Category Archives: Salad

Green Smoothies

A few years ago I tried my first green monster. I may have blogged about it in the past. I offered Jason a giant glass of green and for the first time ever in our marriage, he hesitated to taste what I had prepared. He was already wincing as he put the glass to his lips. But, slowly after he took the first drink his face relaxed and he agreed it was delicious.

I first learned about the “Green Monster” smoothie from Angela at “Oh She Glows.” The recipe is simple – 2 cups of spinach, about 1 cup of fruit, a splash of milk, and ice (or no ice if you use frozen fruit). The possibilities and additions are endless. I recently started making these smoothies again as a new way to get my salad in for the day. Just google “green smoothie” or “green monster” and my comments will be confirmed – these are nothing short of amazing and delicious. Why are they so great?

  • Make an entire meal in less than 10 minutes
  • If you have a mini blender system, you barely make any dishes
  • Get 2 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit without thinking
  • Grab-and-go – you can prepare them in advance
  • Kids love them – we gave them out at a local grocery store as part of an Outgamine County FAN coalition and CAHL event
  • 100% raw for those of you interested in detox or raw food diets
  • Fit into ANY diet – gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, vegan-friendly, etc…
  • Suprisingly filling – I have had one as a post-bike ride dinner and wasn’t hungry the rest of the night
  • Delicious!

There are tons of recipes here. Feel free to share your recipes here or at the previous link!

Lynn’s Favorite Green Monster


  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blue berries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • splash of almond milk (you can use any liquid – milk, milk-substitute, juice, water, etc…)


  1. Pour a little milk in the bottom
  2. Place spinach in the blender first – this prevents it from flying up into the lid
  3. Put fresh fruit on top (set frozen fruit aside)
  4. Pulse to see if there is enough milk. If the blender gets stuck, add a little more milk if needed
  5. Blend until all of the ingredients are combined.
  6. Add frozen fruit. Pulse a few times and then blend until thick.

Super Simple Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

This is a pasta salad that everyone who has ever eaten it has loved! Even those people who never eat vegetables.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

– 1 cup dry elbow or shell pasta (preferably whole wheat so it holds a little firmness with the salad dressing.
– Kraft Sun-dried Tomato Salad Dressing
– Feta cheese (if you buy the brick, crumble it with a fork)
– Grape or Cherry tomatoes (halved)
– Broccoli (chopped)
– Red onions (diced – you can saute them with some olive oil add some flavor while reducing the potent onion taste)
– Seedless cucumbers (sliced into 4 long pieces by cutting lengthwise and then diced)
– Red pepper (diced)
– Green pepper (diced)

*You’ll notice there are no measurements for vegetables. You can use however much your heart desires! I usually use about 1 pint of tomatoes, 1 small onion, 1 crown of broccoli, 1 large cucumber, and 1 of each type of pepper. Feel free to add any other vegetables that you enjoy.


  1. Prepare the pasta. A quick and energy-efficient way to do this is to place a pot of water on the stove with a lid and turn on high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove the lid, add the pasta, stir once, replace the lid, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 7-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the vegetables and pasta and mix well. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 of the salad dressing bottle and mix well. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of feta cheese and stir well.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving for the best flavor.

Cucmber Relish Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was intended to just be a relish on top of the salmon, but I couldn’t think of another side; we had been eating too much rice lately, so good old rice just wouldn’t do. Instead, I decided to take the relish and turn it into a pasta salad. This salad is packed with nutrients. Yes, there is some oil in it, but fat is good for you – as long as it is the right kind. Olive oil and Canola oil contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which are super heart healthy. Something I didn’t know until my Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism class was that a lot of the phytochemical in vegetables are fat-soluble, which means they need some added fat to help with absorption. 

Take home message: Using some healthy fats in your meal will assist in absorbing more of the beneficial phytochemicals, help you feel full (satiety), and make your meal taste great. 

Cucumber Relish Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8

  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 2 cups of whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  1. Combined the vegetables and pasta into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the ingredients from the oil down in a small bowl and whisk well. Add more oil if needed.
  3. Pour marinade on the pasta-vegetable mixture and mix well. Use a spatula to make sure you get all of the marinade out of the bowl and well distributed. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
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Posted by on March 18, 2009 in Salad, Vegetarian


Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I realized I had a long list of recipes in my “Recipes to Blog” folder that were naked. That is, I had no picture to show off their deliciousness. I contemplated keeping them there until I cook them, but have decided to post them anyway. There are about 6, so this week one will pop up everyday. As I have said in the past, if anyone cooks any of these recipes, fell free to send me the picture and I would love to post it and your information.
This recipe is from 101cookbooks. I never have all of the ingredients that Heidi has on-hand, so I usually have to alter the recipes from their perfection. Luckily, it has tended to work out for me in the past (Spinach-Rice Gratin was a real hit!) and this recipe is no different. The original can be found here. I am sure her’s is delicious as well, so try this one, that one, or both!

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Recipe from “Roasted Pumpkin Salad Recipe”
Served 4 meals or 6 side dishes


  • 3 cups of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 3 medium red onions peeled and diced
  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons warm water


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes, onion, and slivered almonds in olive oil along with a couple pinches of salt. 
  3. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and pour vegetable mixture onto the baking sheet. Roast for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are brown and caramelized. 
  4. Cook the rice.
  5. When the mixture is done, place the rice and the mixture in a large,  heated skillet. Add the remaining ingredients and saute for 5 minutes until well mixed. 
  6. Serve warm or cold.


Fruited Chicken Salad

I have never been a fan of traditional chicken salad; something about the thick creamy dressing and obvious mayonnaise taste seemed to turn my off every time I tried it. Recently, Jason and I have experimented with less traditional types of salads. Here is a recipe for my most recent invention. We have also made a similar salad with turkey that I will post about in the future when we make it again.

-2 medium chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (about 2/3 of a pound)
-1 very ripe mango*, peeled, cored and cubed
-1 orange, sliced and cubed
-1 cup of grapes, halved
-2 large celery stalks, sliced about ¼” thick
-½ cup fat-free, plain yogurt
-2-3 tbsp lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and yogurt.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour dressing on top and mix until everything is well coated. If desired, add more yogurt and/or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Serve with fresh greens, on toasted whole wheat bread, or by itself!

*While in India last August (I can’t believe it has been a year already!) I had the BEST mango of my life; they were so juicy we could peel them with our hands. The flesh was a deep orange color, unlike the traditional yellow color you often find here. However, Jason and I, in an attempt to save money, have started going to Aldis for some of our grocery needs. There we got the BEST mango I have ever had in the US; the sticker was in Spanish, so I am assuming they were mangos from the local Spanish grocery store. Regardless, they were 100 times better than the mangos I bought at Jewel earlier this summer. Just a hint: when shopping for mango, try to find one that is soft and smells like mango; this means it is at perfect ripeness! Enjoy!

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Posted by on August 22, 2008 in Chicken, Fruit, Salad


Green Bean and Tomato Salad

This is one of my favorite side salads. It is full of flavor, but only takes about 15 minutes to make. I guarantee you will enjoy it!

Jason always told me he hated Balsamic Vinaigrette. We would be having a salad with dinner and when I asked what kind of dressing he would like he always would say, “anything we have except balsamic.” I decided I would play a little trick on him when I made this salad and not mention what the dressing was. Instead, I just asked him to taste it since it was for the next nights dinner. His response…”that is so good!” My response…”I told you that balsamic vinaigrette isn’t that bad.” Needless to say he easily ate half of the salad over the next few days 🙂

Delicious Green Bean and Tomato Salad
1 pint of grape tomatoes (you could also use cherry tomatoes, I just prefer grape)
1 pound roma tomatoes
1 pound fresh green beans
Feta Cheese
Balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing


  1. Halve the grape tomatoes and place in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the ends off the green beans and then cut the green beans into halves, thirds, or quarters, depending on the size. Add to the large bowl.
  3. Cut the Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Holding the tomato together, rotate it on the cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise again. Still holding the tomato together, slice it into 1/4″ thick pieces. Add to the large bowl.
  4. Add about 1/4 cup of dressing to the bowl and stir well. Add more if needed.
  5. Add about 1/4 – 1/3 of the crumbled feta cheese package to the bowl and stir until evenly distributed. Again, add more if desired.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 5 (possibly more, but ours didn’t last that long) days.