Two Easy Summer Sides

Side dishes are my fave.  I’ve been know to fill up a plate with mostly sides and only a little bit of whatever the main course or meat option is.  I mean, I HAVE to try everything, right?  Well, at this is my rationalization, and I’m sticking to it!

These two recipes are my summer stand by’s…nothing too complicated or fancy, just down right delish.  Also, most of the ingredients are a staple in the fridge or pantry = bonus.

awesome summer picnic meal

First up is my mother-in-law’s macaroni salad.  Nobody makes it as good as her, but I try.  This time, I got pretty darn close.  Close enough that my husband was happy, but still it doesn’t quite match his mum’s version.  Still thinks its worth eating though…thank goodness, otherwise I would totally house a whole batch myself.

for the macaroni salad, you will need:
1 lb box elbow noodles (or whatever you have laying around)
½ cup mayo
½ sour cream
2 or 3 hard boiled egg whites, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1 dill pickle, chopped fine
4-6 stalks of celery, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
dash of curry powder

Cook the noodles al dente according to the package directions.  Drain and let cool for  a few moments.  I add my ingredients while its still warm, as I hate it when the noodles all stick together!  You could rinse with water to prevent this, I suppose though.

Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine.  Taste for the seasonings.  Depending on how much moisture you like in your macaroni salad, you may want to add some more mayo or sour cream.  Just add in a tablespoon at a time and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then stir again, doing the same taste-test-and-adjust routine.

serves: 6 to 8
time: 35 minutes
from: my mother-in-law

Next is the extremely easy cucumber salad, also from my mother-in-law.  This takes all of 5 minutes to throw together and is super refreshing.  I usually have a container of it on hand throughout the summer, though it doesn’t last long around these parts! We’ve been known to eat a whole container in one day.

for the cucumber salad, you will need:
1 seedless cucumber
½ small vadalia onion (or less if you aren’t a big onion fan)
¼ cup light mayonnaise
salt & pepper to taste

Using a mandoline, slice the cucumber and onion very thin.  I use the thinnest setting.  Just slice it directly into a plastic container.  Add in the mayo, salt in pepper.  I usually just put the cover on and shake it for a minute or so, but you could also use a spoon and stir 🙂 .

Let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

serves: 4 to 6
time: 5 minutes
from: my mother-in-law

What are your favorite summer side dishes??  Do tell!

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