FMCC: Summer Salads and a Photoshoot

So, today was  a very special FMCC (Fresh Mamas Cooking Club)! Not only did we make three of my very favorite summer salad recipes, but my friend Karen stopped on over for a photoshoot of the Mamas at work. It was so great to sit back and enjoy running the show without worrying about getting photos of everything. I wish Karen could be with me every time I'm working on a recipe and need photos (plus she was a blast to hang out with-- she fit right in with the Fresh Mamas)! *Photos in this post by Karen Sigler Photography*

These salad recipes have been a staple in my home during the summer months,  forever.  If you have a BBQ or potluck in your near future, any of these will be a hit! The Sesame Noodle recipe is very special to me --I created this recipe a few years ago and actually won a cooking contest with the recipe! You can see the post on Stop Lookin' Get Cookin'. I changed it up a little bit today by keeping it vegetarian with tofu, instead of chicken, but you can certainly use any protein you like. The flavors in the Cucumber Salad and Mexican Salad are so tangy and fresh. Perfect for summertime!

So take a peek at our work in the kitchen and then enjoy the recipes -- Let me know which one you will be trying this summer!



Sesame Noodles with Crispy Tofu
1 1b. angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions
1 1b. extra-firm tofu, sliced crosswise in 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons. honey
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
3 green onions, chopped
1 large carrot grated (we used a spiralizer)
1 large handful cilantro, chopped
2-3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 cucumber, spiralized (optional)
1/2 medium zucchini, spiralized (optional)
salt and pepper
1. While water boils and noodles are cooking, place tofu slices on kitchen towel, place a second towel on top and press down lightly to absorb liquid from the tofu. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, honey, brown sugar, red pepper, and ginger in large bowl, whisk together and allow to sit while you move on to other ingredients.
3. Sprinkle the top of the tofu with salt and pepper.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil large griddle or fry pan over medium-high heat. Once oil appears to ripple on the surface, add half the tofu slices, seasoned side down. Cook about 5-7 minutes until browned, sprinkle uncooked side with salt and pepper, then flip over and brown on opposite side. Remove to plate and cook remaining tofu.
5. Once all tofu is browned on both sides, cut into 1/2 inch, bite size strips.
6. Once noodles are cooked, drain and rinse with cool water. Then add to large mixing bowl with dressing ingredients and toss thoroughly.
7. Add vegetables, green onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds and toss to combine.
*The noodles can be eaten immediately at room temperature or chilled overnight. We like it both ways in our house. Good in the fridge for 3 days.
If you have not bought a spiralizer, yet, I highly recommend you try one. I just got mine and am in love! Perfect for making "noodles" out of veggies, baking up sweet potato "fries" and more. This is the spiralizer I purchased:

Tangy Cucumber Salad
2 English cucumbers
1 medium red onion
1/3 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
salt and pepper to taste
*I originally found this recipe in Everday Food magazine by Martha Stewart
1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, using a spoon scoop out the seeds, then slice thinly into half circles.
2. Cut onion in half, remove the ends, slice thinly, place in large bowl with sliced cucumbers.
3. Mix mayo, sour cream, vinegar, honey, poppy seed, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Keep cucumber/onion mixture separate from dressing until immediately prior to serving and keep chilled. Toss well to combine and enjoy.

Mexican Bean Salad
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 12 oz. can vacuum sealed sweet corn
1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper
2 handfuls grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, cubed
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 handful chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Mix cumin, cayenne pepper, lime juice, honey, oils and salt in a large bowl.
2. Add vegetables, onions and cilantro. Toss well to combine. This salad tastes best when allowed to rest overnight in the fridge.
Have a great 4th of July weekend and if you are heading out to a BBQ, bring one of these recipes along. All three recipes are so easy to make and will be a hit with adults and kids, alike.
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