Rainbow Rice Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Sesame

Today’s crunchy vegetable and rice noodle salad is a dish we’ve all been raving over recently at the dinner table.

It might be the umami of the soy sauce or the salty shrimp that we’ve been craving.  Or the rainbow of vegetables tossed into the mix. Maybe we just love the cold dinner option after months of soups, stews and winter braises.

Whatever the appeal, I’ve made this enormous, main-dish salad three times recently and my kids go crazy for it each time it hits their plate. No, this salad isn’t exactly seasonal, but it’s worth letting things slide once in a while to see my children cramming forkfuls of fresh vegetables into their mouths!

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Pork Chops with Roasted Pears, Sage and Shallots

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers! It’s a long weekend from coast to coast and I hope you are enjoying the time with family and friends.

This post was written and scheduled last week, so that I could spend my holiday baking pumpkin pies, roasting the turkey and dishing up dinner around my table. We’re hosting a wonderful big gang for a feast today and I am definitely in my happy place- the kitchen!

If you like, join me in the Simple Bites kitchen today (and any day!)by using Instagram Stories. First follow @aimeebourque on your Instagram app, and then tap on my profile picture to play the stories. Make sure you have the most recent update of the app.

Okay, now on to today’s recipe and a recipe round-up from our #EatSeasonal blogging group.

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Sage-Scented Barbecued Chicken with Grilled Lemon

Enjoying an abundance of fresh herbs is one of the perks of fall gardening. The green beans have finished and the tomatoes are tapering off, but most of the herbs seem to thrive until the snow falls.

When I dedicated one of my raised garden beds completely to herbs this spring, I didn’t realize how they would take off and how much the plants would actually produce. I really need to share a recent photo, because everything ended up about two-and-a-half feet tall.

The basil flourished and provided more than enough for my winter pesto stash and the lemon balm was always in ample supply for infusing lemonade. As for the sage, it grew into a knee-high bush and provided more than I knew what to do with in the kitchen. So I naturally started experimenting with recipes.

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Grilled Green Onion & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chèvre

If you haven’t hit your grilling stride yet this summer, today’s recipe will be the incentive you need to fire up the coals.

Let’s see, I’ve prepare it two…three…four times already and each time I delight in the smoky sweet potato, charred green onions and the tangy goat cheese that finishes off the dish. A hint of maple syrup in the mustard dressing brings balance to the salad and a few zesty grilled garlic scapes add a touch of excitement.

Every summer I tend to get stuck on a particular grilled salad – last year it was with strawberries and asparagus, before that it was green beans and cherry tomatoes. This grilled green onion & sweet potato salad with warm chèvre is definitely my 2016 summer salad obsession.

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Get Grilling. Get Gathering.

In case you hadn’t heard, it’s officially grilling season and time to kick off a few months of outdoor entertaining.

Loyal readers will already know that I love dishing up an al fresco feast, be it a taco bar, a canoe buffet or a pie social. There are no limitations when you set a table outdoors; you can always add a few more chairs (as I do for my harvest dinners) and create a generous centerpiece -or three- out of wildflowers.

We recently gathered around the barbecue on my sister’s back deck and watched her and hubby Mike grill spiced kofta, colourful vegetable kebabs and soft pita bread. Grilling is such a spectator sport, isn’t it? The glowing coals are memerizing, the scents are enticing and there’s always action on the grill; of course people congregate here.

Naturally, the food was excellent, and I so enjoyed this deviation from the standard burgers and buns fare (although we love those too!) that I vowed to recreate the whole menu again for a future gathering of my own. And then I thought that if I appreciated the inspiration,  you might too.

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