S is for Salad & Salsa.

I came home early today because I’m not feeling too well… and after a 3 hour nap, I decided to get some culinary therapy. There were quite a bit of random fruits, veggies, cheeses and misc foodstuff to be used – all of which were in varying proportions. So I decided to put my Iron Chef thinking cap on to create 2 things – salad and salsa.Here is my recipe for a Mediterranean Inspired Orzo Salad:

1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
water for boiling
1 teapsoon olive oil
1cup baby grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
crumbled feta cheese to your preference
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Boil water in pot and cook orzo.
Drain orzo and place in large boil with 1 teaspoon olive oil; stir.
Add remaining ingredients and fold in.
Here is my recipe for Spicy Mango Peach Salsa, which I will be using later tonight with dinner:

1 ripe mango, diced
2 ripe peaches, diced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime

Combine the above ingredients; chill.

Feta & Spinach Pasta Salad

Independence Day is normally celebrated with a traditional cookout of burgers, brats and hotdogs… and this year, I made this Mediterranean inspired pasta salad:

Feta & Spinach Pasta Salad
with balsamic vinegrette

Here’s my recipe for the Feta & Spinach Pasta Salad:
1/2 box of bowtie pasta
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 bag fresh spinach
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3-4 baby yellow bell peppers, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1 jar marinated mushrooms
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup balsamic vinegarette dressing

Cook pasta until al dente.
In a large salad bowl, add the cooked hot pasta, spinach, feta, olives, peppers, mushroom, oregano.
Pour dressing over the mixture and toss.
Top with chopped tomatoes and serve.

Mediterranean Meatloaf

Mediterranean Meatloaf

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1 (10oz) pg frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup feta cheese
2 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 1/2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
3/4 can of evaporated milk

– Heat oven to 400 degrees.
– In large bowl, combine all ingredients and shape into a loaf.
– Bake 45 minutes or until juices run clear.
– Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Mediterrean Olive Dip

Mediterrean Olive Dip

1 cup pitted black sliced olives
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

– Place the first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a paste. Transfer to a bowl.
– To the olive paste, add feta cheese and sundried tomatoes; combine thoroughly.
– Serve with bread or crostini.