Category Archives: Salad

Watermelon Caprese Salad

It’s going to be a sweltering week. If slaving over a hot stove doesn’t appeal to you, then whip up  this cool and delicious  Watermelon Caprese Salad.

Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad made of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, and it represents the colors of the Italian flag. I decided to replace the tomato with watermelon and I actually prefer it over the traditional version.

Caprese is often drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar but I had pesto so I scraped the oil off the top of the pesto and dressed the salad with that and it was spectacular. The salty pesto was a great balance to the sweetness of the fruit.

It’s a gorgeous, delicious, healthy, refreshing salad that takes 5 minutes to assemble.

 

Watermelon Caprese Salad

Serves 1

3 (2 1/2-inch) slices of watermelon

2 (2-inch) slices of fresh mozzarella cheese

3 large basil leaves

1 teaspoon pesto (or to taste)

Slice watermelon and mozzarella. Drizzle half of the pesto on the mozzarella. Place one slice of melon on a plate, top with cheese, a basil leaf and repeat. Drizzle the remaining ½ teaspoon of pesto (using mostly the oil on top) around the plate. Serve.

Optional: you can also drizzle this with good quality balsamic vinegar.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Figs, Grapes and Moscato Dressing: “Ode to Wine Country”

Ode to Wine Country

Serves 2

I call this “Ode to Wine Country” because it’s a beautiful salad of arugula and spinach, figs poached in Moscato, globe grapes, walnuts, chicken and a Moscato dressing with a hint of rosemary.  These are the some of the flavors found in wine country.

This salad comes together in about 10 minutes but tastes like a salad you’d get in an upscale restaurant. It is healthy and practically effortless.

My husband and I have both been losing weight recently- he’s down 20 pounds and I’ve shed 10- so we’re eating a lot of salads!,

Salad can get boring after awhile, but this one will keep us coming back for more.

Tip: If you don’t regularly drink Moscato, buy one of the airplane-size bottles for the recipe.

2/3 cup inexpensive Moscato (you’re using it to poach, so it doesn’t need to be an expensive bottle)

6 dried figs

4 cups mixed arugula and spinach mix (you can also substitute a spring mix of greens)

12 globe grapes

12 walnut halves

1 1/2 tablespoons minced red onion

2/3 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

6 teaspoons Moscato liquid reserved from poaching

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled

¼ teaspoon honey

Goat cheese crumbles (optional)

Place Moscato in a small pot and turn the heat on to medium. While it heats, slice figs in half and set aside.

Next, divide the greens between two plates.  Rinse the grapes off and slice in half.  Divide the grapes and walnuts evenly between the plates. Next, chop the onion and chicken and divide that between the plates.

By now, your Moscato should be bubbling. Add the figs and poach for 3 minutes. Remove figs immediately, but reserve the Moscato liquid.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 6 tablespoons of the Moscato liquid, rosemary and honey. Pour over salad and toss thoroughly. If desired, add goat cheese.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Hawaiian Chicken Salad

Let me start by saying, don’t let this unattractive photo fool you, this dish is delicious. I’d have a better photo if I wasn’t allergic to cashews and getting just this close on my iPhone triggered a big reaction!

I’ve been playing around with this concept of a Hawaiian chicken salad for quite some time and I have not been happy with the results … until now.

I initially made this with macadamia nuts, but they didn’t offer enough crunch. So I decided on cashews, the one problem is I am allergic to cashews. It’s the only food I am allergic to.

No worries, I thought, I will be sure not to touch the nut and I’ll be fine. Wrong. As I stirred this salad (I was taking it to a ladies gathering that night), I started to run bright red! I got hives down my neck and throat and started to consider a trip to urgent care. Luckily, it only last about 30 minutes.

But now I know not only am I allergic to cashews, I am highly allergic, so this will be the last recipe I likely post with the nut. And that is why these pictures are so pitiful. I shot it quickly on my iPhone instead of taking time with my big camera.

I just needed to get away from this nut.

So, try it out. The ladies loved it! I tasted it before I added the nut and liked it, but I knew the cashew would add a lot of depth to this dish.

The combination of basil, pineapple, chicken and cashews explodes with flavor. It’s fantastic! I really wish I could have done some food styling.

I hope you like it.

Hawaiian Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken

½ cup chopped red onion

1 cup minced fresh pineapple

1/3 cup chopped celery

12-15 basil leaves

¾ cup cashews

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove all the skin from the rotisserie chicken and  discard. Then pull the meat off the bones and chop the entire chicken into pieces. Place it in a large container with a lid.

Chop onion, pineapple, celery and thinly slice basil leaves. Add to the bowl. Top with cashews.

Stir together mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Add to the dish and stir to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. For best results, cover and refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

You can eat this salad as a sandwich or wrap, with cracker or tortilla chips (I served tortilla chips and it was popular) or on a bed of lettuce as a real salad.

Light Greek Chicken Salad

If you love chicken salad, but are watching your fat intake, then try my Greek version. It has less calories, less than half the fat of traditional chicken salad, and calcium and probiotics. You can shave more calories by using low fat yogurt and it still tastes good.

It’s a light and healthy version.

Dill and Kalamata olives really pump up the flavor in this dish. I use garlic salt to flavor it, too. I enjoy this salad in a wrap, but you can also serve it as a salad or with pita chips as a dip.

The key is to refrigerate it at least 2 hours before serving (more is always better).

Light Greek Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken

4 green onions

1 stalk celery

1 cup chopped cucumber

1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole or low fat)

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Garlic salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Remove all the skin from the rotisserie chicken and discard. Then pull the meat off the bones and chop the entire chicken into pieces. Place it in a large container with a lid.

Chop onions, celery, cucumber and Kalamata olives and add to chicken.

In another bowl, stir together Greek yogurt, dill week, lemon juice and a dose of garlic salt. Pour over chicken and stir to combine all ingredients.

Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste before serving.

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Chicken Fattoush Flatbread

I love, love, love Fattoush, a Middle Eastern salad that explodes with flavor. I was first introduced to it at a Lebanese restaurant in Ghana. I lived in Ghana, in West Africa, for years and it has some incredible restaurants.

Fattoush is served with warm pita, usually crispy from the oven. If you have leftover pita from a party or pita that’s about to go stale, you should make Fattoush.   Fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, basil, are key to this salad. I pack a lot of parsley in mine and often use cilantro, too.  The vinaigrette is simple, lots of lemon and olive oil. If you love lemon, add the lemon zest, too.  I hit mine with a general dose of black pepper and garlic salt and load on the green onions.

My mouth is watering.

The concept of the warm pita was my inspiration for this flatbread. To transform the salad into a main course, I added rotisserie chicken and then piled it all atop of whole wheat flatbread. I made my own flatbread, but you could use Naan or pizza dough or pitas instead.

If you’re looking for a HEALTHY, delicious dinner, you’ve found it. It’s so light and flavorful. It’s the perfect summer dish.

fattoush

Chicken Fattoush Flatbread.

serves 2

1 cooked, crispy flatbread crust (I made my own whole wheat but it’s faster to buy one; my recipe follows)

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced Romaine lettuce

3 green onions, sliced

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or mint

1 cup chopped cucumber (peeled or unpeeled, it’s up to you)

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup sliced grape tomatoes

Generous dose of garlic salt

Generous dose of black pepper to taste

Dressing

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)

Salt

For the dressing, whisk ingredients together. Salt to taste and set aside.

Bake flatbread according to directions. You want the salad to rest for 5-10 minutes before you add it to the flatbread  but you also want the flatbread to be warm, so read the instructions before you make the salad so you time it right.

For the salad:

Thinly slice the lettuce and green onions and place in a large bowl.

Chop the parsley, cilantro or mint, cucumber, chicken, slice tomatoes and add to bowl. Pour salad dressing over salad and add a lot of black pepper and garlic salt. Taste as you go so you don’t oversalt. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes.

When pita is ready, top it with the salad and serve.

You can use a pizza, pita or flabtread crust or make your own. For this portions, you will need 3-4 whole wheat pitas or

Whole Wheat Flatbread Crust

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons active yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup lukewarm water

Stir ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, cover the bowl with a clean towel and place on the oven to rise for 6 hours. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees or more to help it rise.

When it’s time to cook, preheat oven to 450 and place baking sheet in the oven to heat.

Split the dough in half. Coat your hands with flour and work the dough into a ball (you may need more flour). Sprinkle corn meal and flour on a flat surface. Start working the dough in your hands, pinching it to spread it out. Then place on the floured surface and spread with your fingers until you have a piece of flatbread.

When oven is ready, remove the baking sheet, sprinkle it with cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking, and bake 10-13 minutes, until crisp.

Top with fattoush and serve immediately.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

I must say, I chose the wrong color of bowl to showcase this delicious salad. I was STARVING when I made this and all I wanted to do was photograph it so I could gobble it up. I rushed and it didn’t pay off in terms of my photo. If I had just swapped out a white bowl for the green, this salad would look more appealing.

Let me tell you, it’s DELICIOUS, HEALTHY and very LIGHT. It’s perfect when it’s hot outside. My husband and I both commented on how good we felt after we ate this salad and how long that feeling lasted.

We are both trying to shed a few pounds, so I will likely be posting more healthier food options. Don’t worry, for you junk food lovers there will be plenty of indulgence, too.

This salad gets protein from the chicken and edamame; fiber from the apples, lettuce, and Napa cabbage. The ginger dressing is light and refreshing. And then there’s the flavor punch from the cilantro and green onions. Yummy! I love it and I hope you enjoy it, too. If you do, please share it.

Asian Inspired Salad with Chicken, Edamame, Granny Smith Apples and Ginger Dressing

Makes two generous dinner or lunch portions (we had a little leftover)

1 cup shredded Napa cabbage

4 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

½ cup cooked, shelled edamame

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 green onions, sliced

First full of cilantro

Two rotisserie chicken breasts

Dressing:

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon

1 teaspoon ginger paste or finely shredded fresh ginger (I prefer ginger paste in the tube because it’s so easy and I can grab it whenever I need)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

For the dressing, whisk all ingredients together in a glass bowl and set aside.

For the salad, chop all the vegetables and place in a large serving bowl or divide between two bowls or plates.

Remove chicken breast and pull off the skin. Chop the meat into desired pieces and place on top of vegetables. Toss with the dressing. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Black Bean Salad in Chipotle Dressing

It’s going to be a scorcher today, so cool off with this delicious, filling salad.

Southwest flavors come together beautifully in this simple meal.  For the dressing, you mix chipotle salsa, mayonnaise and fresh lime juice. Then top romaine lettuce with chopped chicken, fresh corn, black beans, avocado and tomato. Serve it with tortilla chips; shredded cheese and cilantro are optional but add a lot to this salad.

Bell peppers would be a nice addition, too.

It’s that easy. Enjoy

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Chicken, Corn, Avocado, Black Bean Salad in Chipotle Dressing

Serves 2

1 head of Romaine lettuce

1 ear of corn

1 ¼ cups chopped rotisserie chicken breast

1/3 cup black beans, drained

1 avocado

2 campari tomatoes

1/3 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Pace Southwest Chipotle Salsa

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Tortilla chips

Shredded cheese to garnish (optional)

Cilantro (optional)

Place corn in its husk in the microwave and cook for 3 ½ minutes. Remove and when it’s cool enough to handle, shuck it and slice corn off the cob. Set aside.

Tear romaine into pieces and divide between two bowls.

Pull chicken breast off chicken and discard skin. Chop and sprinkle over salad.

Drain your black beans and divide between the salads.

Slice avocado in half and cut each half into slices and place half an avocado on each salad.

Chop tomatoes and divide between the salads. Sprinkle corn over salads.

For the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, salsa and lime juice.  Drizzle over salads. Garnish each plate or bowl with tortilla chips. If desired, sprinkle with cheese and fresh cilantro. Serve.

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