Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Salad (Trader Joe's copycat)

It’s rare that I leave Trader Joe’s without at least one of their Butternut Squash & Wheat Berry salads (in the prepared foods section). It’s my favorite salad there, hands down. Unfortunately for me, the nearest Trader Joe’s is about 25 minutes away, so I don’t get out there as much as I’d like to. Fortunately, the ingredients for this salad are easily found at our local grocery store, less than five minutes down the road. This salad is hearty and healthy and will probably go into our weekly rotation come fall, since all the ingredients will be in season! Read More

Apple, Bacon & Walnut Kale Salad

Kale, Apple, Walnut and Bacon Salad

My diet this summer has consisted mainly of salads, a good amount of ice cream and coffee. I tell myself it’s a balanced diet. I’m not sure where my insatiable sweet tooth has come from (no, I’m not pregnant). But I do know that I need to counteract it somehow, and so salad-eating has been my strategy.

I made this salad twice for dinner last week, once on its own and once with some grilled chicken. It’s super flavorful, satisfying and  hearty enough to stand on its own for a meal. Because kale stands up so well to dressing, I could even eat the leftover salad for lunch the next day. (Nothing worse than a soggy salad, IMHO).

Apple, Bacon & Walnut Kale Salad

Serves 4 as a starter, and 2, maybe 3, as a main dish
Apple, Bacon & Walnut Kale Salad


For the salad:

1 apple (gala or honeycrisp, chopped into small-medium pieces)
6-8 strips of bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 cup of toasted, roughly chopped walnuts
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
1 medium bunch of chopped kale (stems removed)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper


Prepare your dressing first, to allow time for the flavors to meld. Remove the stems/ribs from the kale and chop into small pieces. Cook bacon and walnuts, set aside. Place kale in a large bowl and pour 80% of dressing over top, “massaging” it into the kale leaves. Chop your apple and mix into salad. Add cooled and chopped bacon and walnuts. Add remaining dressing and toss. Top with shredded Parmigiana Reggiani cheese.

Note: because of the coarseness of the kale leaves, this salad is actually best if it’s let to sit, dressed, for 30 minutes or so (it won’t wilt unpleasantly as many salads would).



Very Berry Kale Salad

It’s been crazy hot in the Carolinas these past few days. With three days in a row of temperatures in the 90s, salad is pretty much the only thing that sounds good to me right now. Isn’t it funny how your body instinctively craves lighter / healthier food when the temperatures call for less clothing?
When I come up with a new salad, it’s usually inspired by whatever we have on hand (see my Waste Not, Want Not post…). With several boxes of berries in the produce drawer, I came up with this kale salad which is the perfect antidote to the blazing hot temps. Seriously, with so many of my favorite ingredients in it, I think I’ll be eating this salad all summer long!


6 cups of finely chopped kale
3 cups of chopped romaine
1 pint of raspberries
1 pint of blueberries
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1 avocado
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup feta cheese
Poppyseed Dressing (store-bought poppy seed dressing would be perfectly fine as well!)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp poppy seeds
1/3 cup sugar


Chop strawberries and avocado into bite-sized pieces. Chop lettuce/kale into thin strips.


Whisk together dressing ingredients. Toss lettuce and kale with 1/2-3/4 of dressing and put onto serving dishes. Arrange fruit and avocado (wait, is an avocado a fruit?), walnuts and feta on top, similar to how a cobb salad would be served. Drizzle remaining dressing on top.


Pour yourself a tall glass of lemonade, sit in the sun and enjoy this light and fresh salad!




Supper Time: Greek Shrimp Salad

Greek Shrimp Salad
It was a hectic Tuesday night (are there any other kind?) I wanted something tasty, easy and relatively healthy, to balance out the previous night’s overindulgences. This salad came together quickly and easily, and with pretty common ingredients. It hit the spot and even satisfied my husband’s appetite (most of the time he will only entertain shrimp in the form of an appetizer, not a as a meal).

Make this healthy salad, do your treadmill intervals, and go to bed feeling pretty good about yourself!

Greek Shrimp Salad

Serves 4
 Shrimp Greek Salad

2 hearts of romaine
1/2 cucumber
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/4-1/2 of a red onion (depending on how onion-y you like your salads)
1 red, orange, or yellow pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 lb of shelled, deveined shrimp
1-2 tsp. Cavender’s seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
Greek dressing, recipe follows

Greek Dressing

1 cup good olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 cloves of minced garlic (use 2 TSP garlic powder if you don’t like a textured dressing)
2 TBSP minced onion (use 2 TSP onion powder if you don’t like a textured dressing)
3 TSP dried oregano
2 TSP dried basil
2 TSP salt
1 TSP ground pepper
3 TBSP finely crumbled feta cheese (omit if you don’t like a textured dressing)

Put all ingredients in a mason jar and shake it up! The dressing is best after it’s sat for a day or two, but still great the day of.

For the Salad:

Chop all of the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.

Sprinkle Cavender’s seasoning, and salt and pepper on peeled and deveined shrimp.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a skillet. Add shrimp and sauté until cooked through.

Assemble salad, drizzle dressing on top and enjoy!