Category Archives: Salads

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

I’ve had some Israeli couscous in the pantry for a while now so I finally decided to use it. If you’ve never made Israeli couscous, you should definitely try it. The couscous pieces are much larger than regular couscous. And, by the way, did you know that couscous is considered a pasta, not a grain. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that but it’s true ;). That seems to be a common question people have. If you can prove me wrong, please do. I’m generally not a huge fan of pasta because I don’t like the slimy texture. I do, however, love the texture of couscous. We went the healthy route and used whole wheat.
I initially thought of making a hot bean and couscous salad but we liked this better cold! And, of course, we had plenty leftover.
–1 cup uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous
–1 1/4 cups chicken broth
–2 Tbsp olive oil
–juice from 1 lime
–1 tsp red wine vinegar
–1/2 tsp ground cumin
–2 cloves garlic, minced
–1 yellow onion, chopped
–1 red bell pepper, chopped
–1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
–1 can (15 ounce) of corn (or use fresh if you have time!)
–1 can (15 ounce) of black beans, drained
–salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Bring chicken broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Stir gently and let simmer for about 8 minutes or until couscous is almost ready. Then, remove from heat. Heat olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add red bell pepper and onion. Cook until onions are translucent. Fluff couscous and add veggies and the rest of the ingredients to the couscous mixture and stir and enjoy. Or, refrigerate for later!
Let me know what you think!
I also embarked on my first journey of making baby food! I was SO intimidated by the thought of making it but it was SO easy. I might blog about it for you mamas who are afraid to make it ;). Sweet potatoes were on the menu for my little cutie last night. She LOVED them. I’m so proud of my good little eater.
Feed ME!


Fruit Skewers and Yogurt Dip

On Sunday, we went to a Super Bowl party with a bunch of our dear friends. Everyone was instructed to bring a little something to eat. Per usual, I went with a healthy party treat and, per usual, we came home with almost-empty tupperware. We loved this yogurt dip. If you take it to a party, I recommend putting on a plate WITH the fruit. I think some people thought this was ranch or some kind of strange chip dip. So, the little that was leftover, I’m attributing to the idea that people didn’t know what it was. And, I didn’t advertise it too much because guess who got to eat the leftover dip–with a spoon. straight. up. Mmmm!

This dip is great with pretty much any fruit so go crazy with your own fruit ideas!

Yogurt Dip Ingredients:

–2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

–1 Tbsp sugar

–1 Tbsp Honey

–1 tsp cinnamon

–1 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Directions: Whisk all ingredients together and serve! Easiest directions ever! πŸ™‚

Source: Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

There was one baby at this gathering so, someone got A LOT of attention! πŸ™‚

Kale Salad

My cousin told me about this incredible salad over a year ago. After trying it at a dinner hosted by one of our good friends, well…the rest is history. We will definitely be eating this as a side ALL the time! I mean, raw kale, tasty? Do those words belong in the same sentence? This is a health nut’s dream come true. πŸ™‚

So, I took the mommy-doesn’t-have much-time (and wants the least amount of dishes possible to clean) short cut to making this. Honestly, making it the original way doesn’t take that much longer but every second counts with my demanding baby so, I’ll give you the real recipe and keep you posted on my short cuts along the way. Sound good?

Mkay, Ingredients:

–1 bunch kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces

–2 slices country bread (or whatever bread you have around in my case)

–1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (I bought mine shredded)

–1/2 clove garlic

–3 Tbsp olive oil

–juice from 1 lemon

–1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Toast bread until golden brown. Break into small pieces and pulse in food processor (or if you don’t want to clean your food processor, break into tiny pieces directly over salad πŸ˜‰ ). Whisk all ingredients except kale in a small bowl (or, to save time, just throw it all on top of the kale). Pour over kale and add bread crumbs, if haven’t already. Stir and serve.

Source: 101

We enjoyed this salad with this pork last week!

The next day, I had leftover kale and no time to run to the store. So, we had the same salad but used shredded cheddar cheese (rather than Parmesan) and 1/2 a grapefruit + 1/2 lemon for juice (rather than just one lemon). It was pretty darn good too!

Sauteed Collard Greens with Corn and Onion

We had this with dinner several nights ago and I am just now finding time to write about it! School is already taking up pretty much all of my free time and classes just started!

Anyway, I had lots of collard greens that needed to be eaten so this recipe just evolved in an effort to not have to throw away any food ;).We ate it as a side with chicken and sweet potatoes and it turned into a delicious, colorful meal!

{Most of the} Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

–1 Tbsp olive oil

–1/2 red onion, chopped

–3 cloves garlic, chopped

–1/2 bunch of collard greens

–juice from 1/2 lemon

–salt and pepper to taste

–1/3 can of corn (was a last minute decision!)

Directions: Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic. Then add collard greens and onions (note: collard greens take slightly longer to cook than many other green lettuce-types). Stir until onions begin to look translucent and collard start looking greener and tender. Add corn and stir for another couple minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

(And then there was corn!)

Bruschetta with Cherry Tomatoes

According to my mom’s chef-friend, bruschetta is pronounced brew-sKeh-tah NOT brew-sHeh-tah. Who knew!?

This was an easy appetizer to whip up for company on short notice. And, it’s pretty dang healthy unlike so many other snacks and apps. As much as I love chips and queso, I hate the feeling after indulging on grease, salt and cheese and ruining my dinner. Okay, that doesn’t always happen but point is, you feel much better after eating fresh tomatoes and olives!

I’ve been wanting to make bruschetta for a while and since we happen to have all of the ingredients at home last night, I went for it. I also had a sweet little helper in the kitchen ;).


–3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, sliced into fourths

–1 handful green olives, sliced into fourths

–1 handful kalamata olives, sliced into fourths

–1/2 shallot, chopped

–2 cloves garlic, minced

–2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

–1 Tbsp basil (I used dried but fresh would be better!)

–1 tsp oregano

–2 Tbsp olive oil (plus more to drizzle on bread)

–1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

–juice from 1 lemon

–salt and pepper

–1 baguette, sliced

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix all ingredients, except baguette, in a bowl and stir evenly. Place baguette slices on a pan and drizzle with olive oil (we also rubbed the pieces with garlic which is optional–you could also sprinkle garlic powder for a short cut!). Toast in oven for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted. Serve bruschetta on toasted bread and enjoy!


Sauteed Kale

I LOVE the idea of getting as much healthy food into my body as possible. So, sauteing spinach and kale or drinking my veggies in a smoothie are all appealing to this health nut! Plus, this simple recipe for sauteed kale is quite yummy! And, who likes raw kale anyway? {I do love kale salads but if anyone tells you they like kale straight up, they are probably lying or, in my opinion, their taste buds have got some serious issues. ;)} If you tell me it’s an acquired taste, I’m ready to start working on acquiring it but, if not, I’m definitely not ready to go through the pain of consuming that bitterness regularly. Alright, onto the sauteed greatness!


(Everything minus the chili powder which was an afterthought πŸ˜‰ ).

–3 Tbsp olive oil

–2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

–1/2 cup water

–2 cloves garlic, minced

–1 Tbsp chili powder

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic once oil is hot. After about a minute, add the kale. When kale turns bright green, after about a minute, add red wine vinegar and water and stir. When the kale shrinks down and is almost tender, add chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir until kale is ready, remove from heat and enjoy!

Ring in the New Year with…an Egg Cooker!

Why??? Well, I’m glad you asked! If you’re like me, one of your many New Years resolutions is to budget better. Soooo…you’re asking me to buy something to save money!? You got it! Eggs are CHEAP, people! And, egg salad is GOOD! Eat more eggs and, overtime, you can help that budget. You’ll thank me later. And, don’t worry, if one of your other resolutions is to eat healthier or to lose weight, egg whites can help you with that too–lots of protein, little fat and not too many calories.

So, what exactly is an egg cooker? I had the same question when my roommate introduced me to this great tool a few years ago. I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical at first. I could just picture some cheesy salesperson selling one of these things on a terrible infomercial. And, in my mind, infomercial gadgets should never be bought–even if the products being advertised are ‘good’, I would not want to partake in encouraging such terrible advertising.

Anyway, onto the egg cooker! Hard boiled eggs were one of the many things that seemed so easy to make but that I always called my mom about. I could never remember whether to put the eggs in the water before or after the water was boiling. Those phone calls are long gone. I still talk to my mom…just not about eggs ;).

But, more importantly, when peeling a hard boiled egg, I always got frustrated because I’d end up with and egg yolk surrounded by a thin layer of egg white since the rest would come off with the shell. Now, the shell comes off with NO egg white AT ALL. I’m not exaggerating on this. I promise. It’s amazing!

27ish dollars. Do it. You won’t be disappointed!

Egg salad recipes to come in 2012!

Arugula, Pear and Goat Cheese Salad

Well, the title pretty much says it all!

After traveling for Christmas, we’ve had somewhat of a fussy baby so I’m going with super easy recipes this week (yea, even easier/quicker than usual!). We grabbed a cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, scooped up some leftover mashed potatoes from the other night and threw this salad together for dinner last night. Everything tasted pretty great, too!

[Btw, rotisserie chickens are only $5-$6 and provide about eleven 3 ounce servings. Even though we usually eat more than 3 ounces per serving, these little guys go a long way and provide a great protein for a quick, easy meal, allowing you more time to have fun with side dishes!]

I didn’t take time to measure the amounts of everything I used for this salad (a little 12 pound baby was demanding ALL of Mommy’s attention yesterday) so you’ll have to just make everything ‘to taste’ if you want to try it. But, that’s more fun anyway!

Here are the ingredients.

–baby arugula (a few handfuls)

–1 pear, chopped

–goat cheese crumbles

–juice from about 3/4 of a lemon

–oilve oil

–salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Grab a few handfuls of baby arugula lettuce and place in salad bowl. Add pear and goat cheese crumbles. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil on salad. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss and enjoy!

Yogurt and Honey Fruit Salad

Who doesn’t like a good fruit salad? I often throw one together to serve with dinner or just to have around for snacking.

I’ve noticed that if I have a fruit salad made (or even just have fruit washed and ready to eat), people will choose that as a delicious, healthy snackΒ  but if the fruit is not ready to eat, chips and other junk food it is!

I love fruit so if I want to keep it to myself, I leave it packaged until I want to eat it πŸ˜‰ but more often than not, I want to serve people good, healthy food so fruit salad is an easy way to go! It is also a perfect side dish since it’s so colorful and makes your plate look pretty!

For this fruit salad, I used strawberries, blueberries, bananas and an orange. I usually throw an apple in as well. And, any combination of fruit is great with the yogurt/honey mixture so use any of your favorite fruits!

Here is the fruit I used:


–2 bananas

–about 15 strawberries

–small container of blueberries

–1 orange

–1/3 cup greek yogurt

–1 Tbsp honey

–1/4 cup orange juice

Directions: Wash all fruit (except banana). Put washed blueberries in a medium sized bowl. Peel orange and banana, cut into bite sized pieces and combine with blueberries. Cut stems off strawberries, cut into 3rds and add to the fruit mixture. In a small bowl, mix greek yogurt, honey and orange juice. Add to fruit, stir and enjoy!

Aunt Irene’s Salad Dressing

Finally, as promised, a post dedicated to ‘Aunt Irene’s’ salad dressing. My family is massive and Aunt Irene is one of my many great aunts.

Mimi, my grandmother, and her sister, Aunt Irene

Her salad dressing is delicious and has been a staple in our household for as long as I can remember. This recipe is SO easy and is good on pretty much any salad (I used it on this salad).

We almost always make the dressing in a ‘Good Seasons’ cruet. You can find this cruet at most grocery stores near the salad dressings.

Here are the ingredients.

Recipe: Add the following ingredients according to the lines on the cruet.

–1/4 cup rice vinegar (Marukan brand, genuine brewed, not seasoned)

–1/2 cup olive oil

–3 Tbsp water

–1 tsp dried dill (if using fresh dill, use a little more)

–1 tsp sugar

–1/2 tsp celery salt

Adjust the ingredients to taste and add a pinch of salt and pepper, if desired.

Try this on any salad and let me know what you think!