It’s almost summer, and with temps topping 90+ this weekend, I think summer really IS here.
So, it’s time to think about easy meals to cook for family and friends. Try to use re-usable plates (more environmental friendly than styrofoam or plastic) and wooden utensils to make clean up a breeze.
Salads are always good for summer meals – either as a main dish or a great starter dish. Here is one of my favorites – just add or take away sides as you wish.
Great Salad Bar Buffet
- 2 bags of salad leaves (I prefer Italian or a baby leaves selection)
- 6-8 large tomatoes quartered (or use half a basket or punnet of cherry or baby plum tomatoes)
- 1 part wine vinegar
- 2 parts olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp rosemary, crushed (optional)
- 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes (optional)
- Garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
- Bacon bits
- Cheese (shredded)
- Crumbled blue cheese
- Eggs, hard boiled and chopped
- Avocado, chopped or sliced
- Cucumbers, sliced
- Mushrooms, sliced
- Zucchini/Courgette, sliced
- Red onions, thinly sliced
For a heartier entrée, add one meat selection from below
- Ham, thick chunks or cubed
- Strips of cooked chicken
- Strips of cooked steak
- Put all the Italian dressing ingredients into a shaker bottle and shake well. (You might want to substitute the vinegar with Balsamic vinegar or have a bottle of Balsamic vinegar for people to add their own.)
- Toss the salad greens with the tomatoes and croutons in a large bowl. Surround this bowl with all the side dishes. Remember to add your favorite not listed above
- Place dressing near the end of the buffet so everyone can add their own. Have coarse black pepper here also.
This recipe serves 6 -8 easily. For larger crowds, just add an additional salad or spinach greens and a larger amount of sides.
Chicken Salad Wrap Ups
- 1 bag romaine salad leaves, torn (or your favorite salad greens)
- 4 tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2lb of cooked chicken, sliced
- 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced (or red onion)
- 1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- 4 flour tortillas (medium or large works best)
- Salt & pepper for taste
- Wash and slice the necessary ingredients and flake the chicken.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss well.
- Divide into 4 equal parts and put into a tortilla, and wrap.
NOTE: You can use a long toothpick to hold the wrap (open side down) and garnish with a cube of cheese, a rolled-up piece of salami, or a stuffed green olive.
Hot dog wraps with Pineapple Salsa
These will be a real hit with the kids in your crowd. Some of the younger ones will probably want theirs without the pineapple salsa. I know 2 of my grand-kids don’t do chilies at all, nor do they do herby leaves!
- 4 hot dogs (can use frankfurters or sausages)
- 4 medium flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or cubed small
For the salsa
- 1 small can (8oz) crushed or cubed pineapple, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander
- 1 Tbsp chopped green chilies
- 2 green (spring) onions (also known as scallions)
- 1 Tbsp lime juice (use lemon juice if you don’t have lime)
- Grated peel of 1 lime (again, substitute a lemon if necessary)
- Grill the hot dogs over medium heat, 6-7 minutes, until cooked. Brown evenly by turning them once or twice.
- Remove from grill and slice each hot dog lengthwise.
- While hot dogs are cooking, combine all other ingredients (except cheese and tortillas) in a bowl and mix well.
- Place about 2 T of salsa inside each tortilla or wrap and top with one hot dog. Sprinkle cheese over the hot dog. Wrap up by folding the short sides (top and bottom) of the wrap around the hot dog and then fold the long sides so these overlap. Do this with each hot dog and tortilla.
- Place back on the grill over medium heat, opening side down for 3- 4 minutes until sealed and browned. Turn them once to twice to get them evenly browned.
This serves 4, but for more servings, just add more hot dogs, wraps and increase the amounts of other ingredients for the salsa. It’s easy, and no need for exact measurements.
Happy summertime entertaining!
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