghetti gets coated in a luscious lemony goat cheese sauce and fresh parsley. For an added kick, I like to also include some crushed red pepper flakes too. I make this dish a lot for a quick lunch but I’ll also serve it for dinner often too. It’s great on its own with some crusty bread or served with grilled chicken or salmon.

To prepare this lemony goat cheese spaghetti with pangrattato, begin by cooking a pound of spaghetti according to the package directions. Then, before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. I repeat, save some of the pasta water. Am I the only one who has found themselves sobbing uncontrollably over their kitchen sink after realizing they forgot to save a bit of pasta water? It’s always so frustrating when it happens! Don’t let yourself become me—remember to save the pasta water.

Next, return the drained pasta to the cooking pot and add crumbled goat cheese, lemon juice, zest and, crushed red pepper flakes. The heat of the pasta will begin to melt the goat cheese and coat the noodles. Once the goat cheese is almost melted, begin to add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water to the pot. As you stir, the sauce will begin to emulsify and get super creamy. Keep adding the hot pasta water to the pot, gradually, until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. It should resemble an alfredo sauce. Finally, toss in a little fresh chopped parsley and then transfer to a platter to serve.

To finish off the pasta, sprinkle a generous amount of the toasted pangrattato bread crumbs over everything. I also like to squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top too. This creamy pasta may only contain a few ingredients but it’s delicious. To me, it’s the perfect summertime comfort food. You have the bright flavors of the herbs and lemon married with rich, creamy goat cheese. Perfection!

Let me know what you think about this lemony goat cheese spaghetti with pangrattato by giving the recipe a rating and leaving me a comment below. Also, if you make this dish, don’t forget to tag me on social media. It’s @frydaeblog and #frydae absolutely everywhere. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy. Happy Frydae!

Lemony Goat Cheese Spaghetti with Pangrattato

This simple pasta dish will quickly become a new favorite with your family. Tender al dente spaghetti noodles are coated in creamy goat cheese infused with bright lemon juice and zest. Then rustic pangrattato (breadcrumbs) are toasted in melted butter with garlic and herbs and sprinkled over the pasta. Serve this pasta as a main dish with a side of crusty bread or as a side dish to grilled chicken or fish. 

Course Main Course, Pasta, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound spaghetti (cooked al dente)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (+/-) pasta water
  • 1 tablespoons parsley (fresh, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage (dried)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon basil (julienne, for garnish)
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package direction. 

    While the pasta cooks, in a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add garlic and let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and then add the breadcrumbs and dried sage. Stir to moisten the crumbs and then continue to stir the crumbs over medium heat until toasted. Once the crumbs have turned a deep golden color, remove from heat and then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

    Once cooked, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the remaining water from the pasta. Next, add the crumbled goat cheese to the warm pasta noodles along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until the butter and goat cheese is nearly melted. 

    Now, gradually add the reserved pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, to loosen the pasta sauce. Continue to add until a creamy sauce forms and all of the spaghetti is coated. Stir in 1 tablespoon of chopped, fresh parsley and then transfer the pasta to a serving bowl platter. Finally, sprinkle the toasted pangrattato (breadcrumbs) over the hot pasta and garnish with ribbons of fresh basil leaves.

    Serve warm and enjoy.

Chocolate Covered Roasted Strawberry Pots de Creme

Chocolate Covered Roasted Strawberry Pots de Creme

Silky smooth honey ginger custard is layered with roasted strawberries and luscious chocolate ganache in this sinfully delicious pots de cream recipe. Perfect for summer, these individual desserts are simple to make and will be a showstopper at your next dinner party, celebration or random Tuesday night alone with your cat.

Nothing says summer like strawberries. Strawberries have always been one of my very favorite berries. Whether eaten fresh, blended frozen in smoothies or baked warm with rhubarb in a pie, I love these versatile little fruits. Today I’m sharing a recipe for Chocolate Covered Roasted Strawberry Pots de Creme. This light, yet indulgent, little dessert is perfect for summer. The chocolate adds a layer of decadence, while the roasted strawberries keep this creamy custard dessert nice and light.

If you’re unfamiliar with pots de creme (pronounced POH-də-KREM) it’s a French baked custard dessert made with egg yolks and cream and literally means “Pot of Cream”. The process of making pots de creme isn’t all that different from making crème brûlée. You just get different results since the custard for pots de creme lacks crème brûlée’s iconic carmelized sugar crust. The custard itself, however, remains nearly the same. Not as stiff as flan, but slightly thicker than a homemade pudding.

How to Roast Strawberries

As mentioned, this recipe also calls for roasted strawberries. This step does add about 30 minutes of cooking time to the recipe, but it’s totally worth it. If you’ve never roasted strawberries before, you’re in for a treat. As the strawberries roast, their sugars begin to break down and intensify. Once fully roasted, they’re super fragrant, juicy and almost jam-like. It’s pure magic!

In this recipe, I like to sprinkle the sliced strawberries with a little ground ginger and drizzle them with honey before putting them into the oven. It’s just another layer of flavor for this special dessert. After seasoning them, I place the sliced berries into a 350°F oven for 30 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then I just let the oven work its magic.

How to Make Pots de Creme

Don’t let the scary French name scare you. Pots de creme are super easy to make. Tempering the eggs and getting the doneness just right are the trickiest bits to master. However, once you nail preparing the custard base, the flavor variations are almost limitless! *Insert Mean Girls meme* Today’s recipe, for example, takes a standard vanilla pot de creme base and injects it with honey, cardamom and ginger. It really elevates the custard to another level. Then, I layer the custard with ginger roasted strawberries and luscious chocolate ganache for an extra summertime punch.

To make the custard, begin by warming a mixture of heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla paste, cardamom and ginger over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and honey until smooth. Once the cream begins to simmer, remove it from the heat. Now, it’s time to temper the eggs. Add a few tablespoons of the hot cream to the egg/honey mixture. Whisking continuously, add a few more tablespoons at a time until the egg mixture is warm. Then, add the remaining cream and whisk until smooth. You want to gradually add the hot cream to the eggs initially to raise their temperature slowly which prevents the eggs from scrambling. Trust me, Nobody wants a pot de scramble—YUCK!

Once the custard is mixed, the pots de creme can be assembled. Start by arranging a generous layer of sliced roasted strawberries in the bottom of four oven-safe glass ramekins. Then, fill each ramekin almost to the top with the custard mixture. I like to leave about 1/4″ at the top of each ramekin so I have plenty of room to top each with ganache before serving.

This final step is key. Pots de creme like a moist (sorry if you hate that word) oven. So they need to bake in a water bath. Place the ramekins into a 9x13 baking dish and fill with water. You want the water bath to go about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Then, cover the baking dish loosely with foil before putting the whole thing in a preheated 325°F oven.

Depending on how tall your ramekins are, they’ll need to bake for 45-60 minutes. You’ll know they’re done once the edges are set when touched and the center of each ramekin slightly jiggles. The edges may also have a very slight golden tinge to them. Once ready, remove from oven and uncover. Let cool at room temperature. Pots de creme can be served warm or chilled. I prefer mine to be chilled, so once they’re cool and no longer steaming, I’ll cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and chill them in the fridge until I’m ready to serve.

Before serving, I’ll prep the chocolate ganache. The ganache for these pots de creme is super simple. All you need is a few ounces of high-quality, chopped semi-sweet or dark chocolate and a little heavy cream. To make the ganache, warm the heavy cream in the microwave, or on the stovetop, for a few minutes until steaming (not boiling). Then, pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted, smooth and glossy.

To decorate the pots de creme, pour a thin layer of ganache over each chilled custard. Spread using the back of a spoon until smooth. Since the custard has been chilled, it should help set the ganache rather quickly. Garnish each pot de creme with a little whipped cream, sliced strawberries and a little chopped crystallized ginger. You can even drizzle each with a little honey too.

The flavor combo of the strawberries, chocolate and velvety smooth custard pair perfectly with the ginger. My love of ginger has become almost equal to my love of garlic. If a recipe says to add 2 cloves of garlic, I usually add 6. The same is starting to be true for ginger. I just love the warm bite it gives to savory and sweet dishes. Not to mention, ginger, like garlic, has lots of health benefits too.

Ginger has been used in alternative medicine for centuries. Widely regarded for its anti-inflammatory properties, Ginger also contains powerful antioxidants and is known to help ease nausea. Truth be told, I was (almost) sad I didn’t get morning sickness when I was pregnant with my daughter. I would have loved to eat extra ginger to ease the discomfort. Or maybe I didn’t have morning sickness because I eat so much ginger as it is? Oh well, a mystery for another day.

Anyway, back to these pots de creme. They’re super delicious and the perfect treat for a hot summer day. If you make these Chocolate-Covered Roasted Strawberry Pots de Creme, leave me a comment below and give the recipe a rating. Also, be sure to tag me on social media. It’s @frydaeblog and #frydae absolutely everywhere. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy. Happy Frydae, everyone.

Chocolate Covered Roasted Strawberry Pots de Creme

Silky smooth honey ginger custard is layered with roasted strawberries and luscious chocolate ganache in this sinfully delicious pots de cream recipe. Perfect for summer, these individual desserts are simple to make and will be a showstopper at your next dinner party, celebration or random Tuesday night alone with your cat.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Roasted Strawberries

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Chocolate Ganache + Garnish

  • 8 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • whipped cream (for garnish)
  • crystalized ginger (for garnish)
  • raw honey (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Roast Strawberries

    Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, combine sliced strawberries with 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and 2 tablespoons of honey. Gently toss to coat and then arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Roast strawberries in the oven for 30 minutes. Strawberries are ready when their color has darkened, juices have released and they're fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

    Prepare Custard

    Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl with a pouring spout (or 4 cup measuring cup) whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 cup of honey. Set aside. Then, in a saucepan, warm 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream. Add vanilla, cardamom and ground ginger and stir to combine. Continue to warm until the mixture is steaming and just starting to simmer—about 5-6 minutes. Remove cream mixture from heat.

    Next, temper the eggs by adding a few tablespoons of the warm cream mixture and stirring till combined. Continue to gradually add the warm cream to the eggs until the mixture is warm to the touch. It should be nearly as warm as the cream mixture. At this point, add the remaining cream mixture to the tempered eggs and whisk until combined.

    To assemble the pots de creme, arrange a generous layer of the roasted strawberries in the bottom of each ramekin. Next, pour the custard over the strawberries into the ramekins. Fill each nearly full, leaving about 1/4-inch at the top. Place the four ramekins into a 9x11 baking dish with a water bath. The water bath should go a little more than halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Finally, cover the baking dish loosely with foil and place the entire baking dish into a 325°F oven. 

    Bake for 45-60 minutes. The pots de creme will be ready when the edges are set and the center of each ramekin still jiggles slightly. Remove pots de creme from the oven and their water bath and let cool.

    Once the pots de creme have cooled to almost room temperature, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and then let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving. The custard will continue to set as it cools.

    Prepare Chocolate Ganache

    While the pots de creme are cooling, prepare the chocolate ganache. Place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl. Then, warm the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until steam. When the cream is warm, pour over the chocolate and begin to stir. Continue to stir the chocolate until it's completely melted, smooth and glossy. The ganache should be thick, yet easily pourable while warm.

    Garnish + Serve

    When ready to serve the pots de creme, remove from the fridge and uncover. Pour a few tablespoons of ganache over each of the custards and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. The cold custard will help set the ganache so move quickly to smooth the ganache evenly.

    Finally, add a little whipped cream to the top of each pot de creme and sprinkle with some chopped crystallized ginger. You may also drizzle each with additional honey too if desired. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Instant Pot Red Pepper Chicken Puttanesca

Instant Pot Red Pepper Chicken Puttanesca

This easy Instant Pot puttanesca is bursting with flavor. Juicy chicken thighs are cooked in a robust red sauce made using red pepper harissa, garlic-stuffed green olives, herbs and your favorite jar of pasta sauce. An easy one-pot pasta dinner ready in under an hour.

Puttanesca is one of my favorite pasta sauces but it’s one that I seldom get to make. You see, I live in a divided household when it comes to olives. My husband hates them but I absolutely love them. Lucky for me, it’s one of the few foods my 18-month old eats without question so recently the scales have tipped slightly in my favor. Hallelujah!

Today I’m sharing a quick, Instant Pot version of this robust sauce paired with chicken and linguine pasta. This puttanesca sauce takes a little short cut with a little help from not only the Instant Pot but also the use of your favorite jarred pasta sauce. One of my go-to tricks for quick pasta dishes at home is adding lots of extra ingredients to a jarred red sauce. It’s a super easy way to jazz up a basic spaghetti dinner and turn it into something a little more flavorful.

One ingredient that really jazzes up this Puttanesca is the addition of harissa. Harissa is definitely not Italian, but I love its sharp red pepper flavor that pairs great with the olives and capers. This traditional North African sauce is made from roasted red peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic, coriander, or saffron and other regional chili peppers. Harissa can range from mild to spicy so choose one according to your taste preference. While I’m usually a spicy girl all the way, for this dish I chose mild harissa. Harissa use to be more difficult to find but now it’s can be found in the ethnic foods aisle in most grocery stores. 

How to Make Instant Pot Puttanesca

In this dish, you start by pan searing the chicken thighs in the Instant Pot. I’m using skin-on chicken thighs, but you can also use skinless thighs or chicken breasts too for a leaner option. Once the chicken is seared, remove and then prepare the sauce. I start by adding cherry tomatoes to the Instant Pot set to the “sauté” setting. Let the tomatoes cook until they begin to blister and char. Then add diced onions and garlic and sauté until translucent and fragrant. From there, simply add the jarred pasta sauce, harissa, olives, dried herbs, capers and anchovy paste. Stir to combine and then return the chicken the Instant Pot.

Now the Instant Pot does the rest of the work. Cover the Instant Pot with its lid and seal the pressure release valve. Using the “pressure cook” setting, set to high, cook the sauce and chicken for 35 minutes. Once the cooking time has elapsed, quick release the pressure by opening the lid’s pressure valve. Let the pressure release and once the lid unlocks, open the Instant Pot and remove the chicken onto a platter. Finally, add the lemon juice and chopped kale to the sauce and stir until the kale begins to wilt. Serve sauce over cooked linguine with the chicken thighs and garnish with parmesan cheese.

This dish is so delicious. You can serve it over linguine, as I did, or any pasta you like. I’ve also served it over gnocchi before as well which was super yummy as well. Beyond being quick and easy, this puttanesca pasta also offers lots of nutritional benefits as well.

Olives

Grown on trees, these tiny fruits are related to cherries, almonds, peaches and other stone fruits, also known as drupes. Olives are very high in vitamin E and other antioxidants that are good for your health. Additionally, they’re packed with oleic acid, a special type on monounsaturated fat that is shown to reduce inflammation. Studies have also linked it to reducing your risk for heart disease and help fight cancer.

Kale

This superfood is king of leafy green vegetables for a number of reasons. A member of the cabbage family, a single serving of this vegetable will deliver a healthy dose of vital minerals and vitamins. Loaded with vitamin A, K and C, kale also contains vitamin B6, manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium and an array of antioxidants making it one of the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. 

Tomatoes

Known mostly for having a high concentration of the antioxidant, lycopene, which has been linked to reducing the risk for heart disease and cancer, tomatoes also are a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and vitamin K.

Do you have a favorite food that your spouse or significant other hates? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you try out this Instant Pot Red Pepper Chicken Puttanesca, please give the recipe a rating and tag me on social media. It’s @frydaeblog (#frydae) absolutely everywhere. Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you enjoy. Happy Frydae!

Instant Pot Red Pepper Chicken Puttanesca

This easy Instant Pot dinner is bursting with flavor. Juicy chicken thighs are cooked in a robust red sauce made using harissa, garlic-stuffed green olives, herbs and your favorite jar of pasta sauce. An easy one-pot pasta dinner ready in under an hour.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Instant Pot, Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Pressure Release 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs (skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes (whole)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup black olives (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup garlic-stuffed green olives (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 24 ounces favorite red pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup harissa
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups kale (chopped)
  • 1 pound linguine (cooked according to package)
  • parmesan cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot and set to "saute" setting. While the Instant Pot preheats, season each chicken thigh with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

    Next, place chicken thighs skin side down in the Instant Pot and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the skin is golden and longer sticks to the pan. Turn chicken over and cook for 3 minutes. Remove chicken from Instant Pot and set aside.

    With the Instant Pot still on "saute", add cherry tomatoes and cook until the skins begin to blister and char—about 3 minutes. Add diced onion and garlic and continue to cook until onions soften and are translucent. 

    Now add sliced olives, capers, jarred pasta sauce, harissa, dried herbs and anchovy paste. Season with salt and pepper, stir and then return the seared chicken thighs to the Instant Pot. 

    Cover the Instant Pot with its lid and seal the pressure valve. Switch the machine to its "pressure cook" setting on "high" and then set the timer for 35 minutes. 

    Meanwhile, cook the linguine in a pot to al dente according to the package direction. Drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and set aside.

    When the cooking time has elapsed on the Instant Pot, quick release the pressure valve. Let the pressure release and remove the lid once the device unlocks. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and arrange on a platter.

    Next, add the lemon juice to the sauce along with the chopped kale. Stir until the kale begins to wilt and then add the cooked linguine. Toss to evenly coat the pasta in the sauce.

    To serve, place a generous portion of pasta on a plate and top with a chicken thigh. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Summer Salads that Inspire from Around the Internet

Summer Salads that Inspire from Around the Internet

Yum

Summertime is just around the corner so I’m sharing a collection of some of my favorite summer salads from around the Internet. From grain-based salads featuring farro or quinoa to fruit-focused salads with juicy summer berries and tender greens, this round up offers something for everyone. 

While Wisconsin is known for its brutal winter snowstorms, believe it or not, we do get nice weather for a few short months too. Our pasty alabaster skin may glow with the light of a thousand stars, but we love summer just as much (if not more) than the next person. Personally, once summer hits, you’ll find me outside kayaking with my husband or venturing to a new playground with our daughter. Sidenote: she just learned how to say “dirt” today and it’s the cutest thing ever!

As for food, I’m always looking for recipes that either get me outside on the grill or are easy to throw together quickly after a long day outside in the sun. Salads are definitely one of my family’s favorites this time of year. Nothing is better in my opinion than a big bowl of crisp, cool veggies paired with juicy fruits or protein-packed, tender grains. Even my husband, who is a true carnivore, loves a big salad in the summertime. 

In this round-up, you’ll find a collection of some great, inspiring summer salad recipes. Some are hearty enough to stand alone as your main dish, while others are rockstar side dishes to serve at your next potluck or barbecue session. I’ve broken out this round-up into a few categories so feel free to jump around to the category that interests you most.

Fruit-focused Salads

I don’t know about everyone else, but in the summer I love salads that are loaded with lots of fruit. Whether grilled, chilled of pureed as part of the dressing, fruit in salads just screams summer.

from Calm Eats

Made with strawberries, mango, blueberries, avocado and walnuts, this salad contains all of summer’s best flavors topped with a spicy lemon cayenne vinaigrette. Yum!

Get the recipe here.

from Yay! For Food

Crunchy asparagus paired with bright oranges and crisp spinach are dressed with a flavorful basil lemon vinaigrette.

Get the recipe here.

from Zestful Kitchen

Peaches, fresh herbs and burrata star in this simple, yet flavorful summer salad.

Get the recipe here.

from The Cooking Collective

While blood oranges are often thought of as a winter fruit, their bright flavor paired with daikon, mint and peppery arugula makes for one refreshing fruity summer salad.

Get the recipe here.

from Haute and Healthy Living

Superfoods like broccoli and blueberries pack the salad with lots of color, flavor and nutrients.

Get the recipe here.

from The Rising Spoon

Nothing screams summer like cool and refreshing watermelon. Combined with crisp cucumbers and jicama and topped with a coconut lime dressing, this salad is going to be a new summer salad favorite.

Get the recipe here.

from The Fare Sage

Grilled peaches, soft ricotta and crisp fennel and cucumber come together in this beautiful and unique salad.

Get the recipe here.

Grain Salads

Loaded with protein-packed quinoa or farro, grain-based salads are not only nutrient-dense but filling too. If you’re one of those people who often feel unsatisfied after eating a traditional green salad, grain-based salads are a great option for you.

from Urban Foodie Kitchen

Bright red cherries shine in this summertime quinoa salad topped with crunchy cashews and red onion.

Get the recipe here.

from Hell Yes It’s Vegan

This colorful Mediterranean salad features marinated tofu, couscous, crunchy vegan “parmesan” almonds and lots of delicious veggies. 

Get the recipe here.

from Platings + Pairings

Farro with a tahini-based dressing? Sign me up! Loaded with chickpeas,  cucumber and juicy cherry tomatoes this summer salad is bursting summer flavors.

Get the recipe here.

from Spabettie

Multi-color cauliflower adds lots of bright, vibrant color to this quinoa salad topped with a shallot and sumac dressing.

Get the recipe here.

from A Virtual Vegan

Move over croutons, there’s a new crunchy salad topper in town and it’s savory granola. 

Get the recipe here.

from Vegan Art

Roasted beets and raspberries meet avocado, pistachios and quinoa in this delicious summer salad. 

Get the recipe here.

Green Salads & More

While not all of these are true “green salads” most of the salads in this category are dominated by crisp vegetables and/or leafy greens. So if you’re not a fan of fruit, grains or pasta in your salads, this group is for you.

from Frydae

Far from your everyday potato salad, this Nicoise-inspired salad features roasted potatoes, jammy soft-boiled eggs and lots of crisp green beans, asparagus and kalamata olives in a mustard vinaigrette.

Get the recipe here.

from Pass Me Some Tasty

Zoodles are not just for faux-pasta dinners anymore. Spiralized zucchini adds great texture to this simple, fun summer salad.

Get the recipe here.

from Simply Fresh Dinners

It isn’t summer unless steak is on the menu, right? With colorful maple roasted carrots and golden beets, this hearty summer salad will please everyone at your dinner table.

Get the recipe here.

from Greedy Gourmet

This classic Indian chickpea salad is hearty, colorful and full of flavor. Serve as a standalone meal or alongside some grilled chicken at your next barbecue.

Get the recipe here.

from Confetti & Bliss

If you have a picnic without a classic cucumber salad with dill dressing, does it even count?

Get the recipe here.

from Recipes from a Pantry

Fresh corn is one of my favorite summer salad additions. It’s the perfect addition to southwest and cajun salads like this one which features grilled shrimp and juicy red tomatoes.

Get the recipe here.

from Beyond Mere Sustenance

If you’ve never had cactus before, now is your chance. This nopalitos salad is dressed with a homemade citrus pomegranate vinaigrette that sounds out of this world!

Get the recipe here.

Panzanella Salads

Who loves croutons? If you raised your hand, then a summer panzanella is right up your alley. These salads are dominated by pieces of delicious toasted crusty bread. Traditionally made with tomatoes, herbs and stale bread that gets dressed in oil and vinegar, today panzanellas are only limited by your imagination. Here are a few I’m excited to make this summer.

from Frydae

Crusty toasted bread, arugula, salami, soppressata, mozzarella cheese, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and spicy jalapeños all get tossed together in a sweet honey dressing loaded with everything bagel seasoning.

Get the recipe here.

from My Kitchen Love

Sweet nectarines are paired with homemade pickled onions in this panzanella that features homemade garlic-basil croutons.

Get the recipe here.

from I Heart Vegetables

A close cousin to a classic panzanella, this simple salad features creamy avocados and pine nuts.

Get the recipe here.

Pasta Salads

No picnic, potluck, or summer barbecue session ever seems complete without a pasta salad. While some may argue that pasta salads are not really true salads, I still couldn’t resist including at least a few yummy options in this summer salads round-up. I hope you don’t mind!

from I Just Make Sandwiches

Loaded with classic Mediterranean ingredients like artichokes, capers, tomatoes and olives, this fresh spin on traditional pasta salad is tossed in an oregano vinaigrette.

Get the recipe here.

from The View from Great Island

Asian flavors come together in this great Thai-inspired pasta salad loaded with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro, basil and red cabbage and spaghetti noodles. Delicious!

Get the recipe here.

I hope this list of great summer salads helps inspire you this season in your kitchen. Be sure to bookmark or pin this page so you can reference back to it all season long. I’m looking forward to making my way through each of these while the warm weather lasts. Finally, if you have a favorite summer salad recipe that isn’t on my list, please share a link in the comments below. I’m always up for trying something new!

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