If you’re tired of the same old go-to sides for your summer parties and cookouts, then let me suggest trying something new to kick them up a bit. Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has an array of tasty sauces, marinades, and rubs that are perfect for injecting new flavors into not only grilled meats, but also your sides and vegetables for holiday cookouts.
For this recipe, I took the classic party dish of pasta salad and gave it a sweet and smoky twist by making a barbecue ranch dressing with Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce (in place of a mayonnaise-only or vinaigrette). The smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers nicely complement the sweet brown sugar and molasses in the sauce. To further enhance the barbecue flavors, I added in tangy blue cheese crumbles and smoky peppered bacon. And of course, to add some healthfulness to the dish, I threw in veggies like broccoli, squash, corn and fresh tomatoes.
To make this recipe an even more appealing option to add to your table, it’s incredibly easy to throw together – simply cut up your veggies and make the dressing while the pasta cooks. Then mix it together and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. This gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes and entertaining your guests.
If you’re going for a lighter, lower-calorie side, use Greek yogurt and/or light sour cream to make the dressing. Stubb’s products are great to use on your healthy fare because they don’t contain the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, ingredients or sweeteners you’ll see in many other similar products.
This summer, get creative with your food and look for Stubb’s to aid in creating some crowd-pleasing sides (and barbecue, of course).
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No lettuce required: Summer Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Salads are a staple of summer and they come in many forms. What pops into most folks’ heads when the word “salad” is uttered is most likely a plate full of leafy greens. While lettuce based salads are well and good, there are other forms of “salad” to consider this time of year, like ones consisting entirely of veggies and/or fruit. They’re a great way to utilize the best produce that this season has to offer and can be a great way to boost the nutritional content of your meal (barring they’re not swimming in mayo or sour cream because that kind of negates the “healthy” aspect).
This first recipe utilizes fresh, raw veggies that are tossed in (my take on) creamy Green Goddess dressing and it makes for a great side for a summer gathering. Instead of smothering this dish in a mayo and/or sour cream based dressing, it gets its creaminess from avocados and buttermilk — the latter being much healthier than you might think (one cup contains less than 100 calories and only 2.2 grams of fat). Make the dressing a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to marry and feel free to toss the veggies together with the dressing up to an hour before serving.
Summer Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 4 servings
2 ears of sweet corn (raw)
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 bell red or orange pepper, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons sliced fresh chives, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, ribs and seeds removed and minced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
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