Tag Archives: cucumbers

Refreshing Tomato Salad

Let me say right off the bat that if you don’t like the taste of mint you can leave it out to this salad. My friend Doll does not like anything with mint so before she makes the “ewww” sound after reading the recipe I want her and all mint haters to know the mint is optional. Doll claims to be a southern girl but how can she really be southern if she doesn’t like the taste of mint. Come on! Mint julpes are a southern staple. At least where my family comes from and they are southern.

Hubby and I both like the flavor of mint in salads. I think it adds a refreshing taste to quite a few dishes. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip and I love an ice cold peppermint patty. The creation of my Refreshing Tomato Salad was my welcome spring and summer gift to the family. It is packed with olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, artichokes and of course Tomatoes!

I was fortunate this year to have a good crop of tomatoes so I was able to add our homegrown tomatoes to this salad. I have not tried growing cucumbers yet but maybe next year I will. I prefer English cucumbers because regular cucumbers have too many hard seeds. But, that is just my preference. Use whatever type of cucumber you like or have handy.

During these last days of summer I have been making this recipe a little more frequently. It is always sad to see the warm weather turn a little cooler because it means the end of short sleeves, sandals and shorts. I for one will miss the warm days but I also look forward to the beauty of fall weather. Good thing for me my Refreshing Tomato Salad is delicious no matter what the weather may be.

Refreshing Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

4 – 6 small tomatoes large dice cut

1 English cucumber diced

1 jar marinated artichokes drained and slightly chopped

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup Italian black olives

¼ cup olive oil

juice from ½ lemon

½ tbsp red onion diced small

½ tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

½ tsp dried dill

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Serve as a side dish or add a little bow tie pasta to make it a meal.

 

 

 

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Chickpea and Cucumber Mint Salad

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I recently went on a cucumber buying spree because my local grocer had so many beautiful cucumbers on sale. In the summer months the store features produce from local area farmers. I try to support farmers as much as I can because when you get produce direct from a farm you know it was grown with tender loving care. Plus, the fruit and veggies are usually huge!

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Anyway, my grocer had some really nice cucumbers and after eating a bunch of them all week I needed to find one more way of serving them besides with lettuce. I decided to keep it simple and incorporated a few items from my little garden like small cherry tomatoes and mint. In the end, I made a Chickpea and Cucumber Mint Salad.

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The cucumbers were crisp. The tomatoes were sweet. And the chick peas were light but filling. To top it all off, the mint made the dish taste refreshing. If you like cucumbers and want a light refreshing salad, try making this Chickpea and Cucumber Mint Salad. I doubt you will be disappointed.

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Chickpea and Cucumber Mint Salad

Ingredients:
1 15oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 large cucumber peeled in into stripes and cubed
12 small cherry tomatoes
4 – 5 mint leaves chopped
4 tbsp Gazebo Room Greek Salad Dressing and Marinade
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
juice from ½ lemon
pinch of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Chill for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend together.

 

 

 

 

 

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BCT Sandwiches (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato)

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BCT (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato) sandwiches are a nice little treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Instead of a heavy load of bacon, eggs, potatoes and pancakes, a light but filling sandwich is the way I like to roll. Nothing against a big breakfast but after eating that much food I am ready for a very long nap.

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A take on the classic BLT, the BCT provides refreshing veggies and the smoky taste of bacon. I first experienced having a breakfast sandwich with BCT when my hubby brought one home from a trip to the gas station that also has a deli inside. It was on a particular Saturday which I deemed cereal day because I was not into making breakfast that day and no one else volunteered. Since hubby wasn’t in the mood for cereal he decided to pick up a breakfast sandwich when he went to get gas (he is such a good multi-tasker). I must say I was a little envious when he showed me his sandwich and I looked down at my soggy cereal.

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Needless to say, I decided I could re-create hubby’s Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato sandwich and turn it into a sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For breakfast and lunch the BCT is pretty straightforward. Although, to elevate the BCT as a lunch sandwich I sometimes add lettuce or fresh baby leaf spinach. For dinner, I will add a few thin slices of turkey breast or smoked salmon with capers.

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No matter when you decide to eat a BCT I know you will like it. Especially, if you are tired of cereal.

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BCT Sandwiches (Bacon, Cucumber and Tomato)

Ingredients:
4 sliced bagels
1 large tomato sliced
1 medium cucumber sliced
½ lb bacon fried slightly crisp
4 – 5 tbsp softened cream cheese

Toast bagels. Spread both sides of bagel with cream cheese. Layer one side of bagel with tomato, cucumber then top with bacon.

Optional:
thin slices of turkey breast
slices of smoked salmon and capers
fresh baby leaf spinach

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Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

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I was watching a cooking show the other day that was dedicated to Mediterranean cooking which my family and I really enjoy. The seasonings used in Mediterranean cooking are a lot different from those used in southern cooking. I always like a challenge whether in cooking or elsewhere so I decided to stretch my imagination and learn how to fix a simple Mediterranean dish. The chef on this particular show made a tabbouleh salad that looked delicious but required a little more work than I like to do.

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Instead of using bulgur wheat as the grain in the salad I decided to add a new twist and use Quinoa. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It also helped to add an extra layer of crunch to the salad along with the cucumbers. Texture and taste are two key elements of any dish especially for salads when you are trying to have layers of flavor.

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One of the best ingredients used in Mediterranean cooking is mint. I had not cooked with mint in the past except for making iced tea. The thought of using mint in a salad was a different but welcomed experience. It was amazing how the mint and other seasonings blended so well together and lifted my taste buds to a new level.

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Mediterranean Quinoa salad is a wonderful side dish that goes well with chicken, fish or pork. So the next time you want something healthy, quick and easy to make try this salad to help spice up your meal.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

 Ingredients:

1 cup Quinoa

1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half

2 tbsp parsley chopped

2 tbsp mint chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 English cucumber chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp Gazebo Room Greek marinade and salad

½ cup feta cheese

Juice from ½ lemon

Prepare Quinoa according to package instructions. Let cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve at room temperature.