The start of summer is magical!  Schools out for the season which means days spent at the pool and late evenings of bbqs and catching fireflies await.  So many fun activities to be had that it’s a shame to waste time in the kitchen slaving over a stove.

Last night we planned on celebrating my son’s last day of preschool.  While we intended to go out with friends to mark the occasion, my Little Miss came down with a bug so exposing her to others was not in the cards.  Even though I had planned on going out to eat, we had too much in the fridge to order in, but with dinner time looming, I had little time to prepare a healthy meal for my family (aka, Macaroni and Cheese and Pizza have been consumed far too many times this week).

In the past I’ve mentioned that I love cooking but hate making a meal.  No matter how much I plan, it stresses me out to get it on the table in a reasonable amount of time.  Add a clingy toddler and a rambunctious 5 year old, I need simple to keep my sanity. 

When looking in the fridge praying a meal would just appear, I realized we had plenty of produce and a few pantry staples that would make a simple, healthy, and fabulous meal without having to turn on the stove.


Behold, an antipasto salad platter, caprese salad, with a loaf of bread.   Using fresh, seasonal, and colorful ingredients it was so simple yet decadent enough to impress your friends at a summer BBQ.  I can’t really call it a recipe but I will of course share my creations to help make your weeknight as simple as mine.

For my children, while I typically give them what I serve, I decided to create a special plate for them that didn’t take up too much of my time.  Essentially, I just added some of their favorite veggies that I had in the salad without the leaves and a carrot stick or two, a side of hummus, mozzarella sticks sliced, ham for Emma, Salami for Jude, a mini fruit salad, and of course bread.  A healthy simple dish that’s fun to dip and no need for utensils.

Voila, a meal so fresh, simple yet healthy and allow for more time at the pool or another fun evening activity. Serve with your favorite Sav Blanc or Pinot Gris for the perfect summer meal.  Bon Appetit!


Antipasto Platter

Baby Spring/Spinach Mix

3 Mushrooms

4 Baby Bell Peppers (yellow, orange, red)

8 Cherry Heirloom Tomatoes (yellow and red)

½ Cucumber

1 sprig Spring onion

Jar of marinated artichoke hearts

Your favorite olives sliced

Italian Dressing

Italian Meats (I used prosciutto, salami, and carpaccio)

*Mozzarella Cheese: sliced and quartered (*optional)

Spread spring mix onto a platter and top with ingredients, more or less depending on how many veggies you like.  Add mozzarella if you are using.  Drizzle lightly so you can taste the fresh and crisp vegetables.  You can either add the Italian cuts to the salad or display them on the side as pictured. 


Caprese Salad

2 large Beef Steak Tomatoes sliced

Sliced Fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese

Basil Leaves

Balsamic Glaze

Salt and Pepper

Start with a tomato and top with mozzarella slice and top with a basil leaf.  Alternate until platter is full ending with mozzarella and basil leaf.  Sprinkle salt and pepper and lightly drizzle balsamic glaze over the salad.

What are some of your favorite summer salads?