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Category Archives: Salads

Pineapple & Mango Salad

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I’m ba-ack!  My husband, sister, and I had a fabulous time with our friends in Texas and I put together a slideshow if you are interested, which you can view here.

I had planned to share my favorite basic cheesecake recipe with you upon my return, but you will have to wait until Monday for that one because I’m on a deadline to get a mango recipe posted for BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient). Trust me, I’m doing you a favor! This salad is so delicious and you don’t risk gaining ten pounds if you go wild and eat the entire recipe.  Which you might be tempted to do with the cheesecake.

OK, so I’m a mango purist.  Mangoes are my absolute favorite fruit and I find them so delicious as they are, with nothing added, that it’s hard for me to make a recipe with them.  There is, however, a lovely salad that I make with them from time to time (usually when I have a mango surplus, because using my only mango for anything other than eating plain would be sacrilege) that is so simple and pure in itself, I don’t feel like I’m adulterating the fruit by including it in the salad.

There are only three ingredients and they marry so well together that in the past I have been inspired to give the salad names that would usually be associated with cocktails, like Hawaiian Sunrise and Tropical Paradise.  To keep things simple and pure, in keeping with the recipe itself, I decided to just go with Pineapple & Mango Salad for it’s official title.

I’ve made this salad with parsley, mint and cilantro and I usually prefer the parsley, though any of them will work.  If you think another sounds better, go with that.  I think it is a matter of personal taste, or perhaps even occasion, as when I’m serving it as dessert after a Mexican meal, the cilantro seems best.  And if you want to give it a little more tropical feel, add in some sweetened coconut.  I did that this morning on my second bowl and thought it was nice, though being a mango purist I can’t exactly condone the behavior. ;)

Pineapple & Mango Salad

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 ripe pineapple
4 ripe mangoes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, mint, or cilantro, chopped fine

Cut a slice off the bottom of the pineapple and cut the top off as well.  Sit the pineapple up on on its now-flat end and slice down around the sides to remove the outside.  Keep cutting until you have no pits remaining in the flesh.  Cut the pineapple into quarters, then slice the middle off of each to remove the pit.  Lay each quarter on its back, cut into thirds length-wise, then chop into chunks.  Place the pineapple chunks in a large bowl.  Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh away from the seed.  Chop the flesh into chunks and add to the bowl.  Add the parsley and stir until combined.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least until well chilled, before serving.

Veronica’s notes: this salad is perfectly delicious when the fruit is ripe, but if yours is a little under-ripe, you can add in some agave nectar or other sweetener of your choice.  If you don’t feel like cutting up a pineapple, you can usually find fresh cut pineapple at salad bars at supermarkets, or even in the refrigerated produce section.  There is a simpler way to cut the flesh from a mango, which is depicted here (I don’t use this method because I feel like I can’t cut the cubes close enough to the skin and I waste too much of the mango), and to see a tutorial on cutting pineapple, click here.

Recipe source: CW (that’s my Mom.  Dad calls her CW, which stands for Crazed Woman, and she calls him “crazy man.”  Gotta love my dysfunctional family! :) )

This is linked with Nutmeg Nanny for BSI: mangoes.

Questions of the day: 1) Is there anything you love so much in its natural state you can’t alter it?  2) What is your favorite fruit?  3) Do you know anyone that has mean/teasing pet names for their significant other?


Restaurant-Style Tabouli

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Hummus and tabouli are my favorite sides to serve with Lebanese fare.  Not only are they simple to make, but crazy delicious!  My Mom’s tabouli consists predominantly of bulgar wheat, and most recipes I’ve found are the same, but I noticed when I ordered it at restaurants, it was mostly parsley with a tiny bit of bulgar in it.  Not only is this lower in calories (bonus!), but I actually prefer the taste.    The parsley and lemon make for a very refreshing salad!  Here’s my version of restaurant-style tabouli.

Restaurant-Style Tabouli

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with link

3 bunches parsley, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fine bulgar wheat
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover, and let sit overnight before serving.  There is no need to cook the bulgar, as it will absorb moisture from the salad and become tender in a few hours.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 76 calories; 3 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 3.5 g fiber; 3 g protein

Recipe by Veronica Miller

I used red onions in the first picture, and white onions in this one. You can also use green onions, if you prefer.

On a personal note: I’m leaving to visit friends in Texas so this is the last recipe I’ll be posting for a while.  I know I’m not a regular poster anyway, so you guys won’t even miss me!  Nevertheless, I will return later next week with some sweets & savories for you. You’re in for a few treats! :)

Baked Potato Salad

This recipe comes from another favorite recipe blog (I have so many!), Evil Shenanigans.  You can tell just from the name of this blog that there is going to be some seriously fattening, i.e. evil and delicious, foods on it.  And there are.  Just incredible.  Like this potato salad.

I’m not a huge fan of potato salad and never had one that I had to keep eating after the first bite.  I could have just tossed my potato salad as easily as eat it.  Until now.  I actually caught myself taking scoops of it out of the serving dish to eat on my way to putting the leftovers in the fridge!  It has turned me into that girl.  You know what I mean by that girl.  The one that secretly keeps jars of frosting in her cupboard and eats them with her finger.  Except my frosting, in this case, is baked potato salad.

It’s basically all the essential elements of a loaded baked potato, but in potato salad form and yes, it’s as good as you think it would be.  Make it.

Baked Potato Salad     
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

4 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar
1/4 cup chopped chives, divided (I used 2 tablespoons dried chives)
8 strips thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

In a medium bowl whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream until well mixed.  Add 3/4 of the chopped chives along with some salt and pepper.  Whisk to mix. Fold in the cheese and bacon.  Cover and chill for thirty minutes.

 Peel and cube the potatoes into 1/2″ pieces.  Cook the potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and cool slightly.  Fold the cooked potatoes into the chilled dressing.  Garnish with the remaining chives.  I recommend serving this warm or at room temperature because it’s not as good cold. 

Serves 6-8

Recipe source: Evil Shenanigans

Hamburger Salad

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There is a local burger joint called Spangles that has a “protein style” option for their burgers, which means they’ll give you the guts of the burger in a styrofoam container, sans bun, with extra veggies.  I came to love this when I was on the Atkins diet (which I have long since ditched), and still order their Gourmet Supreme burger “protein style.” 

I think this was the original inspiration for the Hamburger Salads I started making at home this summer and eat quite frequently because they’re fast, easy and delicious.  Essentially it’s a bed of lettuce topped with all the inner components of a hamburger: burger patty, onion, pickles, tomato, onion, and a drizzle of ketchup and mustard.  It doesn’t lay as heavy on my stomach as a big burger and is really nice and refreshing in these hot summer months. 

Hamburger Salad
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

grilled hamburger patty, chopped
chopped red onion
dill pickle slices
chopped tomato

your choice of salad greens
ketchup & mustard

Place salad greens on a plate and top with the burger, onion, tomato and pickle.  Drizzle salad with ketchup and mustard.  To kick it up a notch, add some shredded cheddar cheese for a cheeseburger salad!

Serves 1

Recipe by Veronica Miller

Watermelon & Tomato Salad

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I got this recipe from my friend, Pia, who has a wonderful blog with tons of ethnic recipes, particularly Filipino since she is from the Philippines. Now, I know what you were thinking when you read the title of this post.  You’re wrong! Watermelons and tomatoes CAN be put together in a salad–and it is delicious!  This salad is sweet, salty, acidic, tangy, and is so refreshing.  You will love it.

Watermelon & Tomato Salad
Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

5 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1/2 lb. tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly julienned
freshly ground black pepper
chopped cilantro for garnish

In a large bowl mix chopped watermelon and tomatoes. Stir in sugar and salt and place in fridge to marinate for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, mix in red wine vinegar, olive oil and onions. Keep chilled.

When ready to serve add freshly ground black pepper and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Info (per serving): 106 calories; 7 g fat; 11 g carb; 1 g fiber; 1 g protein

Recipe source: Inato lang Filipino Cuisine and More

Garlic Salad

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The Davis Family (back row, left to right): Donnie, Doris, Jimmy, Mary, Ruby; (bottom row, left to right): Margie, Alta, Jon, Jim, Nadene. My Dad’s the little squirt who surprised them all when he happened upon the scene.

There is a restaurant called Doc’s Steakhouse in Wichita that is famous for its garlic salad. As far as I can tell, this is a Wichita thing that you can’t find elsewhere but let me know if you’ve heard of it in your neck of the woods.

I’ve actually never had it at the steakhouse, but my Aunt Ruby got ahold of a copycat recipe and started bringing it to the annual Davis family reunion (that’s my Dad’s side of the family) back in the 60’s and we love it so much the only way she’s ever going to get out of not bringing it is if she dies. Our annual reunion is a pig roast and there are only three things that our family depends on being present every year (besides the family): pork, garlic bread, and Aunt Ruby’s garlic salad. Other than that, there’s always a huge amount of food but we don’t care what it is as long as those three things are on the table.

Part of the food line

Aunt Ruby kindly shared the recipe with me several years ago; I rediscovered it when I was organizing my recipe binder and figured it was about time I made it! I first made it for a mother’s day celebration picnic my husband’s family has every year, then made it for a potluck lunch our friends had after Church the following week and both times I got lots of compliments and recipe requests. I think it is perfect for this time of year when barbecues and potluck picnics abound.

Below are two versions of the recipe, the original and my adaptation of it that doesn’t call for anything strange, doesn’t waste half a head of cabbage, has more color, and is easier to make. While my version is OK, and people who had never had the original loved it, I have to say Aunt Ruby’s is MUCH better!

Mine has a more pronounced garlic flavor and hers is more mild.  I’ll leave it up to you which one you want to try but either way, I don’t think you can go wrong. It’s good stuff.

Aunt Ruby’s Copycat Garlic Salad
Printable Recipe

1 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 head of cabbage
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 pint (2 cups) Hellman’s real mayonnaise
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 drops liquid garlic*

Shred the first three ingredients, then put in a blender and fill with water. Blend until they are in small pieces, then strain out in a cheesecloth, squeezing out as much water as possible. Alternatively, you can shred everything using your food processor, then remove it to a bowl to place the blade attachment in the bowl, and process everything until in small pieces. Transfer to a cheese cloth or paper-towel lined colander/sieve, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Put into a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate at least 12 hours before serving.

*Aunt Ruby says you can find this in the spice section at your supermarket, but I checked three or four before giving up.  It is available online here. **Update: I started making it with Howard’s Garlic Juice, at Ruby’s son’s suggestion, which I did find near the spices. It works really well and gives the same flavor, but isn’t as strong and takes 1/2 teaspoon or more to get a good garlic flavor. This is also the way her son makes it, with the garlic juice – she taught him and he took over the garlic salad making several years ago.

Veronica’s Garlic Salad
Printable Recipe

1 head of lettuce
1 head of cabbage
2 carrots, peeled
2 cups real mayonnaise*
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Roughly chop the first three ingredients. Working in batches, put them in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and process each batch until small pieces. Place finely shredded veggies in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate at least 12 hours before serving.

*For the first batch, I made my own mayonnaise, but used a generic light mayonnaise in the second batch.  Strangely, I liked it better the second time!

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Cilantro & Lime

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I think this is the most beautiful salad I’ve ever made. I’m big on color in my food and this salad definitely delivers! Not only that, but it is incredibly healthy and flavorful. It all comes together really well with the creamy beans & sweet peppers balancing the heat in the dressing (which isn’t too hot, just hot enough) and the lime and cilantro add a flavorful punch. And you know what I really love about it? It calls for an entire bunch of cilantro, so I don’t have to leave 9/10 of a bunch sitting in the fridge, wondering what I’ll make with it until I forget about it and clean out the fridge a month later to discover a produce bag filled with green-brown muck. Woo-hoo! And no, it isn’t too much cilantro. It’s perfect. And since it’s so healthy, I felt justified using salty tortilla chips to eat it with, turning it into a sort of bean & pepper pico de gallo. Fabulous!

Black Bean and Pepper Salad with Cilantro and Lime
Printable Version

1 lime
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 t salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

1 can black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
(could use any combination of colors for the pepper, or use 2 red peppers)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Grate the zest from the lime into a small bowl, then juice the lime and add 2 tablespoons of it to the zest. Stir in the remaining ingredients; set aside.

Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl. Pour the dressing over and stir. Serve immediately or store in the fridge, giving another stir before serving. 

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 214 cal; 8 g fat (1.2 g saturated, 1.4 polyunsaturated, 5.1 monounsaturated); 149 mg sodium; 591 mg potassium; 30 g carb; 10 g fiber; 9.1 g protein

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Five Bean Salad

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You may have noticed a reduced amount of sugary treats & and the addition of nutritional information on my posts lately and if you guessed that I’ve started trying to eat healthier, you guessed right! My 10th wedding anniversary is coming up in June and my 30th birthday in October and I refuse to look the way I do right now for either of those occasions! (Somewhere between Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburgers, Rolo Pretzel Turtles, and Buttery Beer Bread, I managed to gain 25 pounds. I’m mystified! ;) ) Luckily I find it much easier to eat healthy in the summer than I do in the winter, when we naturally tend to eat heavier foods, and I haven’t felt deprived at all (yet) eating wonderful things like this Five Bean Salad.

It is a very simple salad to throw together and has a wonderful sweet & tangy dressing that soaks into everything and does a little dance in your mouth with each bite. The best part for me is that the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the yummier it gets. The recipe makes quite a lot for two people, so we can enjoy it over the course of three days (spaced apart over a week) without worrying about it getting mushy or funky. Dennis and I both like to pack it as a lunch because although it’s usually served as a side dish, we both love it so much that we can’t keep to one small serving and prefer to make it into a meal.

I’ve been making it for several years and although I don’t remember where I got the idea, I do remember that the original dressing I used made so much that the salad would be sitting in an inch of it. I’ve now got the dressing under control so that it’s just enough to coat everything with just a little bit in the bottom for you to stir back into the salad before serving.  I have also tried adding other beans, at one point making it a 7 Bean Salad with black-eyed peas and black beans, and have added cilantro, parsley and even green pepper and while I like this salad best the way I’ve written it here, it can obviously be changed up to suit your tastes.

Five Bean Salad
Printable Version

¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh cracked pepper

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15.5 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans green beans, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can yellow wax beans, drained
1 red onion, diced
2 ribs celery, sliced

Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing over and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight & stir well before serving.

Makes 6 main dish servings or 12 side dish servings.

Nutritional information (per main dish serving): 376 cal; 10.6 g fat; 58 g carb; 15 g fiber; 13 g protein

Colorful Couscous Salad with Chickpeas (Vegan)

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Another one of my warm weather favorites–you can serve it as a side dish but I always eat it as a meal.  The bright flavor of the veggies is offset by the mild beans and couscous and it overall has a very clean taste.  I particularly enjoy the clash of the sweet raisins and the acidic onion.  This makes a pretty big bowl but I have no problem eating the entire batch all by myself within a week, although I sometimes allow Dennis to help me. :)  Tomorrow he’s eating steak for dinner, but I’m gonna be digging into a big plate of this wonderful stuff!  I can’t get enough.

Colorful Couscous Salad with Chickpeas
Printable Recipe

¼ c olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 T apple cider vinegar
3 t agave nectar or sugar
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t salt

2 c couscous (I prefer whole wheat)
2 c cooked chickpeas, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & shredded
1 red pepper, chopped
½ c raisins, soaked in ¼ c hot water
½ c parsley, chopped
½ c red onion, chopped

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring 3 cups water to a boil, stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes, fluff with a fork, and turn into large mixing bowl to cool. Put the remaining salad ingredients into the bowl (including the raisin soaking water), pour the dressing over the top, and stir until combined.  Store in the refrigerator.

 Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition Info (per serving): 336 Calories; 8 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 508.2 mg sodium; 58.5 g carb; 6 g fiber; 9 g protein

Crunchy Dilled Shrimp Salad

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I’ve been making this shrimp salad for several years and especially enjoy it in the spring and summer because it is light and bright. I love the crisp crunch from the water chestnuts and the nutty crunch from the cashews. The dill & lemon balance the slightly sweet taste of the dressing and pair perfectly with the shrimp. I usually serve it on a slice of toasted bread as an open-faced sandwich so I can enjoy the visual appeal of the pretty salad while I eat it.

I omitted the cashews from this batch and decreased the dressing to 1/3 cup, which saves 50 calories per serving.

Crunchy Dilled Shrimp Salad

Printable Recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (12 oz) bag frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and tails removed
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, drained
1/4 c cashews
1/2 c light Miracle Whip
3 T chopped fresh dill or 1 T dried dill
2 t lemon juice
3/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t salt

Roughly chop the shrimp, water chestnuts & cashews and mix in a medium bowl with all other ingredients. Serve immediately. If you will be serving later, omit the cashews and refrigerate. Stir them in just before serving so they will still be nice and crunchy.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Info (per serving): 187 cal, 7 g fat, 177 mg cholesterol, 560 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 20 g protein.

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