Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ahh....Summertime by Tara Randel



If you didn’t know summer had arrived by the date on the calendar, you would defiantly notice by stepping outside. Temperatures have been extremely high. Everywhere. Living in Florida, I‘m used to high summer temps, but this year has been brutal. I don’t know about you, but when it is this hot, I’m not in the mood for heavy meals.

Summertime is a great time for salad. Now, before you think ...how boring...salads can be lots of fun. There are multiple ways to spice up a plain old salad.

I keep many different salad dressings handy. Depending on the type of meat or cheese I might throw into the mix, dressing can add a whole new flavor.

I always mix up my greens. Romaine. Iceberg. Spinach. Bib. Greenleaf lettuce. Red leaf salad. Or a mixture. I love vegetables, and with so many available during the summer months, adding different tastes and textures adds a new dimension to the same-old routine. Top if off with chicken or turkey, some shredded cheese or nuts, and you have a cool, filling meal.

Since grilling is always popular during the summer months, I try to serve side dishes that are colorful and tasty. Below is one of my all time favorite recipes, which goes great with grilled chicken.

Summer Vegetable Tian

 
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sautê the onion and garlic with olive oil over medium heat until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  2. While the onion and garlic are sautéing, thinly slice the remaining vegetables. Make sure the potatoes are very thin so that they soften quickly while in the oven.
  3. Coat the inside of an 8x8" casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread the sautéed onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Arrange the other sliced vegetables, stacked vertically like dominos, in an alternating pattern. Season the top of the vegetables generously with salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
If you find potatoes too heavy, leave them out. The dish is still yummy.
 
Here’s a potato recipe I also love. Great with white or red meat.

Savory Grilled Red Potatoes 


Ingredients
Serves: 4
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·        
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·         1 large sheet heavy duty aluminum foil
Directions
10 mins Prep time 30 mins Cook time
·         Toss potatoes and oil in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat well.
·         Place potatoes in center of foil. Bring up sides of foil; double fold top and ends to tightly seal packet.
·         Grill over medium-high heat 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning packet over halfway through cook time. (it may be longer, depending on the setting off the grill)

I add 1 cup of shredded mozzarella or Italian mix cheese. Just sprinkle over the top of the potato mixture before closing foil.

And of course, fruit is in great abundance during the summer. A cool and refreshing way to end a meal.

Now I’m hungry so I’m signing off to go eat lunch. A salad, of course. 

And if you like to take a few minutes and read during lunch, check out my latest Heartwarming book, The Bridal Bouquet.


Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA TODAY bestselling author of twelve novels. She is currently working on new stories for Harlequin Heartwarming, The Business of Weddings series. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at Tara Randel Books
 

30 comments:

  1. Your salad looks amazing! I'm making that tonight, Tara!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your recipes, Tara. Try to stay cool!

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    1. Will do. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

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  3. I LOVE roasted potatoes, and now I think I need some...

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  4. Like Liz, I love roasted potatoes. Thanks for sharing your recipes, Tara. There's nothing better than a cool salad when temperatures creep up, along with the dreaded humidity. I can't wait to read your book...that cover is so beautiful!

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  5. Tara, thanks for your recipes. I agree that when it gets hot it's hard to even decide what to buy at the grocery store. We've had more of your Florida humidity lately. I find that makes wanting to fix food even harder. Did I tell you I really loved that book? If not, shame on me.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment! Sorry we're sharing our dreaded humidity!

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  6. Tara! Love the vegetable recipe - and I have all that. It's on the menu tonight. At our ages, we always eat lightly - except for last week, when our neighbor made a giant German dinner. It was so delicious, but we had to starve for the next few days to recover. Come visit me. It's 68 degrees right now and gorgeous!

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    1. 68!!!!! I'm jealous! Enjoy your meal!

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  7. Tara, I don't have much of an appetite when it's hot either. It's so nice that summer means all these fresh veggies. That grilled mix is right up my alley and looks like an entire meal to me. I'm heading to the farmer's market on Saturday. Can't wait to try it. Congratulations on your latest book - it's already queued up on my kindle. Can't wait to read it!

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  8. Tara, thanks for your recipes. I'm going to fix both of them. Re summer heat, I've lived in Fla., so I know what you mean. Here in the PacNW, it's supposed to hit 80 today, just about perfect.

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    1. Perfect is a memory.... Enjoy your weather!

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  9. Thanks for the delicious recipes. I don't cook much anymore, but these look like they would be worth the effort.

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    1. I don't cook much either, but these are two must-have recipes for me.

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  10. I'm having the roasted potatoes tonight, maybe add squash. :-) Love your post.

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    1. Sounds nice. I love squash too. I think I could be a vegetarian!

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  11. I'm so lame. I buy mixed salads and sometimes add cubed ham.

    Tonight, I'm making a meatloaf from the dump cookbook, only four ingredients.

    I love the dump cookbook.

    But, my husband wants to know if he can come to dinner at your house.

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  12. Yum. Thanks for the lovely recipes. I'm trying the vege dish as soon as the squash comes in. Loved the book.

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  13. Oh, Tara, these recipes sound so yummy. And guess what? I have all the ingredients right here. Will be trying your veggie casserole tomorrow. Like so many others, I think your newest cover is divine. Can't wait to read the book.

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  14. It has been brutal here in NC too....temps in upper 90's, but we had a bit of a reprieve a few days because of overcast skies. The recipes look great!! I've done the red potatoes with olive oil and some onion soup mix and it's good that way too. ( : Congratulations on The Bridal Bouquet.

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  15. Onion soup mix sounds good! Thx for the suggestion.

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  16. Thanks for the recipes! And your new book looks and sounds fantastic!! :)

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