In elementary school, this day was a big deal for the kids because they would get to participate in the May Pole Dance. Also, by kids, I mean me. I got to participate in the May Pole Dance along with my entire third grade class.
I think it was a whole month in advance that we started practicing. My teacher would take a break from lesson plans a few times a week and take us outside to the field to dance with ribbons. I can’t exactly describe how the dance went but it looked something like this. Our parents and the community got notified of the event (because 8 year olds dancing around a pole to create a ribbon braid is considered an event for a small town like mine, mmkay?). It was also a rite of passage for children. As a youngling in school, I saw the older kids participate and looked forward to the day that I would be so privileged to participate in the acclaimed event.
Oh, and you might be wondering what May Day is and the meaning behind the May Pole Dance. Honestly, I only ever participated in May Day at that elementary school of mine so I don’t know the exact history. I believe the dance is ceremonial and dates back to really old times in England. These days, especially in the U.S., we tend not to follow such traditionalist practices so it I think it is less common. The dance and celebration that occur are in honor of the start of summer and the new life that it brings. Thus, I felt it appropriate to share the story as I mention that I am so very into fresh recipes for summer!
The warm weather has me craving chilled salads, sweet and juicy produce, and ingredients that won’t weigh me down. I called this dish a Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit because that’s what it is. It also has all of my favorite ingredients from chicken salad but without chicken 🙂 I know apples aren’t technically considered summer fruit but they’re around all year long! Some light and crisp lettuce, plus, crunchy celery, adds to the hydrating factor of this salad. A very important factor if you’re dealing with hot temperatures like me. #SoCal
As always, I made this recipe based on ingredients I had in my fridge but change it up to fit your needs. Some darker leafy greens would work nicely instead of the iceberg. Even try dried cherries instead of fresh grapes.
The warm weather has me craving chilled salads, sweet and juicy produce, and ingredients that won’t weigh me down. It's kind of like a chicken salad but made vegetarian and I utilized what I had in my fridge. Feel free to change it up and sub in whatever greens you like.
2 cups of lettuce of choice (I only had iceberg but some kale, arugula, or romaine would be lovely!)
3 oz of Banza penne pasta (or other short cut pasta)
1 small-medium sized apple, chopped
1 small stalk of celery (or half a large stalk), chopped
¼ cup of red grapes, chopped in halves
Extras: black olives, sliced in half, and chopped pecans
Dressing is: 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp maple syrup, and ¼ tsp dried tarragon.
Set a pot of water on the stovetop to boil and cook the pasta for about 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
In the meantime, chop up the veggies and fruit. Add all ingredients to a serving bowl.
Drain the pasta water and let pasta cool for a minute before adding to the salad.
Drizzle the dressing over all ingredients and enjoy!
I know what it feels like to get major cravings all of a sudden and desire immediate satisfaction.
I try not to keep unhealthy snacks or desserts around my house because I do not want the temptation.
Sure, I could make myself a healthy dessert but the thought of going through a lengthy process to whip up something is not always appealing. Plus, what would I do with the leftovers? Or, more likely, the problem will be that there are no leftovers.
Sometimes I have no self-restraint 🙈
Thus, I have created a treat to satisfy the quick snack cravings in a way that won’t leave you feeling yucky from an overindulgent dessert.
I cover all the sweet treat bases:
Crunchy (Wait, is that the same as crispy? Nope!)
The most delicious crisp texture comes from broken down Ginnybakes cookies. They are very firm, gluten-free cookies. I personally like microwaving them for a few seconds to soften them up, if I’m going to eat them on their own, but their hockey-puck like texture is perfect for adding crunch to this dessert snack!
Also, in the recipe, I used half of a large Gala apple but feel free to use an entire apple if you don’t want to leave half of an apple lying around. Alternatively, double the recipe and share the snack-sized crisp with a friend! 😉
I’m aaaall ready to dive headfirst into this easy to assemble snack! Let’s go!
A quick and easy apple crisp that is healthy enough for a snack and filling enough to satisfy a sweet tooth for dessert.
½ tsp of Nutiva butter flavored coconut oil or plain coconut oil
½ a large Gala apple or apple of choice, chopped
⅛ tsp cinnamon
2 Ginnybakes Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies*
2 tsp of peanut butter (I used Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice peanut butter)
In a small, nonstick pan, warm up the coconut oil over medium heat.
Add chopped apples and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir the apples around in the pan until warm. Pour apples into a serving bowl.
Place the nonstick pan back on the stove, turning the temperature down to the lowest heat. On a cutting board, chop up the 2 cookies until there is a mixture of fine and medium-sized crumbs.
Add cookie crumbs to the pan and turn off the flame. Let sit for 1 minute, swirling the crumbs every few seconds. The crumbs should already be crunchy so they just need to warm up.
While the crumbs warm from the heat of the pan, add the 2 teaspoons of peanut butter to the cinnamon apples and stir until coated.
Remove the pan from the stove and pour cookie crumbs over the apple-peanut butter mixture. Pat yourself on the back and eat!
*You can use another crunchy cookie of your choosing. The classic Nature Valley granola bars are the kind of firm, crispness that you’re looking for. Alternatively, you can sub 2 tbsp of pre-made granola for the cookie crumbs.