Oven Roasted Balsamic Caprese Kabobs

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This time last year: Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili with Homemade Tortilla Chips (2012)

Leonardo Da Vinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  I think this recipe can attest to that.

With only five ingredients, probably 75% of which you already have in your kitchen, you will be amazed at how delicious such a simple recipe is. And if you’re like me, you’re likely to be amazed that this incredible and delicious possibility has been living in your kitchen all along and you are just now discovering it! Sneaky recipe!

The flavor combination is simple. You’ve had it before. However, as Di Vinci said, there is something about simplicity that can be so beautiful, so delicious, and so right; so give it a try!

In addition to being 100% delicious, this recipe is not going to break the bank, take up too much of your time, and can keep for several days in the fridge! Win-win-win.

SO, what are you waiting for? Get cooking! Something simply delicious is waiting.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces of mozzarella balls (I used Bel Giosio Mozzarella balls!)
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil + more for the pan
  • Salt and/or garlic powder (as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil (fresh or from your spice rack!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F, and brush a baking sheet with a light layer of olive oil.
  2. Toss the cherry tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar (add a dash of salt and/or garlic powder if desired!)
  3. Arrange the tomatoes on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft, wrinkly, and plump, but not yet popped.
  4. Once cooked, remove the tomatoes from the heat and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Then arrange them on skewers, alternating between tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Sprinkle with basil and serve warm!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen!

Harvest Salad with Fruit, Herbs, and Goat Cheese

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This time last year: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (2014)

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Never have I ever truly craved a salad. I wish that was my life, but sadly, it is not. Chocolate, bread, coffee? Yes. I crave those every day. Salad? Mmmmm not so much.

However, a few weeks ago my dear friend Rachel invited me over to her house for lunch, and we whipped this salad together. The combination of goat cheese, fresh herbs, fruit, and colorful vegetables made for one of the most refreshing meals I’ve had all season! Thus for the first time, I was truly craving salad!

As the last glimpses of summer slip away, I had to dig up this recipe and enjoy the incredible combination of fruit and vegetables! No surprise- it was just as good as I had remembered it, and I am going to be enjoying it all week long!

If you’re not a huge salad person, give this a try. If you’re a huge salad person, you’re welcome for just changing your life.

Life should be colorful. Life should be healthy. Food should taste like this.

Dig in 🙂

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Salad Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cup romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed from the cob (or one can of corn- no sodium added)
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 peach, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup mixed toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), pecans, walnuts, and/or pistachios
  • 1 avocado, pitted + chopped
  • 4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ -1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, basil, parsley, thyme, corn, tomatoes, red pepper, blackberries, peach, jalapeno, and nuts.
  2. In a separate mason jar or small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients until fully combined.
  3. Top the salad off with avocado and goat cheese, toss once more, and serve with dressing on the side or drizzled over top. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Want to add more protein? Try warming up 16 ounces of chickpeas and throwing those into the mix! They are an excellent healthy source of protein!
  • Source: Half Baked Harvest
  • Like this salad? Try these other healthy and seasonal dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Strawberry Caprese Salad

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This time last year: Marinated and Roasted Eggplant with Smoked Almonds & Goat Cheese (2013)

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It is hard to believe summer is coming to a close! This happens to me every year. One day I’m perusing my cook books- picking out recipes that are in season with the summer heat, and the next second it’s fall and I’ve still got strawberry and watermelon recipes to post! Woops.

This recipe, a delicious variation on the classic tomato and mozzarella caprese salad, is a perfect summer side dish. The fact that it is served room temperature or chilled makes it ideal for that summer heat, and the addition of strawberries and walnuts makes it a creative crowd pleaser!

It may not be quite time for pumpkin and cider, but time is flying before our eyes. So, while the nights are still long, give this dish a try, in honor of summer. I promise you will not regret it.

Come back soon!

xo A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rinsed, sliced strawberries
  • 1 bunch chopped basil
  • 1 cup bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Sea Salt (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Combine the strawberries, basil, mozzarella, and walnuts in a bowl. Toss gently.
  2. In a separate dish or jar, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt to taste.
  3. Drizzle the strawberry salad with the dressing and serve!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Edible San Fransisco
  • Store chilled
  • Like this recipe? Try these other scrumptious and healthy dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below:)

Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing

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This time last year: Cranberry Field Roast Panini (2012)

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Oh Hello again!

It’s been a while. My b.

Once again, life got crazy, and I am now in my THIRD rented kitchen. What’s up, change?

I could give you a whole host of reasons why I have not been able to post much in the last two months, but who has time for that? The real point is that I have so many fun summer recipes I want to share with you guys, this one in particular is scrumptious, and after almost two months away, you have to start of big. Cue Berry Quinoa Salad with Citrus Honey Dressing.

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Summer is the perfect time for dishes like this, because they are so refreshing, they use seasonal ingredients, and they are best served chilled- perfect for a summer day picnic or a porch dinner.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and I hope you are able to share it with someone you love.

I have come to realize recently, how special that exchange really can be. Here’s to nourishing your heart while nourishing your body.

With love,

a rented kitchen

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Citrus Honey Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped basil

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries, cut in half
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup roughly chopped honey roasted cinnamon almonds or mixed nuts*
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside for later.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss the quinoa, berries, almonds, mint, and basil. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, and gently stir once more. Serve fresh and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • If you cannot find red quinoa, regular quinoa will work as well! Feel free to make it a day in advance, as long as the quinoa is cool prior to making the salad.
  • Blue Diamond, as well as stores like Whole Foods and Fresh Market, carry honey roasted cinnamon almonds and/or bags of mixed nuts! If you cannot find that exact combination, aim for something similar, or substitute with sunflower seeds or mixed nuts!
  • Source: Two Peas and Their Pod 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen (Links below photos!):

 

Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

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This time last year: Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes (2013)

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This time of year, it seems as if every other week I have a potluck or a picnic to go to (because who wants to do school work when it’s so nice outside?!). I have absolutely zero complaints about this potluck schedule; however, casual group gatherings do involve some strategy regarding what dish to bring. Ie: something that might not need heating or isn’t too messy to enjoy while sitting on a picnic blanket. Choices, choices!

This recipe is one of those ideal dishes for a potluck or picnic. I introduce you to this scrumptious Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad! (you’re welcome).

This pasta salad is so easy to make. It only takes ten minutes, five ingredients, and two bowls max. In addition to preparation ease, this dish is also a win in flavor! This pasta salad is beautifully rich and light, with the beautiful smell of the fresh basil, sweet taste of the strawberries, and the delicious flavor of the balsamic glaze.

You can’t go wrong here folks!

Enjoy this pasta salad, and come back and see me!

Happy picnic season 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball mozzarella, diced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and roughly torn
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic glaze

 Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.
  2. Once soft, remove the pasta from the heat, drain, and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any further.
  3. Transfer the pasta back to a serving bowl and toss with the strawberries, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Drizzle the pasta with half of the balsamic glaze, and stir to incorporate. Once incorporated, drizzle the remaining half of the balsamic glaze over the top of the pasta, serve, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Source: Gimme Some Oven
  • Gluten Free? Use gluten free pasta!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes form A Rented Kitchen (Recipe links found below!):
  • Parmesan Pesto Pasta with Roasted Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
  • Strawberry and Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Mint and Caramelized Onion
  • Balsamic Mushroom and Fruit Summer Salad