Family gatherings like reunions, picnics and potlucks can bring fun, the chance to reunite with family and, of course, food and celebration.
While catching up with family is most important for many, food typically comes in a close second. Tried-and-true favorites are welcome, but so are new additions.
This starter duo of Baked Onion, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip along with Orange Galette with Beet Gorgonzola Salad can get the celebration going.
To help mix things up, take a break from sandwiches. Chipotle Chicken and Bean Quinoa Salad Cups are a contemporary meal or snack alternative which kids and adults alike can enjoy. For a salad that feeds a crowd, try this Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad, a tasty accompaniment for entrees from burgers to fried chicken.
Chipotle Chicken and Bean Quinoa Salad Cups with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Prep time: 25 minutes
1 can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced chicken, cooked
1/4 cup finely sliced green onions
1 chipotle pepper, minced
4 leaves Bibb lettuce
Drain bean salad; reserve 2 tablespoons liquid.
To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk
reserved liquid, lime juice, adobo sauce,
mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil until
completely combined. Stir in cilantro; set aside.
In medium bowl, combine bean salad, quinoa,
chicken, onions and chipotle pepper. Add
dressing; toss gently.
Divide bean salad mixture equally among
Orange Galette with Beet Gorgonzola Salad
Recipe courtesy of Momma Cuisine
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced
nonstick cooking spray
1 sheet frozen puff pastry,
approximately 16-by-11 inches
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 navel oranges, segmented
4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola or
other blue cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups mixed baby salad greens
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Heat oven to 400 F.
Drain beets well; set aside on paper towels to
absorb remaining liquid. Discard liquid or save for
Spray large sheet pan with nonstick cooking
spray. Gently place puff pastry sheet on pan. With
pastry brush, gently spread 1/2 tablespoon olive
oil on pastry sheet. Place about half the orange
segments in two rows on top of pastry sheet,
leaving 1-inch margins on all sides.
Fold edges of pastry sheet to create border.
Sprinkle 2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola over
oranges. Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and basil.
Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven; cool on wire rack.
Coarsely chop beets. In large bowl, toss together
remaining orange segments, salad greens and
chopped beets. Drizzle with remaining olive oil;
toss gently to combine.
Cut cooked galette into 12 pieces. Top with beet
salad. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pecans.
Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
1 large red or yellow bell
pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 bag (16 ounces) iceberg lettuce,
carrot and cabbage salad mix
1 cup shredded Mexican
2 cans (15 ounces each) READ
3 or 4 Bean Salad, drained
1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped
chipotle peppers in
1/2 cup crumbled tortilla
1 small avocado, sliced (optional)
In 3 1/2-quart salad bowl or souffle dish,
layer bell pepper, onion, lettuce, cheese
and bean salad.
Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and
chipotle peppers. Spread over top of
salad. Cover and refrigerate up to
Just before serving, sprinkle top with
chips and sliced avocado, if desired. Toss
Baked Onion, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s
nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed,
sun-dried tomatoes, divided
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons sliced fresh basil, divided
coarse ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
or olive oil, divided
1 log (8 ounces) goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon Mediterranean herb
pita chips (optional)
Heat oven to 350 F.
Drain onions well; pat dry.
Spray shallow, oven-proof dish (3-4-cup size)
with nonstick cooking spray. Place onions in dish.
Press with spatula to flatten and crush.
Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon tomatoes, garlic, 2
tablespoons basil and black pepper, to taste. Drizzle
with 1/2 tablespoon oil.
Cut goat cheese into 6-8 rounds. Arrange over
onion mixture. Sprinkle with remaining tomatoes;
drizzle with remaining oil. Sprinkle with herb
seasoning, if desired.
Bake uncovered 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is
soft and mixture is bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining
basil. Serve warm with crackers, flatbread or pita
chips, if desired.