Posts tagged summer
Caprese Pesto Salad
Fresh and Balanced Kat Marris

I love any recipe that can act as a two for one! This recipe fits that requirement in the most delicious way possible!

This recipe is both the perfect cookout or pitch in side dish AND a lovely meal prep lunch! WINNER!!!

Make the recipe as is and bring to your next cookout or BBQ for a show stopping side dish. Then save some leftover grilled chicken, ribs or whatever you have on hand and add it to the salad for a delicious lunch to take to work!!

The salty olives, mellow mozzarella and tangy tomatoes all work together so well on a bed of crisp zucchini noodles. The final addition of bright and herby pesto really takes it over the edge!

Have fun with the olives as well! I kept it simple with Kalamata, but feel free to go crazy at the olive bar and add green, black, stuffed or any other olive that catches your eye!!!


Pesto Caprese Zoodles .jpg

Caprese Pesto Salad

Makes 6 servings


1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 cups mozzarella pearls

3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons homemade or store bought pesto

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

5-6 medium zucchini, spiralized

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, gently stir together olives, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Add in zucchini noodles and gently toss to combine. Top with chopped basil.

Banana Split Popsicles
Banana Split Popsicles

Oooooh boy is summer here! It's hot hot hot and the best way to cool down is with a popsicle!! These healthy popsicles not only have an amazing flavor, but they are extremely filling as well. 

I added honey into the recipe, but you could definitely leave it out. I think they are sweet enough without the honey, but you definitely have the option to sweeten them up! 

I used melted dark chocolate with crushed nuts and sprinkles for my toppings, but feel free to play with the toppings. I think that melted peanut butter drizzled over the top would taste amazing as well!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!


Banana Split Popsicles

Makes 4 popsicles



  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled 
  • 4 large strawberries, sliced 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter


  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted 
  • 1/3 cup crushed peanuts or pecans 
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles 
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes 


In a blender, add all ingredients except for toppings. Pour into a 4 count mold and freeze overnight. Remove from mold and melt dark chocolate. Dip in desired toppings! Freeze until ready to eat.


Chicken and Farro Salad

Have you ever worked with farro? If not, allow me to introduce you to your new best friend! Farro, is an ancient wheat grain that is nutty and hearty. It’s packed with fiber, magnesium, iron and even protein ( 1/4 cup has 6 grams!! )!! Farro is found with the barley, brown rice and lentils at the grocery store.

Farro cooks just like rice and the satisfying and chewy texture is a great addition to almost any dish. I use it in soups, as my meat replacement in vegan tacos, and even as a hot cereal! This salad recipe is fast and easy to make and is a great starting point if you are new to working with farro.

Feel free to add more veggies to this salad or use a different protein. I have made this salad with both salmon and tofu crumbles and it is fabulous.



Chicken and Farro Salad

Makes 4-6 servings


  • 1 cup farro 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cups arugula 
  • 1 shallot, diced 
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber 
  • 2 cups cooked chicken ( can use a rotisserie chicken), cut into bite sized pieces  
  • 1/3 cup your favorite balsamic dressing
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese                                                                                                                                                    
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


In a medium pot, combine farro, water and olive oil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer and cook until water is below the surface of the farro. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. 

If you are not using a rotisserie chicken heat oven to 400 degrees. Put chicken (breasts, tenders or thighs) on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasoning you like. Mrs. Dash's salt free onion and garlic seasoning blend is my favorite! bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes or until no longer pink and internal temp is 165 degrees.  

In a large bowl, combine arugula, shallot, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chicken, farro and dressing. Toss to combine, divide among plates and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Simple Summer Veggie Soup

Do you ever crave veggies? I do, usually right after a vacation where I have indulged in all the wine and cheese my body can hold! So when I get back home my first stop is the grocery store to fill my cart with all the green goodness my body is craving. This simple summer soup is a savory way to replenish your body after a vacation or anytime you want to fill your life with more veggies.  

This soup is simple and fast to make and sits light on your stomach but will definitely satisfy. Whenever I eat this soup I feel refreshed and replenished. The light herbed sour cream on top adds a touch of creaminess and tons of herby brightness. 

Feel free to use different veggies or add in a pasta in the last 10 minutes of cooking if you want to make this soup more substantial. 

My tip on this soup is to make sure that you cut all of the veggies roughly the same size so they all cook evenly. 



Simple Summer Veggie Soup

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 leek, trim the green top off, cleaned and sliced thin 
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed 
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth 
  • 1 cup asparagus, chopped into small pieces 
  • 1 zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh spinach 
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannelloni beans, drained 
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, drained 
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped 
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


In a large pot, add olive oil and leeks. Saute leeks at medium heat until softened. Add in potatoes and broth and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are crisp tender. Add in asparagus, zucchini, peas, tomatoes and beans. Cook at a low simmer for 10 minutes. Add in spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. Keep warm on low heat. 

In a small bowl, add the sour cream chopped herbs and garlic powder. Stir and season with salt and pepper.  

Ladle soup into bowls and top with a spoonful of herbed sour cream.