California Salad

I’m back!! I took a little vacation to go take care of my little sister, who just found out that she’s pregnant! Yay!! They have been trying to get pregnant for about a year and a half, so we are all super excited for her 🙂 So I went up for the week to take care of her, fix her meals, help clean up, etc. She gets morning sickness pretty bad, so I had to go fulfill my big sister role.

But, now that I’m back, I figured I’d post a super easy, completely delicious salad recipe!! This is my favorite salad of all time. It’s crunchy from the walnuts, a little bitter from the gorgonzola, and tangy sweet from the Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette. Not to mention, it’s packed with flavor!! Simply amazing! Enjoy 🙂

Printable Recipe

California Salad
     4 cups mixed salad greens
     2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
     6 slices roma tomato
     2 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
     1 cup raspberry jam
     1/4 cup cold water
     1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
     1 teaspoon walnut oil
     kosher salt to taste
     freshly ground pepper to taste
     1/4 cup canola oil

Toss the salad greens and walnuts together in a bowl. Top with tomato slices and sprinkle with cheese. Set aside.

Prepare Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette by combining the jam, water, vinegar, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Add the canola oil slowly, whisking constantly until blended. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and serve immediately.

Store the vinaigrette in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from


Oriental Chicken Salad

Out of all the places there is to go out to eat Applebees is probably not my restaurant of choice. Out of everything on that menu, I’ve had 2 or 3 things that I actually like. But this is one of them. They have the most amazing Oriental Chicken Salad ever!! Which this is a copy cat recipe of, and is actually amazingly similar. The dressing is both sweet and sour, but in a good way. Then you get the smooth crisp texture of the lettuce combined with the rough juiciness of the fried chicken. Seriously, if you are trying to eat healthy, you gotta have this salad (or even if your not eating healthy). You could also go a step further to make this salad even healthier and grill your chicken instead of frying it, but if you ask me, you are already eating a salad for dinner so go ahead and don’t feel guilty about frying up the chicken 🙂 Seriously amazing!! Enjoy!

Oriental Dressing
     3 tablespoons honey
     1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
     4 teaspoons mayonnaise
     1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
     1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

     2 to 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
     1 egg
     1/2 cup milk
     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
     1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
     1 teaspoon salt
     1/4 teaspoon pepper
     1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
     3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
     1 cup chopped red cabbage
     1 cup chopped napa cabbage
     1/2 carrot, julienned or shredded
     1 green onion, sliced
     1 tablespoon sliced almonds
     1/3 cup chow mein noodles

Using an electric mixer, blend together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Put the dressing in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the salad.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or frying pan over medium heat. You want the temperature of the oil to be around 350 degrees F. If using a frying pan, the oil should be around 1/2 inch deep. More oil can be used in a deep fryer so that the chicken is immersed.

In a small, shallow bowl beat the egg, add the milk, and mix well. In another bowl, combine the flour with the cornflake crumbs, salt, and pepper.

Cut the chicken breast into 4 or 5 long strips. Dip each strip of chicken first into the egg mixture then into the flour mixture, coating each piece completely. Fry each chicken finger for 5 minutes or until the coating has darkened to brown.

Prepare the salad by tossing the romaine with the red cabbage, napa cabbage, and carrot. Sprinkle the green onion on top of the lettuce mixture. Sprinkle the almonds over the salad, then the chow mein noodles.

Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks. Place the chicken on the salad, forming a pile in the middle. Serve with the salad dressing on the side.

Printable Recipe

Recipe from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pesto

Hey Everyone!! I’m sure all of you are aware that Halloween is coming up soon! Yay! This happens to be my favorite holiday. Christmas comes in a close second, but Halloween has always been my favorite since I was little. So I’m gonna be decking out my posts pretty soon with all Halloween themed stuff, but before then, I wanted to hurry and post some hardy meals and sides before we get ready for the “Candy Holiday”.

So here is a healthy and delicious salad! I love dishes that taste really healthy and clean, but don’t lack in flavor, this is one of them. There are a couple things that I would change though. Really, there should be 1 pound of mozzarella balls, instead of just a half. I found that with only 8 ounces you had so much tomato and it left you hunting for the mozzarella, so double that part of the recipe. Also, I really think that 5 tablespoons of the pesto should be added, but I would add it as you go. Add the 3 tablespoons first and then if you are like me and want that extra flavor then add more as per your taste. But this recipe is so yummy, satisfying, and really super easy. A perfect first course to your meal. Enjoy!


  • 3 tablespoons basil pesto (recipe at bottom)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • about 4 cups mixed red, yellow, and orange cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound small, fresh mozzarella balls, such as ciliegine or bocconcino 
In a bowl, whisk together the pesto and vinegar. Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella balls in half, add to the bowl, and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and mound on a serving platter. Serve at once.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Basil Pesto
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
With a food processor running, drop the garlic through the feed tube and process until minced. Turn off the processor, add the pine nuts, and pulse a few times to chop. Add the basil and pulse a few times to chop coarsely. Then, with the processor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream and process until a smooth, moderately thick paste forms, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Makes about 1 cup.
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Comfort Food.

Chicken Cobb Salad

Usually I don’t make a whole lot of salads cause I just serve vegetables as a side, but I wanted to mix things up a bit. And this looked so yummy. I mean how can you go wrong with anything that includes avocados and blue cheese? On that note, if you don’t like blue cheese, don’t let that deter you from this recipe. Just substitute if with like a feta or something. But overall this salad was super yummy and with only 263 calories per serving it’s definitely worth it. Enjoy!


  • cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup diced peeled avocado
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Italian dressing
  • 2 tablepsoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 bacon slice, cooked and crumbled
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Cut into 1/2-inch slices.
Combine greens, tomatoes, avocado, and onions in a large bowl. Drizzle greens mixture with dressing; toss gently to coat. Arrange about 2 cups greens mixture on each of 4 salad plates. Top each serving with 4 ounces chicken, 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese, and about 1/2 teaspoon bacon.
Recipe from Cooking Light Comfort Food

Frog Eye Salad

K, let me first of all say, that this doesn’t really have frog eyes in it, so don’t be deterred by the name. I don’t really know where the name came from, but this recipe is awesome! My family has been making it for family get togethers for as long as I can remember, and usually it’s the first thing to run out. This is a super yummy, creamy, pasta/fruit salad. This is one of those recipes that you need to read through before you start though. Otherwise, it’s just really frustrating. The first time I made this, I drained the juice of my fruit into the sink and had to make a grocery store run at like 10pm at night. So read through the directions before starting. I won’t be adding an estimated cooking time on this recipe because you are suppose to refrigerate overnight, so just know it’s something that you would start on the day before you actually wanted it. But this recipe is so worth it and is something that everyone will love. Enjoy!!


  • 2 cups uncooked Acini Pepe pasta
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits
  • 2 cans mandarin orange segments
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 8 ounce container cool whip
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
Cook pasta as per directions on box. Rinse pasta and Cool.
Drain juice from canned pinapples and mandarin orange segments into a bowl. Set aside. In a seperate bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add beaten eggs and blend. Stir in 2 cups of saved juice, if needed add water to juice to make 2 cups. Place in a sauce pan and over medium heat, cook stirring until thickened. Cool until only slightly warm and add marshmallows. Cool then add cooled cooked pasta. Stir well. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day mix together the cool whip and cream cheese in separate bowl. Add to pasta mixture. Fold in fruit. Mix well. Refrigerate until serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Creamy Pasta Salad

This was a pretty good pasta salad recipe. There was a couple things I changed though. I put in just about half of the mayo and sour cream because that just seemed like way to much considering the amount of pasta. I also used cherry tomatoes because I feel like they have a better flavor, and I added about a half a can drained black olives cut in half. The last thing I did is I added about a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese on top for additional flavor, and to make it look pretty 🙂 I really did like this recipe though once I tweaked it a little. The lemon pepper and dill weed really give it a unique yummy flavor. So I would recommend it. Just don’t be afraid to play with the recipe to suit your liking. Enjoy!

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and cubed
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon pepper
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Combine pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed and lemon pepper. Serve as is or chill for 45 minutes.
Recipe from

Cranberry Broccoli Salad

This recipe is awesome! It’s a great alternative to give a little interest to your dinner party or barbecue. Or even good enough to have with lunch. It’s a little sweet from the cranberries and the cashews give it a nice crunch. The original recipe calls for bacon, which I left out cause it kind of overwhelmed the salad, and it’s perfect without it. Over all this recipe is cool, creamy and super yummy! Enjoy!


  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup half & half cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, onion, cranberries and bacon. In a small, bowl combine the mayonnaise, cream and sugar until smooth. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Recipe at