Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Exploring Greek Tzatziki

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This dip is light and refreshing. Originally a Greek yogurt dip, tzatziki is traditionally made with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometime lemon juice and fresh herbs like mint, dill, parsley or thyme. It can be used to top gyros, burgers, falafels, salads, “bowls” (see photo below) or a standalone dish. Clearly I took a non-traditional route, swapping avocado for yogurt as the base. I also used mint instead of dill and want to try this again with equal proportions to be more versatile. Even with the “lightened up” swaps, Avocado Tzatziki is still light, so fluffy and especially tasty. I’ve been dipping away with Kashi pita chips and 7 grain crackers, baby carrots and cucumber sticks.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Salad

Tangy & Fresh Thai Salad

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To be totally honest, I never really measure salad dressings. I kind of dump, pour, mix and combine like a mad scientist concocting a new compound. The resulting Spicy Peanut Dressing was tangy and acidic from the vinegar and lime juice, but still savory and spicy, both of which I really enjoyed. The flavors complement the fresh herbs quite well. Sometimes, I think kale is really leafy and green, but when chopped, mixed with fresh herbs and topped with the right dressing, kale is pretty benign and makes for a great base. I also am a firm believer that everything tastes better bite-size and chopped. I used a plain rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods for a quick and easy meal. Plus, it beats firing up the oven or stove during the summer. Just chop and combine for this tasty Chopped Thai Chicken Salad.
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Asian, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Refreshingly Crisp Cucumber Salad

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This salad is perfectly refreshing. Light, crisp and just different. How many salads have you had that are just cucumber? Plus, spiralizing any vegetable automatically takes it up a notch. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s different a uniquely fun way to enjoy some veggies. Add the flavors of cilantro, fresh ginger and sesame and this Spiralized Asian Cucumber Salad is sure to cool you down. [Note: this is best consumed within 1-2 days of making, but I doubt that will be a problem because you won’t be able to get enough!]

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Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad

Bringing BBQ Salads Back

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I’m coming out of a hiatus! With my full-time job wrapped up and my fun-employment commencing, i.e. taking care of business for the month for August before my nursing program begins, I’m finally writing these joyful introductions for my blog posts — like this one for a BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. After a trip home to Maine and a stop at Stonewall Kitchen in Portland, I picked up their Honey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce in anticipation of making a BBQ chicken salad. The BBQ sauce is packed with heat and subtly sweet. The dressing was inspired by a local Mexican restaurant and was the perfect combo of light and fresh to complement the BBQ flavor. Say hello to your new favorite summer salad.

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Asian, Better Than Takeout, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad, Vegetarian

Back to [Korean] BBQ

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I’d say this summer has been the summer of salads and bowls. Cooking Light had a great article on “How to Build a Better Grain Bowl” in one of their summer issues like the idea for the Vegetarian Korean BBQ Bowl. While not a true “Korean BBQ,” this incorporates different flavors like gochujang. Start with a grain base (cue the quinoa). Pack it fully of veggies. The key is different textures like carrots and scallions for crunch and then colors like the cabbage, purple cabbage and napa cabbage blend. Add some protein as a fried egg. (Let me digress for a moment. I have to admit. I wasn’t a fan of fried eggs, eggs over easy, poached eggs — really any egg with a runny yolk. But then, I rediscovered breakfast sandwiches and avocado toast and my breakfasts were complete. I wanted to take a stab at this recipe just for the egg.) Finally, the Korean aioli binds the dish, packs in the flavor and tops it to perfection. The best part? It maybe took 10 min to throw this together (assuming the quinoa is already cooked). I’m just dying for my leftovers.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad, Side, Vegan, Vegetarian

Celebrate Summer with a Summer Quinoa Salad

IMG_2522.JPGSummer’s officially here! Sadly, my apartment lacks a grill, but I was inspired by a recipe in Cooking Light for a charred Brussels sprouts, radish and apple salad. Why not char some pineapples and peppers to give the feeling of grilled summer kabobs? It’s fresh, easy and simple — my kind of style. I went to Martha’s Vineyard to do a home visit for work since we visit participants in their homes for healthy aging and longevity research. As we killed time for our ferry back to Boston, we feasted on our lunches. How picturesque — eating Charred Bell Pepper & Pineapple Quinoa Salad by the water. Happy meatless Monday!

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad, Seafood, Vegetarian

This Spring Tuna Salad Will Give You a Spring in Your Step

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When you hear “tuna salad,” you think of that canned tuna slathered in mayo and crammed between lettuce and bread. I don’t mean that kind of salad. I mean a salad salad — one packed with greens, fresh veggies and a bright dressing, all the while brimming with texture. This is the anatomy of a perfect salad. The key to the greens is to chop or tear kale and spinach into bite-sized pieces for easy eating. Radishes are a crisp spring vegetable with a crunch. Paired with carrots and cucumbers and balanced by creamy, smooth avocados. Tuna, albeit canned, is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus it’s inexpensive and easy to store/keep compared to the fresh variety. Have I convinced you yet? This Spring Tuna Salad is sure to add a bounce to your step with its bright flavors and lighter but heartier nature.

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Asian, Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Salad

Crazy for These Colorful Cabbage Bowls

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Sriracha Beef Cabbage Bowls for the winnnnnn! I’m trying to make bowl salads or salad like dishes since I’ve become bored from the same old same old. Don’t get me wrong. Certain salads become classics and a staple for a reason, but you need some variety every now and then. Plus, this cabbage bowl is so colorful, it’s hard to resist not diving in fork first. I also never seem to buy beef. Not sure why, but maybe it’s a price thing, but I found some 90% lean beef at Roche Brothers and it was a sign. Literally a sign I needed to test out these cabbage bowls. SO GOOD. I tossed in my own fresh herbs, fresh ginger and hoisin sauce for flavor. Somehow these bad boys are both filling and light all at once and I’m definitely adding these ingredients to my grocery list to make them again.

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Better Than Takeout, Entrée, Lightened Up, Salad

Best (& Still Quite Healthy) Buffalo Chic Salad

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I stumbled upon this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Meatballs as a Super Bowl appetizer, but then was too busy with my micro homework to make this in time. If it can’t be an app, then a salad sounded light but also hearty and satisfying. I really like Skinny Taste and her healthy twists on classic and popular dishes. Naturally, she had a “Skinny” Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing to accompany. What pairs well with blue cheese dressing? Celery, carrots, cucumbers and avocado — toss that into the salad. Inspired by my Bang Bang Cauliflower, Buffalo Cauliflower Bites sounded like a natural addition to the metals. It all comes together even better than imagined. I had my coworkers jealous of my lunch. Seriously, Chris wanted to steal it. Get yours jealous too with the Buffalo Chicken Salad.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Meal Prep, Salad, Seafood, Vegetarian

Healthy Tuna Salad On-the-Go

Tuna Mason Jar Salad

Need a quick, healthy salad on the run? I might have had this Tuna Mason Jar Salad for lunch four days in a row last week. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. IT’S SO GOOD. Beyond good. I think canned tuna has a bad rep, but this salad gives it a whole new life.  The cucumbers, carrots and sunflower seeds add texture and crunch. The dried cranberries and raspberry balsamic offer a sweet side to balance the earthy kale.

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