Baby, it’s hot outside – cool down with sun-dried tomato and tuna pasta salad


Here in Minnesota,  we are not used to heat like this.  Usually, while other parts of the country are sweltering,  we get warm and head for the lake.  We are starting our second week of oppressive heat,  with high humidity and high heat indices, well above normal.

This pasta salad is just the ticket to cool down and not use the oven…because using the oven heats the house something fierce.

courtesy of To Live & Diet in LAwpid-20150726_152401-1.jpg


  • 2 cups whole wheat rotini noodles, cooked
  • 2 cans Bumble Bee Solid Albacore Tuna, in water
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes,  chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Chop basil and sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Toss all ingredients together.

rainbow chopped salad with avocado basil dressing

There is a lot of chopping to make this salad,  but it is truly worth it.  I was a little sad when the bowl was empty at lunch.

I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow!

courtesy of the garden grazer



  • 1/2 small head red cabbage,  coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and chopped in quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans,  drained and rinsed

(for the dressing)

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1 – 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt


To make the dressing:

  1.  Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place in the refrigerator and make salad.

To make the salad:

  1. Chop all the vegetables and place in large bowl.
  2. Toss to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. wpid-20150531_110309.jpg

greek orzo salad with spinach, feta, and tomatoes

Greek Orzo Salad with Spinach, Feta, and Tomatoes wpid-20150531_175758-1.jpg

slightly modified from garden grazer


(for the salad)

  • 1 lb. Orzo pasta
  • 6 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 6 green onions
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 jar sliced greek kalamata olives

(for the dressing)

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil


  1. For the dressing, combine the vinegar,  garlic,  and basil.  Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine.
  2. Cook the orzo in salted water, according to package.
  3. Meanwhile, halve tomatoes,  slice the green onions, and roughly chop spinach. Place in large bowl.
  4. Add olives. Toss gently to mix.
  5. Drain orzo and immediately add to large bowl of spinach. Toss gently. The heat from the orzo will lightly wilt the spinach.
  6. Pour the dressing on top, toss to combine.
  7. Add feta and toss gently.
  8. Eat immediately or refrigerate to serve cold.