Salads, Dressings & Extras

I love serving salads with dinner or for dinner, but let’s face it – you need to eat a ton of lettuce to approach the nutritional value of many other greens, and frankly, a plain old salad can get boring quickly. This is how we roll.

Check, too, under Vegetable and Fruit Sides for other “salad” like concoctions, salsas and sides.

Thoughts on Healthier, Less Expensive Salads: Think of salads as one of the ways to fill in the nutritional gaps of the day for yourself or your family. They’re also a great way to raid the fridge and making your own simple dressings will help cut down on additives and sugar.


Candied Pecans xCandied Pecans: For a special occasion, these Candied Pecans really dress up a salad and add just a touch of sweetness. They’re great for dessert, too, and a bit of spice can dress these up.

ChickpeasChickpeas: These are not your regular old Chickpeas! Steeped in herbs and aromatics as they cook, with all the helps and hints you’ll need to make the creamiest chickpeas ever.

croutons-xHome-made Croutons: Don’t settle for strange, dried up pieces of bread full of additives when home-made bread crumbs can be made in just minutes. Full of flavor, so delicious you’ll want to make extra.

Pickled BeetsOne Jar Pickled Beets: Here is a simple recipe for a single jar of pickled beets, not canned, but refrigerated. The brine can be brought back up to a boil to make another jar. Scroll to bottom of the post for recipe.

Oven Dried TomatoesOven Dried Sun-Dried Tomatoes: A real recipe will always vary, but this gives a few hints and tips to make yours a success. You’ll be eating them like candy, so make sure to save some for salads…

Oven TomatoesSlow Roasted Tomatoes: Have you had these little bits of deliciousness at a brew pub or in a pub style salad! Yeah, they take time, lots of time but are so worth it! Insanely good!


Grilled Sesame Chicken Salad1xA Trio of Asian Dressings: On my post for Asian Salad, you’ll find three different dressings – one to satisfy whatever mood you’re in from sweet to sassy, all the way up to spicy.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing: Perfectly healthy and perfectly good; make it as thick or thin as you’d like, just make it! Five minutes to whip up this luscious dressing in your blender or food processor.

catalina dressing xCatalina Dressing: Since my preferred childhood dressing was “Western,” it was a natural transition to a Catalina. Not quite as thick and definitely not as sweet as Western, this is a slightly tangy.

Classic VinaigretteClassic Vinaigrette for Savory or Fruit Salads: Just a plain and simple shake it up dressing that takes minutes to make. A real workhorse back pocket recipe to have on hand..

Creamy Lime Vinaigrette xCreamy Lime Vinaigrette: This garlicky lime vinaigrette can be shaken in a jar, but mix in the blender for the creamiest dressing – great on a salad, a sweet potato fry dip or on a sandwich.

Greek Dressing xGreek Dressing: There’s not much to making a simple, Greek vinaigrette. Often overlooked and forgotten, replaced by Italian, it is every bit as good, and I think, even better.

Honey Citrus DressingHoney Citrus Vinaigrette and Salad: A lovely salad, inexpensive whenever oranges are in season or on sale. This is one of the family’s favorite dressings. You can’t go wrong with this dressing.

lemon yogurt dressing xLemon Yogurt Dressing: A simple dressing born of necessity ended up being one of my all time favorites – I start with a bit of yogurt, add some olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon and some inspiration.

Melissa Darabian Mustard VinaigrettexMelissa D’Arabian’s Mustard Vinaigrette: Melissa said she begged the dressing off a French Bistro owner. Close to 300 controversial comments on Food Network, this is just delicious!

coleslaw xOld Fashioned Poppy Seed or Cole-Slaw Dressing: Simple, sweet & tangy, this is deceptively easy. Use poppy seeds for a green or fruit salad, caraway or celery for a cole-slaw.

Ranch, Easy Greek Yogurt: From a dressing to a condiment, it seems all America loves Ranch – here’s a healthy five minute number that you can whip up with what’s on hand.

051aRed Onion Vinaigrette: This is a tangy, bright vinaigrette that stands up very well to hearty salads full of grains, beans and roasted vegetables. Make extra – it just gets better as it sits!

sherry-vinaigrettexSherry Vinaigrette: Tart, tangy and contains a surpise! Dried berries flavor this bright dressing. Use it in Salads or Slaws, it just gets better as it sits! This is almost always in my fridge.

balsamic-dressingSimple Balsamic Vinaigrette: When just about any fuss or bother is too much, turn to this very basic, but very delish vinaigrette. A few simple ingredients are all it takes to make a marvelous dressing.

Sweet Sorghum VinaigretteSweet Sorghum Vinaigrette: This is a sweet, tart, richly flavored dressing with hints of apple cider- perfect for my Taphouse Salad but I’d put it on just about anything.

Balsamic2(1)The Most Amazing Balsamic Vinaigrette: A relative newcomer on the scene, Balsamic came on like wildfire, but so many of the bottled dressings are pricey and those that aren’t don’t taste great.

Thousand Island Dressing - Mac Sauce xThousand Island Dressing: A young friend refers to Thousand Island Dressing as “Mac” Sauce – she is only familiar with it on the McDonald’s Big Mac. Super easy to whip together.

Side Salads

Arugula & Peach Salad with Feta & BaconArugula & Peach Salad with Bacon & Feta: One wonderful combo of flavors and the dressing, made with vinegar & peach just brings the flavors home. I love it when fruit straddles the line between sweet & savory.

arugula-beet-goat-cheeseArugula, Goat Cheese & Beet Salad: A new fave, this has the most marvelous marinated beets, creamy goat cheese, dried cherries and pecans. Truly an awesome blend of flavor & texture.

Beet Goes On3The Beet Goes On: One gorgeous salad, but quite simple. Red or Bibb Lettuce, Red Onions and Ruby Red Roasted Beets (catching the theme, here?) punctuated by a few sprinkles of goat cheese.

bell-pepper-tomato-saladBell Pepper and Tomato Salad: This beautiful dish is a side and a salad all in one. The slightly sweet, tangy sauce brings out the best of even out of season or marginal tomatoes.

Cowboy Salad1Cowboy Caviar: A blend of black-eyed peas, peppers, corn in a gorgeous lightly pickled sauce. With a hint of tart, sweet and a touch of spice, this make ahead will be a hit at home or a potluck.

Broccoli Salad1Crazy Broccoli Salad: An oldie but a goodie, this one is lightened up just a bit. Crazy because who would eat Broccoli, bacon, raisins and cashews? Let’s say you’d be crazy not to!

Cucumber Salad with Asian FlavorsCucumber Salad with Asian Flavors: Very light, bright and refreshing with just a touch of heat; this is a gorgeous accompaniment to almost any rich, Asian dish. It’s almost close to a pickle.

Dried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado SaladDried Cranberry, Walnut & Avocado Salad: A gorgeous salad with a dressing that’s out of this world. This dressing has dried cranberries that adds an intense fruit flavor.

Fall Salad with Meta Given's Dressing xFall Salads with Meta Given’s Special Dressing: Fall Salads can support serious flavors, and serious flavors need something a bit more substantial than a light vinaigrette.

Wild Rice Harvest SaladHarvest Wild Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing: A new spin on a fall favorite, this is a great salad for a get together. Make your wild rice and freeze & toss it together easily!

Healthy Harvest Salad xHealthy Harvest Salad: So beautiful one might not notice this is healthy. Lovely for company, but don’t save this for special occasions – inexpensive, everyday ingredients are transformed.

Honey Citrus Vinaigrette1 xOrange, Avocado & Red Onion Salad: On the post for my Honey Citrus Vinaigrette, this is one of my favorite salads with Mexican food. The flavors are just so “right” and so clean with a spicy food.

Spring Mix Salad with Lemony White Balsamic DressingSpring Salad with Lemony White Balsamic & Grains: Quick and refreshing, this salad shines. Use my hint to freeze longer cooking grains in portions and they’re always available for a quick salad or side.

Classic PanzanellaUpdated Panzanella: One gorgeous salad full of home-made toasted croutons, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion & basil. The dressing is a combo of balsamic and red wine and complements it beautifully.

Bleu Cheese DressingWedge Salad with Bleu Cheese Dressing: A serious dressing makes a fun salad! Rich and thick and just perfect over a crispy ice-berg lettuce, this is a great starting point for all kinds of add-ons!

Fruit Salads

Citrus Vanilla Fruit SaladCitrus Vanilla Fruit Salad: I made this one summer and couldn’t stop! So simple, so easy to vary, I think you’ll fall in love, too. Perfect for a potluck or make the dressing and drizzle at will over any fruits you have.

Lemon Poppy Seed Fruit Salad xLemon Poppy Seed Fruit Salad: So simple it’s hardly a recipe, this combination of fruit and dressing is fantastic. Honeydew, Strawberries and Blueberries napped in a lemon yogurt dressing.

Pina Colada Fruit SaladPina Colada Fruit Salad: A handful of ingredients transforms fruit in minutes to a lovely salad. You’ll literally want to eat it and lap up any remaining juices. Leftovers make great smoothies.

Watermelon Yogurt SaladWatermelon Yogurt Salad: So easy, it’s hardly a recipe but so good I thought I just HAD to post it. Watermelon and yogurt form the base, delish as it, but it can be dressed up.


Creamy ColeslawCreamy Coleslaw: A beautiful blend of cabbage, carrot and a simple dressing. No need for fancy procedures, just use healthy yogurt, sour cream & a mayo combo for this simple, tangy & fresh salad.

Red Cabbage SlawRed Cabbage Slaw: Moroccan flavors brighten up this lovely, tangy slaw. Dried berries, honey, cumin and cayenne form the base, punctuated by bright mint and almonds.

Mexican Slaw xRed Cabbage Slaw, Mexican Style: Bright, fresh, delicious, use this as a side for anything Mexican. It has a little zip and a bright lime tang with just a hint of honey; goes particularly well with fish tacos.

Shaved Broccoli Salad2Shaved Broccoli Salad with Apple & Tarragon: Salad or Slaw? Either way you think of it, you’ll be coming back for more of this slightly different and absolutely delish concoction. Cool, Crisp and tasty!

shaved-brussels-sprouts3xShaved Brussels Sprouts Salad: This gorgeous salad has Feta, dried berries and almonds with a tangy Sherry Vinaigrette. It will take through the year! Healthy and delicious!

vaguely-vietnamese-slaw-2Vaguely Vietnamese Slaw: Fun flavors with just a hint of chili punch, the dressing has that sweet/sour flavor you’ll find in many restaurant dipping sauces. It’s fun and flavorful.

vinegar-based-cole-slaw-2Vinegar Based Cole-Slaw, Red or Green: One of my favorite slaws for a side or on top of pulled pork sandwiches is this simple Slaw. Sweet & tangy, refreshing! Great for picnics or outdoor with no mayo worries.

Pasta Salads

macaroni saladClassic Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad: Make this with or without tuna for a simply scrumptuous summer main dish or side. This one turns out perfectly every single time.

Cold Asian Peanut Noodle Salad: An amazing dish made with ingredients you probably have on hand! Easy, fresh, delicious and perfect for a picnic, potluck or family dinner.

pesto pasta salad xPesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables: A main dish Salad that will simply “wow” you. Jumping with flavor, this salad is heavy on the veggies (which are a great side on their own) and light on the Pasta.

Main Dish Salads

Grilled Sesame Chicken SaladxAsian Styled Salad with 3 Dressings: A gorgeous salad will cost you a fraction of a drive through number and less than that of any cafeteria style salad – plus this one ups the nutritional value.

California Steak Salad with Sweet/Spicy Asian Vinaigrette: A great way to use the leftovers from a London Broil, but ad lib and use what you have. This is a salad that lets the steak shine.

Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries & PecansChicken Salad with Dried Cherries & Pecans: or perhaps cranberries and your favorite nut! Make it yogurt, mayo or a combination & this is a lovely salad or sandwich filling.

Chipotle's Chicken Burrito Bowl xChipotle Chicken Salad Bowl: My son is wild about Chipotle Chicken and orders it as often as he can get there. And he isn’t the only one that likes Chipotle. Here’s my version of the salad bowl.

fruited-chicken-salad-xFruited Chicken Salad: This lovely salad perhaps doesn’t even need a recipe – it’s an ideal use of a left over roasted chicken breast, or a great excuse to roast some. This one’s healthed up a bit.

Grilled Asparagus & Quinoa xGrilled Asparagus & Quinoa Salad: A gorgeous “Salad” this is really a light vegetarian meal, protein packed and full of lovely things – but feel free to add a lovely piece of Salmon or other fish if you’d like.

Grilled Cajun Chicken SaladGrilled Cajun Chicken Salad: Just the right amount of spice and a healthy yogurt buttermilk dressing to cool things down. A handful of toasted pecans and a special surprise ingredient!

Irish Pub Salad2Irish Pub Salad & Dressing: The dressing seems to be a play on Heinz Salad Cream and the salad easily bridges the gap between Winter & Spring. I LOVE this salad – easily a meal!

DSCN7313aRoasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad: With or without chicken, this is a hearty, tasty and protein packed option for a vegetarian meal. Make your own chickpeas for the best flavor.

Grilled Southwestern Lime Chicken BreastsSouthwestern Lime Chicken: Sliced or chunked, bell peppers, avocado, tomato and the Creamy Lime Vinaigrette, this makes a great main dish salad. Save time & make extra chicken just for the salad.

Southwestern Quinoa SaladxSouthwestern Quinoa Salad: This is a gorgeous, zesty, flavorful salad full of healthy ingredients. Simple, easy and quick it can double as a vegetarian main dish easily.

Southwestern Steak Salad: Is this ever good & there’s something for everyone. Steak. Greens. Roasted Corn Salsa. Tortilla Strips & an Avocado Dressing! And flavor, flavor, flavor!

spinach-quinoa-salad-xSpinach Quinoa Salad with Garbanzo & Candied Pecans: A gorgeous salad filled with all kinds of things: Gorgeous Spinach, blueberries, Garbanzo and Quinoa. The dressing is out of this world.

Taphouse SaladTaphouse Salad: This extravaganza has it all – a Smashburger, Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Pan Roasted Mushrooms & Onions and a Sweet Sorghum Vinaigrette – a Brew House Specialty at home!

Tuna with Bean & Tomato2Tuna with Bean and Tomato Salad: This main dish salad has all the appeal of a Nicoise, but is perhaps a bit healthier. The simple lemony vinaigrette has a touch of anchovy, but don’t be put off, it’s a secret.

Wild Rice Chicken SaladWild Rice Chicken Salad: A favorite salad full of chicken, nutty wild rice, waterchestnuts, grapes & cashews – taste & texture are gorgeous; it transitions beautifully from summer to fall.

Wilted Kale Salad xxWilted Kale Salad with Acorn Squash and Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette: So I’m not that fond of Butternut Squash and Kale can be a bit difficult to pass off, but this salad transforms it all! Try it, you’ll like it!

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