Fruit, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian

Triple Berry Kale Salad

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This salad found at How Sweet is filling, crispy, savory and a perfect way to start a new year!  It made enough for 4 adults with two smaller lunch portions the next day.


    • 2 heads of curly kale, leaves removed from stem and torn
    • 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted and sliced
    • 1 cup fresh blueberries
    • 1 cup fresh blackberries
    • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
    • 2 avocados, chopped
    • 2/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Directions for Salad

  1. Place kale in a large bowl, and add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry vinaigrette. Massage and rub dressing into kale with your hands, then let the kale sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in salt, pepper, cherries, berries & almonds.  Mix until kale is coated with the dressing then add avocado and gently toss.

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Appetizers/Snacks, Fruit, Salads

Fresh Strawberry Watermelon And Red Grape Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Dressing

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I made this ridiculously-named salad several months ago and just never took the time to post it.  It’ll be nice to have on hand next for Valentines day or a warm spring day!  The description of the recipe on Group Recipes literally made me laugh out loud when it suggested that it be served at your next yacht party!  If you have a yacht then, by all means, this would be the salad to serve.  It only makes sense.


  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
  • 1 bag seedless red grapes
  • 1 small seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized pieces or use a melon baller

For Honey Lime Dressing

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Fresh lime juice, enough to thin out honey to proper consistency to dress fruit
  • about 10 fresh mint leaves, finely julienned


  1. Combine all the chopped fruit in large bowl.
  2. Pour honey into medium mixing bowl. Add lime juice, whisking into honey, until the honey loosens up enough. Toss in the mint.
  3. Pour dressing over the fruit and lightly toss. Garnish with a few mint sprigs.

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Chicken, Dressings, Salads

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.
Appetizers/Snacks, Greek, Quinoa, Salads, Vegetables

Quinoa Greek Salad

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Everyone keeps talking about easy weeknight meals because they’re too busy to pull something elaborate together.  My reality is that I only make easy stuff because I’m lazy.  The time it takes to prep some dishes bores me to the point of insanity!  Back to Her Roots published this recipe earlier this month and it’s exactly what I want.  Easy.  Quick.  Healthy.  It now resides happily in the archive of Maynard where it will be used over and over again.
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 loose cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan stir together quinoa and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, parsley, onion, olives and feta.
  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, honey and lemon juice. Pour over salad and stir to combine.
  4. Add cooked quinoa to salad and mix well.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to marry.

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Salads, Vegetarian

Kale Salad

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With all the dreary rainy days lately I wanted comfort food so I pulled some beef stroganoff together but knew I’d need a hearty vegetable to go along with it.  I found the original recipe for this salad at Epicurious but didn’t notice that I had to soak currents overnight until I was ready to prepare the salad for dinner.  It didn’t help that I couldn’t find currents at the store.  It’s possible that I couldn’t find them because I don’t know what currents are.  I bought dried cherries instead, adapted the recipe and pulled it all together in one bowl 20 minutes before the stroganoff was done.  The recipe below is how I prepared it.  It was so good and kale always surprises me with how mildly flavored it is.  Love it.


  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch of kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese shavings


  1. Whisk balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, honey, oil, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Add kale, cherries, and pine nuts; toss to coat.
  3. Let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese shavings over salad and serve.
Appetizers/Snacks, Salads

Farmer’s Salad

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In an attempt to hold onto summer a little longer I wanted a salad for dinner that wasn’t the same salad we’ve had a hundred times over the last four months. For the Love of Cooking provided this recipe and it hit the spot with creamy textures, lots of dill and plenty of garlicky goodness.


  • 1 lb. container of large curd cottage cheese
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled & diced
  • 4-5 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


  1. Dice all of the vegetables.
  2. Combine the cottage cheese with the yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and cucumber in a large bowl.
  3. Add the chopped dill and season with a dash of garlic powder, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  4. Mix until evenly coated. Taste and re-season if needed.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mexican, Salads

Tex-Mex Catalina Salad

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I saw this recipe at Real Mom Kitchen and, given my love for Chili Cheese Fritos, I knew I had to try it.  I did change a few things including making my own Catalina dressing since it’s fast, easy and I like knowing exactly what I’m eating.  You know, like the what’s in the red and yellow bag of Fritos that I’m currently wolfing down now that dinner has come and gone.

The dressing, found at Food makes about a cup and a half of dressing and I didn’t use all of it in the salad because I don’t like a runny salad.  I used about a half a cup but you can use as much as you like.

Salad Ingredients

  • 14.5 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10.5 oz. container grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 oz. can of chopped olives
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 10.5 oz. bag of Chili Cheese Fritos

Catalina Dressing Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper 


    1. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a big bowl except the Fritos.
    2. In a large measuring/pour-easy dish mix all the dressing ingredients and whisk well.
    3. Pour as much of the dressing as you like over the salad and toss well.  Refrigerate until ready to eat, pour the Fritos over top of your salad and enjoy!




Dressings, Italian, Salads

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.
Pasta, Salads

Kale & Lemon Pasta Salad

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First of all?  I’ve never eaten kale.  It sounded like a nasty bitter green stuff that was not making its way into my mouth.  This?  Was phenomenal.  The kids ate it without question, went back for seconds and even took leftovers to school for lunch.  Really.  The original recipe, found at Annie’s Eats, called for penne, but I chose tri-colored pasta just because color is good, and it makes me happy.



  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 large bunch kale, rinsed and dried, stems removed
  • lemon slices, for garnish
  • shredded Parmesan, for serving


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

  1. Mince the garlic cloves.  Sprinkle the minced garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and smash the garlic into a paste with a fork.  Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl & add the Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes.  Whisk together until well combined.
  2. Cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Chop the kale into 1/2 ribbons.  Add chopped kale to a large bowl and toss with dressing to coat.
  4. When pasta is done, quickly cool it with cold water, in a colander, draining well.
  5. Toss pasta in the bowl with dressing until well coated. Serve with sliced lemon and additional Parmesan as desired.
Appetizers/Snacks, Fruit, Salads

Strawberry Mango & Avocado Salad


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Recipe adapted from Pink Parsley

It’s definitely spring here in Texas and the thermostat hitting 80 degrees in my house today proves it!  No, I’m not ready yet to turn on the air conditioner so I threw together this spring salad instead of heating up the kitchen by cooking!  I paired it with grilled chipotle pork chops and dinner was done in less than 30 minutes.  Even my nine year old middle-child, who insists she hates mango, gobbled this up, admitting that this mango tasted better than her school’s.  I’ll take that as a compliment!

In case you’re not in the know, this is what I used to cut the mango, then I just scored both halves with a knife, both length and cross wise and scooped squares away from the skin and set the skin aside.


  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pinch cayenne
  • 4 mangos, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 5 avocados, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, orange juice, lime juice and cayenne.
  2. Toss with the avocado, strawberries, and mango, then allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Serve in the mango or avocado shells to be just a little less boring.  Top with a sprig of mint if you want to get real fancy!