Salads, side dish

Santa Fe Salad

I can’t beleive I have never posted this recipe. my daughter asked the other day if I could post this recipe to her Facebook Group for Recipe Share Wednesday. When I went browsing through the blog I did not find it. This is a classic Tills’ summer salad recipe that we have been making for over 25 years.

Back when we had our first house we had a picnic and one of my hubby’s co-workers brought this salad. We immediately asked for the recipe and it has been a summer staple. It goes together in just a few minutes after you cook the brown rice and has very easy ingredients.


2 cups cooked brown rice
1 16oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 17 oz can of whole kernal corn, drained
1/8 cup minced onion (use discretion)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cnipped cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 teasopoons chili poswer
1 teaspoon salt


Combine rice, beans, corn and onion. Combine vinegar, oil, cilantro, peppers, chili powder and salt in a small jar with a lid. Pour over rice mixture, toss lightly. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours for flavors to blend. Stir before serving.

Dinner, Pasta, Salads

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

With Summer slowly coming to a close the rush to make all of those salads you pinned or saw is here. I am not a big fan of mayonasied based salads. I will eat them but prefer to have something that is not slathered in Mayo. I saw this recipe from a favorite blog that I have been following for years The Noble Pig. This salad is right up my alley! Italian Pasta and Italian Dressing. This comes together quickly and taste great.


  • 16 oz dried cheese tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (5 oz) bag mini pepperoni slices
  • 1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons finely sliced fresh basil


Prepare tortellini pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, pour pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water. Once cool transfer to a large bowl and gently toss pasta with Italian dressing. Add bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, olives, mozzarella, red pepper flakes and basil. Toss until all ingredients are fully combined.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least six hours. (Before serving, taste and toss with more Italian dressing if you think it needs it.)


Creamy Corn Salad

Need a new salad recipe this summer? Try this easy and tasty summer corn salad that packs a kick.   Get away from the  the boring old potato or macaroni salad. Put down the  cole slaw you have made for years and years  and give this corn salad a try.

  • 2 lbs. Frozen corn, thawed under cool running water
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup diced purple onion
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup light mayo
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Combine the corn, red bell pepper, onion and Serrano pepper in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Gently stir into the corn mixture. Add in the chopped cilantro and stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add a little extra cilantro to dress the salad a enjoy!

This recipe was modified from a post by I Wash you Dry


Mediterranean Pasta Salad – not just for Summer

Now that we have hit Labor Day, it is inevitable that summer is slowly coming to an end. The cookouts, summer parties, shorts and t-shirts as the daily apparel and the extremely hot dry summer we have will soon be a memory. But it doesn’t mean an end to cooking like it is still summer. I found this recipe when I was looking for a pasta salad, but not your typical pasta salad with the italian dressing as part of the mixture. After having this I think we can make this again and again, even as the snow starts to fly!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


12 ounces farfalle pasta
1-12 ounce can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained (reserve 2 tablespoons of oil)
½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
¼ cup sliced scallions
1 cup packed fresh arugula
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon pine nuts


3 tablespoons basil pesto ( jarred pesto is fine)
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of reserved sun-dried tomato oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse and drain the pasta and allow for it to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl combine the prepared pasta, chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers and scallions. Toss to combine.
At this point, you can store the pasta salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve if you want to serve it cold.
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the pesto, olive oil, sun-dried tomato oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. The dressing can be refrigerated until you’re ready to serve the salad.
When you’re ready to serve, add the arugula, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts into the salad and toss to combine. Add the prepared dressing and taste test for seasonings.

Ravioli Salad for summer

This is an old favorite of mine.  I stumbled upon it years ago when a local grocery store would include recipes with their Perdue chicken breasts.  As I just pulled the recipe out of my box I realized just how old this is.  Instead of putting a web address down to search they have a address to send away for more 30 minute menus with Perdie Fit’n Easy.  So I guess this was from before Al Gore invented the Internet.  Ha ha!  The salad is paired with a Roman Grilled Chicken that uses a bottled dressing as a marinade base.  I don’t make that recipe very often, but the salad side dish is a summer favorite.
This is also a favorite recipe of our little guy.  Ok he is not so little anymore.  He is taller than his sister, which she is not too happy about, and now taller than me. So, I try to wear heels around him so we can see eye to eye. He has grown so much in the past year and losing the baby face to become a wonderful young man.  His father has taught him well.  It is such a pleasant surprise when he opens and holds the car door for me.  He must be still in a major growth spurt because he is also eating a lot these days.  He  loves anything pasta, so this is a great salad for him.

Ravioli Salad (or Tortellini Salad)

Cook 1 package (7ounces) cheese ravioli or tortellini following package directions. Use the fresh stuff in the dairy case.   Drain and toss with 1/2 cup reduced calorie olive oil vinaigrette salad dressing with balsamic vinegar, 1large red bell pepper, diced, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, 2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese and salt and ground pepper to taste.  Serve salad at room temperature.  Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

It is Salad Season!

Hubby did the cooking this past weekend and mixed up a couple of tasty salads.  He opened up the big binder of recipes and picked a couple that we thought we had made before, but now not so sure.  He made a potato salad from Hellmans and Bobby Flay.  Now, I am not a Mayo fan so I tend to shy away from potato salads made with Mayonnaise, but this one was pretty good.  It reminded us of my husbands favorite potato salad – Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Potato Salad.  The only thing missing was the chipotles which add some wicked heat.  This made a nice size salad which was quickly gobbled up by the kids and my husband.  Give it a try!

Once you have made this check back to see what other salads we have whipped up.  

Bobby Flay’s Green Onion Potato Salad

2 lbs. red potatoes
1 Tbsp. PLUS 2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
1-1/4 cups Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 green onions (green and pale green part), thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley

Cover potatoes with water in 4-quart saucepot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; drain and cool slightly. Slice into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Combine Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, vinegar, jalapeno peppers, salt and black pepper in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and toss gently. Season, if desired, with additional salt and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature.