Mediterranean Vinaigrette


This vinaigrette is a light and refreshing dressing for any assortment of greens, over freshly roasted vegetables, or as part of a grain-based salad. It’s quick and easy, so there is no excuse for store-bought dressings that contain preservatives and unhealthy oils like canola, soybean, corn and the like.

Mediterranean Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a glass jar. Screw on the lid and shake before each use. Store in the the refrigerator for 1 week.

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Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

 

  

This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Avocado and Sweet Potato Hash

Meet my new addiction: Warm and crispy sweet potatoes tossed with cool and creamy avocado. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert!

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cooked
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in onion and garlic. Cut sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place them into the skillet. Fry for about 5-7 minutes, flipping potatoes a couple of times. Cook until potato is browned and slightly crispy. Immediately add into chopped avocado and gently fold together. Garnish with parsley.

Cobb Salad ~ Cinco de Mayo Style

  One week from today, we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo! They say you eat with your eyes first. Perhaps that’s why cobb salads are so delicious and popular. The rows of color and texture are definitely appealing to the eyes. And since Mexican food is always bursting with color, why not recreate the cobb salad and give it a fiesta flare?! I got rave reviews from the husband, the husband’s friend, and all three kids on this one.

Mexican Cobb Salad

  • 1 Head of Romaine

  • 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1-2 tablespoons mexican spices

  • 1/2 cup black beans (boil your own cheaper, easy, and leftovers are stored in the freezer!)

  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 cup cojita cheese

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • Lime Vinaigrette

Place the cooked, shredded chicken into a sauce pan and add the water and Mexican seasoning. Simmer on low for 5 min. Place washed and chopped romaine into a large serving bowl. Arrange the toppings in rows to create a varying array of colors. Serve with lime vinaigrette on the side.

Love Mexican too? Then try:

Steak Fajitas

Guac on the Cob

Fajita Quinoa

Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad for a “Brown Bag” Lunch

I am going on a field trip tomorrow with my oldest. I always like to pack a salad for my lunch, but a dressed salad can be tricky to take for a “brown bag” lunch. My solution is to use a hearty green, like kale, so it doesn’t get soggy and wilt.  It makes the not-so-tender leaves softer and full of flavor.photo(68)


Here is salad #4 in my “A Salad Each Week” series. This super healthy salad can be dressed and saved for a few days since the kale and raw sweet potato actually need time to absorb the dressing so they are tender when eaten. Make a large batch, separate into individual containers, and you have instant meals to pull out and go!


Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

4 cups kale, chopped
1 small, raw sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons purple onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Coconut oil
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Place coconut oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic and S&P into a bowl and whisk. Add in kale, sweet potatoes, and onion and toss to coat. Place in fridge to chill for at least a few hours. Enjoy!

The 1905 Salad – “A Salad For Each Week” #52

Well, I made it! 52 salad recipes – one for each week of the year! It took me longer than a year, but I am a wife of a full-time minister and student, the mom to three active kids, an avid exerciser, and a cooking addict. My time is stretched between so many different activities. While I would love to post all that I do and create, it’s just not possible. But I am thankful for what I do find time to share. I think I saved the best salad for last. This for sure is one of my all-time favorites!
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If you’ve ever had the opportunity to dine at one of the Columbia Restaurants, then the 1905 Salad will be familiar to you. If you are not from Florida, I am so sorry that you can’t experience a meal here. The traditional Spanish/Cuban meals are out of this world! From black beans and rice to paella, each dish is tantalizing, and the service is impeccable. The 1905 salad is even unique in that they make it table side- a salad made just for you! This salad is served with ham or turkey and swiss cheese, spanish olives and tomatoes and swimming in an olive oil/lemony garlic dressing. At home, I typically add artichoke hearts (love lemon and garlic with artichokes!), leave out the cheese, and will add in meat if I am looking for this to be my main dish. Here is how I make my “1905” dressing:

1905 Salad Dressing

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 

3-4 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Begin to process again and slowly pour in the olive oil. Store in an airtight, glass container in the fridge for 1 week.

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

  32. Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

  33. “The Southeast” Summer Salad

  34. Homemade Caesar Salad

  35. Creamy Caesar Salad

  36. Antipasto Pasta Salad

  37. Curried Cauliflower Sauté

  38. French Onion Green Beans

  39. Mason Jar Greek Salad

  40. Thanksgiving Salad

  41. Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad

  42. Breakfast Salad

  43. Broccoli and “Bacon” Salad

  44. Cucumber Salad

  45. Roasted Beet, Nut and Feta Salad

  46. Butternut Squash and Green Bean Succotash

  47. Grilled Smoky Spanish Salad Seared

  48. Seared Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash over Swiss Chard 

  49. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  50. Egg Salad

  51. Chocolate Kale Chips

 

 

Chocolate Kale Chips – “A Salad For Each Week” #51

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Last week on my FB page (which you can click here and ‘like’ my page for quick tips and motivation), I posted the above image. I was challenged to make a chocolate salad, therefore, after some trial and error and some research, I managed to do just that. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Kale Chips

  • 4 cups kale, big stems removed

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 3 Tablespoons honey

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Bake at 350 for 10 min. Turn off oven and leave the chips in for another 10 min. Remove the pan from the oven, allow them to sit for 5 min. and then serve. The key to kale chips is to eat them fresh or they lose their crispiness. You can place them back in the oven for a few minutes if they are not finished right away. (This most likely won’t happen 🙂 )

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

  32. Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

  33. “The Southeast” Summer Salad

  34. Homemade Caesar Salad

  35. Creamy Caesar Salad

  36. Antipasto Pasta Salad

  37. Curried Cauliflower Sauté

  38. French Onion Green Beans

  39. Mason Jar Greek Salad

  40. Thanksgiving Salad

  41. Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad

  42. Breakfast Salad

  43. Broccoli and “Bacon” Salad

  44. Cucumber Salad

  45. Roasted Beet, Nut and Feta Salad

  46. Butternut Squash and Green Bean Succotash

  47. Grilled Smoky Spanish Salad Seared

  48. Seared Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash over Swiss Chard 

  49. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

  50. Egg Salad

 

 

Egg Salad- “A Salad For Each Week” #50

Egg Salad – Lightened Up 

I love egg salad but have always gagged when it comes to mayo! So here is how I make egg salad the whole and clean way. It packs a protein punch without all those fat calories. This makes 2-3 servings depending on your appetite.

  • 2 hard boiled eggs

  • 4 hard boiled egg whites

  • 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese (I use Daisy or Friendship Brand – no weird preservatives)

  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • paprika to garnish

Chop the whole eggs and the four egg whites. In a bowl, stir together cottage cheese, mustard, garlic, and s&p. Place eggs into the bowl and fold into cottage cheese mixture.  I love to place my egg salad over mixed greens, sprinkle on paprika, and a little balsamic dressing!

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Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

  32. Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

  33. “The Southeast” Summer Salad

  34. Homemade Caesar Salad

  35. Creamy Caesar Salad

  36. Antipasto Pasta Salad

  37. Curried Cauliflower Sauté

  38. French Onion Green Beans

  39. Mason Jar Greek Salad

  40. Thanksgiving Salad

  41. Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad

  42. Breakfast Salad

  43. Broccoli and “Bacon” Salad

  44. Cucumber Salad

  45. Roasted Beet, Nut and Feta Salad

  46. Butternut Squash and Green Bean Succotash

  47. Grilled Smoky Spanish Salad Seared

  48. Seared Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash over Swiss Chard 

  49. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

 

 

My Favorite Homemade Salad Dressings

Ask my kids what my favorite food is, and you will get the unanimous answer of “Salad!” And since that is my favorite meal to eat, I am faced everyday with how to dress my salads. I try to steer clear of almost all store-bought dressings. Whether they are filled with preservatives or made with cheap oils like soybean and canola oil, it’s simply not how I want to top a bed of fresh and nutritious veggies. Sometimes I simply use a drizzle of olive oil, a vinegar, garlic powder, pepper and nutritional yeast. However, I try to always have a homemade dressing in the fridge, and here are my favorites:

Caesar

Creamy Caesar

Greek (Ina Garten’s Recipe)

Orange Vinaigrette (Giada’s Recipe which I could seriously just drink!)

Ginger

Making your own dressing sometimes seems time-consuming, but it really only takes about 5 minutes. This has been one of those changes that I dragged my feet on, but I have come to love the freshness that homemade dressings have, and I now am a salad dressing snob 🙂

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Creamy Caesar

 

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette- “A Salad For Each Week” #49

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I served this last night at our family’s New Year’s Day dinner. I love Giada’s orange vinaigrette dressing, and I knew it would pair perfectly with the sweet potatoes and cranberries. The dressing has more acidic flavor than oil flavor which I prefer. You can toss in nuts and/or seeds of your choice for a well-balanced combo of carbs, fats, and proteins. Salmon would also be an ideal topper for the flavors in this salad. 

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette 

  • 1 Head of romaine, chopped

  • 6 oz spinach leaves 

  • 2 cups cauliflower, chopped

  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced

  • 1/2 cup celery, diced

  • 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1-2 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Giada’s Orange Vinaigrette 

Place cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil and season with a touch of salt and pepper. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until veggies are soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool down. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place 3 tablespoons of the dressing into the bottom of a large serving bowl, and then add romaine and spinach and toss. Place cooled veggies, celery and cranberries over greens and drizzle with another touch of dressing.  Serves 6-8.

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My orange vinaigrette dressed salad on my super fancy paper plate 🙂

 

Other recipes you will enjoy:

“A Salad For Each Week” Recipes:

  1. Broccoli and White Bean Salad

  2. Asian Purple Cabbage Slaw

  3. Fresh and Minty Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad

  4. Tangy Kale and Sweet Potato Bit Salad

  5. Key Lime Corn and Black Bean Salad

  6. Green Bean, Tomato, and Mozzarella Pesto Salad

  7. “So Long Summer” Salad

  8. Pickle Salsa

  9. Gingery Broccoli and Carrot Salad

  10. Mediterranean Farro Salad

  11. Home Grown Kale and Pumpkin Seed Salad

  12. Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chutney Dressing

  13. Cranberry and Orange Quinoa Salad

  14. Southwest Ranch Dressing

  15. Marinated Mushrooms

  16. Fajita Quinoa

  17. Caesared Brussel Sprouts

  18. Fresh Argentinian Salad

  19. The “New Green” Salad

  20. Shrimp, Strawberry, and Feta Salad with Balsamic Chia Dressing

  21. Garden Fresh Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

  22. Cool Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad

  23. Layered Greek Salad

  24. Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  25. Ginger Dressed Slaw

  26. Creamy Balsamic, Blueberry and Basil Spinach Salad

  27. Tangy Green Bean Salad

  28. Florida Summer Salad

  29. Avocado and Crab Salad

  30. Bella Salad

  31. Sweet Potato Home Fries

  32. Tomato and Carrot Balsamic Salad

  33. “The Southeast” Summer Salad

  34. Homemade Caesar Salad

  35. Creamy Caesar Salad

  36. Antipasto Pasta Salad

  37. Curried Cauliflower Sauté

  38. French Onion Green Beans

  39. Mason Jar Greek Salad

  40. Thanksgiving Salad

  41. Carrabba’s Creamy Parmesan Salad

  42. Breakfast Salad

  43. Broccoli and “Bacon” Salad

  44. Cucumber Salad

  45. Roasted Beet, Nut and Feta Salad

  46. Butternut Squash and Green Bean Succotash

  47. Grilled Smoky Spanish Salad Seared

  48. Seared Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash over Swiss Chard