Best House Salad

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Thursday!  Honestly, I walked out of work today and was like, it CANNOT only be Tuesday *insert crying emoji*.  On the bright side, that gives me two “extra” days to study for an upcoming exam.  Or two extra days to watch the new season of Bloodline, whichever seems better in the moment.  I’m happy to be back into a groove with the blog – I have a ton of ideas for summer recipes and finally created a good spot to take some pictures in my small kitchen!  So expect more goodness coming from here in the next few months – especially my new Summer Salad Series.  First off…starring the best house salad you can ask for.

This delicious and nutritious collection of veggies can do you no wrong.  It has just enough flavor to stand alone, yet can balance anything else you put on your plate.  Note – you do not have to cut your avocado into a rose, I just find this entirely too tempting and satisfying.

I do make one request for all my fantastic followers – make your own vinaigrette!  Making your own salad dressing is head.and.shoulders better than anything from the store.  This bright apple cider vinaigrette can be stored in a mason jar in your fridge and used throughout the week to freshen up greens for a quick side salad.

When it comes to “house salads”, you really can get creative with what you have on hand.  Instead of red peppers, feel free to throw in yellow, green, or orange.  Instead of pumpkin seeds (but, they’re delicious!), throw in walnuts or sunflower seeds.  Yes, I did buy these cherry tomatoes because they were so colorful and cute.  But you can use whatever tomatoes you have on hand. Mild banana peppers from the jar add crunch and saltiness and are amazing – you could get a similar flavor with artichoke hearts or olives too.

For those who *hate* red onions, I hear you.  They’re flavor-loud and can take over any dish pretty quickly.  I like to cut mine up and soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes before I drain them and throw them on the salad.  I think it tends to tame their bite a bit! (I do the same thing with guacamole!)

Looking for another crowd-pleasing salad? Check out this green apple. walnut, blue cheese salad with maple dijon vinaigrette!

Best House Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
This salad can be added onto any meal - with fresh, bright ingredients like this, you can't go wrong!
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil - NOTE: I like a more "vinegary" dressing, but if you want something a little tamer, add up to ⅓ cup total olive oil!
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. dijon or stone ground mustard
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Note 2: If you want a little sweeter dressing, add up to 1 tbsp of maple syrup. It goes really well with the garlic and apple cider vinegar!
For the salad:
  • ½ head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of spring greens
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ⅓ cup banana peppers, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
  • ½ a medium avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Cover and shake to combine.
  2. Chop your salad ingredients - peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, red onion, avocado. (Soak red onion if you want to tame the flavor...see note above!)
  3. Wash and chop your romaine lettuce. Combine with equal parts spring greens.
  4. Toss the salad in about half the dressing - you can always add more but you can't take it out! You will likely have dressing left over.
  5. Top with your chopped ingredients and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

 

Steakhouse Salad with Greek Yogurt Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Hey all! It has been a while since I popped in here with a new recipe!  Life update = third year of medical school has been crazy busy (hence why I went MIA for many months), I’m officially going into OBGYN (hooray!), and the dogs, Dan, and I have been doing well!   I’ve got roughly a year left of school, but exams end this summer!

So, in the spirit of spring, I’ve got an easy salad that packs a huge flavor punch!  It reminds me of those *awesome* wedge salads you get at steakhouses, but with a healthy twist – greek yogurt buttermilk ranch dressing! The first time I tried this, I accidentally used vanilla greek yogurt…uhhhh the WORST accident I have ever made!  Hopefully you have better luck! SO, without further ado…


Steakhouse Salad with Greek Yogurt Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 salads
 
A healthy twist on a steakhouse classic!
Ingredients
For the steak:
  • 1 skirt steak, about 1 pound
  • Salt and pepper to season
For the salad:
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, chopped
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup buttermik
  • 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
For the steak:
  1. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to a saute pan, and sear on each side (only about 3-4 minutes per side...it cooks quickly because it is so thin!). Let rest and cut in strips against the grain.
For the dressing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. You'll have extra, so save for the week!
For the salad:
  1. Dress the lettuce with the greek yogurt dressing.
  2. Top with tomatoes, blue cheese, and steak strips.
  3. Enjoy!

 

Green Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese, and Red Onion Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

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These next couple weeks are CA-RAAAYYY-ZEEEE.  I have 7 bajillion exams, activities, soirées, travels to and from home, and gym sessions (*fingers crossed*) to attend to.  Meanwhile, I’m going to a Christmas centerpiece flowering arranging party with Bring-Your-Own-Wine by myself tonight.  Because I feel like it.  You’re all invited.

But, I’ve decided that’s what I love about the holidays.  No time for idle hands!  There is always the next task to do, the next present to wrap, the next Christmas movie to watch (The Santa Clause is my absolute favorite).  I love to write my To-Do list in seasonally appropriate colors, add some candy cane stickers, and get to work! Mixing in some HUGE batch cooking every couple days is a must and adding a salad here and there never hurt anybody.

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This has been my super secret Winter salad for years.  And I’m now just sharing it with you because it’s PERFECT for a side at your holiday dinner table!  Truth: I served it at Thanksgiving and a family party in the past month and the bowl was EMPTY before people could even go back for seconds.  I feel like I’ve been keeping the world’s best kept secret.  Ugh, such a sigh of relief to finally get this goodness out there.

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Recipe Review: Chipotle Chicken Salad with Warm Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Check out all the fixin's!

Check out all the fixin’s!

I know the title of this recipe is totally a mouthful (haha, punny!).  But I wanted to include all the elements – because each one is as important as the next!  I’ll be the first to tell you, quinoa is weird.  It’s not quite rice, and it’s not couscous.  Why bother, right?  Because! PROTEIN! What quinoa lacks in normal english pronunciations, it makes up for with a big serving of protein in your salad!

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SWAG Salad – Strawberry, Walnut, Avocado, Goat Cheese!

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Look at all the Swag in this Salad.

The first seven days of September have been crazy busy.  So busy that I am working on homework from two weeks ago.  Or I should be – instead I’m writing this post for you all.  Why? Because this recipe is crazy easy.  I accidentally threw it together one day and it’s one of my go-to lunches during the week. I always have the ingredients on hand, and you can mix and match depending on what you have in your fridge!

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