Ribbon sliced vegetables in an Asian dressing is light and refreshing. This Sesame, Carrot, & Cucumber Salad is perfect for warmer weather and also a delicious change from a traditional salad.
Utilize your vegetable peeler a little more than just removing the skin. No need for a fancy spiralizer. Simply continue to peel using your vegetable peeler to create delicate vegetable ribbons.
What are English Cucumbers?
I specifically used English cucumbers in this recipe. Why? Because English cucumbers (also known as burp-less, seedless, or hothouse cucumbers) taste is less bitter than conventional cucumbers, are milder and almost have a hint of sweetness. You can find them in the produce aisle wrapped in plastic. Conventional cucumbers are waxed protecting their skin, whereas English cucumbers are not and have a thinner more delicate skin that is protected by the wrapping.
Switch it up from your traditional lettuce-based salads and try something new! This quick and easy Sesame, Carrot, & Cucumber Salad is perfect to switch up your salad game in the warmer months.
Want to turn it more into a meal? Try adding shrimp on top.
Salads don’t have to be boring! By adding cooked and raw elements like in this Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad can elevate any salad experience.
There is nothing worse when trying to enjoy a kale salad and your jaw becomes numb with all the chewing. It’s most likely that the kale wasn’t treated properly. Kale is very fibrous, but the simple technique of massaging kale can change your whole kale salad experience. I’ve talked all about this already here.
Salads don’t have to be boring! Mix and match with various
food groups, flavors, and textures. I like to add both raw and cooked elements
to add different depths of flavor.
Perfectly roasted sweet potatoes provide additional
sweetness from their caramelization.
Tips to perfectly roast vegetables:
Cut vegetables approximately the same size. This will prevent smaller pieces from overcooking and larger pieces not being cooked through.
Don’t overdo it on the oil. One tablespoon of olive oil is enough for a full tray of vegetables. Instead of drizzling the oil when the vegetables are already on the sheet pan, toss in a large bowl then place vegetables on the sheet pan. This will ensure all vegetables are evenly coated.
Don’t crowd the pan. Vegetables should be an even layer on the sheet pan. Overcrowding can result in the vegetables steaming rather than roasting.
Stop stirring. Simply flip vegetables halfway through the cooking process. Constant stirring won’t allow the vegetables to caramelize evenly on each side.
Looking for easy cleanup. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a little meal prep, this salad can come together in minutes. Roast sweet potatoes in advance, wash and chop kale, batch cook quinoa, and make the dressing. By getting the prep process started earlier on can help put meals together in minutes. With kale being very fibrous, it lasts longer in the refrigerator. I wash and chop kale for the week and store it in a breathable produce bag. Then, I can easily prepare a salad; add it to a smoothie, or sauté for a quick side dish.
Have you ever notices kale that has been sitting in the refrigerator for a longer period of time, the edges start to turn an orange/yellow color. Yes, the kale is aging, but it’s not going bad. As kale ages, the deep green chlorophyll color begins to fade and the vitamin A & C colors shine through. Kale is an excellent source of Vitamins A & C.
In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add to the baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through until sweet potatoes have caramelized and are fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, add the kale and massage to become tender. Add the sweet potatoes, quinoa, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Toss to combine.
In a mason jar, combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and maple syrup. Secure lid and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.
The addition of feta cheese to this salad is great if desired.
Play around with this salad combination. For a more filling meal add protein, like beans, grilled chicken, shrimp, etc. Switch up the dressing. Add fresh fruit, like pears, apples, or pomegranate seeds too.
Have you ever had one of those aha moments at work where you just feel like, this is what I was meant to be doing? When I was younger and was asked, what do you want to be when you grow up, my answer wasn’t a dietitian/chef. Yes, I always loved cooking, but honestly, my response was less than typical than my other classmates who wanted to be teachers, police officers, and doctors. Mine was a whale trainer. Yup. I loved animals (and still do!) and became fascinated with orca whales when I was in 2nd grade.
So how did I get here? Well honestly, as a senior in high school I was like many others – I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was interested in plenty of careers, but nothing stood out to me to directly pursue. Since I was really unsure, I was looking at colleges that had a variety of offerings, but honestly, I really wanted to play a sport and Cabrini college was talking to me about playing field hockey. I went into my first year at Cabrini with a major in Health Professions.
As I was completing my gen-ed courses I started taking courses for my major and looking into the future with that major, I was thinking of all the things I wanted to do, but wouldn’t be able to pursue with just that degree. Along with a brutal first year at college (that is a whole other crazy story), I decided to leave Cabrini.
That summer was difficult. I felt lost. I definitely had the support of my friends and family during this time trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. It was to my benefit that my mom is a high school guidance counselor and has the inside scoop about a plethora of colleges as she helps high school seniors apply to college. When my mom suggested Johnson & Wales University, I was skeptical. Culinary school? But then I learned about their culinary nutrition program and I fell in love. I was always drawn to the health professional field and being able to merge my love of cooking with nutrition seemed like the perfect fit. I literally applied (and got in!) about a week before the semester started. Talk about fast decisions!
I look back on that summer and remind myself that whenever in a tough situation, things will work out and never settle for anything that doesn’t make you happy. I truly appreciate the opportunities I have within the culinary nutrition field. It feels like this is what I was meant to be doing. I hope my passion is transferred over to others when I present on culinary nutrition topics and demonstrations.
I love my job!
Last month I spent two days with Cabot and the NY American Dairy Council providing cooking demonstrations and cooking tips to Giant supermarket RD’s how to utilize seasonal fall ingredients, and of course Cabot cheese! They are gearing up for diabetes awareness month in November, so I helped develop educational materials and recipes to fit within their themes.
Traveling and presenting to other RD’s was definitely an aha moment feeling. Not many RD’s have a strong culinary background or had the opportunity to go to culinary school as I did.
HOW TO BUILD A POWER BOWL WITH BALANCE
I had a lot of fun developing this recipe. Whenever you build a power bowl or nourish bowl (whatever you choose to call it), think about balance. Balancing food groups to be more full and satisfying. Balancing textures and flavors so every bite is more exciting.
What I love about these bowls is that you can customize them so many ways and never get bored. Plus, if you spend a little time meal prepping ingredients in advance a fancy bowl with a plethora of delicious ingredients can come together in minutes.
1–2 cups baby kale 1/2 cup farro, cooked 1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed and roasted 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts, roasted 1 small apple, sliced 3 oz. grilled chicken, chopped 1 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed (I love Cabot’s 1/4 avocado, sliced 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
Dressing: 6 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 small garlic clove, pressed or minced 2 teaspoons maple syrup salt, to taste
For the dressing: In a mason jar, combine white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and maple syrup. Shake to combine. Season with salt to taste.
Add all ingredients into a bowl and toss together. Toss with salad dressing and serve.
The dressing will make extra. Save the remaining dressing for later use.
This recipe is great to prep all ingredients in advance and just toss together.
This Squash & Wheat Berry Salad captures all the different flavors of sweet, savory, tart, and nutty. Batch cook for the week for a satisfying meal or side dish.
One of my meal prep strategies is batch cooking at least one whole grain for the week. Then that whole grain is incorporated throughout the week in various ways.
I’ve been utilizing my Instant Pot to quickly batch cook grains for my weekly meal prep. Wheat berries can take up to an hour to cook and require you to keep a constant eye on them. Throw them into the Instant Pot and voila – done in half the time!
I’ve had a little extra time on my hands this week being completely snowed in the past two days. With an already prepped batch of wheat berries in my fridge, I utilized the ingredients in my kitchen to create this dish.
I feel like many of my recipes are like I am a contestant on Chopped. The items that are in my kitchen are my “mystery basket”. I must say it is a much easier mystery basket than what the contestants end up with. Chopped viewers voted, mashed potatoes candies were voted the weirdest basket ingredient on the show. What even are those?!
Squash season is not over yet! I love using delicata squash because of its more tender flesh and skin, making this variety easier to work with. No need to even peel the skin!
Cook wheat berries according to package directions (or try my Instant Pot Wheat Berries recipe for a simple method). Let cool once cooked.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dice delicate squash. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender and caramelized, stirring occasionally.
In a mason jar, combine remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup. Secure the mason jar lid and vigorously shake. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
In a large bowl, combine wheat berries, squash, kale, dried tart cherries, and sliced almond. Dress with salad dressing. Toss to combine.
Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette.
I don’t think people realize how EASY it is to make a homemade dressing. The most basic vinaigrette recipe is one part acid mixed with three to four parts base (oil). Then just add seasonings you enjoy. Simply pour ingredients into a mason jar and shake away. Your dressing is made! How easy was that? Plus, making it in a mason jar is ready to store any leftovers.
Serve up this fresh Spring Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. The big debate: Are you for fruit on a salad or against it? I am ALL about adding fruit to salad. I love that little sweet bite. While I know some others who are completely against it, arguing otherwise.
Why not get fruits and vegetables in all in one shot? Salads don’t have to be boring. Someone recently said to me, “Since you are a Registered Dietitian, you’re probably going to tell me to eat more salads right”? As a Registered Dietitian, I’ll encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables, that may be in the form of salad, but in other ways as well. The problem is “salad” sounds so boring. Unfortunately, most often the first thought of salad is the boring romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and maybe a few slices of cucumber.
The key to building a delicious salad is variety. Don’t get stuck with the same combination. Try adding different textures. I like to add roasted vegetables on top of a bed of greens to add an extra pop of flavor. Every week I roast a large tray of vegetables. Throughout the week they get tossed on salads, mixed into a stir fry or scrambled with eggs. That one meal prep solution has been a weekly staple for me.
I had the most delicious raspberry vinaigrette at a restaurant and I recreated my version for this salad. The sweetness naturally comes from fresh raspberries and balanced with white wine vinegar. Salad dressings are surprisingly very easy to make. This dressing can last for about a week in the refrigerator. Just give it a gentle shake before using.
While both articles are more about the traditional grilling fare, I tried something a little different – grilling romaine lettuce. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. If you want to try grilling leafy greens, use sturdier greens like romaine, cabbage, etc.
The key to this Caesar salad is the toppings. Skip the croutons and top with plant-based fiber packed roasted chickpeas and add creaminess with avocado.
The real star is the dressing! This combination of lemon, hummus, tahini, and the secret ingredient cashews combines to create a thick and creamy dressing, minus the unwanted saturated fats and replacing them with heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
As chickpeas are roasting, preheat grill to high. Spray cut, flat side of romaine hearts and place cut-side down on the grill. Grill for about 1-2 minutes until grill marks appear on lettuce. Flip and grill for an additional minute, to sear. Remove hearts to platter cut sides up.
For dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Drizzle romaine hearts with dressing and top with roasted chickpeas and avocado.
Store extra dressing in an airtight container.
Keywords: Salad, Caesar Salad, Grilling, Romaine, Tahini, Dressing, side dish
This Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is light and refreshing, being a perfect addition to your spring menu.
Now that the weather is finally warming up here in NJ, my cooking methods start to shift. Roasting is one of my favorite cooking methods for vegetables, but as the weather warms I begin to not use my oven as frequently.
All winter long I’ve been on a roasted broccoli kick. Broccoli was on my shopping list every week. I am surprised I didn’t get sick of it after a while. This time when I grabbed the broccoli from the fridge, I knew I wanted to do something different.
Instead of roasting this head of broccoli, this time I steamed it. Steaming was never my favorite until I figured out how to perfectly steam broccoli to my liking. Before steamed veggies would always be a little blah and mushy. I like a good crunch to them. Now I gently steam them, then shock them to keep their crisp.
Culinary term: Shocking
“Shocking” is a culinary term that refers to a rapid change in temperature, usually caused by plunging the food into an ice bath. It’s most often used with veggies that are being steamed or boiled.
Oh, don’t forget about the cauliflower. I steamed and shocked that too to keep some crunchy texture to those florets too. This salad is so refreshing and a perfect addition to your spring menu.
In a large pot, steam cauliflower and broccoli in a steamer basket for about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot and plunge in an ice bath or run under cold water (to stop the cooking process). Drain well and place in a large salad bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, dijon mustard, and season with salt and pepper.
Add red onion, almonds, and feta cheese to the broccoli and cauliflower. Toss together with the dressing.
Salad doesn’t have to be boring. Spruce up your salad with these 16 Sensational Salad recipes!
I typically pack a salad for work. I think it’s an easy (and delicious way) to help reach the recommended five fruits and vegetables per day. Salads do not have to be boring. I turned to some of my favorite bloggers to find sensational salads that can definitely make salads for lunch more exciting! Enjoy 🙂
Add a pop of color and fresh flavors with this Citrus Beet Salad with a Champagne Vinaigrette Dressing. One summer in high school, I worked for this catering company and they had this citrus salad on the menu that majority of customers ordered. One busy weekend, there a bunch of catering events scheduled and I was working the prep station, segmenting hundreds of citrus. I became pretty speedy at the process. By segmenting citrus away from the connective membrane makes it more tender and visually appealing, especially for a salad. Beets have a very distinct earthy flavor. By adding something acidic, like citrus fruit, it offsets it by giving the beets a sweeter note.
Beets contain two important nutrients that can help lower blood pressure: potassium and nitrate. Potassium works with sodium to maintain the volume of blood in circulation steady. More sodium in the body means more water, more blood volume and higher blood pressure. Consuming more potassium helps flush sodium out of our system, lowering blood pressure.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub beets clean under cold water. Wrap each beet in tin foil. Place on a baking sheet; bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size. Cool beets in packets, then rub off skins (use a paring knife for tough spots). Quarter each beet.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, champagne vinegar, honey, orange juice, salt, and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the beets and arugula. Drizzle half the vinaigrette over the beet arugula mixture and toss to combine.
Top with grapefruit segments, orange segments, and walnuts. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top. Garnish with orange zest.
Time-saving tip: Use Love Beets (See Supermarket RD’s Picks), which are already cooked and steamed.
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