Greek Oil Free Pasta Salad

Need a simple and fresh pasta salad for summer? This was a tasty and dill-icious light dinner and would be perfect as a side for a cook out or party. It’s only a few ingredients and it comes together quickly, so I’m glad I put these things together because it definitely works! I used High Carb Hannah’s oil free tzatziki sauce as the dressing and used whole wheat Penne, cucumber, tomatoes, and blanched broccoli with some extra dill and you can add onion, chickpeas, asparagus, olives, or whatever veggies you’d like. I served it cold, but it could also be served warm if you prefer.

Greek Pasta Salad

1 lb whole wheat Penne

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

3 Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced

Head of broccoli, diced

1 tsp dried dill

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Blanch broccoli in the microwave for 3 minutes and cook pasta 2 minutes less than directions.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and add tzatziki sauce when ready to serve. If you add it to early it might dry out.

Hannah’s Tzatziki Recipe *slighted changed*

1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced

1 tsp dried dill

1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 20 minutes

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp minced garlic

1/3 cup water

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Fiesta Mango Black Bean Salad with Chili Lime Dressing

Fiesta Mango Black Bean Salad

Fiesta Mango Black Bean Salad

This fresh, flavorful, and colorful salad is perfect for summer! It’s filling from the quinoa and beans and makes you feel like you’re eating the rainbow. There are so many delicious ingredients in one bowl for the perfect dinner salad and I made a light and low-calorie dressing to match. The dressing is made of lime juice, cilantro, and seasonings that combine to make a great match for this salad. I love how the mango adds sweetness and the avocado adds creaminess! It’s healthy, and eating something that looks so pretty makes it that much more appealing. Better than Skittles!

Fiesta Mango Black Bean Salad

Serves 4

1 head of romaine, chopped

2/3 bag of spring mix

1/2 bag spinach

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tsp garlic powder and cumin

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 avocado, diced

1.5 cups Quinoa

1 Persian cucumber, diced

1 mango, diced

Chili Lime Dressing

3-4 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp cilantro

1 tsp agave

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Sprinkle of chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Well this one should be easy. Heat beans with the garlic powder and cumin.

2. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.

3. Combine dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk.

4. Dress salad and toss to mix.

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

This is the perfect summer salad! Yes, I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself seasonally, but I’m prepared. I usually don’t love salads as dinner options because I want something more substantial but this was filling and the BBQ flavor makes you feel like you’re having something savory. You can add whatever veggies you want to make this salad, I just used what I had in my fridge and used the roasted corn in my freezer as well. The avocado is always a great addition in a salad and I created an oil free BBQ based salad dressing because I didn’t think the ones I had would taste very good with the BBQ sauce.

Remember, make a huge salad, toss it dry, and then you can add the dressing to your own salad bowl so that you can have leftover salad the next day and it won’t be soggy. Josh is having this leftover for lunch and I packed the dressing on the side.

BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad

1 bag spring mix lettuce (TJ’s) or whatever lettuce you prefer

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/2 cup roasted corn

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, cubed

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced cucumber

3 tbsp BBQ sauce (for chickpeas)

Seasoning for chickpeas- sprinkle with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and cumin.

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2.  Spread chickpeas on parchment and sprinkle with the above seasonings. Bake for 35-45 minutes until crispy and then let cool.
  3. Add lettuce to bowl then add other toppings.
  4. In a smaller bowl add chickpeas and mix with BBQ sauce then add to the middle of the salad.

Dijon BBQ Salad Dressing

4 tbsp BBQ sauce

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp coconut aminos

1-2 tbsp water to thin to the consistency of your liking

Crispy BBQ Tofu Salad

Crispy BBQ Tofu Salad

Crispy BBQ Tofu Salad

Everyone loves a BBQ saucy salad! This was very flavorful (Josh told me about 30 times he thought it was spicy), but I thought it had just the right amount of heat. It might have been from the new BBQ sauce or the brown mustard in the dressing? Not sure, but more leftovers for me! I made this recipe oil free and it turned out just as good. The tofu still got crispy, you just have to wait for it to cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes before you try to take it off and it releases easier. I also roasted some potatoes on the side, dry, with a blend of spices and they were just as great as normal. Who knew a salad had 15 grams of protein?? I didn’t! It was fresh, light, but still savory.

Crispy BBQ Tofu Salad

3 small heads of romaine lettuce, chopped

2 Persian cucumbers, halved and diced

handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 can of corn, drained and rinsed

1 lb organic extra firm tofu, drained and cubed

2 scallions, chopped thin

1/4 red onion, diced

Sprinkle of chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper for tofu

Sprinkle of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper for potatoes

1/4 c Annie’s organic sweet and spicy BBQ sauce

Smoky Mustard Maple Dressing (High Carb Hannah)

1 tbsp brown mustard

1 tbsp maple syrup

dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of BBQ sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and cube tofu and let it drain on a paper towel for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Prepare potatoes with spices and spread them out on half of a foil lined baking sheet and add to the oven to start roasting.
  3. After about 10 minutes, add the tofu to the other half of the baking sheet sharing with the potatoes and sprinkle with given spices. Bake for 40-45 minutes until crunchy.
  4. While they’re baking, chop all of the other ingredients for the salad, add to a bowl, and make the dressing.
  5. Take tofu and potatoes out of the oven and let them cool for 5-10 minutes before you try to remove them off the pan to prevent ripping.
  6. Add tofu to bbq sauce and toss to coat. Add to the salad and keep potatoes as a side.
  7. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy the rainbow!

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

In the dead of winter I’m not in the mood for a traditional cold salad. After a long day I want to sit down to a warm meal, but I’m also trying to make healthy plant based dishes so when I saw a recipe for a warm quinoa salad on Pinterest I wanted to give it a go. All of the ingredients made a delicious combination, but I made a few changes to the original. Instead of sautéing the ingredients in a pan, I wanted the crispiness of roasted vegetables because I like cooking veggies that way the best so the squash and kale were still crispy and tender inside. I always have to roast more kale than needed because I always have to eat some right off the pan while it’s still super crunchy. Yum! It gave the salad a nice texture and with the craisins and pecans it was a great mixture with the blandness of quinoa. Instead of their dressing, I made up my own because I love the flavor of Dijon mustard and maple syrup with the savory squash so I thought it would be perfect for this salad and I didn’t want to use that much olive oil. It came together really quickly, due to Trader Joe’s amazing pre- cleaned and diced veggies and frozen quinoa, so it was a great weeknight meal and it was packed with flavor.

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

Serves 3-4

1 bag of diced butternut squash

1 bag frozen quinoa, TJ’s ( 2 cups?)

Half a large bag of kale

2 tbsp Craisins

Small handful of halved raw pecans, toasted

1/4 red onion, diced

Maple Mustard Dressing

I’m approximating because I tend to just add things together until it tastes how I planned for it to, so taste as you go. It was sweet and slightly spicy.

3 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Water until thin enough for dressing

Maple Mustard Dressing

Maple Mustard Dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375* and spray a baking sheet. Spread cubed Butternut Squash on half and then top with a little sprayed olive oil, salt and pepper. Put it in the oven to start cooking. (10-15 min)

2. Cook frozen quinoa in the microwave and let sit.

3. Mix all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

4. Add kale to the other half of the baking sheet and spray with olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Bake vegetables for another 10 minutes.

5. When vegetables are crispy and cooked through, combine all ingredients and drizzle about 4 tsp of dressing and mix together. Eat while warm.

Walnut, Avocado, and Marinated Portobello Salad

Walnut, Avocado, and Marinated Portobello Salad

Walnut, Avocado, and Marinated Portobello Salad

My cousins gave me the Oh She Glows Cookbook for Christmas and since I follow her blog, I was really excited to try out her recipes. I tried out two yesterday and it was the day after Christmas, and I made the baked oatmeal for breakfast today. Too eager? I think not.

Usually on 40* nights in December I’m not in the mood to have a salad, but after a weekend of rich food and desserts I was craving something light and healthy. This salad looked like it was hearty enough for a cold night with the grilled veggies, but light enough to feel good about it. I would recommend it if you’re also in a holiday food coma to change things up. Here’s the recipe from the cookbook if you want to try this out.

Another challenge- getting Louis off the food so that I can take a picture.

Black Bean Taco Salad

This is everything you want in a salad. It’s filling enough to make you feel satisfied, and it has so many colors and flavors to appeal to all of your senses. We’ve been trying to incorporate more salads into our weekly meals and still feel like we can have something yummy at the end of a long work day.

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

½ red onion, diced

10-15 grape tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, diced

½ red pepper, diced

¾ c carrots, diced

2 Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced

2 heads of romaine lettuce

Fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

4 tbsp salsa

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add black beans into a saucepan with ½ of the red onion and spices to cook through.
  2. While beans are warming, chop all of the ingredients and place them into a bowl. I like to separate them around the bowl for some eye candy!
  3. Add the warmed beans into the salad bowl and then top with fresh cilantro and salsa as your dressing.
  4. Add some crushed tortilla chips on top for a crunch!