Categories
Salads Sides Vegetarian

Classic Coleslaw

Sometimes I feel like the classics can get a bit too complicated. While there is certainly a time and place for more fancy versions of the classics, sometimes you just want the good ol’ original version. 

Take this coleslaw, for example. It’s the kind of coleslaw you would’ve gotten at your granny’s house at a family cookout. There’s nothing fussy about it. In fact, it’s about as basic as it gets. And in this case, that’s a good thing. Maybe I’ll make some fancy coleslaw some other time, but today definitely calls for granny’s simple version.

Ingredients:

Salad:

3-4 c. green cabbage, shredded

1 c. carrots, shredded

Poppy seeds, for topping

Dressing:

½ c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. white vinegar

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

Salt and pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the cabbage and carrots into a large serving bowl. Mix the dressing into the veggies and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. Top with poppy seeds, if desired. Enjoy!

Categories
Pasta Salads Sides Vegetarian

Spring Green Pasta Salad

This spring green pasta salad is perfect for when you’re craving a salad, but you need something a little more substantial. Not only is this bright green pasta salad gorgeous, it is so fresh tasting. All of the best spring veggies are included: baby spinach, arugula, peas, asparagus, fresh parsley and mint. The salty feta and tangy and robust shallot dressing balances out all of the tender sweetness of the veggies, resulting in a tangy-sweet and healthy meal or side dish.

Serve this salad alongside grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp for a side dish, or eat it alone as a meal. If you’d like to add protein, this salad would be great with shrimp or chicken mixed in. You can also sub out any of these ingredients with your other springtime favorites, like baby kale or chard. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. pasta, cooled

3 c. baby spinach

1 c. baby arugula

½ c. peas

1 c. steamed asparagus, cut into pieces

¼ c. fresh parsley

¼ c. fresh mint

½ c. feta cheese

Shallot dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Prep the veggies and shallot dressing. 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing a bit at a time, mixing the salad, until your desired taste is reached. Season with salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Categories
Pasta Salads Sides

Greek Orzo Salad with Feta

This Greek orzo salad with feta just screams summer and practically forces you to invite some friends over to your place for a cookout. This salad is quick to make, full of fresh and simple ingredients, and so deliciously sunshiney. 

It’s so easy to throw this Greek orzo salad with feta together a few hours before a barbeque and have it ready to go when the other food comes off the grill. That way, you can cut down on prep time and actually enjoy your get together with friends. Pull out that bottle of crisp white wine and some appetizers and BE part of the fun instead of cooking while your friends have fun without you.

Ingredients:

Salad:

8 oz. orzo pasta

1 large cucumber, diced

1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved

½ c. kalamata olives

5-6 green onions, chopped

½ c. fresh parsley, chopped

½ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing:

⅓ c. olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and allow it to cool. 

In a large serving bowl, combine orzo, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, green onions, parsley and feta cheese. 

To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients. 

Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine and serve.

Categories
Salads

Grilled Summertime Caesar Salad

Are you currently stuck in a salad rut? If so, this smoky grilled Caesar salad is just what you need to expand your salad horizons. Now that it’s so nice outside, this grilled version of the classic Caesar salad is practically begging for you to make it. Grilled lettuce, you say? Not going to be good, you say? Don’t knock it til you try it. There’s a good reason famous chefs like Gordon Ramsay serve grilled Caesars at their fancy, expensive restaurants. And the reason is that they are amazing. 

This grilled Caesar salad includes all of the wonderful elements of a regular Caesar salad, but grilling the romaine gives it a partly-tender, partly-fresh and crispy element that is just so memorable and lovely. I like to add bacon to the top, but if you want to keep it a little healthier, you can leave it out. Of course, homemade croutons would be a terrific addition as well. If you’d like to serve this as a whole meal, you could add grilled chicken, salmon, or steak. Customize to your heart’s content!

Ingredients:

2 heads of romaine lettuce

Classic Caesar Dressing

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

3-3 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

Olive oil spray (for grilling)

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the dressing and set aside. 

Preheat the grill to medium high heat. 

Cut the romaine heads lengthwise into quarters or halves (depending on the size), leaving the bottom cores intact. Spray the romaine lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt on top.

Place the romaine heads on the heated grill and press them down with tongs so that the grates are in contact with the lettuce. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the lettuce is lightly charred. Flip over and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.

Place the cooked romaine on a serving platter. Drizzle with Caesar dressing, and top with Parmesan, bacon crumbles, and fresh-ground pepper.

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Mexican Bean and Corn Salad

Are you currently in freak-out mode because it’s Cinco de Mayo and you’re getting together with friends, and you realized that you literally have nothing to bring to the table and it’s nearly dinner time? Yes, I do know that was a run-on sentence, but that fits so perfectly with the run-on feeling of panic you get when you haven’t prepared for something in advance.  

If the scenario above describes you today (or any other time you’re asked to bring a shared dish and you forgot), make this delicious salad. It seriously only takes about two minutes to make and it’s awesome. Nobody will know that you blew it, I promise. 

Ingredients:

1 can corn, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

½ c. cilantro, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

1 jalapeno, membranes and seeds removed, chopped

½ c. cotija cheese, crumbled

Juice from 2 limes

Salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Categories
Fish/Seafood Salads

Greek Chickpea Salad with Sardines

Here’s my advice: ditch the canned tuna and swap it out for sardines, at least once in a while. These lovely little fish are full of so many beneficial vitamins and minerals, and they don’t contain loads of mercury. In addition to the fact that sardines are very healthy, they are also really tasty in salads, pastas, and sandwiches. 

This recipe features fresh Greek flavors that match so perfectly with the olive-oil packed sardines. The clean, crisp tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, onions, and parsley are enhanced by the rich chickpeas, olives, spices, feta, and sardines to result in a truly awesome salad. This salad is terrific as a side dish, but I like to eat it as a main course at lunch. Just be sure to use high-quality sardines for optimal taste, and enjoy. 

Ingredients:

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 4 oz. can of high-quality sardines in olive oil

1 english cucumber, chopped

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

½ red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. fresh parsley, chopped

4-5 green onions, chopped

½ c. kalamata olives

½ c. feta cheese

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Juice from 2 lemons

Salt and pepper

Mix together all ingredients except for the sardines in a serving bowl. Depending on your preference, you can leave the sardines whole, split them into small sections, or break them apart with a fork. Add them and carefully toss into the salad. Season liberally with salt and pepper and enjoy! 

Categories
Salads Sides Vegetarian

Oil-Free Greek Chickpea Salad

It’s almost picnic season, and that means that soon you will be requested to bring something to share to a barbeque or dinner. And is it me, or is it always just a little difficult to come up with an idea when you’re put on the spot? I’m great at coming up with ideas on the fly, but sometimes when I’m asked to bring something over to a friend’s house, my brain goes blank! 

Well, keep this salad in the back of your mind for one of those “bring a side” parties. This oil-free, flavorful salad is colorful, delicious, healthy, and quick and easy to prepare. Because it’s oil-free, it’s also guilt-free so you can tell your friends it’s ok to eat a ton of it. They will want to anyway, trust me.

Ingredients:

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 english cucumber, chopped

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

½ red bell pepper, chopped

1 c. fresh parsley, chopped

4-5 green onions, chopped

½ c. kalamata olives

½ c. feta cheese

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Juice from 2 lemons

Salt and pepper

Mix together all ingredients in a serving bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Salads

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

Ever since I made my soba noodles with peanut sauce a couple of weeks ago, I just can’t seem to get the craving for peanutty-asian meals out of my mind. And since I am now on a healthy-food binge (is it really a binge if it’s healthy?), I decided to make one of my favorite healthy, veggie-laden salads that also happens to include lots of protein-packed chicken: the Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Salad.

My kids and I love this salad so much because it is uber-delicious, super filling, and also makes you feel healthy and energetic. While it requires a little “chopping time,” this salad is easy to make and doesn’t take too long to prepare. I almost always take the rotisserie chicken shortcut with this salad because it just works so well and cuts down on prep time. Rev up that food processor, toss this yummy dressing into the veggies, and you’re ready to go! 

Ingredients:

Salad: 

4 c. green cabbage, shredded

2 c. shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)

1 c. carrots, grated

½ c. snow peas, sliced

1 c. cilantro, chopped

½ c. red bell pepper, chopped

5 green onions, sliced

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

½ c. peanuts

Dressing: 

½ c. smooth peanut butter

2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

3 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari

3 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. agave

2 cloves of garlic

1 inch cube of ginger

2 Tbsp. sambal oelek or sriracha

Juice from one lime

2 Tbsp. water

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. 

To assemble the salad, add all salad ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss until combined. Enjoy! 

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Mediterranean Chickpea and Egg Salad

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a slight obsession with chickpeas, and have since I was a young child. There’s just something about them. I could eat them every day and never get tired of them. I’m always coming up with new ways to eat them because I just love them so much!

Chickpeas are the star of this delicious Mediterranean chickpea and egg salad that is elevated by the addition of other yummy ingredients from the region, including cucumbers, feta cheese, kalamata olives, fresh mint, and parsley. This salad makes the perfect lunch because it’s quick, filling, and absolutely delicious. It would also be a perfect side item at a barbeque or family event.

Ingredients: 

Salad:

2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 hard boiled eggs, sliced

½ c. kalamata olives, pitted

1 c. cucumber, diced

4 green onions, sliced

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

½ c. fresh mint, chopped

½ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing: 

⅓ c. olive oil

Juice from 1 lemon

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. 

Combine all of the ingredients for the salad and mix together. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, mix and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately. 

Categories
Chicken/Turkey Salads

Greek Chicken Kale Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

My favorite lunch is, without question, a big, satisfying salad full of fresh ingredients that make me actually look forward to my lunch break instead of that dreaded “oh, I have to eat (insert day three of leftovers here)” feeling. I guarantee you’ve all been there. This Greek chicken kale salad with tzatziki dressing is snap-of-a-finger quick to prepare for lunch at home or to make in advance for pre-prepped weekday lunches. 

Greek cooks definitely have the art of chicken flavor down to a science: olive oil, lemon, garlic, onions, oregano. So good. So simple. So fresh. And the ever-present Greek combo of tzatziki dressing and feta? Don’t even get me started. All of this on top of a mixture of lacinato kale, cucumbers and chickpeas. If kale isn’t your jam, you could definitely opt for mixed greens instead. Either way, I’m guessing your salad craving just kicked in.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 Tbsp. olive oil

½ yellow onion, chopped

Juice from 1 lemon

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. paprika

Salt and pepper

Tzatziki Dressing:

⅓ c. plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. water

Juice from ½ lemon

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. oregano

Salt and pepper

Salad:

1 bunch of lacinato kale, torn into small leaves and massaged

1 cucumber, sliced

¾ c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ feta cheese, crumbled

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing and whisk to combine. Set aside 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and paprika and cook until the chicken is cooked through and browned. Season with salt and pepper. 

To assemble the salad, place the massaged kale in a large serving bowl. Top with cucumbers, chickpeas, and feta cheese. Drizzle with the tzatziki dressing and top with chicken. Enjoy!