Heirloom Tomato Prosciutto Salad with a Balsamic Reduction.

We harvested a lot of heirloom tomatoes today from our garden. Nothing beats the flavor of a home-grown tomato.  I thought I would make a lovely salad to go along with my pork that would be a fun take-off of a BLT.  Prosciutto replaces the traditional bacon.  The lettuce has been replaced with fresh basil.  And the tomatoes are the star of the salad.

First, you want to put a sauté pan over a medium flame.  I add about a teaspoon of olive oil and once hot, add about 1/4 lb of prosciutto (thinly sliced).  Watch it closely because it will cook quickly.  Flip and keep rotating to avoid burning.  When nicely cooked and crispy, remove and place on a paper towel/plate to drain.  When cooled, crumble for the salad.

In a small pan, heat 1/2 cup of a good quality balsamic over medium heat.  Stirring occasionally.   This will reduce within 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Slice your tomatoes and place on a large platter.  Top with basil leaves.  Then add the pancetta and drizzle with the balsamic.  Serve at room temperature.  Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.


Meyer Lemon & Honey Vinaigrette.

I was craving a big salad.  I have laugh, I feel like Elaine on Seinfeld.  So I made a huge salad topped with some organic grilled chicken and I needed a great vinaigrette.  I luckily scored some fresh Meyer Lemons and thought it would be perfection. I was right, it was really good and really simple.  Can’t go wrong!  This is so good, I could possibly eat it straight!  Ha ha.  I normally don’t use a lot of dressing but admittedly, got a bit heavy-handed with this one.  I hope you give this one a try.


2 Meyer Lemons (zest from one) juice from both
1- 1.5 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar
1/2 cup of good olive oil 
Pinch of salt
Ground pepper


Combine all ingredients and shake well.  Enjoy!



Tomato salad.

This salad just screams summer.  Fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden.  Not much more needs to be said about this salad but perfection :)

Ingredients for the balsamic vinaigrette:

1/4 cup or so of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (I used Maille)
Salt & pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped


Whisk together and top your tomatoes and basil with the vinaigrette.  Also perfect for a dipping sauce for your crusty bread.


Pistachio Mint Tabbouleh {made with quinoa not bulgar}.

I adore side dishes like this during the summer.  Make ahead.  Serve at room temperature.  This screams summer.  Bright flavors.  Crunchy texture.  {yum.}


1 cup of cooked quinoa (red or white)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best)
1/2 teaspoon of raw honey (regular is fine as well)
1 cup of shelled pistachios, chopped
1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 spring onion, diced
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Zest from one lemon


Combine in a bowl the lemon juice and honey.  Whisk to combine.  Then add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat/mix.  Serve at room temperature.


Fresh summer fruit & red quinoa balsamic salad.

This quick and easy salad is perfect for a refreshing summer dinner.  We are off early tonight to head to a swim meet and this protein-packed dinner.  You can certainly use whatever free stone fruit and berries that you have on hand and make this your very own.


1 cup of red or white quinoa, cooked and cooled
1 quart of strawberries, hulled, washed and chopped
2 peaches, stone removed and chopped
1 nectarine, stone removed and chopped
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Zest from half of a lemon
15 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar


Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir well.  I leave this sit on my countertop for about 20 minutes prior to serving to let the balsamic seep into the fruit.  Serve alongside chicken, fish or pork.  Enjoy!  Would also make a great breakfast :)


Balsamic Cucumbers.

We harvested our very first cucumber yesterday and I made my favorite, super easy, refreshing salad with it.  Although this recipe can be made with any normal grocery store balsamic, I’m a huge proponent of buying a much better quality balsamic when you’re eating it pretty much straight.  Aged balsamic vinegar has such a wonderful complexity of flavors, smooth and doesn’t have that bitter bite afterwards.  I use Olivier Aged 25 year balsamic.  One bottle lasts me typically half the summer – and I use it in many dishes that I make.


2-4 cucumbers, peeled and sliced into 1.5 inch slices
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic (eyeball the amount more/less depending on the quantity of cucumbers that you use)
1/8 tsp of better quality dijon mustard (I used Maille)
1/2 tsp of fresh chives, sliced into small pieces


Add your cucumbers to your bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons or so (again depending on how many cucumbers you’re using) and of dijon.  Whisk to combine.  Pour over the cucumbers and toss.  Top with the chives and serve or refrigerate until serving.  Must serve this dish nice and chilled :)


Fresh grilled chicken with oranges, avocados over a bed of Napa cabbage with a peanut sesame lime dressing.

Light & refreshing is exactly what we all needed tonight.  Kids just got home from a killer swim practice and I needed something easy (busy day) and something light that wouldn’t weigh me down.  This was perfect :)

Ingredients for the salad:

1 head of Napa cabbage, shredded finely
4-5 chicken breasts (enough to serve your family)
4 oranges, peeled and sliced
1 jalapeño, diced with seeds removed
1/4 of a red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c of cilantro leaves, washed and rough chopped
2 tbl fresh lime juice
2 avocados, pitted and diced
1 tbl of sesame seeds (garnish)

Directions for the salad:

In a large bowl mix the Napa cabbage, oranges, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro.  Set aside.  In a small separate bowl, add the avocado and lime juice.  Toss to coat and set aside.

Grill up your chicken  and then let rest for a few minutes.  Then chop into bite sized pieces.  Add to the salad.

Ingredients for dressing:

1.5 tbl of peanut butter
3 tbl of fresh lime juice
1 tbl seasoned rice vinegar
1.5 tbl of low sodium soy sauce
1.5 tbl light brown sugar
2/3 c of canola oil
1 tbl sesame oil
1/8 tsp of salt


Put all of the ingredients into a tupperware container or container with a lid.  Shake to combine and then add to the salad.  Toss well.

Finally, add the avocado/lime juice to the salad.  Toss one final time and then garnish with some toasted sesame seeds.




Quinoa veggie aduki bean salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Okay that title is a mouthful!  My quinoa salad is my own creation but the cilantro lime vinaigrette is from my dear foodie friend, Lauren Kelly, Certified Nutritionist.  I’ll post the recipe here and along with providing you with her link to her blog.


So our Meatless Monday dinner consisted of yummy spicy black bean burgers that hubby purchased from Costco.  I’ve been meaning to get to them and I’ve decided that I’m cleaning out my freezers this week and using up what is stored in them.  We grilled the burgers and they were delightful.  Easy and quite filling.

The quinoa salad I prepared earlier in the afternoon and let refrigerate this afternoon.  Pulled it out and served it at room temperature.  Easy peasy!

2 c of quinoa, cook according to package directions
1 handful of green beans, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 c of Aduki beans, drained and rinsed (you can use black beans as well)
5 new potatoes, cooked whole, drained and cut in half

First, I cook the new potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and let cool. Cut in quarters and add to the serving bowl.

Second, I boil about 4 cups of water and add the green beans.  Cook for 3 minutes, remove and then submerge in a bowl of ice water to blanch.  This will keep them nice and crispy and bright green for the salad.  Add them to the salad bowl.

Third,  add the peppers and quinoa to the bowl with the potatoes and beans.  Give a good stir.  Set aside.

To make the dressing:

1 clove garlic
1/4 c grape seed oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/4 c fresh lime juice
Zest of one lime
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/4 c fresh packed cilantro leaves

I added all of the ingredients to my immersion hand blender container (like a big plastic cup) and blended until creamy.  Poured over my quinoa salad and gave it a good stir.  Refrigerated for 2 hours.  I then let it come up to room temperature for about an hour prior to serving.

Sooooo yummy!


Asian Sesame Chicken Salad.

Fusion at it’s finest.  This salad is so easy to make and I used leftover chicken from my roaster that I made on Sunday.  This can easily be made vegetarian as well by omitting the chicken.  I hope you enjoy this one :)

1 head of Napa cabbage
1/2 head of red cabbage
1/2 tsp of sugar
2 c of shredded chicken
1 c of cilantro leaves
1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 c of slivered almonds, toasted
2 tbl of sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Asian noodles to garnish (optional)


Slice the cabbages in half and core.  Slice into thin strips.  Add to your salad bowl.  Toss with sugar.  Add the shredded chicken, cilantro, mandarin oranges, almonds, sesame seeds, salt and pepper and noodles, if you are using them.


1 tbsp of dijon mustard
1/2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
1/4 c of canola oil or peanut oil
1 tsp of sugar

Combine them all in a jar with a lid or tupperware container and shake until blended.  Top the salad and enjoy.




My big salad with chili lime rubbed chicken.

I adore farmer’s markets!  All of the veggies make me crave making my “big” salad and feeling like Elaine from Seinfeld.  The options are endless and the health benefits are just as impressive!  The downfall to any salad, is the dressing.  Remember to be mindful of what type you use and how much.  I prefer a splash of fresh lime or lemon juice without all the guilt.

Okay the salad is pretty much up to you.  Use what you love and what you have on hand.  Today I used:

2 heads of Romaine
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 c of alfalfa sprouts
Garlic stuffed olives
1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4c of raw pepitas

Optional items:

Dried or fresh fruit (i.e. raisins, cherries, strawberries, pears, apples)
Any nut pretty much works on a salad.
Sesame sticks.
Asian noodles.

I added some chili lime chicken to my salad for protein.  The rub recipe is:

2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
Combine together in a bowl and set aside.  Add the chicken to the rub and toss to coat.

Heat your sauté pan over a medium flame with some olive oil in the pan.  Once hot, add the coated chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Remove from the heat and slice into bite-sized pieces.  Add to the top of the salad and serve.