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Entries in Salad (14)


Meal Planning #3

I am doing weekly meal plans in our house and am serving up a lot of tasty dishes each night, however I can't seem to get my act together to do a downloadable grocery list and recipe sheet each week for you guys. In an effort to still share the recipes I'm making, I am just going to do a modified version - complete with (at minimum) a link to the recipes I use to base the meals off, and if it's a good week, you'll get the modified version typed out on here.

On another note - while planning meals may take a bit of extra time up front - it without a doubt makes the week easier and greatly reduces the cost of our grocery bill. I mix and match recipes that require a lot of new ingredients with those that require minimal, cheap ingredients or only require things I have stockpiled in the house. I try and do 1 fish dish, 2 meat, 2 vegetarian, and 1 salad or pasta. As I've said before, the 7th night is reserved for leftovers or eating out. This system seems to work well and provides us with a wide range of meals. I find if I spend 30-45 minutes selecting recipes and putting together a grocery list, I can do my shopping in 45 minutes too - which, as I have quickly learned, is crucial when toting around a 2.5 month old.

Without further ado, Meal Planning #3:

1. Mayoless Pasta Salad from Skinnytaste.com

2. Zucchini Lasagna from Skinntyaste.com

(Make sure you let the zucchini sit with salt on it for at least 30 minutes to remove the moisture. Otherwise your lasagna comes out very watery!)

3. Orzo with Feta, Basil & Shrimp from William Sonoma

4. Herb Grilled Chicken from Fine Cooking & baked sweet potato on the side

(Using a fork, puncture sweet potato with holes. Place sweet potato in microwave in 2 minute intervals, rotating at each point. It should take 4-6 minutes for a single sweet potato to cook.)

5. Simple salad with Creamy Hummus Dressing from Simple Food Healthy Life

(My very basic salad consists of red leaf lettuce, diced tomatos, onions, and peppers, and a bit of cheese.)


Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing and a Oxo Salad Spinner Review and Giveaway

First things first, a sald spinner may seem like one of those superfluous gadgets but it's not. It is such a helpful thing to have on hand and it doubles as a great storage tool for a large, premade salad. Oxo's Good Grips salad spinner is the perfect spinner to have on hand. It is big, but not too big. The clear bowl works well as a serving dish so that you don't have to transfer your salad to yet another bowl. It works like this: chop your lettuce or put in pre-chopped lettuce or spinach (or any other leafy greens for that matter), run it under the tap, pop the top on and lock it, push the knob to get things spinning and then press the little rubber button to stop the spinner. Empty out the water in the main bowl and repeat a second time. Dump the water one more time and transfer the salad out of the strainer into the clear bowl. When you are ready to store, simply put the top on, lock it and refrigerate. Really, it doesn't get much simpler than this. Plus, the whole thing - top, strainer, and bowl - are all dishwasher safe. Well thanks to Oxo, I have one of their Large Salad Spinners to giveaway to a lucky SFHL reader.

I also have a fabulous Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing recipe I made and served over a spinach salad with shallots, mushrooms, fresh sliced strawberries and a bit of crumbled feta. Of course the spinach was cleaned and subsequently stored in my Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner. Here's what you need:

Strawberry Basil Salad Dressing

  • 1.5-2 cups strawberries, de-stemmed and halved
  • 4 large leaves basil
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix and puree until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. 
  2. Serve over fresh baby spinach, chopped baby bella mushrooms, diced onion or sliced shallots, thinly sliced strawberries and freshly crumbled feta.
  3. Enjoy!

Okay, so now you want to know how to win a Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner? It's pretty simple. There is one mandatory entry and five additional, optional entries. Leave a separate comment for each of the entries and make sure to include your email address so that I can contact the winner. The giveaway will end Sunday, April 11 at 11:59p.m. I will select a winner using random.org next Monday, April 12 and you will have 24 hours to respond before I pick a new winner.

  1. MANDATORY ENTRY: Leave a comment telling me what your favorite salad or salad dressing is. Recipes are always appreciated! 
  2. Like Simple Food Healthy Life on facebook.
  3. Like Oxo on facebook.
  4. Follow Simple Food Healthy Life on twitter.
  5. Follow Oxo on Twitter.
  6. Tweet the following message: I entered to win an @Oxo Salad Spinner from @smplfdhlthylfe. Enter to win at http://ow.ly/9Xbmz by Sunday, April 11 at 11:59p.m. Please RT.

Disclaimer: Oxo provided the Good Grips Salad Spinner to review at no cost. No additional compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.


Healthy Tomato Remoulade Chickpea Salad

I was reading a magazine the other day and saw a great idea: chickpea salad made like chicken salad. Not sure why I didn't think of that. I grew up having chicken salad constantly. My mom used to make it all different ways, but one of my favorites was (and still is) chicken mixed with a bit of mayo, red wine vinegar, dijon, almond slivers and red grapes (halved). Why should I deprive myself of this favorite meal, just because I choose not to eat meat very often. As always, chickpeas come to the rescue. Chickpeas are kind of the superhero of the vegetarian world. They go in and with anything. Anyways, I had every intention of making a light mayo based chickpea salad, grapes and all, for lunch this weekend. However, I made a tomato remoulade for pan seared scallops on Saturday night and the remoulade was just so tasty. I decided since it had almost all the  ingredients I would put in a regular chicken salad with the positive addition of grape tomatoes, why not mix it with slightly mashed chickpeas. I did and the result was perfect. I had it with some fresh romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes one day and atop a piece of homemade bread on another day.

Healthy Tomato Remoulade Chickpea Salad

Tomato Remoulade

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a Vitamix (or blender) and puree. Start on Variable, 1 and immediately increase to 10, switching to High for 30 seconds.
  2. Place in a container to cool.
  3. Excess sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Chickpea Salad

  • 14 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of tomato remoulade sauce
  1. Place drained and rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl. Using a potato masher (or backside of a fork), mash the chickpeas slightly. I chose to have them half mashed and hallf whole, though you could certainly mash them entirely or leave them completely whole. 
  2. Mix in 1/4 cup of tomato remoulade with the mashed chickpeas. If you wish, add more remoulade 1 tablespoon at a time until you are satisfied.
  3. Eat plain, atop romaine lettuce or on an open face sandwich.

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

There's nothing quite like a fresh, juicy mango to make your mouth water. And few things go better together than black beans and tropical fruit, i.e. chunks of mouthwatering mango. Add to that, my current favorite grain, quinoa, and you're guaranteed to have a winning combo. Quinoa is a grain-like crop, more closely related to beets and spinach than cereal grains. It is amino-acid rich, meaning it is protein filled, containing all nine essential amino acids. In addition, quinoa is magnesium rich, aiding in the prevention of migraines and the improvement of cardiovascular health.  There are multiple varieties of quinoa, the most common being a yellow/gold quinoa, red quinoa and a tri-color quinoa. All are good and all can be used for this recipe. I use a 1:1.5 ratio for quinoa to liquid when cooking my quinoa and tend to cook it for about 30 minutes. I like it when it pops in my mouth which is why I gravitated towards less liquid (similar to al dente pasta). If you want it thoroughly cooked, add another 1/4-1/2 cup of liquid to your quinoa. Simply mix the quinoa, black beans, and mango with a bit of olive oil, red wine vineagar and salt. Chill it for 30 minutes and serve as a filling side dish or an even better lunch.

Black Bean and Mango Quinoa Salad

Servings: 4 people side dishes for dinner, 2 main meal lunches

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 14 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Rinse your quinoa (unless using pre-rinsed quinoa). Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and run water over it.
  2. Place water and quinoa in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir occassionaly so that quinoa doesn't stick. Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and quinoa has popped, roughly 25-30 minutes.
  3. Place quinoa in a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Cut mango into small pieces. Here is a great tutorial on how to easily cut mango.
  5. Drain and rinse black beans.
  6. Remove quinoa from the refrigerator and mix in black beans, mango, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt. Toss thoroughly.
  7. Refrigerate until cool.

Tomato and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

I posted this recipe for quinoa patties the other day. In it I proclaimed my past skepticism for quinoa and my new love for it. With some leftover quinoa from the patties, I had made a little quinoa salad. Some craisins, a tiny bit of olive oil and some chopped walnuts were perfect. Really. In my quest to create even more salads using quinoa, I created this one. I ditched the olive oil and instead used apple cider vinegar. I added some chickpeas, fresh tomatoes, parsley, cumin, nutmeg and coriander. Using 1.25 cups of quinoa meant that we had a TON of this salad leftover. Normally (and unfortunately), that means some of it goes to waste. Not this time. I ate every. last. drop. of this salad. Yup. It was just that good.

Tomato and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Servings: 6-8

Serving size: approximately 1/2 cup

Served with Sweet Potato and Red Bean Burgers

  • 1.25 cups quinoa
  • 2.25 cups water
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1-14 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Place quinoa and water in a large pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to low and cover. Cook for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Drain any excess water (though there shouldn't be any leftover). Place quinoa in a large bowl and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients with the quinoa. 
  4. Top with freshly grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Optional.
  5. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.