Category: salads

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.

Smoky Kale Caesar Salad

Smoky Kale Caesar // shutterbean

Kale. You either love it or you hate it. I’ve had a place on Team Kale since I tried Baked Kale Chips (whoa that’s from 2010!). GO KALE, GO!

Smoky Kale Caesar // shutterbean

Last week I had a super tasty Kale Caesar Salad at Cowgirl Creamery  in Pt. Reyes Station. It was one of those salads that made it to the top of  my MUST RECREATE THIS list in my brain. The kale was supple with a slight bite. There were bits of shredded cheddar (I believe?) in the mix as well as Parmesan. The two provided a nice creaminess to the salad. Cowgirl Creamery knows what’s up! And croutons…TORN CROUTONS..maybe they were cubed but I’m quite partial to torn…

Smoky Kale Caesar // shutterbean

I used the Simple Caesar dressing as a base but added a bit of chili powder & smoked paprika to give it a little oomph. Loves!  I can imagine that a little bit of Chipotle Tabasco would add a good smoky taste too. The best part of this salad is that it holds up over time. You can definitely take leftovers to work and they’ll still be good. Just package up some extra croutons cuz you know EXTRA CROUTONS. Always with the extra croutons!

Pear Cranberry Arugula Salad

Pear Cranberry Arugula Salad // shutterbean

Today there’s a bunch of food bloggers throwing a virtual Baby Shower for Bev of Bev Cooks. Will I tell you what kind of candy bar is melted into a diaper in this virtual shower situation? No. But! I will contribute an amazing winter salad to the party! A baby shower just wouldn’t be right without salad, don’t you agree?  Bev is pregnant with TWINS and she’s one of the funniest bloggers out there.  I absolutely adore her writing and her food combinations make me weap sometimes. HELLO Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites and get out with your Spicy Breakfast Taquitos, Bev!  Anyways, congratulations to you, Bev! I have no doubt you’ll be the best mom! Also, my mom’s name is Bev so I can speak from experience as a child with a mom named Bev that moms named Bev are awesome. (Hi Mom!)

Pear Cranberry Arugula Salad // shutterbean

OK. SALAD. I’m currently engaged in a love affair with this salad. I made it RIGHT after Thanksgiving when we still had a few leftovers and MAN! It was just what the doctor ordered when I wanted to be healthier but still wanted a little indulgence. It’s also a good way to stretch out that last bit of cranberry sauce and if you have any fried onions leftover from your green bean casseroles. THOSE ONIONS BELONG IN SALADS, folks.

Pear Cranberry Arugula Salad // shutterbean

If you don’t have any cranberry sauce left, you could use a scoop of jam. Fig, raspberry, strawberry and even marmalade would be good substitutes. It helps emulsify the dressing and gives it a little sweetness. It’s like dijon, but the exact opposite. This salad is heavy on the toppings (the best salads are!) so feel free to add more arugula to stretch it out.  I think you’ll see why it’s currently in my salad rotation. Those onions, man. They’re everything.

Country Italian Salad


Country Italian Salad // shutterbean

The internet is allllllll about Thanksgiving right now and it’s kinda freaking me out cuz it’s Monday and I don’t even want to begin writing out the 10 page TO DO list I have to complete in the next month and a half. You feel me?  I wish I had a new pumpkin pie recipe, appetizer idea or a new side dish recipe  to show you but I’m just trying to get my act together while living in a state of denial.  In the midst of all this madness, it’s important to take good care of ourselves. We must find good shortcuts, give thanks and eat a ridiculous amount of salad to balance our (MY) future indulgences.  Eat salad, make TO DO LISTS, watch The Voice, drink a toddy, live life all while doing laundry and on and on…

Country Italian Salad // shutterbean

So, HELLO MONDAY!  Let’s do this. Let’s make another one of my favorite Trader Joe’s salads. This Country Italian Salad is one of my go-to salads when I’m grabbing a quick lunch at work. I usually pair it with a cup of Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Tomato Soup (which I add a little cheese & hot sauce up in).

Country Italian Salad // shutterbean

Now I have meals for work the rest of the week. What I love about this salad is the crunch, the protein from the beans, the tangy dressing and the sweet peppers. It’s definitely good on its own, although you could add some tuna, chopped chicken or go wild and add avocado in there. You could also pair it with grilled sausage & grilled flatbread. That sounds good, right??! The garlicy parmesan dressing (that get’s even better on day two) is where it’s at. I want to put it on everything.

Other Trader Joe’s Salad I’ve Shutterbean-ified (totally a word) include:

BBQ CHICKEN SALAD

SUPER SPINACH SALAD

BROCCOLI KALE SLAW

Spinach Bacon Salad

Spinach Bacon Salad // shutterbean

I had a fantastic weekend of eating. Doughnuts, tater tots with fried eggs, sausage & cheese, a mushroom burger with fries, bourbon, pumpkin ice cream sandwiches…THE WORKS. While I’d like to think I’m gonna spend the next week living off of greens, smoothies & green juices, I know myself all too well.

Spinach Bacon Salad // shutterbean

I know that I my tastebuds still want something hearty after eating excessively. I know that a shock to the system with a little green injection is what I need, but if I don’t add something with a little ooooomph, I’m liable to turn EAT WEEKEND into EAT WEEK. I just know this.

Spinach Bacon Salad // shutterbean

This salad straddles the line between healthy & indulgent. There’s spinach, tomato & avocado–all healthy things. But, there’s also bacon and the combination of the bacon and slivered almonds= CRUNCH TOWN. How could I forget to mention the dressing? It’s super savory with the soy sauce and the creamy avocado base! It’s everything I want in a salad when I’m trying to be good yet I still wanna be bad.

This is the story of my life.

BBQ Chicken Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad // shutterbean

Trader Joe’s has a really good BBQ Chicken Salad that I was obsessed with UNTIL I read the back of the container and saw how many grams of fat were in it. GAH-REAT.  And that was for HALF the salad. There was a good week where I had that salad almost every single day at work. I couldn’t stop myself.

BBQ Chicken Salad // shutterbean

I’ve been wanting to make my own/healthier version of this salad for some time now and here it is! Instead of the heavy mayo based Ranch dressing, I used creamy Greek yogurt and mixed it with fresh lime juice and Sweet & Spicy Tabasco Sauce.  It adds a tangy sweet kick to the salad. If you have trouble finding that particular flavor, you could always add in a little bit of honey and regular Tabasco to mimic the flavor.  I also took away the shredded cheese because there’s so many flavors going on there that it’s seemed unnecessary!  I did add some avocado in it’s place though…oh and lots of cilantro!

BBQ Chicken Salad // shutterbean

It’s the perfect weeknight salad! And if you’re thinking of packing it up for work throughout the week, just make a bigger batch of dressing and take it with you. Dress as you need it! Also, be sure to add the tortilla strips (or chips!) at the last minute. No one likes a soggy bite of tortilla in their salad. NO ONE.