Category Archives: Salads and Dressings

Black Bean Avocado Salad

Black Bean Avocado Salad @ NancyC

I’ve been on an avocado kick lately! So I was drawn to this recipe from the new cookbook Lose Weight By Eating (William Morrow, softcover). This side dish has so many ingredients I love–LoseWeightByEatingavocados, of course, along with black beans, red onion, bell pepper, and corn. I just knew I would like it!

There are lots of other great-sounding recipes I found in my review copy. Author Audrey Johns developed more than 130 clean eating recipes during her 11-month weight loss journey, losing more than 150 pounds and proving that you really can lose weight if you’re eating the right things! There’s a good variety of recipes for every meal and healthy desserts, too–things like Chili Cheese Omelet, Strawberry Scones with Lime Glaze, Meatball Sliders, Skinny Chicken Alfredo, California Club Pizza, and Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes.

I decided to try the Black Bean Avocado Salad, which is described in the book as a crisp, salsa-like side dish–and just 131 calories per serving. You can serve it with chips as a snack, or top a chicken breast with it for extra flavor and protein.

BLACK BEAN AVOCADO SALAD from Lose Weight by Eating

Makes six 1/2 cup servings

  • 1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the beans, jalapeño, bell pepper, avocado, red onion, cilantro, corn, lime juice, and garlic. Gently mix and add salt and black pepper to taste.

Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour and serve.

I really liked the way this tasted–it’s nice when a dish is both healthy and yummy, isn’t it? Do you have a favorite healthy snack that you like to make?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Full Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Recipe Round-Up.

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Summer Fruit Salad

SummerFruitSalad@NancyCreative.com

One of the things I love best about summer is all the fresh fruit of the season, especially berries of all kinds. And this is a great fruit salad to make in the summertime because it has blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries…mixed in with lots of other delicious, colorful fruit! Berry season is pretty much over where I live, but the berries are still available at the grocery store. Some of you may still be at the tail end of berry season–lucky you!

This salad also has some canned pineapple chunks and it’s sweetened with the pineapple juice from the can. So there’s no extra sugar, and I think the sweetness is just right. I love all the colors in this salad–it’s so bright and summery–and I wanted to post it before summer comes to an end!

SUMMER FRUIT SALAD by NancyC

Makes 10 servings

  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice (not syrup), undrained
  • 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (you can use 2 cups blueberries if you don’t have blackberries)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sliced or halved fresh strawberries  (you can use 2 cups fresh strawberries if you don’t have raspberries)
  • 3 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • 2 medium size bananas, sliced

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, tossing to coat all the fruit with the pineapple juice. Serve immediately.

If you need to make this ahead of time, combine the pineapple, mandarin oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, and grapes, and refrigerate. When it’s close to serving time, add the berries and bananas; gently toss all the fruit and serve.

Note: If you’re using blackberries in this salad, don’t use an enamelware bowl to serve it in–I found from past experience that blackberries can stain enamelware! 

There’s still about three weeks of summer left, but we’ve already had some fall-like days. I’m always sad to see summer end, since it’s my favorite season. Is it still feeling like summer where you live?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Sunday Features, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share, Full Plate Thursday.

Three Bean Salad

ThreeBeanSalad@NancyCreative.com It’s hard to believe summer is almost here! Some days have already been hot and humid–too warm to cook or bake. So that’s when I start thinking of recipes to make like Three Bean Salad. It doesn’t require any cooking at all and is super-easy to make. It’s a great summer side dish for lunch or dinner and perfect for picnics. I decided to try sweetening my version with honey instead of white sugar and that worked out well. You need to make this salad at least 4 hours before you serve it, to give the salad time to marinate…and this is one of those recipes that tastes better the longer it marinates. So making it the night before you serve it works out great, too.

THREE BEAN SALAD by NancyC Makes about 8 servings

  • 1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions, finely chopped (chop both the green stems and the white onion tip)–or you can substitute 1 medium chopped red onion
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • Optional: 1 to 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 to 4 Tablespoons honey, depending on how sweet you want it (or substitute 1/2 cup white sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In large bowl, add drained and rinsed beans, then add the chopped green onions and bell pepper; toss all ingredients together with a large spoon. In another bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, add the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; whisk together or, if using a jar with lid, shake ingredients together well. Pour this dressing mixture over the bean salad mixture, tossing gently to coat everything well. Chill in your refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight before serving (the taste gets better the longer it marinates). Stir and toss mixture several times as it is marinating. Toss mixture once more right before serving.

Salads like this are great for summer! I really like making no-bake recipes when it’s warm outside. What easy warm-weather recipes do you like to make? Linked to Fiesta Friday, Inspire Me Monday.

Eggless “Egg Salad”

EgglessEggSalad@NancyCreative.com

I had a block of extra-firm tofu in my fridge, which I was originally going to try baking. But then I came across an eggless “egg salad” recipe using tofu and I decided to try something like that instead. It’s not that I don’t like regular egg salad–I really love it–but I do have high cholesterol, so I try to be careful with my egg intake. This tofu egg salad has a similar consistency to regular egg salad and the spices added to it give it a great flavor. I really liked it and it’s nice having an eggless egg salad option if you need it!

EGGLESS “EGG SALAD” by NancyC, adapted from Veg Kitchen Makes 4 servings

  • 1 (12-ounce) tub extra-firm tofu, well-drained
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 large green onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard (or you can use Dijon mustard if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Drain tofu well, then press and squeeze the tofu, draining any additional moisture from it. In large bowl, crumble the tofu, then add the diced celery and green onion, blending ingredients together. In small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, turmeric, and parsley flakes, blending well. Add this mixture to the tofu mixture in the large bowl, stirring well to combine. If you’d like the mixture to be creamier, add a little more mayonnaise–a Tablespoon or two–and season with salt and pepper. Serve as a sandwich or put a large scoop over some mixed greens for a salad.

Have you made anything like this before? I thought the tofu worked out great in this recipe. I’ll have to try baking it sometime, too. What’s your favorite way to fix tofu?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday, Wow Me Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, Let’s Get Real Friday.

Low Fat Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and Dip

ncLwFatRanchDressingnm

Homemade salad dressings are so good–I’ve made a few of them, but have never made one of my favorites–Ranch!  I usually use low fat dressings on my salads, so I decided to try making a low fat Ranch. I adapted a recipe from Allrecipes.com, adjusting the amounts of some of the ingredients slightly. Since I didn’t have fresh herbs, I used dried–and the taste still turned out great! But I’m sure it would be even better with fresh herbs, which I plan on using when I make another batch.

This dressing is thick and creamy compared to most dressings–it’s hard to tell it’s made with low fat ingredients! And because it’s on the thicker side, it makes a great dip for fresh veggies, too. The only downside is, it’s best the day it’s made–you can store it in the fridge for several days, but the consistency gets thinner and runny.

I love the way it tastes, but it’s an easy recipe to adjust if you want to add a little more or less of any of the herbs and spices. Enjoy this homemade dressing on your favorite salad or as a dip with your favorite raw veggies!

LOW FAT BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING AND DIP adapted from Allrecipes

Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In medium size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream or yogurt. Stir in garlic and onion powders, chives, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can store any unused dressing in the refrigerator for several days, but the consistency will get thinner and more runny, so it’s best not stored too long.

I think this homemade salad dressing tastes so much better than bottled dressing. It’s worth making your own if you have a little extra time. Do you make your own homemade salad dressings?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.