Tag Archives: salad recipes

Kale Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Fruity Vinaigrette at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Kale & Grapefruit Salad with Warm Bacon-Wild Mushroom Dressing

Kale & Grapefruit Salad with Warm Bacon-Wild Mushroom Dressing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Grapefruit, Salmon, and Avocado Salad

Grapefruit Salmon and Avocado Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet- thismaacooks.com

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Brussels Sprout and Apple Slaw with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprout and Apple Slaw with Balsamic Vinaigrette from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad

Spicy Celery Root & Carrot Slaw Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad

Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad recipe from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet

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Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad

A healthy, gluten free Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thsimamacooks.com

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Flank Steak With Chickpea Arugula Salad

Flank Steak With Chickpea Arugula Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Sensational Summer Pasta for the Fourth from Holly Clegg

Sensational Summer Pasta for the Fourth from Holly CleggHere’s a Fourth of July guest post from Holly Clegg featuring a recipe from her new cookbook, Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC™ Eating Well To Fight Arthritis: 200 Easy Recipes and Practical Tips to Help Reduce Inflammation and Ease Symptoms [affiliate link]. Serve leftovers (if you have any) as a pasta salad the next day.

You can make this gluten free by using brown rice pasta. This is also perfect to serve as a Meatless Monday dish!

You can find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog.

Red, White and Blue

Fourth of July is right around the corner, and I wanted to share the perfect summer recipe to add to the red, white and blue festivities. For a classic, any-occasion dish the pasta salad is where it’s at – and this Sensational Summer Pasta does not disappoint, especially since it is “red and white!” Fresh ingredients at their best, ripe juicy tomatoes, basil, and creamy mozzarella, meld together for an all-star crowd favorite.

An easy tip to seed tomatoes - cut the tomato in half from side to side and gently squeeze the tomato to watch seeds easily pop out. Try growing basil in pots as it is fairly easy and nothing beats fresh basil in the summer! You can easily chop fresh basil by rolling it up and slicing it into pieces. If you don’t have fresh basil handy, you can use dried at a ratio of 3:1. In other words, 1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

Add a side of blueberries, or your favorite blueberry cobbler and you have a delicious red, white and blue spread! Highlighting the fresh ingredients of the season to accompany the meat you throw on the grill, this trim&TERRIFIC recipe is sure be worthy of the fireworks on those hot summer nights.

Sensational Summer Pasta for the Fourth from Holly Clegg

Sensational Summer Pasta

This is one of those times that fresh is best! A simple salad with summer ripe juicy tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella really rocks!!!


  • 4 cups coarsely chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn or chopped
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces bowtie or curly pasta


  1. In large serving bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, green onion, basil, cheese, and olive oil. Season to taste. Cover, and keep at room temperature at least 2 hours up to 6 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to tomato mixture.
Prep Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 servings
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 278
  • Calories from Fat: 97 (35%)
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated fat: 8g
  • Sodium: 19mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 12mg

Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat

Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.

Layered Mexican Christmas Eve Salad with Smoked Beets

Layered Mexican Christmas Eve Salad with Smoked Beets at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Meatless Monday: The Passionate Vegetable cookbook review and a recipe for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad #meatlessmonday #glutenfree

California Fiesta Quinoa Salad from The Passionate Vegetable cookbook

Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes  promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.

You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.

Summer salads

With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!

California Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Recipe from The Passionate Vegetable by Suzanne Landry from Health Inspired Publishing

Serves 6

Salad ingredients:The Passionate Vegetable

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4  teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4  cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
  • 1/2  cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1   teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2   tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt


  • Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed.  Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
  • Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds.  Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes.  This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
  • Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
  • Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together.  Toss lightly with salad.  Refrigerate for an hour before serving.  This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe and picture used with permission.

Support the Salad Bar Nation initiative to bring 2013 salad bars to schools

Salad Bar Nation raising funds for salad bars in schools

The Salad Bar Nation initiative by the Whole Kids Foundation is committed to improving the nation’s health by challenging Americans of all ages to eat a salad every day. A great idea in my opinion, because we all need more leafy greens and vegetables in our diets! They’re also utilizing text-to-give and online fundraising with the hopes of raising $5 million to fund 2,013 salad bars in schools across the country 2013. That’s is why I’m sharing the the infographic below, so you have some quick stats about Salad Bar Nation and the benefits of salad bars in schools.

In addition, to inspire you to eat more salads, the campaign’s website, SaladBarNation.org, is featuring a new salad each week along with simple healthy salad tips, so check it out! This week’s salad is the Mediterranean Crunch Salad – yummy!

Rigatoni-Turkey Salad

Get leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Make Rigatoni-Turkey Salad. Can be made with gluten free pasta, too! Get the recipe at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Coconut Quinoa Salad #meatlessmonday #glutenfree

Coconut Quinoa Salad

Here’s another wonderful gluten free recipe the folks at San-J sent me from Amie Valpone of The Happy Apple. It would make a terrific side dish most nights, but is perfect for Meatless Monday as a main dish since quinoa is an excellent source of vegetarian protein – just double the amounts so you have plenty to serve. 

Coconut Quinoa Salad

By Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple

Serves 6


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked shelled edamame
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup finely diced red bell peppers
  • 4 button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the salad by combining edamame, beans, red peppers, mushrooms, scallion, dried cranberries, coconut and carrot.
  3. Remove quinoa from heat; set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa to the bowl of salad ingredients.
  4. Pour San-J Gluten Free Tamari Ginger Asian Dressing on top; gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, parsley, lime zest, sea salt and pepper.

Recipe and photo used with permission. © 2012 San-J International. All rights reserved.

Dreamfields Spicy and Cool Pasta Salad

Spicy and Cool Pasta Salad

This week’s to do list:

Spicy and Cool Pasta Salad

From the 2011 Pasta Extravaganza Contest

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Makes 8-10 side dish servings


  • 1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate
  • 2 ears corn or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 poblanochiles, roasted, peeled and chopped (see note)
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese (see note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup mango chutney
  • 2 tablespoons chili oil (see note)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Remove pasta from pot; do not discard pasta water. Rinse pasta with cold water until completely cooled; drain again. Place in large bowl. Return pasta water to stove; bring to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, shuck corn and remove silks. Place in boiling pasta water 5 to 7 minutes or until corn is tender. Drain; rinse with cold water until completely cooled. Cut corn off cob.
  3. Add corn, chopped poblanos, cheese, chives, cilantro and salt to pasta; toss to combine. In small bowl, stir together chutney and chili oil. Pour over pasta mixture; toss until coated. Serve immediately. To serve chilled, do not add dressing. Cover and refrigerate pasta mixture. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving; toss with dressing.


  • To roast poblano chiles, cut poblanos in half; remove membrane and seeds. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place chiles cut side down on baking sheet. Broil 6 inches from heat source, about 5 minutes or until blackened; check periodically. Place in plastic bag 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop chiles.
  • Crumbled feta or shredded Mexican cheese blend may be substituted for the queso fresco.
  • If chili oil is not available, substitute 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.

Nutritional information

Per serving (1/8 of recipe)

  • 268 calories
  • 9 g protein
  • 14 g digestible carbohydrates (If traditional pasta is used in this recipe there is a total of 44 g carbohydrate. For more information go to www.DreamfieldsFoods.com.)
  • 8 g total fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 10 mg cholesterol
  • 304 mg sodium
  • 5 g total dietary fiber

Recipe and photograph used with permission from Dreamfields Pasta.

Disclosure: I am a VIP member of the Dreamfields Pasta “Dream Team 2012” and was compensated for my time in running the giveaway.