Cheesy Summer Salad & Veggie Pops

I was thinking about cheese the other day…I do that a lot.

I was thinking about squeaky cheese, to be exact.  Based on what I see online, the most common suggestions for serving squeaky cheese (fresh cheddar curd) are either plain, or deep fried.  Now I love deep fried squeaky cheese, I mean I really love it, but there are so many healthy, kid friendly (and grownup friendly), ideas for serving squeaky cheese.  For example, squeaky cheese is perfect paired with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Speaking of vegetables, I want you to meet my friend Piper.  Piper came over to help me with planting a VeggiePOP.

The Backyard Bloomers company is not paying me to tell you about their product, I just think it’s the coolest thing.  A child can plant the VeggiePOP in the reusable, washable pot (made from recycled material) and watch their vegetables and/or herbs grow.  It’s a great ecofriendly tool for teaching kids about gardening and encourages healthy eating.

Veggie Pop
At first, Piper thought the VeggiePOP was candy.
Planting a Veggie Pop
Then she thought it was a toy and used the VeggiePOP to scoop up the soil.
Watering the Veggie Pop
Finally, we have the VeggiePOP planted and watered, now we wait for it to grow!

“I wanted to bring the best of farm life – the things that I benefited from – to all kids regardless of their location”.   Cynthia Wylie, Bloomers Founder

You know, she took the words right out of my mouth.  We have the VeggiePOPs and Bloomers Pot at our Cheese Shop if you want to check it out.

Sorry, I rabbit trailed there…I do that a lot.

Now that we have the kids working in the garden, let’s go inside and make a salad.  Squeaky cheese and crunchy croutons are great in mixed greens salads with a vinaigrette dressing (my Basic Vinaigrette recipe is below)…

Mixed greens salad with fresh squeaky cheese

Toss some squeaky cheese in a mixed veggie salad with a Yogurt Ranch Dressing (my yogurt ranch dressing recipe is below)…


Or mix squeaky cheese into a fruit salad with Vanilla Apricot Dressing (yup, the recipe is below)…

Mixed Fruit salad with Honey Apricot Glaze

Kinda makes you want to eat some of the kid’s vegetables too, doesn’t it?

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine the onion, garlic, vinegar, and water in a blender, pulse to combine.  With the blender on low speed, slowly drizzle in olive oil. If you would prefer, place all ingredients in a tightly sealing jar, seal, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Yogurt Ranch Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Appel Farms Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Salt and pepper
 In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, parsley, garlic, vinegar, dill, and buttermilk. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to come together.  Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Vanilla Apricot Fruit Dressing

  • 1 cup Apricot jelly
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped

Place the jelly, water, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla bean pod in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove and discard the bean pod.  Cool completely.

2 Replies to “Cheesy Summer Salad & Veggie Pops”

  1. Thanks for the recipes – going to try them. When Mike posts them before me, that means he wants to try them!

  2. Thanks for the Shoutout on the #VeggiePOPS! Ruth!! ‘Tis the time for growing. It’s great to start your Tomato VeggiePOPS! inside and then transplant them outside, weather permitting. ~Cynthia Wylie

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