BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing


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There really isn’t much to be said about this recipe except YUM! It’s a quick pull-together meal that was ready in under 20 minutes.  Kevin, at Closet Cooking, always manages to amaze with his variety of recipes and this was no exception.  The dressing that’s suggested is creamy and satisfying and even the kids requested more of it drizzled over their greens.  I loved it because we’ve become a no-salad-dressing family, using lemon or lime juice instead, but with this list of ingredients, I didn’t feel guilty about indulging!
  • 4 small chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 cups lettuce, sliced or torn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz. real bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, torn
  • 1/4 cup avocado dressing (below)
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium-high heat until cooked, about 4-6 minutes
  2. Let the chicken cool, then slice.
  3. Assemble salad and enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Dressing


  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Puree everything in a blender until smooth. Store in fridge and finish within a few days.

Pizza Pizzazz Salad


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I started receiving the Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in January, recycling the unworthy issues and dog-earing several pages in others.  I’ve managed to keep only two on my shelf at a time and the 2011 BH&G Cookbook Supplement is where I found then adapted this little beauty. I’m determined not to clutter my shelves with these magazines so as soon as I’m done going through and testing the choicest recipes, I’ll be doing my earthly duty and recycling.  Unless I decide to start gift-wrapping in magazine pages.  Which isn’t entirely out of the realm of my reality.

I served this with baby red potatoes, and after the five of us had had our fill, there was still enough left over for two day’s of lunch for myself.


  • 5 oz. Spring Mix salad
  • 3 spinach
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. can white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • handful of pepperoni slices (about 24-ish pieces)
  • 5 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 recipe herb dressing, below


  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For dressing:  In a screw-top container or salad dressing jar with tight-fitting lid, mix all ingredients and shake to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to use.


  1. In a large salad bowl pour in tomatoes, beans, onion, red pepper salad, and spinach.
  2. Toss with dressing and top with blue cheese.

Greek Chicken and Sausage


DSC_6454 copySimply?  This was just yummy.  No way around it!  During my trip to Florida for my third half marathon, my friend, gracious host that he is, prepared this dish for us one night.  When I ate it the first time, I’d had a “few” drinks so I wondered if it was really as good as I remembered, and while it seems food never quite tastes the same when you cook it for yourself, this was just as good!  I made a few changes from his instructions because I wanted it as simple and quick as possible.

I served this with a side salad tossed with a 1/4 cup EVOO, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a clove garlic, chopped, and a healthy sprinkle of garlic salt.  The recipe also courtesy of said Floridian friend.


Pre-heat oven to 350*

  • 10 chicken tenders
  • 1 pound turkey sausage (link), chopped bite size
  • 8-10 fingerling potatoes, cut bite size
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • oregano
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • juice from one lemon
  • feta cheese


1.  Place chicken in oiled 13×9 inch dish and sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper.  Now sprinkle with oregano.

2.  Add sausage and lemon juice.  Drizzle with olive oil.

3.  Add garlic, olives and potatoes.

4.  Cover with foil and cook for about 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

5.  Sprinkle with feta just before serving.

Orchard Harvest Pear Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

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I recently came across the Sisters Running the Kitchen blog and they have some really great stuff on there!  This salad practically screamed out to me because I’ve ordered a similar salad at Potbelly’s many times and fall in love with it more every time.  Despite some people’s (you know who you are) beliefs that a salad can’t be a meal on its own, the chicken could easily be left off with an extra handful of salad on your plate.
Ingredients – Salad

  • 5oz. Spring Mix salad
  • D’Anjou pears, sliced (or whatever kind you have)
  • toasted pecans, diced
  • cooked/grilled chicken breast
  • dried cherries
  • pomegranate
  • Gorgonzola Cheese

Ingredients – Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C cherry preserves
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

Directions for Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinaigrette ingredients and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
2.  Simmer the mixture, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
3.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
4.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. Pile salad on your plate & pour the vinaigrette on.  Top with pears, pecans, chicken, cherries, pomagranate & cheese on top.  I served this with Asiago cheese bread and butter.  YUM!

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

Honey Red Wine Vinaigrette

Found at Our Best Bites, this was SO good!  I used it on my Strawberries & Orange Spinach Salad but it could definitely become a favorite for all my veggie salads!

  • 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (really, that’s pretty optional; it all goes in the blender)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. canola oil

In a blender, combine vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place lid on blender and blend on high. While blender is running, add oil in a steady stream. Store in refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks. Shake well before serving.