An Ode to Crunchy Herb Croutons

I am about to make you really uncomfortable. That’s right. I’m going to force you to read my horrendous poetry. Perhaps not my best judgement to write an Ode to Crunchy Herb Croutons, but I did it anyway. Laugh, cry, weep, guffaw, let your emotions be what they may.  And now, without further ado…

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Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

No creamy dressings for me! Yes, you saw that correctly, I said “no creamy dressings for me!” Well, let me backtrack a little…

Back in the good old 1990’s and early 2000’s fat was BAD. Like really BAD. Like if you even thought about adding avocado to something, people would scorn you. So sad, right? Indeed, it was a sad time, because during that time, I decided to give up some pretty yummy foods.

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Mango Edamame Salad

Eat More Salad + Mango Edamame Salad Recipe

I know, that sounds a little bossy, “eat more salad!” But, I really think you should. Why? Well, because my guess is that you’re not eating as many servings of fruits and vegetables as you should!

Oh, don’t get upset, I’m not mad at you, I’m just trying to bring some awareness to what you’re putting in that body of yours. The statistics back me up when I say that you’re not getting enough – to the tune of that 85% of us aren’t getting our 2 1/2-cup equivalent servings of vegetables each day! Don’t believe me? The newest Dietary Guidelines for Americans discusses our deficit and encourages us to shift to a diet that places more focus consuming vegetables.

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Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberry Dressing

Spinach + Macerated Strawberries = Yummy Salad

It’s probably not too shocking to hear that I love salads. But, let me clarify, I like salads that have lots of flavor and that satisfy. So if I’m building a salad, rest assured that it will taste good, be nutritious and leave you feeling content – like a happy little rabbit. Guaranteed then, that this Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberry dressing will leave your little white tail twitching with joy.

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Eat This! Grilled Flank Steak Salad with Ginger-Wasabi Dressing

Gluten-Free Delicious-ness + A Grilled Flank Steak Recipe

It’s that time again, time for me to tell you what to eat. The current issue of Eating Well features my Gluten Free eating plan that’s around 1500 calories and loaded with flavor (how does a grilled flank steak salad sound?) and fantastic nutrition (loads of veggies, fruits and whole grains!). For those among you who have celiac disease or suffer with gluten sensitivity, this meal plan was designed just for you. I know it can be hard to be creative when faced with food restrictions, so I’ve done the work for you. 

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French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese

Easy.

That’s what everyone wants right, for everything in life to be a little easier? No lines at the post office, no red lights on the way to work or perhaps someone around who can clean your house and do your laundry? Well, sure that would be fine and wonderful, but it’s just not possible. The good news though? There is one area of your life that I can assure you can be easier, and that’s meal preparation.

“How?” you ask.

Just ask my friends at the Recipe Redux. The theme this month is simplicity and simplicity to them means recipes that contain less than 7 ingredients. Brilliant! My recipe for this month is super easy. I start with French green lentils, which are earthy and delicious and hold their shape and texture well. Then, I add fresh veggies in the way of bell peppers, cucumber and spinach. I jazz it up with a little fresh parsley and feta cheese and then use simple vinaigrette-based salad dressing to put that exclamation point on EASY! And there you go, in just about 30 minutes, you’ve made an amazing lentil salad that is not only delicious, but nutritious. Bravo!

And when you’re done making this recipe, check out the recipes below for more inspiration. They’re all super delicious and nutritious, less than 7 ingredients and EASY!

And Here are the Pretty Pictures of my French Lentil Salad:

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French Lentil Salad with Spinach and Feta Cheese


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A simple, yet elegant salad made with green French lentils, fresh spinach, cucumbers, parsley and feta cheese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green or French lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup seeded, diced cucumber
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, cleaned, dried and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinaigrette or Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Place lentils in a medium-size pot and add water to cover by about 2 inches. Set pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir in salt and continue to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Spread on a sheet pan to cool or, rinse in cool water.
  2. To a large salad bowl, add the cooled lentils, spinach, bell pepper, cucumber, parsley, feta cheese and cooled lentils. Drizzle dressing over the vegetables and lentils, then toss to combine. Add salt and black pepper, if desired.

Notes

  • Makes 4 1/2 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 307
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 23
  • Protein: 10
  • Cholesterol: 7

Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


It’s time to break out the salad bowl!

And it’s time to switch things up a bit. Yes, romaine is good and so are tomatoes and all of the other “usual” salad suspects, but why not try something new? What would you say to Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette?

“That’s too fancy!” Is that perhaps your answer? I sure hope not because that’s just not true. Yes, it may sound fancy, but the ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy. See, not fancy at all!

My new salad obsession just happens to begin with my favorite green, baby arugula. There’s just something special about that little green leaf. It’s just so….spicy and interesting. And I like my food spicy and interesting! When you pair arugula with dried chopped apricots (for a little sweetness), sliced apples, pistachios, feta cheese and champagne vinaigrette, you’ve got a unique salad that is incredibly interesting (and nutritious).

So bust out that bowl and salad tongs and get mixing!

The Pretty Pictures of My Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette:

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Arugula Salad with Apricots and Champagne Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

Arugula tastes divine tossed with dried apricots, pistachios, fresh apple and a crisp champagne vinaigrette!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula, washed (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium apple, cored and sliced into thin strips or julienned (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, diced (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped (1 ounce)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar. Pour in the olive oil and whisk until combined. Stir in the dried thyme.
  2. To a large salad or mixing bowl, add the baby arugula along with the apple, apricots, feta cheese and pistachios. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  3. Portion onto plates and enjoy!

Notes

  • Make it meal! Just add sliced chicken or garbanzo beans.
  • Recipe makes about 3 tablespoons dressing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 175
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 171
  • Fat: 12
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 14
  • Protein: 4
  • Cholesterol: 8

Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

Chickpeas are your new best friend…

Why? Because they are awesome for you nutritionally (high in fiber, plenty of amazing vitamins and minerals, vegetarian protein, etc) and they taste great so many different ways.

Think I’m just pulling a crazy dietitian stunt on you?

No way! I love tasty food just as much, if not more, than you do. I would never recommend a food that I didn’t deem “tasty.” Now way!

But why chickpeas Sara?

Chickpeas are the underdog in the bean world seeming to only really be appreciated for their necessity in making hummus. Boo to that I say! Chickpeas belong front and center and here’s just the dish that does that.

Meet my Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing!

This salad is booming with flavor and it’s not only craveable, it’s addicting. Nothing beats lots of fresh parsley and lemon and when you add in creamy tahini, you’ve got a dressing that really shines.

So here you go my friends, my Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing!

 

And here are the pretty pictures:

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Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing


  • Author: Sara Haas

Description

A refreshing, yet hearty salad made with chickpeas, bell peppers, parsley all tossed in a tangy lemon-tahini dressing.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1cup)
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In the bottom of a mixing bowl whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice and honey. Add the olive oil and continue whisking until combined, then add the water. Toss in the chickpeas, bell pepper, red onion and parsley and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Notes

  • Makes about 3 cups

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 198
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 237
  • Fat: 8
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 28
  • Protein: 7
  • Cholesterol: 0

Greek Pasta Salad Recipe

I am trying something new. I know you’re busy, and there are likely times that you don’t even read my blog posts. Don’t worry, I’m not mad, I totally get it. You just want the recipe. I’m excited to start off  this series with a simple recipe for Greek Pasta Salad.

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Recipe Redux: Lacinato Kale Salad with Peaches and Maple Vinaigrette

July is an amazing time of year in Chicago. The parks are bursting with activity, the pools are packed with every kid in the neighborhood and it seems like everyone is outside, enjoying every ray of sunshine. It’s a magical time of year here, and I love it. That energy always inspires me in the kitchen. I’ve long forgotten about those hearty winter dishes because my “palette” has been replaced with fresh, beautiful, summer produce.

That brings me to this month’s Recipe Redux theme, which is simply, use the beautiful produce that surrounds you to create a delicious dish. Challenge accepted! Seeing as I love a good salad, I turned my sights to one of my favorite greens, kale. Not just any kale though, dark green, dinosaur or lacinato kale. I love this type of kale, not just because it’s nutritious (that dark green color means it’s laden with good-for-you antioxidants!), but because it’s a bit sweeter and a little more tender than it’s conventional counterpart. It also makes a lovely salad when sliced into fun, thin little ribbons.

Kale is a good start, but then, what should I top it with? Well, of course more gorgeous produce! How about a bell pepper and oh, what about a delicious, ripe, juicy peach? And for a little crunch (and to get some healthy fats in there), how about some walnuts? Then, to keep things simple, a vinaigrette made with only five ingredients, all of which are kitchen staples. Success! (I forgot to mention the goat cheese, a definite necessity, don’t leave it out!)

Enjoy this lacinato kale salad with peaches and maple vinaigrette as a meal by topping it with grilled chicken or tofu. Or scoop it into bowls and serve it on the side with any summer meal. It can make a great appetizer too, a perfect starter that’s refreshing and just happens to be nutritious too!

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Lacinato Kale Salad with Peaches and Maple Vinaigrette


  • Author: Sara Haas
Scale

Ingredients

For the dressing

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad

  • 1 bunch (about 12 ounces) lacinato kale, thoroughly washed
  • 1 ripe peach, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and shallot. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil, mixing until combined.
  2. To make the salad: Remove the stems from the kale and reserve for another use (slice and use in a soup, for example). Thinly slice the kale leaves and place them in a large mixing bowl. Give the kale leaves a good massage with your hands to help soften them. Add half of the dressing and toss to coat. Let sit for about 10 minutes then add the peach slices, walnuts, shallot, pepper, goat cheese, along with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the remaining dressing and carefully toss everything together. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • This recipe makes about 8 cups of salad.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 5
  • Sodium: 78
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 12
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 13
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 5