Summer Food

Main Dishes

Zesty Feta and Shrimp Summer Pasta Salad

Ingredients

* 1 16 oz pkg farfalle (bow tie) pasta, uncooked
* 1 lb frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
* 1 2.25 oz can diced black olives,
* 1 pint grape tomatoes
* 1/2 cup matchstick carrots, chopped
* 1 cucumber, diced
* 1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped
* 2 to 3 TBSP marinade from artichokes
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 6 to 8 oz pkg feta cheese, crumbled
* Mrs. Dash salt free seasoning Italian blend to taste

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add farfalle pasta, cook 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain. Cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix the pasta, shrimp, olives, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and artichokes. Toss with artichoke marinade, balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, and season with salt-free seasoning blend. Chill before serving.

Grilled Sirloin Steak Primavera
A Dollywood Recipe

Ingredients

* 8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
* 6 oz grilled, sirloin steak
* 3 oz mixed vegetables (your favorite)
* 3 oz sundried tomato in olive oil, chopped

Directions

Cook and drain pasta. Grill steak to desired temperature and cut into ½ inch cubes. In a skillet, saute mixed vegetables until tender. Add steak, pasta, and tomato/olive sauce. Saute for 1 to 2 minutes and serve. Pass the Parmesan cheese.

Grilled Salmon Steaks
This works great with tuna steaks or any other firm fish as well.

Ingredients

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
* 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
* 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
* 2 TBSP Dale’s Seasoning
* 4 (6 oz.) Salmon steaks, 3/4 inch thick
* Vegetable cooking spray

Directions

Place salmon steaks in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Combine olive oil and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl; stir well. Pour marinade mixture over steaks. Seal bag securely; place in a large bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove steaks from marinade. Spray a grill with cooking spray, and place steaks on grill. Cook steaks, covered, over medium coals, basting frequently, for 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. You may also cook these by broiling them about 4 inches from the broiler. It will require about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Test as for steaks on the grill.

Sweet ‘N Sour Ribs
A Dollywood Recipe

Ingredients

* Rack of ribs
* Your favorite sweet and sour barbecue sauce

Directions

Smoke the ribs until fully cooked. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, brush on your favorite sweet and sour sauce generously.

Side Dishes

Grilled Corn on the Cob:

You will want to soak your corn still in the shuck. Soaking the corn first will keep the corn from burning while grilling. Start your grill about 30 minutes before corn is finished soaking. Once coals are hot and ready to cook, take the corn, still in the shuck, and place on the grill. Turn the corn occasionally until it is done. It will take about 35 minutes. Once the corn is done, pull the shuck back to make a handle and dip in some heated butter.

Eggplant Vegetable Medley

Ingredients

* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
* 1 lb yellow and/or zucchini squash, cubed
* 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
* 1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, chopped
* 1 tsp salt
* ¼ tsp ground red pepper (or to taste)

Directions

Place eggplant cubes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Spray a non stick skillet well with cooking spray (I like olive oil spray). Saute onion until crisp tender. Squeeze eggplant dry and add to skillet with the squash. Cook covered at medium heat until eggplant begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano,1 tsp salt and red pepper. Cook another 5 minutes. This is excellent hot, warm or cold as a side dish or as a low fat, high flavor snack.

Slow Cooker Summer Bean Medley
Although the cook time is long for this dish, using a slow cooker not only saves on energy costs, it also keeps your home cooler than using an oven.

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups ketchup
* 2 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
* 1 TBSP cider vinegar
* 1 tsp ground mustard
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1 can light red kidney beans
* 1 can black-eyed peas
* 1 can great Northern beans
* 1 can lima beans
* 1 can black beans

Directions

Drain all beans, rinse and drain again. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7 or 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. If you select the ketchup and Italian dressing carefully, this dish can be gluten free and a real addition for those with gluten intolerance.

Yellow Squash and Corn Casserole

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 lbs yellow squash, sliced
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
* 1 TBSP sugar
* 1 roll Ritz (or other butter crackers), crushed
* 2 cups (about 3 ears) fresh corn
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup grated cheese

Directions

Place squash, onion, green pepper and sugar in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain. Stir in crackers, corn and salt and pepper. Turn into a 2 ½ quart casserole which has been sprayed with cooking oil spray. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in a 350 deg oven about 45 minutes or until bubbly and the top is brown. Serve warm.

Green Bean and New Potato Salad with a Dill Dressing

Ingredients

* 2 lbs green beans, strung and broken
* 6 or 8 new potatoes (white or red)
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar
* 2 TBSP fresh dill, chopped (or 4 tsp dry)
* 1 tsp garlic, minced
* 2 TBSP sugar (or Splenda)
* 1 tsp each salt and black pepper

Directions

Place green beans in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to cook about 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Drain again and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the potatoes (do not peel) into a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to cook about 15 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a thin knife. Drain, cover with cold water, drain again and allow to cool. Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces and toss lightly with the green beans, onion and bell pepper. Mix oil, vinegar, dill, garlic, sugar and salt and pepper and whish to blend completely. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss lightly to mix. Place in a covered container and allow to chill before serving.

Zucchini Tomato Pie

Ingredients

* 2 cups chopped zucchini
* 1 cup chopped tomato
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 3/4 cup biscuit baking mix
* 1/2 cup milk
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Grease a 10-inch pie pan. Combine zucchini, tomato, onion, and Parmesan cheese in prepared pie pan. In a small bowl, combine biscuit mix, milk, eggs, and salt and pepper. Beat until smooth, then pour over vegetable mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sweet Summer Tomato Relish

Ingredients

* 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
* 1 small zucchini, chopped
* 1 small red onion, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 2 TBSP lemon juice
* 2 TBSP sugar
* 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
* 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, zucchini, onion, and celery; set aside. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine the lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, olive oil, salt, mustard, and poppy seeds. Cover; shake until well combined. Pour dressing over vegetable mixture. Cover; chill 4 to 24 hours. To serve, dip out with a slotted spoon as a relish for bratwurst, burgers, or ham. Or just eat it as a light salad.

Peachy Mexican Salsa

Ingredients

* 1 large peach or nectarine
* 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 jar mild salsa

Directions

Dice the peach, and cilantro into chunks using a knife. Put them in a blender or small food processor. Pulse a few times to chop. Add the salsa and pulse only a couple of times to mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Special Note: If you cannot find the peach or nectarine, a mango also works nicely in this recipe. This is great either as a dip with tortilla chips or toasted pita wedges or a sauce for broiled or grilled chicken.

Raw Veggies & Hummus Platter
A delicious option to relax and cool down with after a hot day.

Ingredients

* 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and drained again
* 1 tsp minced garlic
* 3 TBSP low-fat plain yogurt (add more if desired)
* Salt to taste
* 4 TBSP fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 cup tahini paste (sesame butter, made from ground sesame seeds)
* 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh parsley
* 4 green onions, finely chopped, the white and part of the green
* Pepper to taste

Directions

Place the garbanzo beans in a food processor. Add the garlic, yogurt, salt if desired, lemon juice, tahini, and parsley. Pulse mixture in the food processor, scraping sides often with the spatula, until smooth. Stir in green onions and spoon into serving bowl. To serve, set the bowl of hummus in the center of a large plate. Surround the bowl with the assorted vegetables. These can include carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, slices of zucchini, celery sticks or snow peas.

Note: You can make this without a food processor. Just mash the garbanzo beans, garlic, yogurt, and salt (if desired) with a potato masher until fairly smooth. With a spoon, beat in the lemon juice a few tablespoons at a time. Slowly beat in the tahini and parsley, then onions.

Desserts

Summer Dessert Refrigerator Cake

Ingredients

* 1 3 oz pkg. lime Jell-o
* 1 lemon cake mix

Topping:

* 8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 1 3 1/2 oz pkg lemon instant pudding mix
* 1 1/2 cup cold milk

Directions

Dissolve Jell-o in 3/4 cup boiling water. Add 1/2 cup cold water. Set aside. Mix cake and bake as directed in 9 x 13 inch pan, cool cake 20-25 minutes. Poke deep holes through top of warm cake with a heavy fork. Space holes about 1 inch apart. Slowly pour gelatin into holes. Refrigerate cake while preparing topping. In a chilled deep bowl blend instant pudding and cold milk. Beat until stiff about 3-5 minutes. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Immediately frost cake. Cake must be stored in refrigerator and served chilled.

Easy Orange Sunshine Cake

Ingredients

* 1 yellow cake mix
* 1 11 oz can mandarin oranges with juice
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1 box instant vanilla pudding
* 1 11 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
* 1 8 oz whipped topping

Directions

Mix cake mix, mandarin oranges (with juice), eggs and oil at high speed 3 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 pan and bake as directed on cake mix box. Beat together pudding mix, pineapple (with juice) in a big bowl. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cake and refrigerate.

Red, White, and Blue Trifle

Ingredients

* 1 white cake mix
* ingredients as needed to make cake according to pkg directions
* 1 quart strawberries
* 2 to 3 cups blueberries
* 1/4 cup sugar, divided (you may use Splenda)
* 2 pkg instant white chocolate pudding mix (fat free, sugar free works fine)
* skim milk to make pudding as directed on pkg
* 1 8 oz can low fat whipped topping

Directions

Bake cake according to pkg directions in a 9x13” pan. Allow to cool completely. If you wish, you may trim thin slices of cake to remove browned portions. Cut into 1” cubes. Cap and slice strawberries and sprinkle with 2 TBSP sugar and set aside. Wash and check blueberries and sprinkle with 2 TBSP sugar and set aside. Make white chocolate pudding according to pkg instructions and fold in ½ of whipped topping. Place 1/3 of cake cubes in bottom of a 3 quart trifle dish. Sprinkle with ½ of strawberries. Spread on ½ of pudding mixture. Add second 1/3 of cake cubes, Sprinkle with ½ of blueberries. Spread on remaining pudding mix. Add the remaining cake cubes. Sprinkle with remaining strawberries and blueberries. Spread remaining whipped topping on top. Cover and allow to refrigerate before serving.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 TBSP ground cinnamon
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 cups white sugar
* 3 eggs
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 cups shredded zucchini
* 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.

Angel Lush with Pineapple

Ingredients

* 1 4 serving size pkg sugar free Jell-O vanilla instant pudding mix
* 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
* 1 cup thawed whipped topping
* 1 10 oz (approx) round angel food cake

Directions

Mix dry pudding and pineapple with juice in a medium sized bowl and carefully stir in the whipped topping. Carefully cut cake crosswise into 3 layers. A serrated knife works best for this. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and spread on about 1 1/3 cups of the pineapple mixture. Place on second layer and spread about 1 cup pineapple mixture. Top with remaining cake layer and spread the rest of the pineapple mixture on top. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving to allow flavors to mix.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

* 2 cups self rising flour
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3/4 cup half and half cream (approx)

Directions

* Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or a fork.
* Stir in cream to form a firm dough.
* Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly for a few turns.
* Flatten onto the board and roll into an oval about ½ inch thick.
* Cut with a biscuit cutter and place carefully onto an ungreased baking sheet with the edges not touching.
* Roll and cut any scars of dough until all the dough has been used.
* Bake in a 400 deg oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
* Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter.
* Sprinkle with sugar.
* Cool to room temperature.
* To serve, split the shortbreads and fill with sliced sugared strawberries, which have been refrigerated overnight.
* Top with additional strawberries and light whipped cream.


Looking for more recipes to impress your guests?
Visit the links below for some tasty dishes that will have your friends talking all summer long!

Epicurious: Getting Steamy - Fresh summer menus, recipes, videos, and more!

Reader's Digest.com: Summer Grilling - Delicious, summer recipes for burgers, kabobs, seafood, sides and desserts!



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