Category: salads

Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Beets & Walnuts

Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Beets & Walnuts // shutterbean

This weekend I survived an epic playdate, a party to watch the Blue Angels, and a fundraiser at school. In between all of that, I made two dozen cupcakes, a batch of blondies for dessert  and this salad for you.  I am falling asleep just typing that last sentence. Whew.

Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Beets & Walnuts // shutterbean

I also had an epic eating weekend which means this week I'm trying to start off on the right foot. What better way to balance the fact that I had two cheeseburgers in less than 24 hours? Salad for dinner--- but not like a light salad. A hearty salad. A salad that uses the Honey Candied Walnuts I made last week. A salad that gives me the reset I need.

Little Gem Lettuce Salad with Beets & Walnuts // shutterbean

A salad that has tang, supple lettuce leaves, bits of chives, roasted beets and crunchy walnuts with a dijon vinaigrette .  A salad for the beet lover in your life!  That would be my mom :)

Greek Salad Bites

Greek Salad Bites // shutterbean

Well, I made Caprese Bites, why not make a Greek Salad Bite?  A chunk of cucumber, a bit of feta (it's kinda hard to poke on something thicker than a toothpick!) a little grape tomato and an olive to finish it off.  They're incredibly satisfying. Go ahead, see for yourself!

Thai Chopped Salad with Tofu

Chopped Thai Salad with Tofu // shutterbean

Sometimes I forget about tofu. I don't really mean t. It's just that I've gone through periods of not liking it.  One bad dish and I'm out. I forget that a good dish can put it back in my grocery staple column.

Chopped Thai Salad with Tofu // shutterbean

I am currently in a period of liking tofu and I owe it all to this recipe from Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season.  My friend Kimberley of The Year in Food has created a gorgeous cookbook that I'm super excited to have in my cookbook arsenal.  The photography is stunning and I want to make almost every single recipe. (Excellent job, Kimberley!)

Chopped Thai Salad with Tofu // shutterbean

It was the crispy tofu and the lime dressing that seduced me into trying this recipe.  Besides all of the wonderful ingredients within the salad (look at all that green & red!), the the tofu and the dressing are the real stars. I WANT TO DRINK THE DRESSING; it's that good.  If you're looking for a hearty salad with a lot of different textures and flavors, THIS IS IT.  Casey was a fan too (and wants beef on the next round). We're filing this one in the weekly rotation.

Nectarine Caprese Salad

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

I bought myself a flat of nectarines. I'm not sure what I was thinking because Cooper doesn't want to even try one and my husband does not think to eat a piece of fruit when he's hungry. So, this means I will be eating nectarines for the next week now.  I've already learned that I cannot eat one while driving home from work, unless I feel cool with stains all over my clothes and a sticky steering wheel. Ew and Noooo.

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

And then I saw this recipe in a recent Sunset Magazine issue...It had been sitting on my nightstand taunting me for the past week. The stars aligned and the nectarines arrived and so here we are. This is it.

Nectarine Caprese Salad // shutterbean

I've made a salad like this before but with watermelon and some slightly different ingredients. But with the nectarines, the texture is a bit different. There's a sweetness that catches up with you after you're almost done with a bite. The salt and the white balsamic vinegar add such a beautiful tang. One minute you're enjoying a tomato and the next a nectarine. It's all good. If you haven't added mint and nectarines to your Caprese, you MUST.  My husband, the non-fruit eater approved and that's saying a lot!

Vegan Taco Salad

SHUTTERBEANVITAMIX

Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

If I was asked, "If you had to pick one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?" my answer would be most likely be Mexican. A lot of people think this decision would consist of nothing but tacos, cheesy quesadillas, nachos and burritos (wouldn't that be the life??!).  But, wait. There's so much more to that. You totally forgot about taco salads!

Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

When I was in high school, I developed an unhealthy obsession with Chevy's and I cried the day I found out the nutritional content of my beloved Taco Salad. I mean...the fried flour tortilla shell holding the greasy ground beef covered in melted cheese with a healthy serving of Ranch dressing and extra sour cream should have fooled no one. There were some wilted lettuce shreds and some tomatoes thrown in to justify its salad label. I'd get the dressing on the side, but really... WHO WAS I KIDDING?

Vegan Taco Salad // shutterbean

In my attempt to lighten up my favorite Taco Salad, I created this little ditty.  It's absolutely perfect for summer (hello fresh corn, red pepper, tomatoes, avocados & radishes!).  The salad dressing isn't a Mexican Ranch that's loaded with mayo. Nope! It's a base of creamy avocado mixed with lime and cilantro and it comes together in a breeze with a quick blitz in my Vitamix blender. You'll find the dressing is the perfect way to marry crisp lettuce, protein packed black beans, juicy tomatoes, green onions, avocado chunks, sweet corn and crunchy tortilla chips.  This taco salad is so packed with flavor that I feel 100% confident in my decision to choose Mexican over every other cuisine. It also proves that you can do a dairy-free Mexican salad and not skimp on taste. My summer will be FILLED with these Taco Salads, thank you very much.

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

A few years ago I realized that I have a few weird issues when it comes to tomatoes. I also have feelings about eggs. Like...I will not eat a hard-boiled egg unless I make it myself and I will not eat a cherry tomato if it's in a pre-packaged salad or at a salad bar. No. Just. NO.  I don't always trust how fresh the tomato or egg is going to be...and I get scared (I know I'm being dumb) when I bite into an egg that's overcooked and a tomato that's tasteless, under ripe or rotten. All it takes is one bad experience and you can easily be done for...

No wonder my kid has picky eater issues.

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

This salad, however has ALL THE THINGS I LOVE in it. And yes... the tomatoes were a divine mix of ripe mini heirlooms that I chose myself! They didn't come in a package. Nope. After I mixed them with corn and  I stirred in the spicy/smoky lime dressing, I thought "Hey! Wait. This is practically salsa!"  But then I realized it's so much more.

Spicy Corn Tomato Avocado Salad // shutterbean

It's essentially summer in a salad. The sweet tomatoes and crunchy corn are balanced by the spicy lime dressing. The creamy avocados break up the texture party with the corn creates. If you wanna stretch it out, add the salad on top of crostini or mix in a bunch of arugula. Feta would be a welcomed addition!  You could always throw some tortilla chips up in and call it a taco salad...

Spinach Salad with Dukkah


Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

I got my first letter yesterday from the child we started sponsoring this month. She's a 10 year old girl who lives in a small village in Togo, with her mother & brother. She drew us the cutest picture of a hen and wrote to tell us that she loves spaghetti, sewing, running, and the color pink. There was a line designated for "question for your sponsor" and she filled it in with, "What do you like to eat?" I found it incredibly heart warming/ironic that the first thing she wanted to know about me what was food related. That's usually how I get to know a person. I love her already.

Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

One of my favorite things to eat is salad. I've always liked how it doesn't take much to create a wonderful salad. Some salads benefit from many ingredients and some are so incredibly simple that they rely on the strength of a good dressing. As a child I remember always being excited to go to restaurants with salad bars (especially if they had croutons!). It was like walking into an art studio with all of the paints, canvases & brushes lined up on a table. Options! Choices! FUN! Salads are so incredibly personal and your favorite ingredients can tell you a lot about yourself. Salads make me feel healthy. Salads make me feel good about ordering french fries or garlic twists ;)

Spinach Salad with Dukkah // shutterbean

It's taken me a very long time to embrace the olive and understand its place in a salad. I think I finally embraced it! It's one of the essential ingredients in this salad. It adds a sharp tangy and saltiness in the same way the feta does. The red onions make it spicy, the spinach provides a tender bite and the avocados bring a much needed creamy element to the salad. The dukkah dressing creates a bit of smokiness (Casey asked if there was bacon in it!) and rounds out all flavors. I used a store bought dukkah, but can't wait to try making my own!

So, there you have it. Salad is my favorite. Always & forever.

You best believe I'm gonna draw her a picture of a salad in my next letter.

Warm Winter Vegetables with Farro

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad // shutterbean

Happy Monday! Did we all eat too much yesterday during the big game? I ate cookies like it was my JOB. I'm not mad, though. They were good.

Hey! So, I wanted to say a quick thank you for all of your comments on my Meal Prep post, I'm so glad that you liked it. I really enjoyed seeing all of your pictures of your own meal prep on Instagram last week! AMAZING/Proud of you! Doesn't it feel nice to have an arsenal of food for the week? Btw- here's what we're eating this week.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad // shutterbean

One of the salads I make constantly is my Reset Button Salad. You probably already know that I've been crushing on that salad so hard for the past few months.  My friend, Sarah Copeland  wrote an EXCELLENT vegetarian cookbook called Feast. I'm smitten with the book and I adore her writing and her fresh take on vegetarian food. If you take a look at the book, you'll see that her food combinations are downright inspiring! When I read the recipe for this Warm Winter Vegetables with Farro dish, I knew I had to make it. It has all of the ingredients I love and thought it would help bring new life to my salad game. I was also intrigued by the combination of radishes, honey glazed carrots, Parmigiano-Reggiano and the farro. The lime/yogurt/herb dressing was calling my name!

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad // shutterbean

Aaaaaaaand we LOVED it. It's robust & hearty and you won't miss meat for once second. Totally satisfying. And that dressing? Addictive.

My salad game just got taken to a whole new level.