Tag Archives: salad

Best kale salad, EVER!

Best kale salad, ever!

Best kale salad, ever!

All I am going to say about this salad is that after eating half of his FIRST large serving, Andy told me this needed to be on HEAVY ROTATION here through the summer.

Kale salad on heavy rotation!?!  YES!!!


Best kale salad, EVER!

  • 6-8 c organic baby kale mix (baby kale, spinach, beet greens, carrots) from Sams (any baby kale or kale mix will do just fine!)


  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Pecan and cranberry mix 

  • 1/3  c pecans
  • 1/3 c pistachios, shelled
  • 2 heaping T nutritional yeast
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of dried cranberries.  I used sweetened.
  • salt, pepper chipotle pepper flakes

Use a grinder to process the pistachios and pecans to small pieces.  Add the nutritional yeast, EVOO, salt, pepper, and hot pepper and pulse in the grinder a few times, until crumbly and mixed.  Add the dry pecan cranberry mix, salad dressing and kale greens to a large lidded bowl.  Shake well to evenly coat the greens with the dressing and pecan, cranberry mix.  

Serve immediately.  

You can add roasted beets and/or red onions to the salad to add some more color and lots of good nutrition and flavor!  

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!

Great color and flavor in this very simple and nutritious salad that is a meal!



Guiltless chicken, tuna, or egg salad

Gorgeous chicken salad on a bed of baby spinach.

Gorgeous chicken salad on a bed of baby spinach.

Are you a fan of chicken salad, but are not so into mayo?  Then give this lighter and brighter chicken salad a try.  I picked up a version of the recipe a couple of years ago at a diabetes cooking class.  I almost left the class before it began when I saw what we were cooking up that day.  Honestly, tuna salad?  Anyway, I am very glad that I stayed because I would never have created this one on my own, and my modified version of the original tastes ridiculously good!

There is no rich mayo in this chicken or tuna salad.  Organic, roasted chicken breast or chunk white tuna, artichoke hearts, lots of onion and a light and bright lemony Italian dressing–sitting atop a colorful bed of baby spinach.  Is your mouth watering yet?  If not, it should be!  This salad has so much great flavor, lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber–enough to fill you up and satisfy you all day long!

You can use swap in tuna or hard-boiled eggs to change things up a little. I know you are going to love it, so give it a try today!

Cheers to making good health decisions easier!


Can you see the big chunks of artichoke in there? YUM!

Can you see the big chunks of artichoke in there? YUM!

Guiltless chicken (or tuna) salad

Servings 3-4

  • 3 chicken breasts, roasted and chopped into small pieces or 2 cans of tuna, drain the juice
  • 3/4 can artichoke hearts, in water.  cut in 1/2
  • 1 small red onion or 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 t oregano
  • black olives (or your favorite), sliced.  optional
  • red seedless grapes, cut in half.  optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • baby spinach, enough to fill your belly!

In a small bowl combine the artichoke hearts, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, olives, grapes, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes.  Mix in the chopped chicken or the tuna and let marinade together for 5-10 minutes.

In your serving bowls, place a healthy bed of spinach.  Add a big scoop of the chicken or tuna salad on top.  Serve and enjoy!  XO


Italian spinach pasta salad

Even though it is turning cold outside we wanted a hearty salad for dinner last night.  I checked the contents of my fridge/pantry and this is what I created.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.

Italian spinach and pasta salad.


This is an Italian spinach pasta salad that will add some color to your table and make your taste buds spring back to life.  The flavors are intense enough to give this salad just what it needs to become your new favorite.  That is what happened for us last night anyway as we dug into second helpings of our dinner.  You can look at the ingredient list and get a pretty good idea for the huge flavor in this one.  Italian, a little tart, a little briny, and a lot of zing!

Don’t be intimidated by the longer ingredient list for this salad–I promise, you will have it on the table in 30 minutes or less!  Give it a go and see how it wakes up your dinner plate!

Cheers to eating well and loving every bite!

Make sure to scroll to the end of this post for a picture of our stray Quattro!  Isn’t she beautiful?

Italian spinach pasta salad

Servings 4-6

  • 1 – 8 oz box gluten free noodles, cooked al dente according to the package directions.  I used Ancient Quinoa Harvest Rotelle
  • 4-6 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2/3 c black olives, sliced into thirds
  • 1 c artichoke hearts in water, sliced in half
  • 1 – 14 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, in EVOO, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1-2 T Red Wine Vinegar, to taste
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c EVOO
  • 2 T fresh thyme or 2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 c freshly grated, aged Parmesan cheese, optional

Mix together the EVOO, salt, pepper, chipotle pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, red wine vinegar, onion and let marinade for 15 or 20 minutes at room temp while you prep the other ingredients.

Add all of the other ingredients EXCEPT the spinach and cheese.  Allow to rest and marinade for a few minutes.  

Just before you serve the salad, add the spinach and cheese and toss to fully combine.  Garnish as you like–more cheese, some fresh herbs, a few fresh tomatoes, whatever you like!

Eat and ENJOY!

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro.

Shameless plug for our stray Quattro. Let me know if you would like to give her a forever home!




Lime zest salmon salad

DSCN3904This is one of my very favorite quick-fix dinners!  SALMON salad!

Check it out–it is basically lime zest and honey for the marinade!  Yes, that is right.  Which means it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare!  So while the salmon is roasting in the oven, just throw together the salad and dressing and in about 20-25 minutes you have a dinner that is super healthful AND absolutely delicious!

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this super easy lime zest salad!

Lime zest salmon salad–2 servings




  • 1 large organic lime
  • 2 T organic honey
  • frozen jalapeno, zested.  OPTIONAL (if you want to add some extra heat)
  • splash of room temp water, OPTIONAL (only if you want to make the marinade a little thinner for easier brushing)
  • 2 wild salmon filets
  • salt and pepper (enough to  sprinkle on the salmon filets AND add a health dash to the marinade)
  • sprinkle of chipotle pepper flakes (Victoria’s Gourmet are my very fav!)


  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed (slice the other half and use it on the salad)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t chipotle pepper flakes (more or less to suit your taste)
  • 1 T honey (or more, to suit your taste)
  • 1-2 T EVOO (I like the dressing a pretty thick, as you can see from the photo so I only use about 1 T)
  • salt and pepper (to suit your taste)


  • Use whatever fresh, organic ingredients you like!!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Zest one lime and then juice it.  Set the juice aside for the dressing.

OPTIONAL:  Zest part of a frozen jalapeno in with the lime zest if you want to add some heat to the marinade.

Mix the zest with the rest of the the ingredients for the marinade.  Place the salmon filets in a oven ready pan and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the filets.  Brush on the marinade and let sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until done.

While the salmon is roasting in the oven, make the dressing for the salad–mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Cover and set aside.

Now just throw together your favorite greens and veggies — making a nice big bed for your salmon filet.  Don’t forget that other half of the avocado! Add the dressing just before placing the filet on top.

Once the fish is fully cooked, remove from the oven and place the filet on the bed of dressed greens.

Serve with a big glass of fruity sparkling water and ENJOY!

Cheers to good eating!



Quinoa two bean salad

Have you ever heard the saying that “Love isn’t easy. Especially the really good kind.”? Thank you Nicole Williams, but I respectfully disagree!

This quinoa salad is probably the most delicious and healthful salad that I have ever made. Let me tell you, that I fell for it–hard and fast! Even my hubby fell in love with this one, nearly licking every last grain of quinoa from his bowl!

Why is it so good, you ask? I guess it is the crazy good mix of ingredients with color, flavor, and interesting texture. Not sold yet?  Keep reading for more reasons to enjoy this big salad. This one dish can be the salad AND main course for your next meal–all in one (big) bowl, for easy kitchen prep and cleanup! The protein and fiber from the beans and quinoa are super filling, so you will leave the table completely satisfied! Plus, the ridiculous number of micronutrients it provides will help fuel your body to fight disease and clear out unwanted toxins! Again, all in one big, satisfying bowl!

Can you feel your heart soften? Not yet? Well then, I guess you will just have to make it yourself and see how easy it is to fall in love with this gorgeous grain salad.

Isn’t this salad gorgeous?


Quinoa bean salad

Servings: 2-4, depending if served as a main course or a side

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 3/4 c water
  • generous dash of salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 t dried basil, or more to taste
  • chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1 T (or more) dehydrated onion
  • 1/2 c chopped black olives, chopped or sliced
  • 3 c grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 can drained and rinsed great northern white beans
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2-3 T basalmic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil (I used tuscan flavored oil)
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1-2 t lemon zest
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  •  spinach
  •  arugula
  • freshly ground pepper

Bring the first 6 ingredients, plus 1/2 t lemon zest to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is al dente. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.  

In a big bowl, mix the tomatoes, black olives, red onion, beans, lemon zest, basalmic, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and hot pepper.  Be sure to taste the mix and adjust the seasoning as needed. When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, add it to the veggie/bean mix.

Place a bed of arugula and spinach on your plate and top with a genergous portion of the quinoa/veggie mix.  Serve immediately or it may be refrigerated and served cold. No garnish is necessary, but a generous sprinkle of  lemon zest and/or freshly ground pepper is nice! Bon Appetit!

Green thai noodle salad


I can’t believe it has taken me this long to post this recipe.  I LOVE this Thai vegan pasta salad so much that one can usually find a batch made up in my fridge!  It has a lot of green in it to make it super nutrient dense, bright and flavorful!  The nuts and seeds give it a bit of a crunch, some good fiber, and the protein necessary to build long, lean, and beautiful muscles.

This salad is soooo simple to make and will stay ‘fresh’ in the fridge for up to a week–but trust me, it will never last that long!  It is really two different recipes, but we almost always top a big scoop of the pasta with the Broccoli Slaw.  Serve this dish at room temperature to maximize the flavors.  I know you are going to love it, so give it a try today!

Bon Appetit!


Edamame Broccoli Slaw

Servings:  5-6

  • 1 bag broccoli slaw (you can also make your own–it is just the stem from a head of broccoli, along with some carrots.  grated in the food processor)
  • 1/4 c white miso paste ( I usually go a little heavier on the miso=addl 1 T)
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1/4 c brown rice vinegar (you can use white rice vinegar if you can’t find the brown.  The brown is sourced at your local asian market and makes the dish taste a little better)
  • 1 T (or more) grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 T sesame oil
  • 1 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bag shelled organic edamame
  • 3/4 c toasted almond, chopped, sliced or slivered

Combine miso, honey, vinegar, ginger and whisk.  Add oil and soy sauce and whisk.  Toss with all other ingredients.

Thai Pasta

Servings:  5-6

  • 3 T toasted sesame seeds
  • 12 oz soba noodles (cooked al dente) or your favorite gluten free noodle
  • 1 t chipotle pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c sesame oil
  • splash of grapeseed or veg oil (1-2 t)
  • 6 T honey
  • 5 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 c finely chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 large bunch of green onions, chopped (use both the green and white parts)

Combine red pepper, grapeseed oil, sesame oil, honey and soy sauce.  Heat in microwave for 2 minutes.  Toss with cool and rinsed pasta.    Add cilantro, peanuts, onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Serve pasta with a healthy scoop of the slaw on top and try to leave yourself leftovers for tomorrow!  🙂  YUM!

Eggplant and Mango Soba Noodle Salad

Eggplant, mango soba noodle salad

“This is soooo good” were the only words out of my husband’s mouth after he had taken his first bite of this salad last night at dinner.  The real beauty of it for me was the fact the HE made it!

As most of you probably know, march madness came to a screeching halt Monday night as Michigan took on Louisville in the championship game.  Andy and I had filled out a bracket and miraculously had won (even before the final game had been played), so the wager that we made Monday night was just for fun!  He was going to cook dinner for ME Tuesday night if Louisville won. You can bet your sweet pants that I was enthusiastically cheering on the red and white!

I WON, I WON, I WON!  Plus, I got to choose the meal, so I went back to Mylene’s Vegetarian Times magazine for a new recipe.   The decision to go with the egglant and mango noodle salad was pretty easy–I had a hankering for a good salad and an abundance of perfectly ripe mango–see, it WAS easy!  I put Andy to work in the kitchen late in the afternoon as I headed to the garden to plant the last of this season’s seeds– arugula, swiss chard, and spinach.

A gorgeous aroma greeted me as I returned just in time for dinner to be served.  After a tough 90 minutes of yoga and gardening, I was ravenous and more than ready for dinner!  Take a look at the photos of the salad!  GORGEOUS, just like my hubby!  I guess you already know, based on Andy’s comment, this salad tasted even better than it looked!  The combination of the cooked earthy eggplant, fresh sweet mango, salty and tangy dressing, and green cilantro was perfect!  Each bite was like a flavor explosion in my mouth!

Thankfully there is a big container of leftovers for lunch today!  I honestly can not wait for another big bowl and to make this one again!

If you are worried about gluten, like I am, fear not! Soba noodles are made from buckwheat seed and do not contain gluten!  The buckwheat plant is NOT related to wheat as we know it and once again, does not contain gluten!  Hooray, because the firm soba noodles make this salad amazing!

Thank you Louisville and congratulations on the big win!  THANK YOU Mylene for the magazines and for being such a great friend!  And a big thank you to my sweet hubby for choosing Michigan!  I love you!



Eggplant and mango soba noodle salad


  • 1/2 c unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 3 T honey
  •  ~1 + T kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1/2 frozen jalapeno, zested 
  • ~2 t toasted seseame oil
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1  t lime zest
  • 1/2 c grapeseed oil
  • 2 large eggplants, cut into 3/4″ dice
  • 8 oz uncooked soba noodles
  • 3  ripe mangos, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (use the green and white parts)
  • 1 T dried basil or 3 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 c cilantro leaves, chopped
  • pinch of chipotle pepper flakes

In a large skillet, heat 1/2 of the grapeseed oil with a splash of toasted sesame oil.  Cook 1/2 of the eggplant for 8-10 minutes, until they start to brown.  Spread the eggplant out on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Add the last of the grapeseed oil and another splash of toasted sesame oil and cook the second 1/2 of the eggplant.  Spread the eggplant out on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt.

In a small saucepan, warm the rice vinegar, honey, and 1/2 t salt.  Cook just until the salt and honey are dissolved.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool.  Add the jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, chipotle pepper flakes, and 1 t toasted sesame oil to the sauce and mix well.  Set aside.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions (to al dente).  Transfer to a dish towel to dry.  

Toss the noodles with the dressing.  Add the eggplant, mango, red and green onions, basil, and most of the cilantro (reserve a small amount for garnish).  Allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours for the flavors to marinade.  Serve with a cilantro garnish.