How was your 4th? Ours was both relaxing and productive… just what I needed!
Chances are you’re still enjoying friends and family and the last thing you want to do is have to spend a ton of time in your kitchen.
The great thing about summer is that you can get by with a lot of things that don’t normally fly during the winter. During the winter, you want heavy, hearty meals and that’s what your friends expect too.
During the summer, lighter fare is much more acceptable and even enjoyed.
So to help please everyone: you’re not locked away in the hot kitchen while everyone else is enjoying a glass of wine; and yet the food on the table is plentiful, beautiful and delectable, I put together this spread…
How To Make An Appetizer A Meal
Basically the idea is to have a wide assortment of your favorite fresh veggies, cheeses, and meats (and meatless options), and spreads along with some fresh, baked bread.
And no, you don’t have to bake your own bread. I just picked up some whole grain pita at a local store and cut it into wedges.
For my spreads, I headed to Trader Joe’s for hummus and Tzatziki (Dan’s favorite), and then I tossed together my favorite pea pesto dip (takes 3 minutes).
Enough chit-chat, here’s the real deal “How To” guide!
Gyro Anti-Pasta Platter
- 1 cooked chicken (cooked on the stove with 1 tbsp oil, garlic and pepper)
- 1 organic Chorizo chicken sausage (cooked along side the chicken breast)
- 1 block tempeh, sliced and cooked the same as the chicken (only needs to cook a few minutes on each side)
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced jalopeno cheese (I used Lisanatti Almond Cheese)
- Sliced cucumbers
- Whole wheat pita bread, cut into wedges
- All-natural hummus
- All-natural Tzazkiki sauce (bought at Trader Joes)
- Pea Pesto (Recipe below)
To add more options, I also had boiled a very large artichoke that we all munched on.
And guess what… surprisingly, everyone was full. And it was so relaxing to sip on a glass of wine and just pick at the tray. We all simply sat around making our own “gyros” as we chatted and enjoyed each other’s company. Such an easy meal, yet it truly was delicious and pretty on the eyes!
Vegan Pea Pesto Recipe
Both Dan and I hate peas. We try to like them. Each year when I see them at the market, they look so gorgeous and vibrant that I make us try. Maybe over the past 12-months, perhaps our taste have changed?
Nope… each year we both agree that we still don’t like peas.
But we love pea pesto!
It’s great on sandwiches, crackers, veggies and of course pasta (did you see my pesto fettuccine on Instagram?).
- 1 bag frozen peas (or fresh)
- 1/3 cup unsalted cashews (or 1/4 cup parmesean cheese)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup basil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt
Ready for this… toss it into a food processor and blend until smooth. That’s it.
And it keeps for quite a while in the fridge. We ate on it from Friday until Monday and it was still just as green and flavorful.