May Pole Day and a Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit

Today is May 1st, AKA May Day.

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

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.

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

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!

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with Pasta for May

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.

Have a happy month of May!

Fresh and Fruity Iceberg Salad with for May

Fresh Salad with Pasta and Fruit
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Recipe type: Lunch
Cuisine: Salad
Author:
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 salad
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.
Ingredients
  • 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.
Instructions
  1. Set a pot of water on the stovetop to boil and cook the pasta for about 10 minutes or until desired doneness.
  2. In the meantime, chop up the veggies and fruit. Add all ingredients to a serving bowl.
  3. Drain the pasta water and let pasta cool for a minute before adding to the salad.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over all ingredients and enjoy!

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

When I was younger, I was not a fan of vegetables.  Like, at all.  Occasionally I would eat salad out of necessity to add color to my plate.  Though, I was definitely disappointed to learn that my favorite tomatoes and potatoes were not really even actual vegetables!

I’ve come a long way since then.

Heck, I’m all about the plant-based lifestyle these days.

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

I am a big fan of fruit and always have been.  Though, I know I can go a little overboard on it sometimes so I’m making efforts to incorporate more vegetables into my meals.  Lunch and dinner are easier but breakfast is not usually the place this sweets-lover thinks of eating a vegetable.

A handful of greens can usually sneak by in a smoothie but there’s no disguising the taste.  Zucchini, on the other hand, is basically water.  When frozen, the zucchini adds some frosty thickness to any smoothie or, my fave, a smoothie bowl.

It’s the perfect bowl for getting in some vegetables and keeping sugar intake low.

Many times smoothie bowls can pack a sugar punch but not this one.  You may want to opt for some sweet toppings or peanut butter 😜 because the bowl itself isn’t very sweet.  Let me know what you think if you try it out!

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl

Zucchini Smoothie Bowl
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1 smoothie bowl
A great smoothie bowl for getting in some veggies, greens, berries, and fruit all in one. Yet, it is lower in sugar than traditional fruit-only smoothies. Many times smoothie bowls can pack a sugar punch but not this one. Opt for a few sweet toppings on top, instead.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup water, beet juice, or milk of choice
  • 1 small handful of baby kale (1/2 cup)
  • 1 serving of protein powder (I used Nativas Naturals Vanilla)
  • ½ medium frozen zucchini (chopped into 3-4 pieces to make it easier on your blender)
  • 1 medium frozen banana, ripe is best
  • ¼-1/3 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • Topping ideas: kiwi, granola, ground flax, or peanut butter
Instructions
  1. Add the liquid (I used beet juice) and kale to the blender first. Blitz until the leaves are broken down.
  2. Then, add in the protein powder, slices of zucchini, banana, and blackberries. Blend thoroughly. (My blender isn't the strongest but it was able to process the ingredients without added liquid. Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of water if your blender needs some help.)
  3. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with some of your favorite goods and eat!
Notes
Prep time does not include freezing time for the banana or zucchini