Cold Pea and Tomato Macaroni Salad with Ham and Cheese

I love throwing together a good cold pasta salad with what I have in my fridge. Especially if it keeps me from going to the grocery store. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE grocery shopping. Too much. My cabinets and refrigerator are always stocked with food. It’s almost like a weird fetish of mine.

One of my favorite pasta salads is one made with cold peas and fresh tomatoes, salty deli ham and savory cheese. And it’s quick to throw together when expecting company, like today. My husband’s buddy and best man from our wedding and his family are coming over for lunch. This salad will go very well with the marinated chicken I plan to grill.

Cold Pea and Tomato Macaroni Salad with Ham and Cheese

12 oz dry elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
12 oz frozen peas
2 tomatoes, chopped
8 oz deli ham slices, chopped
1 1/2 cups low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup white onion, chopped plus 1 Tb grated
1 1/2 cups regular mayonnaise, not salad dressing
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 Tb white vinegar
1 Tb whole grain mustard

In a small bowl mix together mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and seasonings. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine macaroni, peas, tomatoes, ham, cheese and onion. Add mayonnaise mixture. Stir well and chill until ready to serve.

Serves 16-20. Prep 10 min. Cook 10min.
Our spread of grilled chicken, baked beans, potato salad and macaroni salad

Hot Coco Cocoa

Every kid loves a sweet cup of hot chocolate. But not every parent wants to use the dry packets sold in stores, which are full of artificial sweeteners and dried milk fats.

I love to make my kids the most nutritional foods possible, even when it comes to their beverages. Especially for my finicky shark with autism. He needs as much healthy fats that I can squeeze into his growing body.

So I created this hot chocolate, made with skim milk full of calcium, coconut milk with plenty of nutrients, and semi-sweet chocolate chips-the healthy fat chocolate.

Hot Coco Cocoa

8 oz skim milk
3 oz coconut milk
2 Tb semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tb sugar

Heat all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until combined and frothy. Makes two 6 oz servings. I love to use my Mr. Coffee Latte Maker for this recipe. I just add all the ingredients to the pot and switch it on. It froths the Coco Cocoa to the perfect drinking temperature.

Serve this sweet and creamy hot chocolate with cookies, biscuits, or my Coconut Lemon Scones with Chia Seeds. So delicious.

Put Some Healthy in Your Breakfast Scones-Coconut Lemon Scones withChia Seeds

There’s something about a nice warm breakfast scone and a cup of hot tea that just sets a moment right. The soft warmth of the scone and steamy tartness of the tea are a match made.

But if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, a scone may not be what you’re looking for. Unless it’s made with the right ingredients.

These Coconut Lemon Scones with Chia Seeds are made with healthy coconut oil full of MCT’s, proven to improve overall health AND symptoms of autism. These include nonfat Greek yogurt instead of the classic butter and egg and coconut milk for the liquid. This keeps the scones fluffy and adds creamy flavor and nutrition, along with sweetened shredded coconut meat. I have also added lemon juice and zest for flavor and Vitamin C. And finally, I topped these with Chia Seeds full of healthy Omegas.

Served alongside a hot cup of black tea, these will get your motor going in the morning.

Coconut Lemon Scones with Chia Seeds

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
3 Tb sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tb coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut milk, plus 1 Tb for glazing
1/2 tsp vanilla
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 Tb chia seeds

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in Greek yogurt and coconut oil until large pea shaped crumbles are formed.

Fold in lemon zest and sweetened shredded coconut.

Using a spoon gently mix in 1/3 cup coconut milk, juice of half lemon and vanilla until a soft sticky dough is formed. Turn dough out onto cutting board dusted with flour. Knead 10 times. Pat into an 8 inch round circle.

Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet. With a sharp floured knife, cut into 8 wedges. Brush with remaining coconut milk and sprinkle with chia seeds.

Place scones in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Warning: your kitchen will smell amazing, no lie. Carefully separate scones and cool slightly.

Serve with lemon curd if desired, but you will find these need absolutely no additional toppings. I actually preferred them without. Their flavor stands alone. Don’t forget your tea. I had mine with some with some hot Thai tea.

You can serve your finicky sharks a cup of my Hot Coco Cocoa to go with their scone. (Or scones as my oldest son requested seconds.)

Try not to eat them all at once. I had a hard time leaving the kitchen. These are absolutely delicious!