Lemon Herb Pasta Salad

We have a delicious guest post from Suzanne of Bebehblog. It is pasta salad too, which I am ridiculously excited about. This entire blog was inspired by an idea to think of as many different pasta salads as possible, but I broadened the scope because my husband hates pasta salad. In a delightful twist, Suzanne’s husband hates soup. So, together they form the very antithesis of this blog. Awesome! Now, on to the recipe.


My husband hates soup. And salad. And pretty much any food that is quick, easy and delicious so I’m constantly on the hunt for recipes that are not ground-beef based. I have no idea how I tricked him into eating this pasta salad but he officially LOVES it and requests it all the time. I make it for potlucks and cookouts all the time – just make sure you don’t accidentally kill anyone who’s allergic to pine nuts.

Lemon-and-Herb Pasta Salad
adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 4 (or 2 very, very hungry people)

1 pound bow-tie pasta
I lemon, peel grated and juiced
About ½ cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
A couple handfuls greens (spinach, baby greens, arugula, whatever)
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped up
½ cup grated parmesean
½ cup pine nuts, toasted*
½ cup chopped fresh dill

  1. Cook pasta according to directions on the box, drain and rinse under cool water.
  2. In a small bowl, mix lemon peel, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil and a little salt and pepper to make the dressing.
  3. Combine bell pepper, greens, eggs, cheese, nuts and dill in a large bowl. Add pasta and toss.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Add more olive oil if it seems a little dry. Eat.

*I toast the pine nuts by tossing them in a small skillet for a few minutes on medium heat. Just shake them around a few times until they get a little brown.

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Tomato and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Yay! Natalie, one of my favorite people, with one of her favorite salads. She is super fun on twitter (go follow her now) and then go check out her brand spanking new blog: Little Things. I am so pleased to present this recipe and can not wait to try it myself. I think it looks fantastic.


In college, I joined Weight Watchers. Every week, I would dutifully go to the meetings where we were given double sided recipe cards. While there were some doozies on those cards, this pasta salad became one of my favorites. If you’re not a fan of Feta, Parmesan Cheese works well too. You can also use other types of pasta. Variations over the years have seen add cucumbers and chicken at the request of my husband, who is not a fan of artichokes. It was okay, but I really like the original recipe. I now include a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper to give it extra zing. The beauty of this recipe is that it begs to be adapted. Below you will find the original recipe I was given almost a decade ago.

Tomato and Artichoke Salad
Serves 4
6 oz uncooked bow-tie noodles
1 can (14-16 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and halved (not oil-packed)
1 cup chopped ripe plum tomato [I have used cherry, romas and mini pearls too]
¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions; rinse under cold running water, drain well, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients except cheese; add noodles and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Serve sprinkled with cheese and enjoy!
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Black Bean and Corn Salad

This salad is the easiest thing ever. And it has a ton of uses. It could be salsa or a veggie taco filling in a pinch. It can be served on lettuce for a more formal salad, as shown, or just the beans and corn as a side with burgers or enchilada. Speaking of burgers, this might be a good topping for a tex-mex style burger. Or you could fill a tomato or avocado for a pretty lunch presentation. So many ways to enjoy this simple salad!

Black Bean & Corn Salad
Serves 4ish
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons prepared salsa verde (medium or hot because the spiciness mellows)
1 tablespoon sour cream, plus more for garnish if desired
1 tablespoon white vinegar (I used white balsamic)
Juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
shredded lettuce, if using

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine salsa, sour cream, vinegar and lime juice, whisking thoroughly.
  2. Add beans and corn, mixing well.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. A little hot sauce or extra time juice would be great too.
  4. Put shredded lettuce on a serving plate, top with the black bean and corn salad and that add a little dollop of sour cream, if desired.
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Many of you know Mandy from Harper’s Happenings as the stylish mama to Harper and founder of Steppin Out Saturdays, but did you know she cooks too? A dedicated pho addict, this recipe is the result of taking matters in to her own hands. And when she isn’t cooking up a pho-storm, she is scouring the Pacific Northwest for charming finds for her online vintage store, Opal.


it’s really no secret how much i like pho. i talk about it frequently and dream about eating it daily. if asked to choose between pho and a good vietnemese noodle salad, i would probably keel over from the sheer pressure of it all. since the only pho place in the Harbor charges over 14 bucks for a bowl of pho (but to it’s credit, the chicken that it comes with is freaking amazing), and i refuse to drive to tacoma everytime i want some (which is daily), i decided to try to make some at home.

many of the recipes i found online were authentic, but a little too time intensive for me. i want it now. i stumbled across this easy recipe at Soon, Then and it sounded right up my alley – easy. today i ventured to the store, which was kind of a dumb idea since it’s so close to turkey day and the crazies were out in effect, and bought all the goods to make scot and i some steaming bowls of chicken pho (or pho ga as you’ll see it at restaraunts). scot prefers the beef and meatball variety, but i like the lightness of the chicken broth so i always order chicken. the ingredients were fairly easy to find at the regular grocery store, and once you have the spices and sauces, you just need to buy the noodles, meat and veggies the next time you want to make it.

serves approximately 4 people, or 2 very hungry people with leftovers

shopping list:

  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 ounces fresh ginger, 4 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, halved
  • 2 star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, trimmed
  • 8 ounces fresh bean sprouts
  • 16 ounces rice stick noodles or udon noodles
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 or 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

do this:

1] combine broth, chicken breasts, garlic, onion and fish sauce in large pot and bring to simmer. i sauteed the garlic & onions for a few minutes before adding the rest.

2]combine the ginger, cloves & star anise in a tea difuser and submerge in the soup.

3] simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken in cooked through. remove chicken and cut into small pieces (i used 2 forks to pull it apart into shredded chunks) and put back in the broth.

4] follow directions for whatever noodles you buy. the ones i got (thin rice vermicelli) called for a 15 minute soak in cold water and then add to the soup for 10 minutes at the end.

5] remove the tea infuser, discard spices, and ladle the soup/chicken/noodles/deliciousness into large bowls.

6] add sprouts, cilantro and lime to your liking. i personally enjoy a ton of sriracha, lots of sprouts & cilantro with no lime. scot prefers hoisin, sriracha, sprouts and basil with lots of lime.

7] shove in your piehole repeatedly using chopsticks.


This recipe originally appeared on Harper’s Happenings here.

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Pumpkin Tortilla Soup

YAY! So excited to share this one with you guys. Sarah from One Starry Night, aka StarryMom on the twitters, posts delicious recipes on her blog in addition to amazing photographs and helpful wordpress tips and tricks. In fact, she designed my other blog and the awesome masthead for this site. Really, she is simply the best. And I have a feeling you will love this soup.


This soup has a hint of spicy and smokey from the chipotle pepper and a really great flavor from the corn tortillas both in the soup and as a crunchy garnish! This soup is also vegan as well. Personally we top ours with shredded sharp cheddar but that isn’t needed.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup
Serves 4

For Soup:
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
4 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 cup cilantro
1 1/2 C pumpkin puree (which is one of those regular sized cans)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (one of those BIG cans)
4 C vegetable or chicken stock
6 corn tortillas, sliced into squares
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For Garnish:
6 corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried/baked
lime wedges
chopped cilantro
shredded cheese
avocado, cubed with some lime and salt

  1. In a food processor (or you can chop it all by hand), slap in the garlic, cumin, onion, cilantro, salt, black pepper, chipotle pepper, and blend that all until its a nice fragrant paste.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add some olive or vegetable oil, about a tablespoon or so and add in your paste and diced corn tortillas.
  3. Cook the paste and tortillas (stirring often) for about 2-3minutes.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, canned diced tomatoes, vegetable/chicken stock, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for an hour or so.
  5. Once the soup is cooked through, ladle into bowls and top with any or all of the delicious garnishes! I bet sour cream or vegan sour cream would be a great addition too!

This recipe originally appeared on One Starry Night.

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Wild Rice Soup

I am so pleased to feature this soup from Midwest Elle (Original post here). It sounds so good. My mom used to make a similar soup, but that recipe is lost with the missing recipe, like so many dishes I remember fondly from my childhood. She is a delight on Twitter, so if you aren’t following her, go do that now; the soup can wait. Her blog is great too. There is no picture, but if you close your eyes, you can let your tummy do the imagining.


We all have choice meals that mom makes. The meals we begged to be served when coming home for college and declare you never want to look at another buffet line ever again.Or after having a baby and it hurts to stand and cook for any length of time beyond making a pop-tart. Or during times of stress and hardship when all you need is a comforting hug from your mom to know everything will be okay. Nothing compares to moms cooking.

My mom’s wild rice soup is one these precious meals for me. During my sophomore year in college I brought back 3 large soup jars of this amazing soup after Christmas and hid them in my mini-fridge so that my roommates wouldn’t eat them. This is soup is most definitely within the top 10 of my favorite foods. So if you plan on serving ham for Christmas dinner and need a super yummy recipe to use with the left-overs, look no further. You NEED to make this wild rice soup!

Wild Rice Soup

2 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Minced Onion
1/4 C Flour
4 C Chicken Broth
2 C Cooked Wild Rice*
1/2 tsp Salt
1 C Half & Half
1/3 C Minced Ham
1/2 C

  1. Saute onion in butter until tender (about 10 minutes).
  2. Blend in flour and gradually add broth.
  3. Cook until thickened.
  4. Stir in rice, salt, ham and carrots and simmer about 5 minutes.
  5. Blend in half & half and heat to serving temperature.

    *To prepare rice: measure 3/4 cup of dry wild rice. Bring water to a boil and add a small amount of oil. Simmer until rice is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain – the rice does not absorb much water.

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Cheddar and Ale Cauliflower Soup

This soup came together because I had all the ingredients on hand on a cold and rainy day. I’ve made a similar soup before with potatoes, but thought I would give it a try with cauliflower. There are a few similar recipes online, but they had much more dairy which makes a soup too heavy for me. So, here we are. Cauliflower, Sharp Cheddar and Beer. Life is indeed good.

Cheddar and Ale Cauliflower Soup
Serves 4
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons of butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups stock (I use beef, but chicken or vegetable would work as well)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (about 6 full rotations of the grinder)
1/8 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups or 12 ounces of beer (Ale is best. I use Sam Adams, but feel free to be fancy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2/3 cup sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Melt butter in heavy bottomed soup pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes,
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add 1 cup of the stock, scraping any flour up off of the bottom pan and mixing well. Add the remaining stock, pepper, salt, sage cauliflower and beer. When you add the beer, the mixture may bubble up a bit.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until cauliflower is cooked, about 20 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Non-immersion blender instructions below)
  6. Add cheese 1/3 cup at a time and use immersion blender to combine.
  7. Add milk, mixing well.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with hot sauce (swirl if desired, instructions below), additional cheddar cheese or both.

If you do not have an immersion blender:

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above.
  2. Puree soup in batches in food processor or blender until smooth and return to soup pan.
  3. Using a whisk, add cheddar cheese by the heaping tablespoon and stir immediately and thoroughly until each addition of cheese is combined before adding more cheese. This will keep the soup from clumping.
  4. Add milk, whisking thoroughly.
  5. Adjust seasonings.
  6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with hot sauce (swirl if desired, instructions below), additional cheddar cheese or both.

To swirl the hot sauce:

  1. Ladle soup in to bowls.
  2. Sprinkle hot sauce on top of soup in a random pattern.
  3. Using something pokey (like a toothpick, skewer or a meat thermometer), stick it in to the center of the hot sauce dot and drag outward making a thin line.
  4. Repeat with all of the dots until a light marbled pattern appears.
  5. If you like more hot sauce, make bigger dots and you can get a more defined patter, like you would with frosting on a cake.

    Step 2

    Step 3


    Yay! (I realize that the color of the hot sauce against the soup is a little strange. It was fine in person)

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Spicy Shrimp & Noodle Soup

This recipe comes from my dear internet friend TMae from Life Version 2.0. We are basically pop culture twins who happen to live on opposite coasts with a friendship forged in the melancholy waters of Depeche Mode fandom. But, there is one noticeable difference, I can not stand shrimp. She, however, loves the shrimpy little guys. We are lucky and she shared this recipe with us.

Spicy Shrimp and Noodle Soup
Serves 4

1lb uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp. Tails reserved. (Choose medium or large shrimp depending on your preference.)
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch fresh, peeled ginger, slice two 1/4inch disks and finely chop remaining 1/2 inch
1/2 tsp sambal oelek, or chili garlic sauce
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
32oz low sodium chicken broth
6oz Soba noodles (the package I buy them in has 3 bundles, I use 2)
Oil for cooking shrimp
2 limes (1 lime zested and juiced, 1 lime cut in to wedges)

  1. In medium saucepan bring chicken broth to a boil. Add shrimp tails, and 2 1/4 disks of ginger and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the solids from the chicken broth and set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with oil. Add garlic, and chopped ginger: cook for a minute. Add shrimp: cook until mostly pink (about 3 minutes). Add sambal oelek or garlic chili sauce and continue cooking until shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Return broth to boil and cook soba noodles until al dente: about 4 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce, lime juice and zest to shrimp and toss. Reduce heat to low, add cilantro and toss until wilted.
  5. Divide broth and noodles among 4 bowls. Top with shrimp mixture, garnish with lime wedges and enjoy!

Additions / Substitutions
Extra firm, well drained tofu for shrimp, or in addition to shrimp.
Extra garlic, and ginger.
Cayenne pepper for sambal oelek
Rice or udon noodles for soba
Top with crispy fried shallots

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Gluten Free Chicken Taco Soup

I have come to know Devan mostly through the twitters, but she has a fabulous blog Accustomed Chaos, where she blogs about her family, her life and celaic disease. She posts delicious recipe and graciously let me re-post one here. She is now testing out a vegan diet, so this soup predate that change. She is a multiple miscarriage survivor and recently launched a perinatal grief support blog, Unspoken Grief. I am so proud of her new endeavor and thrilled to share this recipe with you.

Gluten Free Chicken Taco Soup

1lb chicken thighs
1 can whole peeled tomatoes; mashed
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium spanish onion; chopped
2 cloves of garlic; minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
*optional: hot sauce

  1. In a crock pot line chicken at bottom and top with remaining ingredients
  2. Cook on low setting for 5-7 hours; shred chicken thighs with a fork
  3. Serve warm with a scoop of sour cream & tortilla chips and enjoy!

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Broccoli Salad

Jody is back! I’m reposting a salad from her personal blog Kiwiverse. This looks so good. YUM.

I really like broccoli salad. Years ago, I really liked one from a popular salad restaurant chain in California. The downside? SOMETHING in that salad made me sick. Every single time I ate it. Every. Single. Time. Eventually, after a handful of times I figured out it was the broccoli salad and had to give it up. And I’ve sadly avoided it ever since.

Until now.

Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks posted a recipe for broccoli salad. In fact, it’s been there for years but I just recently came across it. And I HAD to try it. For those of you not familiar with Heidi, she awesome. You need to go check out her site. She takes beautiful photos, shares amazing recipes, travels and she has a new cookbook being released in April – I’m so excited to see it!!! I adore her and have loved every recipe of hers I’ve tried.

And this one did not disappoint. It is amazing, I just had to share it here! I made a couple changes to the original recipe so if you want to check that one out, click here.

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad
Serves 6
5 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces (I used two bunches)
1 clove garlic, smashed into paste with 1/4 t salt
1/4 c almond butter
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 t honey
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T hot water
2 crisp apples, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c toasted or candied walnuts or almonds (I used almonds but can’t wait to make again with the candied walnuts)
1/3 c fried shallots
handful of chopped chives

  1. To make the fried shallots heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil (or clarified butter) in a large skillet. Cook for about 15 minutes until they’re dark but not burned.  Drain on a paper towel.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, large enough to accommodate the broccoli. Generously salt water.
  3. Drop in broccoli and quickly cook, just long enough to take the raw taste away, no more than 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook it!
  4. While broccoli is briefly cooking, fill a bowl with cold water.
  5. Drain broccoli and dunk in cold water to stop cooking. Give it a spin in the salad spinner to dry it so it doesn’t make the salad soggy.
  6. Make salad dressing in a small bowl by whisking together the garlic paste, almond paste, lemon juice, honey and olive oil.
  7. Add the hot water to the dressing and whisk until the dressing gets creamy.
  8. Taste dressing and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  9. In a salad bowl, combine the broccoli, diced apple, red onion, nuts and the fried shallots with the dressing. Toss well.
  10. Sprinkle with chives.
  11. Enjoy!
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