Tag Archives: salad

Best Fall Salad


A couple weeks back I had a meeting over the lunch hour. This is not unusual, but when the big wigs of the community are also invited, they typically become catered lunches. Typically those lunches are good. This one was pizza. *sigh* Not that I don’t want to stuff extra slices down my bra like pizza, but sometimes I can eat a slice or two too many. To my surprise the pizza (Donatos) came with an awesome salad! They called this salad the Chicken Harvest Salad and it came with an Apple Vinaigrette Dressing made Marzetti.
I just had to re-create this salad at home, so I did.

Yummy, yummy, yummy! This salad was so good! I didn’t see an apple vinaigrette at the store, plus I know I like to make my own dressing as do some of my readers so with a little research I found this recipe at Disney’s Whispering Canyon Cafe!



After allowing this dressing to chill, it had a light apple flavor. In the future I want to play with this dressing by maybe adding more apple flavors, less oil and maybe some honey, maybe some cinnamon? But as it was, it was great for this salad!

It just so happened that I had recently pinned a recipe for Crockpot Beer Chicken I knew it would be perfect for my salad!

This chicken was so moist when it was cooked and it fell apart. It would make the perfect start to any shredded chicken sandwich. In fact, I wonder how pork would do??

Although I used this blogger’s (My Dailey Dish) concept I did add my own spices and really didn’t measure.
I used:
frozen chicken breast (boneless/skinless)
1 bottle of beer
few sprigs of thyme
garlic powder
1. Throw all the ingredients in your crockpot, yes even the chicken still frozen and cook on low until chicken is fully cooked.
2. Pull chicken out and shred on a plate. Amazingly good! See beer does make everything better! But if you don’t drink, or if you are allergic to alcohol like my bubble child friend, they say cola works too. Google it.

Ok so we have covered the two main ingredients to this salad so far. However to make this an awesome harvest salad I also added:
apples (don’t cut until right before serving because they brown, or else you’ll have to spritz them with lemon or sprite or something.
dried cherries (because the rock next to the dried cranberry)
Gorgonzola cheese (because I like it more than blue cheese)
bacon (because it makes everything taste better)
pecans (walnuts would rock too!) you could do candied or honey roasted but I went al natural
romaine chopped

All I can say is yummy! If you have a favorite dressing or fall salad, feel free to add links to it in my comment section!



Ever have that feeling that someone is watching you?? Someone knows your every move? Even when you try to ignore it, before it is over, they are in you head?

I might have that problem.

Here is my evidence.

Exhibit A: The Pacer






This reminds me of a guard pacing in front of a prison door.

Exhibit B: Eye in the Sky






I took these photos over my shoulder. Everytime I tried to turn around to take their pictures, they would scatter.

This is the everyday behavior of my chickens. Clearly the white one is the most insane one and my best buddy. She keeps an eye on me all the time. The other bizarre thing about my chickens? All six use the same nesting box to lay their eggs. Literally one right after the other first thing in the morning.

I got to say, I love those nut bags.

It is only fair after all that chicken love that I share a vegetarian dish!


Watermelon Salad!!!
What a great way to fancy up watermelon! So I had no idea there was yellow watermelon until recently! I had bought a whole red watermelon and thought I bought two (ridiculously cheap) large containers of pineapple (that cheap should have been a clue…I know). Nope they were yellow watermelon chunks. Clearly I had to get creative to get though all that watermelon. Fortunately, I came across The Forest Feast and she gave me a great idea on how to make this salad.

Here is what I used:
Watermelon chunks
Olive oil
Sea salt

In a bowl combine fruit, cheese and basil and mint based on your preference. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and a little sprinkle of salt. Serve!
My creation was made completely on what I had available. I would check out The Forest Feast for a different version of this salad. Also just because her blog pretty much rocks.

And the Winner is…


First off, I want to thank everyone who participated in my giveaway sponsored by SlimKicker! You have all inspired me with great health and fitness ideas and I plan on incorporating many of them in the next few weeks!
SlimKicker has chosen franchesca2008 as the winner!

franchesca2008 said:

“No complaining for 30 days challenge :)  It’s hard but do not mentally complain about anything, and always look on the bright side of life.”

Franchesca I will be emailing you with info on how to get your prize sent to you!

Now let’s move on to not only one of my new favorite dressings that is not only delicious but also low cal!
So one of my BFFs, had been carrying on about the salad dressings over at Skinny Taste. We both enjoy her recipes and are making them quite frequently. I’m not sure why, but I guess I had put off trying her dressing because I typically don’t plan salads ahead and use whatever I have on hand for dressing. I’ve decided today this dressing will now be a staple in our house!

Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing
The great news is that this is a simple dressing to make!

Here is what you’ll need:

1 clove of garlic
3/4 to 1 cup of low fat buttermilk (original recipe called for 3/4 but I thought it was pretty thick for dressing, if you want a dip, the 3/4 cup is perfect, if you want it thinner, add more buttermilk.)
1 small Jalepeño (seeded) apparently everyone wanted Jalepeño the day I went to get one, I had to settle for a small can of diced. I added a little extra because I like the kick!
1/4 cup cilantro
1 avocado, pit and skin removed
2 tbsp chives
juice of a lime
1/8 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.

1. Throw all of your ingredients into a food processor and blend.
This is so good! We were dipping everything into it! Next time (tonight) I will be making it with a Southwest salad! Ohhh it would be great with Southwest egg rolls too!!

Recipe adapted from SkinnyTaste.

Where Shall We Begin?



I did not take enough pictures of all the wonderful dishes on this plate! This was our Father’s day dinner the I prepared but I was in a bit of a rush to get everything on the table. There were no leftovers. It was super yummy!

Want a couple new recipe ideas?


Let’s start with the Honey Glazed Pork!

Just marinade pork (or chicken) in a few simple ingredients. Here is what you’ll need:

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
2-3 tbsp soy sauce
salt and pepper

1. Mix all ingredients and marinade pork until grilling time! Grill pork as you normally would.

My goal was to allow the pork to marinade overnight however I found myself leaving to go camping a day early and that idea was forgotten in the chaos. A few hours still gave the pork a nice flavor!


Now how about some Tomato Caprese Salad?

Such a super simple dish that always looks great! It sure helps when the mozzarella is on sale too! Here is what you need:
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Slice up tomato and mozzarella and arrange in a dish alternating a slice of each.
2. Sprinkle basil on top and in between slices if tomato and mozzarella.
3. Combine olive oil and vinegar. This is something I measured by taste. I would say my ratio was about two parts oil, one part vinegar. You won’t need much. If the vinegar taste is too strong, add more oil. I added a tiny bit of lemon juice (1-2 tsp) and salt and pepper. Mix well and drizzle over tomatoes and mozzarella.
4. Chill for a bit and then serve.

Ok here is my one regret. Not having more pictures of those potatoes! They tasted amazing and it is a shame I don’t make them more often!

You will need the following:

A small bag of tiny red potatoes (sorry if there is a fancy word for them, I can’t think of it!)
2-3 cups of chicken broth (beef broth might taste good too!)
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Add broth and potatoes to a deep skillet or pot. Cover and allow to boil until potatoes are soft. This should take 10-15 minutes. I checked mine occasionally by seeing of a fork could slide into them without much effort. If you broth gets low before the potatoes soften, add more.
2. Once potatoes are soft, uncover and allow broth to cook off.
3. Use a potato masher and coarsely mash up potatoes. Add in butter and continue to mash in. You can add anywhere from a few tablespoons to half a stick depending on how healthy you want them.
4. Mix in about 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve!

The elbow macaroni was a dish we ended up with at the end of our camping trip! It isn’t my dish but it was yummy so we finished it off!

Hope you are having a great summer!

Kale Crazy?


Do you garden? Do you have kale coming out the wazoo? I only ask because we do! Some days I’m not sure what to do with it all.


This girl would suggest you hand it over to her and her friends, muy pronto. They love kale and I’m often chasing them out of my garden. Typically, they put up a pretty good fight by separating and taking turns attacking the veggies while I’m chasing the others. I won’t even start rambling about the workout you can get raising chickens.

So how did I get started on this tangent about kale? Well earlier today I saw a new idea of blending kale and watermelon to make a smoothie. Huh. I’m going to have to try that out! For more regarding that idea I suggest you click here.

My neighbor recently asked me how to cook kale. Although I’m sure there are lots of ways, today I’ll share my two go-to versions.


Garlicky baked kale and bacon!

This is fairly quick and easy.

What you need:
kale, rinse and rip the stems out (I use lots since it shrinks so much!)
garlic clove, minced
olive oil, a dab will do!
2-4 strips of bacon, chopped (I use center cut)

1. Not sure if this is necessary but bacon freaks me out if I think it is undercooked and to me it seems to cook slower than the kale. With that said, the first thing I do is partially cook bacon in a pan.
2. In a bowl, add kale and garlic. Drizzle (or spritz) in olive oil just enough to lightly coat kale and garlic (don’t use much since you are adding bacon soon which will render a little more fat.)
3. Mix in bacon. Pour everything into a cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Serve!!

Need something a little more hearty? Add more…stuff!


Sautéed Kale and Beans

This version is cooked in a deep skillet. Here is what you’ll need:
kale, rinsed and stems removed
2-4 strips bacon, chopped (still using center cut)
garlic clove, minced
olive oil, just a mist
great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup (or so) broth, I used chicken
red pepper flakes, just a tiny bit to freak your husband out 🙂

1. Spray pan with olive oil and bring up to medium, medium-high heat. Toss in bacon.
2. Allow bacon to cook for a minute or so and add minced garlic and onion. Cook until onion starts to become translucent.
3. Add in kale, beans, pepper flakes and broth. Cover and cook for about five minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until broth has evaporated. Serve!

Clearly I love to eat kale with sandwiches?? Not sure what that is about 😉

So any other suggestions for kale? Casserole? Sauce or something else? I’d love to hear about it!

Another Great Cookout Dish


Another cookout recipe! Quinoa Southwest Salad! This is great for the summer and it doesn’t have any mayo or sour cream that you have to worry about going bad. This salad is perfect served chilled so you can make it a day ahead of time. I won’t even get into all the nutritional benefits!


When I visited the farmers market in Dayton way back when, Aunt M was in love with their quinoa salad. I actually purchased my quinoa there in hopes of coming up with a crafty dish.

Please note, in my picture I added cucumber. I think I was just craving cucumber so not much thought came into play when I added it in. The second day of eating this salad, I realized a bell pepper would have been a much better choice. Red bell pepper would have been perfect!



Here is what you need:

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed before cooking according to package. If you don’t rinse your quinoa, it will taste like crap. Get a fine mesh strainer from the dollar store. Also if you need a GF dish, make sure your quinoa states that it is GF.
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 avocado (dice and stir in right before serving)
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
corn, about 1 1/2-2 cups, de-thaw if frozen
1 sweet potato, peeled an chopped and cooked until super soft, I boiled mine in a pan
Jalapeño, minced serving size to taste I used about 5-6 rings from a jar
1/2 or more juice of fresh lime or 2 tsp of Rosie’s lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cilantro 1-2 tbsp or more to taste, I would have used more, I just didn’t have as much on hand as I thought

1. Rinse and then cook quinoa according to package. Allow quinoa to cool off.
2. Add everything except avocado to a bowl. Stir in cooled quinoa. Add salt to preference.
3. Chill for at least an hour but better overnight. Taste and add more salt, jalapeño or lime juice/oil if needed.
4. Add avocado right before serving.



Eat Your Veggies!


Ok! This is going to be super quick! I’m dying to blog some dishes I’ve made recently, but I’m also eager to catch up on my shows I’ve recorded (please don’t judge!). Remember my trip to the farmers market? This is a simple, yet fresh and heathy side dish.


Of course this dish can be easily modified to use what you have on hand and what you like!

I used:
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
a few button mushrooms, sliced
large handful of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
large handful fresh asparagus,
1/2 onion, chopped
few sprigs rosemary
few cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup broth, veggie or chicken
2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper


1. Heat oil in a deep skillet.
2. Sauté garlic for a few seconds, then add in onion and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms start to soften.
3. Add in rosemary, green beans, asparagus, season with salt and pepper. Cook veggies for a few minutes.
4. Add in broth (may need to add additional if veggies seem dry). Simmer until broth reduces. Add vinegar. Stir well, serve.

Off to catch up on my shows!!!