Chopped taco salad

Chopped taco salad
Chopped taco salad

I first made this taco salad for a potluck lunch at work last year — I wanted something that was easy to make and transport. But I liked it so much that it’s become a regular part of our dinner rotation. It’s easy to mix up a large bowlful (I serve the dressing on the side) and have several delicious meals.

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Chef salad

Chef salad
Chef salad

If you look at our meal plans for the last several months, this tasty chef salad is the dinner you’ll find most often. We’ve gotten into the habit of having salad for dinner at least twice a week — and this is my go-to salad.

If you’re looking for quick meals during the week, you can prep the veggies and hard-boil the eggs on the weekend. Then, all you have to do is combine all the ingredients and you’re ready to eat! Another easy option is to use leftover rotisserie chicken in place of the deli ham. Either way, it’s delicious.

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Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)
Grilled chicken souvlaki (salad or sandwich)

Michael found this recipe last fall when we were going through some old issues of Sunset magazine, and I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve made it a couple times now, and have tweaked the recipe to make it tasty and delicious — we really like the flavors of the lemon and oregano in the marinade. Since we don’t have a grill, I cook them in my grill pan, which works great.

I’ve used this grilled chicken in pita sandwiches, as well as a Greek chicken salad — either way, it’s best served with cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.

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Smoked salmon salad

Smoked salmon salad
Smoked salmon salad

Michael and I had this smoked salmon salad for dinner last night, and it was delicious. It has all the components of a great dinner salad — veggies, fruit, nuts, protein, and cheese. I forgot to add avocado, even though I bought it at the store, but think it would be a great addition.

I decided to make a new category on the blog for lighter recipes (a.k.a. heavier on veggies and lighter on calories), and this is the first recipe I’ll be adding to it. I served this salad with toasted pita bread for a quick, easy, and healthy dinner.

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Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar
Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

By the time summer finally rolls around here in the Twin Cities, I’m craving fresh, delicious vegetables. One of my favorite — and easiest —  ways to eat them is in a big salad. The great thing about this type of salad is that you can vary the ingredients based on what veggies you have on hand, and you don’t need to measure anything. Sometimes I like to add some sort of cheese, but you could easily omit that to make it vegan.

Instead of making or buying dressing, I keep things light by drizzling oil and vinegar over the salad. My favorite combination right now is a peach balsamic vinegar with Arbequina olive oil — both from Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars (online store and several locations in Michigan).

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Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette
Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

I’ve made Cobb salad several times this spring (and finally summer), and it’s a great main dish salad. Wikipedia tells me that the best way to remember the ingredients in Cobb salad is with the mnemonic EAT COBB: Eggs, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, (green) Onion, Bacon, and Blue cheese.  I usually end up making a couple changes from that (like ham instead of bacon), but it’s still delicious!

The salad dressing for this recipe is also fabulous. We haven’t been buying salad dressing at the store lately — most of it has high-fructose corn syrup in it, and if it doesn’t it’s simple enough to make myself. The fresh tang of the lemon makes this a great dressing for summer salads.

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Chilled Vietnamese noodle salad

Vietnamese noodle salad

It was hot and humid here in the twin cities today, so by the time we were thinking about making dinner, we knew we wanted something cold and refreshing. Michael suggested that we make a Vietnamese noodle salad similar to one that he tried at Bona last week. I checked out their menu online, and they describe the salad as follows:

Bún thit bò nướng: Barbecued beef spiced with lemon grass served with rice noodle, bean sprout, lettuce, cuumber, carrot, and peanut.

Though we didn’t have all of the ingredients to copy the dish, we made our own simple version of this delicious salad, and it was perfect for a hot summer evening.

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