It’s that time of the year – pool parties, cookouts, outside birthday parties, family picnics, grilling out with friends, and more. We are invited to different gatherings on almost a regular basis and with each new invite comes a new creative side dish we must shop for, cook, and bring to the party. It’s nice to see family and friends, but we also have to plan accordingly.
I recently met with Maria at Whole Foods again, and as always, the store was alive with activity. When we started chatting, she began thumbing through their local flyer which contained an array of easy summer recipes to make on a budget. What I really love about my visits to Whole Foods is that Maria always thinks about what recipes our readers will really love.
All of her suggestions blew me away. Here are some of our top favorite summer entertaining ideas on a budget, including a few unique pasta sides and a fun chocolate dessert!
Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes & “Hidden” Zucchini  – (estimated $3.05/serving) Serves 4
*This recipe is unique because you roast the tomatoes and then actually grate the zucchini and squash into the pasta. The tomatoes soak up the sea salt, EVOO and basil flavors, and the zucchini and squash blend right into the pasta. Guests will appreciate the extra serving of veggies you secretly added to make this a delicious side dish!
- 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped basil, divided
- 1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli
- 2 zucchini or yellow squash, grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes on a large parchment-lined sheet tray, cut-sides up. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil evenly over top. Roast until juicy and bubbling, about 20 minutes; set aside.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add fusilli and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add zucchini, lemon juice, remaining 6 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons basil. Toss to combine. Divide pasta among four plates, top with tomatoes and serve.
Pasta with White Beans and Summer Squash  ($2.31/serving) (pictured at top of post) Serves 4
*Made this for a family birthday party and it was a huge hit. Also added fresh tomatoes from the garden and a little Salad sprinkle (from McCormick) for a little extra color and flavor.
- 1/2 pound whole wheat farfalle or fusilli
- 4 small zucchini and/or yellow squash (about 1 lb), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup 365 Everyday Value® Feta Cheese Crumbles
- 1/4 cup Greek or Italian dressing
- 1 (15 ounce) can 365 Everyday Value® Organic Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add farfalle and cook until just al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange zucchini in the bottom of a large colander. To drain, pour pasta and its water over vegetables and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer contents of colander to a large bowl, add cheese, dressing and beans and toss well. Serve warm or cold.
And for dessert?
Chocolate Chip Cherry Floats ($2.30/serving) Serves 2
*I love this dish because you shave chocolate over the top for a little extra sweet kick and unique touch!
- 1 cup 365 Everyday Value® Organic Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 cup fresh or frozen pitted cherries
- 1 (12 ounce) can 365 Everyday Value® Cherry Vanilla Creme Soda, chilled
- 1/4 cup shaved chocolate (use a vegetable peeler!)
Divide ice cream between two tall glasses and top with cherries, reserving two. Pour soda over the top, garnish with chocolate and reserved cherries and serve immediately.
We’re also giving away another Whole Foods $25 Gift Card, where you can shop for all of these ingredients!
Here’s how to enter:
Wanna win it for yourself? To enter the drawing (you can have up to 4 separate entries):
1. Leave a comment telling me what you like about “A Frugal Chick”.
2- “Like” A Frugal Chick on Facebook . Leave a second comment letting me know you do!
3- Follow A Frugal Chick on Twitter . Leave a third comment letting me know you do!
4- Subscribe to A Frugal Chick’s e-mail newsletter . Leave a fourth comment letting me know you do!
The winner will be picked on August 15th! I will e-mail him or her and they will have 24 hours to respond. If I don’t hear back we will pick another winner!