Deconstructed Big Mac Salad Bowl

Craving a greasy fast food burger but trying to stick to those New Year’s Resolutions you just made to eat healthy? Give this Big Mac Bowl a try and satisfy your itch! It’s easy, low carb and tastes just like the real deal!!

Ingredients: Makes 4 servings

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp pickle relish
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 cups lettuce of choice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 dill pickle slices

Directions:

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Half way through, add the chopped onion and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent. Drain the fat, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the mayo, relish, mustard, vinegar and spices together to make the special sauce.
  3. Combine lettuce and half the sauce in a large bowl and toss to coat. Divide the lettuce among 4 salad bowls or plates.
  4. Top each with a generous spoonful of meat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and garnish with pickle slices. Drizzle additional sauce over each salad bowl if desired.

*Adapted from homemadeinterest.com

Corn and Blueberry Salad

This is a tasty summer salad that pairs well with everything from hot dogs and hamburgers, to ribs, pulled pork, tacos or carnitas! If you’re short on time, use left over corn on the cob or defrost a bag of frozen corn if you’re truly desperate! No matter how it comes together, it’s always a crowd favorite! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 6-8

  • 6 ears sweet corn, cooked and cut from the cob
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 small cucumber peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl combine cut corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin and salt.
  3. Toss corn mixture with dressing to coat.
  4. Chill before serving, can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.

*Original recipe from Paula’s Pantry

 

Mediterranean Farro Salad

I love this salad! Mostly because it’s so versatile (see substitutions) but also because it’s a delicious crowd pleaser and can be made ahead. It’s the perfect side dish or can serve as a main if you add protein. So get to it and come up with your own flavor combo and let me know how it goes by posting your comments below! Cheers!!

Ingredients: Feeds 6-8

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked farro, rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup packed flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 oz haloumi cheese, cubed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups baby arugula

Directions:

  1. Cook farro according to package directions and let cool. Toast pine nuts and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine grape tomatoes, parsley and mint. Add haloumi, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds and mix gently to incorporate.IMG_2983
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper.
  4. Combine farro and tomato mixture with 2/3 of the dressing, tossing gently to coat.
  5. Pour the remaining dressing into the bottom of a large shallow serving bowl. Top with arugula.
  6. Layer the farro salad on top of the arugula.
  7. Chill* and toss before serving.

*Salad can chill overnight.

Substitutions:

The best part about this salad is making it your own! The original recipe was adapted from Food and Wine magazine but I change it up every time I make it!

  • barley or orzo for farro
  • walnuts or almonds for pine nuts
  • ricotta salata or feta for haloumi
  • grapes for grape tomatoes
  • blueberries/raspberries/strawberries for pomegranate seeds
  • add protein like grilled chicken, steak or fish for a complete meal

 

 

Farro Salad with Roasted Veggies and Grilled Chicken

This deliciously refreshing and filling salad is perfect for a weeknight when prep time is limited!  The veggies roast up in under 20 minutes and if you have the farro and grilled chicken on hand already, from start to finish you can be enjoying this healthy and hearty dish in 30 minutes or less! On the flip side, this is a great dish for a get together and if served family style, is sure to impress!!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 carrots, sliced on a bias
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • black pepper
  • 5 oz baby arugula (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked farro (approx 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss asparagus, carrots and shallots in 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. Roast the veggies in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together the tarragon vinegar, parsley, lemon zest, a pinch of both black pepper and kosher salt, and remaining olive oil in a large bowl.
  5. Add arugula and cooked farro to the bowl and toss to coat.
  6. Divide the salad mixture among your plates. Top each with a serving of roasted veggies and slices of grilled chicken.
  7. Sprinkle each dish with chopped almonds and grated Parmesan.

Suggestions:

  • For a meatless meal, eliminate the grilled chicken! Farro provides ample fiber to this dish and will leave you feeling satisfied.
  • Or sub your favorite meat/protein for chicken; try grilled pork, steak or salmon filets.
  • Cook a large batch of farro ahead of time and keep it on hand for recipes like this.  It keeps well for 3-5 days in the fridge.
  • If you don’t have tarragon vinegar on hand, combine 2 tbsp white wine vinegar with 1 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon. You may wish to eliminate the parsley from the dressing and use it as a garnish if you go this route.

*Original recipe adapted from Cooking Light

 

Lighten Up, Chicken Salad

After watching an episode of Rachel Ray in a doctor’s waiting room, I was inspired to create my own version of her Mediterranean Chicken Salad which uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise as the binding ingredient.  This chicken salad is light on calories but full on flavor; a few that might even surprise you!  Lighten up and go for it!

Ingredients:

  • 1, 3-4 lb rotisserie chicken, picked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup green grapes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix using a rubber spatula.  Season with salt and pepper as desired!

Suggestions:

  • Add more yogurt if you like your chicken salad to be more moist.
  • Substitute red grapes for green grapes.
  • Try using pecans or even cashews, just remember to toast them first to release their natural oils and full flavors!
  • Spice it up a notch and add more sriracha!!