Aimee’s Pretty Palate: Bowl Me Over

The warm weather has arrived. For me, that means transitioning into recipes that are, well, not warm. It’s also the time of year when my husband begins questioning just how many salads I’m asking him to consume. A topic for another day.

This month, not only do the recipes keep things cool, but they are also served in a bowl. All three of them!

While I have diligently refrained from the TikTok platform, the Jersey Mike’s Italian Sub in a Tub still made its way across my radar. The concept of turning a sandwich into a salad isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but this new twist on a salad flavor combination will certainly revolutionize your lunchtime plans. For presentation purposes, I’ve turned some of the meat and cheese into pinwheels, but it is not necessary, and you can certainly chop, dump, drizzle, toss and call it a day.

The Asian Chicken and Rice Bowl is also a hearty and delicious meal with minimal effort. Using a ready-to-serve, store-bought rotisserie chicken means you can have this jazzed-up “salad” dish on the table in less than 20 minutes—perfect for those busy weeknight dinner conundrums.

The sweet finale, Vanilla Cream Melba, comes from my neighbor-friend, Adriana. During a recent conversation about beloved recipes, she mentioned preparing a dessert pasta treat she grew up with for her upcoming anniversary. My eyebrows raised when she said “dessert pasta.” Popular in Europe (Adriana’s mom is Polish), dessert pasta is a craving I did not know existed, but one look at the ingredients from this handed-down favorite recipe convinced me to get on board. If you’re anything like me, the hardest part will be reconditioning your brain that pasta is supposed to be savory. I found that merely closing my eyes while indulging magically did the trick.

Consider me bowled over.

Adriana’s Vanilla Cream Melba


3 oz. small pasta shells

2 cups milk

3 Tbsp. light brown sugar

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

2⁄3 cup lightly whipped cream

1 large can peach halves

1 tsp. cinnamon

For Melba sauce:

2 cups raspberries

1 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar


Cook pasta in milk and brown sugar until tender. Stir regularly, being careful not to allow it to boil over.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour pasta into bowl and allow to cool. When cool, fold in cream and leave to chill in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, make Melba sauce: Purée raspberries in blender or food processor, then strain in fine sieve. Add confectioner’s sugar to taste.

Serve vanilla cream in shallow dishes. Set peach halves on top and pour Melba sauce over them. Dust with cinnamon if desired.

Aimee’s Notes: I’ve separated the recipe into individual dishes served with 1 peach half and additional whipped topping and garnished with raspberries. To do the same, you will need to reserve a bit of the whipped topping prior to folding it into the dessert.

Makes 4 servings.

Italian Sub in a Tub


For Salad:

1 small head iceberg lettuce

1 small tomato, sliced

¼ small red onion, sliced

4 slices provolone cheese

4 slices deli ham

4 slices salami

4 slices pepperoni

2 slices prosciutto

Pepperoncini slices, optional

For Vinaigrette:

3 Tbsp. olive oil

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper


Thinly slice iceberg lettuce and place in a bowl. Arrange sliced tomato and red onion on lettuce.

Arrange provolone slices in a row and layer meats. Roll cheese and meat together to form a log. Slice into 1-inch-wide rounds and top salad, or chop into bite-size pieces and add to salad.

Add additional ingredients (pepperocinis, pickles, etc.) as desired.

Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, then drizzle over salad.

Makes 2 servings.

Asian Chicken and Rice Bowl


For Dressing:

3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. fresh ginger root, grated

½ tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

For Salad:

1 (8.8 oz.) pkg. brown rice

4 cups coleslaw mix

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, chilled

2 cups shelled edamame, thawed

For Garnish:

½ to 1 cup chow mein noodles

1 green onion, chopped


Make dressing: Whisk together ingredients.

Cook rice according to package directions. Add to bottom of a large bowl.

In another large bowl, toss coleslaw mix and chicken with half of dressing. Add edamame. Serve edamame and slaw mixture over rice; drizzle with remaining dressing. Top with noodles and green onions.

Makes 4 servings.

Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning cookbook author. Seen on QVC, Rachael Ray and more, she is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur with a penchant for porches and sweet hospitality. Find her online at