salad

Baked BBQ Tofu Veggie Salad - Vegetarian + GF

Do you ever picture something as just mediocre in your head? You don't really have expectations either way. Sure, it could be good but probably nothing to write home about. That's kind of how I was imagining this salad. I love all of the ingredients, and I knew they'd taste good together. But this was literally a throw together meal that I had no intention of posting the recipe to. Well, I had the first bite, and it was immediately apparent that this bad boy was going on the blog!

Not sure why I even doubted it in the first place. It's got Brussels, sweet potato, avocado, and my absolute favorite condiment - BBQ sauce. So there was really no going wrong. Plus it's vegetarian (easily made vegan by swapping the dressing) and gluten free, so it's the perfect fit for anyone in your life!

Here's What You'll Need:

-8 oz spinach or spring mix
-1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 in cubes
-2 tbsp avocado oil, separated
-14 oz block of firm tofu, pressed and cut into pieces about 1/2" in thick and 1 in long
-1 bundle of Brussels sprouts (about 2-3 cups), bottoms removed and halved
-1/2 cup cooked sweet corn kernels
-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
-1 avocado, cubed
-1/2 tsp sea salt, separated
-1/2 tsp black pepper, separated
-1/8 tsp tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp chili powder
-1 cup Simple Girl Sugar-Free Carolina Style BBQ Sauce
-1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used this one)
-1/4 tsp dried cilantro
-1/4 tsp lime juice

Serves 4

Instructions:

1) Marinate your tofu in the BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes.
2) Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
3) Toss your sweet potato pieces with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the garlic powder, and the chili powder. Spread on baking sheet.
4) Toss your Brussels Sprouts with 1 tbsp avocado oil, 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread on a baking sheet.
5) Place your marinated tofu on a greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet, and top each with a little of the extra BBQ sauce. Save extra BBQ sauce (there should be a decent amount).
6) Bake the sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and tofu in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
7) Remove the tofu and sweet potato, and continue to cook the Brussels for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly browned and softened.
8) In a bowl, mix together, 1/2 cup of the remaining BBQ sauce, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice to create the dressing.
9) Either mix together the spring mix, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, corn, tomatoes, and avocado in a large bowl, or split each evenly between 4 serving bowls.
10) Top with tofu, and drizzle on the dressing.
11) Serve and enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Summer Zucchini "Pasta" Salad

Can you even believe we are just a couple of days away from the first day of summer? I am beyond excited for the summer heat, beach days (minus this pretty unfortunate sunburn I'm rocking right now), and of course my favorite, picnics. There is so much fresh, local, and delicious produce filling up the farmer's markets and grocery stores, and I honestly couldn't be happier.

So in celebration of summer and all of the delicious goods I picked up this weekend, I decided to throw together a pasta salad with a twist. I wanted to keep it light and fresh, so I swapped out the noodles for some raw zucchini ribbons, added in some other tasty flavors, and finished it all off with Stella Cheese's new mozzarella.

The verdict - you NEED this in your life. It's so fresh and summery, plus this Stella Mozzarella is insanely delicious. This is the perfect side dish (or main dish if ya ask me) for your 4th of July picnics coming up in a couple of weeks. Or feel free to just make it as a quick, week night dinner. It's super easy to throw together, so it's the perfect way to end a long, hectic day.

Need another reason to try this one out? Yeah, I didn't think so, but I'll give you one anyway. You can use the $1 off coupon here when you pick up Stella mozzarella at your local store. So let's get to it!

Here's What You'll Need:

-2 zucchinis, spiralized using the ribbon blade
-1 tomato, cubed
-8 oz ball of Stella fresh mozzarella, cubed
-1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
-1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) In a large bowl, mix together the zucchini ribbons, tomato, Stella mozzarella, and olives.
2) Drizzle on the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
3) Plate the "pasta" salad, top with the oregano, and serve.
4) Enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below, and don't forget to snag your $1 off coupon for Stella's fresh mozzarella here. Be sure to check out their Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram pages for other recipe ideas using their delicious cheese!

Healthy Cobb Salad with a Spicy Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Cobb salads are a combination of some of the most delicious things. Their only downfall is they generally aren't particularly healthy. I was craving a Cobb but wanted it to fit into my normal eating habits without sacrificing flavor. So I decided to give it a little remix of my own.

I wanted to include most of the normal, delicious components. So this salad is all about moderation and healthier alternatives. I kept most of the whole, healthy ingredients, switched out bacon for turkey bacon, and still managed to get some blue cheese in there. I also decided to skip on the blue cheese dressing and replace it with a seriously delicious spicy honey apple cider vinaigrette. Trust me, the dressing makes the salad.

Here's What You'll Need:

-4 cups spring mix
-1 medium tomato, chopped
-2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
-4 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
-1/2 avocado, sliced
-4 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (with mother)
-1 tbsp Bushwick Kitchen's Bees Knees Spicy Honey
-1 tbsp water
-1 tbsp olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Mix together the apple cider vinegar, honey, water, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
2) Split the spring mix between two bowls.
3) Top each bowl with 1/2 of the tomato, egg, bacon, avocado, and blue cheese.
4) Drizzle 1/2 of the dressing over each bowl.
5) Enjoy!

If you aren't a fan of spicy, you can switch out the spicy honey for traditional honey. But if you are a fan, you really need to try this. Spicy honey is SO good! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Spicy Shrimp Fajita Salad

I am probably one of the biggest fajita fans you'll ever meet. If I go to a Mexican restaurant or make my own Mexican food, 9 times out of 10 I'm going with fajitas. They just have such a delicious flavor, and I like that you make them yourself. You can easily skip on or add whatever you like to them. Not feeling the tortilla, just eat the meat and veggies. Not feeling cheese, don't throw it on there. You can make them as healthy (or not) as you'd like.

 Recently I really haven't been in the mood for a salad. Maybe it's the cold weather? Who knows. But I was suddenly really craving one, so I obviously had to hop on the train before it left. I figured why not throw some fajitas on top. Super easy, super delicious, and I get my salad fix.

Here's What You'll Need:

-3 cups of baby kale (or green of your choice)
-1 bell pepper, sliced
-1/2 medium onion, chopped
-6 oz shrimp, cooked
-1/2 avocado, sliced
-1/2 medium tomato, diced
-4 tbsp salsa
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

1) Heat up the olive oil in a pan over medium high heat, add in the garlic, and cook for about a minute.
2) Add in the bell pepper and onion, and let them cook down for about 3-5 minutes.
3) Add in all of the seasonings and the shrimp, and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
4) Split the kale between two bowls, top each bowl with the fajita mixture, half of the avocado, half of the tomato, and half of the salsa.
5) Enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Asparagus and Dried Cherry Arugula Chicken Salad

The idea for this salad came from the idea of transitioning from summer to fall. It combines some ingredients I personally relate a little more to summer (i.e. asparagus and cherries) and pulls them together with some fall flavors. 

As I was making this, I started to question myself. Do this really work together? But at the end of it all, I was definitely happy with the final result. Not only does it look good, but it blends sweet, salty, savory and of course summer and fall really well.

Here's what you'll need:

-4 cups baby arugula
-12 spears of cooked asparagus, cut into fourths (I baked mine at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes)
-5 oz cooked chicken (mine was baked but feel free to cook on stovetop, grill, etc.)
-1/4 cup walnuts, chopped or in pieces
-1/4 cup red onion, chopped
-4 tbsp feta
-2 tbsp dried cherries
-1 tbsp maple syrup

For the dressing:

-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp maple syrup
-1 tbsp water 

Instructions:

1) In a pan on the stove top, heat the red onion for about a minute over medium high heat.
2) Add in the walnut, turn down to medium, and let cook for about another minute.
3) Add in the tablespoon of maple syrup, and allow it to coat the nuts and onion. Cook for about a minute, and remove from heat.
4) In two bowls, split the arugula. Top each with half of the feta, asparagus, dried cherries, chicken, and walnut and onion mixture.
5) In a bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Top each salad bowl with half of the dressing.
6) Enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comment below, and feel free to subscribe for e-mail updates!