Potato, Corn and Spinach Salad √

Serves 6.

Note: While the potatoes and corn benefit from marinating in the vinaigrette, the spinach can wilt. So to ensure the spinach stays fresh and crisp, bring it in a separate container and toss just before serving — or simply serve the potato and corn salad on top of the spinach. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 lb. baby red potatoes, scrubbed

• 3 medium ears of corn

• 1 red pepper, diced

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

• 1 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/2 tsp. black pepper

• 4 c. fresh baby spinach


Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to boil. Cook until just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.

Shuck the corn and break each ear in half. Cook in the same boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes until tender but not soft.

Remove the cooled potatoes and drain, then place on a dishcloth to drain further. Immerse corn in the same ice bath until cool. Cut each potato into 1/2-inch slices and place in a large bowl.

Remove corn from water and let drain. Use a chef's knife to cut the kernels off each ear. Add kernels to bowl. Add the red pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss gently to combine. At this point the salad can be made up to 1 day ahead. Add the spinach just before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Farro Caprese Salad √

Serves 8.

Note: Farro is a wholesome, sturdy grain that won't get mushy as it sits in the dressing, making it the perfect base for a picnic salad. From Meredith Deeds.

• 2 c. uncooked farro

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper

3 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half

8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-in. cubes

1/2 c. basil leaves, torn into bite-size pieces


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add farro and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. When farro is done (it will still be slightly chewy) drain in a colander and cool slightly.

While the farro is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Place the farro in a large serving bowl and add the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. Drizzle the dressing over salad and lightly toss until salad is coated. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Asian BBQ Beef and Coleslaw Wraps √

Serves 10.

Note: The beef can be made and kept refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. Reheat briefly in the microwave to bring beef to room temperature before assembling the wraps. The coleslaw can be made up to 4 hours in advance. From Meredith Deeds.


• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 1/2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast

• 1/2 c. hoisin sauce

• 1/4 c. low-sodium soy sauce

• 3 tbsp. rice vinegar

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce or chile-garlic paste

1 1/2 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger

• 2 tsp. dark sesame oil


• 1/4 c. rice vinegar

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 2 tsp. dark sesame oil

• 1/2 tsp. salt

1 (16-oz.) pkg. ready-to-eat coleslaw

• 1 c. shredded carrots

• 1/4 c. chopped cilantro

• 2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

10 (10-in.) whole-grain tortillas


For the beef: Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the roast dry on both sides with paper towels. Place the roast in the hot skillet and cook for about 6 minutes a side or until well browned.

While the beef is browning, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, Sriracha, ginger and sesame oil in a slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the beef to the slow cooker and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove beef from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or other work surface. Shred the beef using 2 forks, removing any bits of fat. Place beef in a bowl. Skim as much fat as possible off the top of the sauce in the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the beef and toss to combine. Set aside to cool while making the coleslaw.

For the coleslaw: In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and salt. Add the coleslaw, carrots, cilantro and sesame seeds. Toss together.

To assemble wraps: Place 1/3 cup of the beef and 1/2 cup of the coleslaw (use a slotted spoon to avoid getting too much dressing in the wrap, which could make it soggy) on top of each tortilla. Fold in tops and bottoms of wraps by about 1 inch, then roll tightly from one of the open sides to enclose filling. Wrap tightly in plastic or waxed paper. Serve immediately or keep cold for up to 2 hours until ready to serve.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Tenders with Creamy Garlic-Rosemary Dipping Sauce √

Serves 6.

Note: Cooling completely on a rack before covering in a container helps keep the chicken from getting too soggy. Panko breadcrumbs are larger and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs, which could be substituted. From Meredith Deeds.


• 1 c. buttermilk

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 lb. chicken tenders (about 18)

4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

• 1/2 c. grated Parmesan

1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs (see Note)


• 1/3 c. low-fat buttermilk

• 1/3 c. low-fat sour cream

• 1/3 c. low-fat mayonnaise

• 1 tbsp. minced rosemary

• 1 clove garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Whisk together buttermilk, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and toss to coat. Marinate, chilled for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over each of 2 heavy, large, lined baking sheets.

Stir the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the breadcrumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes, switching the pans in the oven halfway through.

Transfer the chicken tenders to a rack to cool to room temperature (this will help avoid condensation that will make the tenders soggy) before placing in a container to keep chilled until ready to serve.

While the chicken is cooling, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, mayo, rosemary and garlic in a small bowl. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Serve the chicken cold or at room temperature with the dipping sauce on the side.