After going through my list of favorite summer dishes , I decided that I needed to shake things up a bit, and get a little creative. We eat a ton of fruits and veggies, and drink a lot of tea around our home, me being a vegan and all, so I set out to add a few new little fun summer twists to our recipe schedule of meals and treats.
When browsing recipes online, I came across an idea for a pasta salad that was basically an “everything but the kitchen” sink type thing, and I really kind of dug that idea. Why not just throw TONS of the tasty veggies into one fabulous salad and give it a taste. So I set out to find the perfect flavor combinations for our family, and here is what I came up with:
This is what I like to call my EVERYTHING Summer Pasta Salad. Using Barilla Whole Grain Rotini that I picked up at Walmart, I set out to create a fabulous pasta salad that everyone in my house would dig. Here’s what I used :
-1 Box of Barilla Whole Grain Rotini
- Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers ( we just added one whole, and several small, but this can be to your liking ) Chopped
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Varieties of cherry type tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Avocado
- 2 Roasted Ears of Corn cut off the cob
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 bottle of our favorite vinaigrette. We used a garlic flavored vinaigrette, but I’m sure just about any would be fabulous, so go wild! Vinaigrette’s are also quite simple to make yourself.
The great thing about this pasta salad, is you really cannot go wrong! Each ingredient can be measured to your specific liking or even omitted. I have a feeling there are so many other fabulous ingredients that would also work perfectly, but these were completely perfect for our taste buds!
This is a super simple dish to make, honestly, and I cannot believe it wasn’t already on our menu. All we did was start with our Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta, Italy’s #1 brand of pasta, followed the instructions on the back of the box, then once it was cooked, drained and rinsed our Rotini in cold water and put it to the side. We roasted our corn during this time and then cut it off of the cob. I then used my food processor to chop up my veggies, though doing it by hand works just as well.
At this point, the kids and I basically just dumped all of the ingredients ( veggies and dressing ) other than the cheese and pepitas in and gave it a really good even stir so that all of the veggies were evenly distributed.
Even though it was difficult to not just dig into, we covered our bowl with foil, and put it in the fridge for a few hours to cool everything down and give the flavors time to really settle and blend. Once it was time to serve, we topped each individual bowl with cheese and pepitas—( I don’t eat cheese, so doing it individually worked out best ).
This is a super light, amazing dish that makes a great addition to a meal, or can simply be served in a larger portion and is tasty enough to be the star of the meal! It’s light, bright and absolutely delicious!
Since we primarily drink tea in our house, I decided to add a few new favorites to our summer menu, using our old favorite Gold Peak Tea into the mix. I picked up a 6 pack of the Diet Gold Peak Tea from Walmart, and started brainstorming. In the end, I decided a infused tea would pair perfectly with our pasta salad, and I couldn’t have been more right!
Since Gold Peak is absolutely scrumptious on it’s own, I knew that it wouldn’t take much to come up with a tasty new spin that my kids would be sure to love.
For our drink, we simply took our favorite chilled Gold Peak Tea, poured it into a glass and added our most favorite fruits! We found that adding raspberries and letting them infuse into the tea for a bit was the most scrumptious combination. We garnished our glasses with strawberries, which was a big hit with the kids and definitely gives the table setting a little something extra!
These drinks are absolutely delicious, refreshing and since we used diet tea and only fruit as our added flavoring, still a very health conscious choice as well.
For our dessert/cold summer treat, we decided to stick with the tea theme, and make fruity tea pops! Think super delicious tea infused frozen goodness! This was also SUPER simple, which I love…
For these pops, basically all you need is your Gold Peak Tea ( sweetened is the best option for this ), popsicle molds and fruit. I personally chose to use pureed frozen peaches, raspberries and mint leaves.
Using frozen peaches that I ran through my food processor seemed to work out the best, I even just stuck my mint leaves in at the same time, which seemed to spread them evening throughout the mixture. The rest was simple, I filled the molds up about half way with my Gold Peak Tea, and then just dropped in my fruit. I added only peach and mint to a few, then threw raspberries in the mix as well. We froze our pops for around four hours, ran the molds under hot water, and then had not only tasty, but BEAUTIFUL frozen treats that I think are great for not only the kids, but adults as well. They have a very clean crisp refreshing taste, and are just sweet enough to really cure my craving for cool refreshing sweet treats.
I had a lot of fun creating these very crisp, healthy summer time menu additions and will definitely go perfectly along side our traditional summer grilling parties! They are simple, quick and although delicious, are light enough to go perfectly with a hot summer day backyard barbecue.
For more delicious summer recipes click here ( I know I have enjoyed them! ) Also, while you’re at it, check out this great coupon for $1 off when you buy any two (2) 64 fl oz bottles of Gold Peak Tea from coupons.com , plus this great Ibotta offer for Barilla – Buy 3 products and earn $1. Valid on all Barilla Blue Box Products and Barilla Pesto Sauce.
What are your favorite summer favorites? Do you use your Gold Peak Tea in any sort of unique ways? If so, I’m dying to hear! #SummerTastes