Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The power of suggestion can be a beast, can’t it?

On the way to the grocery store, I was listening to Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast. And in an ad, she mentioned a recipe for arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and almonds. Once I got into Publix, I couldn’t stop thinking about an arugula salad with peaches. I love both of those ingredients a lot, and it sounded so good.

I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, though, but feta – I could eat feta on everything. And adding a crunchy bagel chip (I got for dirt cheap with a sale plus coupon) for a “crouton” and an amazing vinaigrette due to some locally made white balsamic vinegar? Mr. V and I ate all of ours plus any the kids didn’t eat.

(Which, if you know my kids, was most of theirs. Surprisingly, David and Libbie did actually try arugula and at least ate peaches and the bagel chips.)

As with most salads, I recommend throwing in whatever quantity of ingredients looks good to you. This recipe is an approximation of what I used, but make it to your tastes. And then enjoy the applause of those around you, because SO YUMMY.

(Want to have peaches for dessert, too? Try Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream or Fresh Peach Cake!)

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: one entree-sized portion or four side salads

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peppery arugula, tangy feta, sweet peaches, crunchy almonds, and a balanced vinaigrette come together for a delicious summer salad.


  • half of a 5-ounce clamshell of arugula
  • one peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 T crumbled feta cheese
  • a handful of whole almonds, roughly chopped, or sliced almonds
  • 3 to 4 bagel chips, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar, preferably peach-flavored
  • 3 T salad oil of choice (I used a cold-pressed combination oil from ALDI but olive oil would work, too)
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl or plate, layer arugula, peaches, feta cheese, almonds, and bagel chip crumbles.

Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette together until uniform.

Drizzle vinaigrette over salad right before serving.

What is your favorite summer salad? We’re trying to introduce our kids to having a salad or cold vegetable course before our dinner, and I’d love your suggestions!

Corn and Black Bean Sauté

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Black Bean and Corn Saute

This is one of my favorite summer side dishes. It comes together quickly, and makes a nice alternative to a rice side for Mexican dishes. It would probably be more purely Mexican if you use cotija cheese, but I have feta on hand a lot of the time, so I just throw it in there.

I could pretty much just eat this for dinner. How about you?

Corn and Black Bean Sauté

Yield: 4 side servings

This quick side dish goes well with tacos or enchiladas.


  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T minced yellow or sweet onion
  • kernels from two ears of corn
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of one lime (1-2 T)
  • 1 T chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (or so) crumbled feta cheese


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add corn kernels and garlic; stir and cook for a few minutes, until the corn starts to brown a little. Add in beans and stir to mix.

When beans are warmed through, add lime juice and cilantro. Remove from heat. Stir in feta. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed. (The feta is pretty salty by itself.)

Mouthwatering Monday: Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

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Last week, someone was supposed to bring us dinner but it fell through because of illness. I had purchased groceries to make my very quick D-Hall Feta Pasta, but I wanted a yummy side dish. So I created this super easy spinach salad, and it was DIVINE!

It’s also easy to substitute what you have on hand. Swap blue cheese for feta, pecans for walnuts, strawberry jam for cherry, pears for apples. But for some reason this combination just hit the spot for me!

Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 side salad portions

Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette


  • Baby spinach leaves – about half a bag or 4-5 cups, loosely packed
  • 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 c. walnuts (toasted if you want, but that may make the recipe more than 5 minutes)
  • half an apple, diced
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 T cherry whole-fruit jam, such as Smuckers Simply Fruit
  • 1 T pomegranate or pomegranate-cherry juice, like POM Wonderful
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Toss together salad ingredients. Try not to eat all the feta and walnuts before you put the dressing on the salad.

For the vinaigrette, whisk juice into the jam until jam is broken up and smooth. Whisk in olive oil until you reach desired dressing consistency. (I like just enough oil to make it runny so it is still very acidic, but it’s up to you.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad and toss.

Not sponsored by Smuckers or POM Wonderful, those are just what I used in this recipe when I created it and I thought they worked well!

Added to Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


Stuffed Peppers in the Crockpot: Works for Me Wednesday

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My cousin, Tricia, recently created a recipe for Italian Stuffed Peppers. They looked good to me, but I thought I would miss the tomato sauce that usually tops stuffed peppers. Mr. V and I have made the Betty Crocker stuffed peppers* since college, and we love them; I was a little afraid messing with stuffed peppers might get me kicked out of the house.

The recipe kept talking to me, however, and when I saw these amazing sweet peppers at the farmer’s market here in Chattanooga, I could no longer resist the siren’s call.


I wanted to try something else this time, too. I’ve always hated blanching the peppers, then trying to handle them hot, then trying to get them to sit up in a baking dish and covering them with foil. It’s a pain in the neck.

So this time I went for the slow cooker, and I am glad that I did! A few hours on high and the peppers were just soft enough without dissolving. The depth of the slow cooker makes it easy to keep the peppers upright. Making stuffed peppers in a crockpot definitely works for me!

Italian Stuffed Peppers in the Crockpot

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 pepper

Adapted from Once a Month Mom.


  • 4 sweet bell peppers
  • 1.5 c. cooked rice (I used brown)
  • 6 oz. feta cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 lb. ground sausage, cooked and drained of fat
  • 1 c. pizza sauce, divided (or tomato sauce with some basil and oregano stirred in)
  • salt and pepper


Cut the “lids” off the bell peppers; take out the seeds and veins.

Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or grease the bottom with olive oil. Place peppers, sitting upright, inside.

In a bowl, combine cooked rice, feta, sausage, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup pizza sauce. Spoon gently into peppers until they are full; a little overfull is OK!

Spoon remaining tomato sauce over the tops of the peppers.

Cook on high 3 hours or until peppers are soft (test with a paring knife).


These delicious stuffed peppers are pretty simple to put together and also gluten-free. A wonderful way to use some summer produce from your farmer's market or garden!

Check out more crockpot recipes on Vanderbilt Wife!

This is my crockpot. I LOVE IT!

*Does anyone else just LOVE the Betty Crocker Big Red Cookbook? We have that version, which was out when we got married, and the 70s version I used growing up. Betty is simply the best for easy recipes and directives on how to cook certain vegetables or cuts of meat.

Added to the gluten-free parade of recipes at Heavenly Homemakers & Ingredient Spotlight: Bell Peppers.


Family Recipe Fridays: D-Hall Feta Pasta

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This is stretching it a little as a family recipe. But if I want to keep this carnival going for any length of time, I’m going to have to do that!

My friend Jen taught me how to make this recipe in our dining hall at college my freshman year. It was totally my fallback for when I could not stomach chicken strips or even my special concoction of Kix, peanut butter, and strawberry frozen yogurt.

Then, the summer after freshman year, I taught my mom to make it. She LOVES anything with feta. The rest is history. We just love this stuff, and it’s a great lazy dinner that doesn’t take much actual cooking.

D-Hall version: Scoop some spaghetti noodles into a cereal bowl. Top with feta cheese, bacon bits, and peas from the salad bar. Add one little container of butter, and microwave for a minute or so. Mix well.

Feta Pasta with Bacon and Peas

Feta Pasta with Bacon and Peas

Here's the non-dining hall version! Feel free to vary the quantities based on what you have and like. Adding chicken would be good, too!


  • 3/4 lb. spaghetti noodles, cooked, with a little pasta water reserved
  • 6 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 12 oz. bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 1 T butter


Combine cooked spaghetti, butter, feta, peas, and bacon. Stir together well and let the feta melt a little bit. If it is too dry, stir in a little of the pasta water until desired consistency. If you’re real fancy, you could top with some fresh parsley.

[Please pray for my dear friend Carolyn, who has linked every time I’ve done this carnival. Her father-in-law died of a heart attack yesterday, and I know the family could use your prayers.]

Linked up to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Sliced and Diced at Once a Month Mom.