Category Archives: Salads

Date Night at Home / Gluten-Free / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy

Valentine’s Sweetheart Salad

February 18, 2014

I made this salad for Valentine’s Day this year, and it was so delicious and full of purples, pinks, and reds that I just had to share it.  It’s a perfect seasonal recipe also, using produce that’s readily available around this time (grapefruit, avocado, mixed lettuces).

This salad would be perfect for a little date night at home (I’d cut the recipe in half for 2 people — and you’ll have plenty of room for apps and/or dessert), or made to impress someone you’re having over for dinner.

And even though this is quite the fancy-looking affair, this salad comes together in no time flat.  I mean, like 10 minutes.

My kind of dish, for sure.

Valentine's Sweetheart Salad

Valentine’s Sweetheart Salad
because Shrimp and Bleu Cheese Salad with Chicory, Avocado, and Grapefruit with Grapefruit Shallot Vinaigrette was way too long of a name

serves 4

  • 1 bag TJ’s Les Salades du Midi (mix of butter lettuce and radicchio) or one bag/one head butter lettuce
  • 2 heads white and one head red belgian endive, sliced (they come together in a pack at TJ’s)
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1/8 red onion, sliced
  • 2 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound cooked shrimp meat (available at most fish counters)
  • 1 medium to large red grapefruit, segmented, juice reserved*
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper**
  1. Combine lettuces, avocado, onion, shrimp, bleu cheese, and grapefruit segments in a salad bowl.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together reserved grapefruit juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Dress and toss to combine.

*To segment a grapefruit, cut the peel off the top and bottom, making flat surfaces on both sides (no pith should remain). Run your knife down the side of the fruit, removing the remaining peel and pith until you’re left with only the center of the fruit.  Cut segments out, running a paring knife between the segments (you’ll see the faint lines in the fruit), until you’ve segmented the whole grapefruit.  Take what remains of the fruit you just segmented, and squeeze the juice into a bowl for the dressing.  Compost the peel and fruit center (once segmented and juiced).

**Make sure to test your dressing for the appropriate amount of salt — this dressing can taste a little flat if it’s lacking salt because you’re using mostly grapefruit juice rather than a heavy-hitting vinegar in it.

Dinner / Fall / Gluten-Free / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy

Autumn Sweet Potato Salad

October 22, 2013

IMG_1624Are you currently up to your ears in sweet potatoes?  I am.  We’ve gotten them in our last two CSA boxes, and now have multiple football-sized tubers hanging out in our kitchen.

This salad is one of my favorite ways to use sweet potatoes.  It’s quick and easy, and only involves a few ingredients.  It’s hearty, satisfying, and tastes indulgent (even though it’s pretty darn healthy).

Also, if you’re tasked with making a salad for a Thanksgiving meal, this would be a great option.

Autumn Sweet Potato Salad

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side

  • 2 small or 1 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ dice
  • 3 slices prosciutto
  • 1 bag baby lettuce (I used spring mix)
  • 2 handfuls tomatoes, diced
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. (+ more for potatoes) olive oil
  • s&p
  • optional: dried spices (thyme, basil, oregano)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried spices (if using — about 1 tsp. each).  Bake for 20 minutes (or until browned and cooked through).
  3. Bake prosciutto for 8-10 minutes of the baking time.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, remove when browned and crispy, and let cool.  (I add this to the baking sheet when I put the potatoes in, then remove halfway through the baking time).
  4. Place lettuce, tomato, and goat cheese into a large salad bowl.  Once cool, crumble cooked prosciutto on top.
  5. Add potatoes when done cooking, then toss with 1T red wine vinegar and 1T olive oil + salt and pepper.

Yum yum.


Dairy-Free / Dinner / Salads / Savory / Stay Healthy

Late-Winter Citrus Salad

April 14, 2011

Hello Lovelies!  Just a quick recipe post today for your perusal.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love winter.  I know, I know, it’s pretty much everyone’s least favorite season, but what can I say?  I love the cold, gray weather (not to mention, the holidays!)  One thing I definitely miss about spring and summer during the winter months though, is all the lovely warm-weather produce.  You all know the love I have for salads, and the produce pickings can get kinda slim during the winter months when I’m looking to live outside the winter root vegetable box.

Enter: this salad. It’s a perfect cure for the winter-salad blues.  It’s a bright, full-flavored reminder that, even though winter will eventually come to an end (yes, I realize I am the only person who gets a little sad about this), along with the end of winter comes produce stands overflowing with delicious summer fruits and veggies.  (Strawberries, oh how I’ve missed thee!)

So for those of you who perhaps don’t relish the colder months like I do, make this salad and take it as a little reminder that spring is just around the corner.

Late-Winter Citrus Salad

Adapted from a salad I had at some restaurant one time…

serves 2

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter lettuce (one bag, or one head – cored, torn, and washed)
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 3 thin slices of prosciutto
  • 3-4 thick slices of bread, cubed (I use sourdough)
  • handful of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 – 1 cup of citrus fruit, chopped (you can use oranges, mandarin oranges, tangerines, grapefruit – whatever strikes your fancy)
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar (a mild, slightly sweet vinegar works best for this)
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Coat chicken in olive oil, salt, and pepper; place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, 30-35 minutes.  Toss bread in olive oil, salt and pepper, then place on baking sheet with prosciutto and bake, 12 minutes (until bread and prosciutto are crispy).  I just add the bread and prosciutto to the chicken pan when there’s 12 minutes left on the timer for the chicken — less dishes!  *make sure the prosciutto is all in one layer on the pan, otherwise it won’t get crispy
  2. In a large bowl, add lettuce, sunflower seeds, and citrus.  When finished cooking, add croutons, crumbled prosciutto, and chicken (cubed).
  3. Toss the whole lot with 1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 tablespoon olive oil + salt + pepper.

Yum!  It’s salty, it’s sweet, it’s bright and citrusy… What more could you want?  Well, maybe a glass of wine to go with it.  Oooh, wine…

So you want to know my secret weapon for this salad?  What makes the whole thing taste like a warm summer day in the middle of winter?

Ok, I’ll tell you.

That’s right, TJ’s orange-champagne vinegar.  It’s freaking delicious!  If you live near a Trader Joe’s, I’d highly recommend picking up a bottle and whipping up this salad.  (And maybe add some avocado to it, that would be extra tasty!)

Alright, I’m off to raid the fridge for some dark chocolate.  Or maybe have a glass of wine.  Maybe both!  Go big.  Ciao!

Dairy-Free / Gluten-Free / Salads / Stay Healthy

Super Late Salads

July 8, 2010

I’m the worst.  I know.  I said I was going to make time to post last night and…  I didn’t.  I cleaned the apartment instead.  Really, if you’d seen the dust-storm that was our apartment, I think you’d forgive me — but I’m sorry, I left you hanging with no salad recipes!  Awful.

Well, to try and make up for my terribly lazy blogging habits, I’ll include both salad recipes in this post.  Two for the price of one!  Lucky you.

Let’s get started.  Here’s salad number one:

Tuna salad.  I love this salad because you can throw it together in a pinch (literally, less than 10 minutes).  Plus, it’s one of those use-what’s-in-the-fridge deals, because it works with just about anything.  I like to buy the Costco pack of Albacore canned tuna because it lasts forever, and it’s always in the pantry when I’m at a loss for what to make for dinner.

Ok, this is a very free-style salad, but I’ll list what went into mine this time: romaine, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, kalamata olives, a large Roma tomato, and a peach (yes, I like fruit in my salad).  To make the tuna, I took 2 cans of albacore tuna (because I like leftovers) and added in some diced red onion, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and pickles.  I also added a little mayo, salt and pepper.

The dressing is just a basic balsamic vinaigrette — I generally do 1/2 tbsp. balsamic, 1 tbsp. olive oil, a little dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Toss the salad with the dressing, top with some tuna and voila — tuna salad.

Usually I make some croutons for this.  I was feeling lazy so I just served it with some sliced bread (aka poor man’s croutons).  It’s gluten-free without the croutons.  I’ll just act like that was my plan right from the start…  And it’s dairy-free either way.

Ok, onward and upward: salad number two!

Greek salad.

I’m sorry, this salad doesn’t photograph very well, but I promise it’s delicious.

To make this I used: 1 chicken breast, 1/2 red onion, 1/2 cucumber, 1 bell pepper, 2 large Roma tomatoes, 2 oz light feta.

Chop it all up and toss it in: 1/8 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp dried oregano (rubbed between your hands before added), and salt and pepper.

This salad is great because it’s not too many ingredients, and it’s perfect for entertaining because it tastes better the longer it sits and it’s super easy to make in large batches.  And it’s gluten-free.  And it could be vegetarian if you omitted the chicken.

Wouldn’t it just be beautiful in a huge batch made with red, orange, and yellow bell peppers?  Yes, these are the things I think about that make me happy.  I’m easily pleased, what can I say.

I served this with some sliced pita, because I like to eat my Greek salad in a pita pocket.

I like to eat just about anything in a pita pocket, really.

Alright, now let’s all say a little prayer that these rioters downtown don’t shut down BART so I can make it to work safe and sound tomorrow.

I <3 you Oakland, but keep it together, please.  Thanks, Chelsea

Gluten-Free / Salads / Stay Healthy

Cobb Salad My Way

June 28, 2010

I promised you salad recipes last week didn’t I?  I only gave you two, and I didn’t think that was enough.  Tonight I made a healthier version of a traditional Cobb salad.  I’d never made this before and was just winging from the start, so I hoped it would turn out well.  It actually ended up coming out even better than I expected.

Anyway, here’s a shot of it:

I managed to up the health factor of this salad by adapting the dressing and adding a few more veggies to the mix.

So what’s in it?

A traditional Cobb salad generally has iceberg lettuce, chicken, bacon, bleu cheese, hard-boiled egg, avocado, tomato, and some sort of creamy dressing.  Not exactly diet food.

My salad had a head of romaine (iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value whatsoever, so try and avoid it whenever possible), a chicken breast (oven baked of course), a large Roma tomato, 1/4 English cucumber, 1 bell pepper, 1/4 red onion, some crumbled bleu cheese, 2 hard-boiled eggs, and 3 paper-thin slices of prosciutto which I crisped in the oven while the chicken was cooking (lay flat on a sheet pan and bake until crispy, 10-15 minutes).

Alright, the dressing:

This dressing came more from necessity than anything else.  I had one avocado left over from last week, and had planned to use it last night in this salad.  However, KC and I ended up hanging out with friends last night, and therefore this salad didn’t get made until tonight.  When I went to slice the avocado to add it to the salad, it had started to turn and I could only use part of it (plus it was pretty mushy).  I decided to try and make a dressing from it, rather than have KC and I each get 2 measly bites of avocado in the salad.

I mashed the avocado with some Greek yogurt, whisked in some olive oil to thin it out and added salt and pepper.  Let me tell you, this may be the best healthy dressing I’ve ever invented.  It tastes super-indulgent, but since it’s made with Greek yogurt and healthy fats (olive oil and avocado), it’s actually good for you.

Alright, well I’ve got some True Blood to catch up on.  Hopefully I’ll have one or two more salad recipes for you by the end of the week.  Also, if you have a favorite salad you like to indulge in and would like me to try and reinvent it and make it healthier, please let me know.  I love a challenge!