Celebrate The 4th With a Little Change!

On July 4th there will be a lot of picnics around the country celebrating the day; hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and probably a lot of potato salad and macaroni salad. And like most summer time picnics everyone brings a side dish. This is when I like to bring something new and different for everyone to try, and like I said there is always plenty of potato and macaroni salad to go around, so why not switch it up a bit.

These two recipes would fit well into a summer time picnic and I believe everyone will enjoy the change. The Fruity-Tortellini Salad is sweet and refreshing with the citrus fruit and maple syrup, plus you can add chicken if you would like to use it as summer main dish option, and the cashews give it a great crunch.

Fruity Tortellini-Salad



  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 medium grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 medium lemon, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, optional
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cashews


  • Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and rinse in
  • cold water. In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, fruit and
  • chicken if desired.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the syrup and orange juice; pour over salad
  • and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Sprinkle with cashews just before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.

I also love the Couscous-Tabbouleh Salad, I take it hoping to keep it all to myself, but everyone loves it. I also add more parsley to this recipe, it is so good for you.

Couscous Tabbouleh



  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove
  • from the heat; cover and let stand for 5-8 minutes or until water is
  • absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beans, tomato and cucumber. In a small
  • bowl, whisk the lemon juice, lemon peel, oil and seasonings. Drizzle
  • over bean mixture. Add couscous; toss to combine. Serve immediately
  • or refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
  • Yield: 2 servings.

So have fun at your Fourth of July picnics with a little bit of a change.

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