Cucumber Pasta Salad

This cucumber salad recipe is light and refreshing. By letting the cucumber and onion sit in the vinegar, they get to absorb some of the tartness. However, paired with the pasta and other dressings, you end up with a flavorful and balanced side. It’s also very easy to make and you can easily double or triple it for your next cookout! It even tastes great the next day. I used 1 cup diced cucumbers, 1/4 cup shallots/onion, and 2 cups uncooked rotini.

  1. Dice up 2 small cucumbers, and 2 shallots. Add 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar, stir and set aside.
  2. Bring water in a large sauce pan to a boil. Add 16 oz rotini and cook for 15 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Add pasta to cucumbers and onion. Add 1 1/4 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, and 2 Tbsp Italian dressing. Stir and serve.

Chicken Parm Sandwiches

This is a quick and easy meal. I used Aldi brand chicken patties, and they were very good. I used American cheese, and my sandwiches were assembled in less than 15 minutes. I recommend getting a good toast on your bread and adding the sauce to the chicken and cheese and not directly to the bread, or it will get soggy.

  1. Cook chicken patties as recommended on packaging.
  2. Toast your bread.
  3. In a sauce pan, add tomato sauce. Add 2 tsp garlic powder, and 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning. Stir and heat over very low heat until boiling.
  4. Stack your chicken with cheese and 2 Tbsp sauce, top with bread, and enjoy!

One-pan Cheeseburger Mac From Boxed Mac and Cheese

If you’ve been following me for a while, this recipe may seem familiar. I made this about three months ago, however I had altered it since then. I’ve been able to alter the recipe and make this dish a one pan meal! I’ve also doubled my boxed mac and cheese to help distribute the meat better and to make a dish that would be great for a big family. For my original recipe, you can click here.

This is a homemade version of hamburger helper that just needs boxed mac and cheese. When cooking, you can choose to drain off the fat or not. Fats do add some flavor to dishes, however this dish doesn’t need that flavor to make a tasty dish. I also used 1/2 of a frozen diced onion. I just find it easier to dice and freeze my onions in bulk. I used a standard beef bouillon, but you can also use 4 cups low sodium stock in place of some water or powdered bouillon. And finally, I used Weis brand mac & cheese. You can try other types like Kraft or shells, but that’s what I had on hand. Remember to taste your food before serving, and add additional garlic, mustard powder, or ketchup as you desire.

  1. In a large dutch oven, brown and break up one pound of ground beef. Dice up 1/2 cup of onion and cook until translucent. Drain off any excess fat if you desire.
  2. Add 7 cups of water and 4 beef bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add 2 boxes of mac and cheese pasta. Stir regularly. Boil 3-4 minutes longer than recommended by the box, until most water has boiled off.
  3. Add your cheese packets and any other ingredients instructed by the box. Stir. Add 8 Tbsp ketchup, 3 Tbsp mustard, and 2 Tbsp garlic powder. Combine together and serve. Makes 9 adult portions. If you desire, excess can be frozen. To reheat, add a splash of milk and microwave 1-2 minutes, or 5-7 minutes if frozen.

Ground Beef Lo Mein

If you don’t have steak, this is a great option for some tasty lo mein. First, I used spaghetti for this dish instead of lo mein noodles. You can use either, but I usually keep lots of spaghetti on hand, so I used that. I used mushrooms and green beans for my veggies, but you can use many other veggies such as bok choy, carrots, peas, or radishes. Sesame oil is one of the biggest elements to this dish. The flavor and richness it brings to the sauce is important. I also used part worcestershire sauce and part soy sauce, because the worcestershire sauce has extra flavoring like added ginger, garlic and onion. You can, however, use just soy sauce to get the same great flavor. Finally, this recipe serves a lot! We had six generous sized portions with this recipe. The recipe also holds it’s heat well, but it also doesn’t need any time to cool before serving.

  1. Begin by boiling 16 oz of spaghetti until al dente. Strain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or wok, begin browning 1 pound of ground beef and crumbling it. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Once browned, add 1 can strained sliced mushrooms. Add 1 Tbsp ground ginger and 1 Tbsp garlic powder. Add 2 tsp sesame oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce. Stir until mushrooms where heated through.
  4. Strain a can of green beans, add to beef mixture. Then add strained spaghetti. Carefully stir and keep over heat until everything is heated through. Remove from heat and immediately serve.

Extraordinary Turkey Sandwich

This turkey sandwich is topped with fresh veggies from the garden, and a special sauce to knock your socks off. Apply the special sauce liberally to your sandwich to enjoy it’s flavor with everything else. I used dark turkey meat, but you can feel free to use white meat. I also added lots of lettuce and radishes. This added more flavors and textures, but it also made the sandwich very filling, making two sandwiches more than enough for a single person. I now believe that I am in fact mildly allergic to radishes, however, an allergy pill is more than enough to relieve all effects.

  1. In a small ramekin, add 1/2 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp dried minced onion, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Stir together.
  2. Toast your bread. Add a smear of dressing on both inside pieces of bread. Layer on top of one piece, add a layer of turkey.
  3. Layer on top of that a slice of cheese, a layer of lettuce, and finally, a layer of sliced radishes. This is a large sandwich, if you prepare 2, you don’t need to serve it with sides.