Thank you Scout & Cellar, Carrie Strimel for the opportunity to try a few of your fabulous wines! This post is supported and sponsored… as always all thoughts and opinions are mine.
Summer nights are almost more hectic than during the school year. Post-camp, requests to go in the pool, ALL the wet towels, the sun fooling me into believing it’s only 6pm when it’s actually 8:27pm (yikes!), and general chaos as early mornings and late evenings blur into each other, make enjoying meals as a family a bit of a task. My summer go-to, when not firing up the grill, is to give the girls dinner, like pasta and meatballs and a veggie, a sandwiches, the classic breakfast-for-dinner, or cereal (gasp!), and put their freshly [pool] showered, tan bodies into bed, redolent of all natural bug spray and organic SPF.
But for me, this meal will not do. I am typically packing lunches and emptying, just to re-pack, backpacks while the girls shovel food and complain about not being on their tablets all day but can’t keep their little eyes open. So they are shuttled to bed, and I am left hungry.
This is dangerous.
I know you all know the dangers of being hungry. Many times us parents fall into the trap of giving up on dinner (a contributor to restless sleep) or binging on something unhealthy, BUT take a deeper look! For me, summer means plenty of veggies for the kids and me to snack on, and Addie loves BLTs all year long, so there’s always lettuce around… put it all together?! YES!
Make your Kitchen Sink Salad!
Grab your protein! My go-to is a nice chicken breast, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. To get the grilled char flavor I love and is so reminiscent of summer, I pop it under the broiler for 10-12 minutes each side on high. I use a roast rack, so it’s nice and close to the flame. A nice steak or marinated tofu are great alternatives.
While your meat is cooking, raid the fridge for all the Ziploc bags, foil-wrappers, Tupperware, and saran wrapped items you can find. These things will typically include cucumbers, peppers, onions, avocado, and tomatoes from the weeks snacks and taco nights. While you’re in there, grab the bag of shredded cheese that is pretty much empty but someone stuck it back in there because the trash can was too far away. Last, find some greens. Spinach, iceberg, mixed- anything you go! If you have no greens, don’t worry- you have everything else!
Check the pantry for some canned goods to jazz it up! Sweet corn and chickpeas are my favorite additions for texture and flavor, as well as the added benefit of fiber and protein.
Now that you have it all out, slice and dice! Add a base of greens, and pile the rest on top. a few slices of onion and cucumber, tomato wedges, 1/4 cup of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of corn, and a sprinkle of cheese make the perfect base for your chicken/steak/tofu topper. Gently slice your main protein and put over-top your salad, and then lightly dress. I keep powered ranch in the cabinet to make a small amount of dressing at a time, but some oil and vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic is the perfect like dressing as well.
TIP: Use a typical salad (also known as a soup) bowl to keep your portions on track.
Make a pairing
Once your salad is perfectly created (and in about 20 minutes time with no food waste!), pair it with a brilliant pinot noir. I chose the 2018 Fiddleneck Pinot Noir, delivered to me from Scout & Cellar. Its lucent red color is deceiving, packing a great fruity flavor that is light in tannins- a perfect pairing with your salad. As stated on the Scout & Cellar website, this wine goes really well with roasted chicken over pasta or Gruyere cheese, or for a Vegan option, pair with Moroccan-style stuffed acorn squash. The earthy, light flavor is certainly the spark that will make your meal pop with bright and intriguing notes of cranberry, red cherry and wild strawberry.
For this wine, the grapes were hand-picked from vines up to 40-years-old before being destemmed. The grapes were cold soaked for three days, which helps extract color and flavors from the grape skins. Then they warmed to 75 degrees before fermenting in stainless steel tanks. Aging took place in oak barrels before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered. This Fiddleneck Pinot Noir is both vegan and organic, so enjoying a glass with dinner or with friends, it’s going to be perfect for anyone.
Don’t give up on your healthy summer eating, or lose the enjoyment of a great summer evening. Make yourself a delicious, filling salad, pair with a delicious glass of pinot noir, and make summer memories of our very own to cherish!