Tag Archives: Salad

Light and Fresh Spring Salads

Spring is finally here and it’s time to start thinking salads.  Be it a new take on a vegetable salad or the melding of fruit and veggie into a refreshing plateful of healthiness, I really like mixing up the flavor combinations in a salad.  Now that’s it warming up outside I’m craving fresh and light salads.  I’m sharing a few new ones that I’m adding to my rotation.

I have a couple that look like they could do double-time as either a robust side dish or a light but filling entree.  I’ve also been looking at a fresh take on broccoli salad and a new way with melon.  Let’s start with this refreshing looking fruit salad.

Mojito Fruit Salad

I’ve been seeing this Mojito Fruit Salad all over Pinterest lately.  I love fruit salads and I think the addition of lime simple syrup and mint will give it that extra little kick.  Of course you can add rum too for a little more of an adult flavor experience.  I could see this one making it’s way into the 4th of July menu.  With the peaches and nectarines it would be perfect during the hot summer months.

Broccoli Grape Salad

Another fresh take on a traditional salad is this Broccoli Grape Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing.  I’m sure we’ve all had multiple versions of broccoli salad but I haven’t had one with lemon dressing before.  I like the addition of grape and cucumber to this salad and I do think the lemon dressing will give it a nice tangy flavor.  This would be good to make at the beginning of the weekend to complement both a sandwich at lunch and a grilled chicken breast or steak at dinner.

Another use for the mint from the Mojito Salad would be in this Shaved Melon Salad.  It looks simple enough as it’s just thin strips of honeydew and cantaloupe melons.  These are dressed with an olive oil, sherry, honey, lemon mixture.  I think the flavor combination could be interesting so I plan on trying it when the melons are in season.

I have also been looking at a couple of heartier salads that are still light.  The first is an Orzo Salad with Chickpeas and Cucumbers.  I like chick peas in salads; they have a slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture that makes the salad filling but still healthy.  The orzo would add to that heartiness factor, but in a light way.  The cucumbers and feta cheese round it out nicely to make it a great option for a light but hearty warm weather main dish.

Farro, Cherry, Walnut Salad

This final salad is one that I’m going to try sooner rather than later.  I’ve only recently started using Farro and I think this Farro, Cherry, and Walnut Salad is great way to showcase this tasty grain.  The cherries would give it a nice pop of flavor with the walnuts and celery giving it a nice crunchy texture.

Now that it’s getting warmer out I’m ready to start lightening up the menu.  Do you change up your menu with the seasons or add some in-season produce to your recipes?  Until next time!


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Posted by on May 15, 2014 in Meals


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Autumn Birthday Dinner

Last weekend was a family birthday weekend.  I wanted the menu to  focus on the flavors of fall.  I had been reading through my Ina Garten cookbook, “Back to Basics”.  There are quite a few recipes in it that I’ve been wanting to try, especially the side dishes.

Baked Salmon Birthday Dinner

The finished product!











I knew early on we were having a baked salmon for the main course.  What I needed were the sides.  I went with a pan-roasted root vegetable recipe in the “Back to Basics” book.  It included parsnips, turnips, and celery root; all veggies we hadn’t tried before.  Plus, it had brussel sprouts which are probably my most favorite winter veggie.  I love them!  In addition, I had roasted assorted baby potatoes.  I just spray them with olive oil, add a sprinkling of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and bake till tender.

The star of this meal though, surprisingly, was the Autumn Tossed Salad.  It was awesome!  So awesome that I’ve already made it again this week for dinner.  I found it in one of my past Taste of Home Halloween magazines.  The recipe called for romaine, but I used spinach.  Plus, it had pears, apples, dried cranberries, shredded swiss, and cashews.  I used my own vinaigrette recipe with poppy seeds.

This salad was super simple to make, especially with my Genius Salad Chopper.  This thing rocks!  Everything is easily sliced into bite size pieces.  If you haven’t seen one of these before go check it out.  You will love it.  Kudos to my mother-in-law on this gift!

Genius Food Chopper

Using the Genius to chop the salad.















Here’s the lowdown on the full menu.

Appetizers: Shrimp Puffs (another great recipe), hot crab dip,  and assorted munchies and candies.

Main Meal: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Back to Basics), Autumn Tossed Salad, Roasted Root Vegetables, Roasted Baby Potatoes, and Roasted Salmon.

Dessert: Cake and ice cream

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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Meals


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