Debbie’s Delicious Chopped Salad

This is no side salad

Photo: tastespotting

This salad is a meal of its own – both fulfilling and filling. It’s loaded with goodness to give you energy.  Here you have an extremely tasty mix of sweet, salty and savory, with a healthy dose of good fats, fibre, protein and greens.

What you need:

Along with greens of your choice (I use a combo of baby spinach, arugula + spring mix) toss the following:

Chopped cooked *chicken breast, avocado, apple (skin on), green onion, pitted medjool dates (2-3 per serving), cherry tomatoes, chickpeas (drained and rinsed), cucumber, hard boiled egg & kalamata olivesOptional: I like to crumble gorgonzola (or feta) cheese over top.  You can also add chopped crispy bacon bits.

Of course all of this is optional depending on what you enjoy.

  • I usually bake a few *chicken breasts in a little olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice + pepper.  It’s easy and perfect for adding to salads, wraps or pasta dishes.

Dressing: Add to chopped mix right in the same bowl – a squeeze of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, low sodium soy sauce (yes I did mean to say that) & drizzle a bit of balsamic.  Note: you won’t miss s+p to taste if you choose to add gorgonzola and/or bacon bits.  Sprinkling sesame seeds over top….

Voilà…lunch or dinner is served.

OR; wrap it up.  If you’re especially hungry this also works well in a wrap.  There are so many kinds to choose from now (Italian Herb, Sundried Tomato & Basil, etc.) and the calories are written right on the package.  We love options.


Simply Satisfying – Superfood Salad in Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette

This has become one of my favorite salads that is like a meal on it’s own.quinoa3

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)—a tiny little seed with an ancient history—packs a big nutritional punch: It’s high in protein and nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties, which is likely why it sustained people in South America’s Andes mountains (where quinoa grows best) for so long. Quinoa has a mild, slightly vegetal flavor and cooks up fluffy, like couscous, but is still slightly crunchy.  In this recipe we mix it up with healthy greens, nuts and a bit of dried fruit for a fulfilling and nourishing salad that will make a perfect lunch.


1 cup cooked quinoa (see directions on package).  You can also use a mix of sprouted brown rice.

½ cup each of the following: chopped kale, broccoli, cabbage, grated carrot (optional).

Add to your liking about ¼ cup of roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, sundried tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives.


1. Using fine-mesh sieve, rinse quinoa well (if the quinoa isn’t pre-rinsed). In small saucepan, combine quinoa with 1-3/4 cups water or chicken/veggie stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until quinoa is translucent and all of the water has been absorbed, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove pan from heat; with fork, fluff quinoa. Let cool slightly. Gently stir in cranberries.

3. Mix into a large bowl all ingredients together.

4. For the vinaigrette, whisk together orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and ginger. In thin steady stream, gradually whisk in oil. Whisk in salt an pepper.

5. Gently toss salad with vinaigrette until well coated.  Top with shredded cheese of your choice.

  • Citrus Ginger Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tbsp  (15 mL)  grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp  (30 mL)  fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp  (30 mL)  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp  (5 mL)  grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup  (60 mL)  extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch each course sea salt and pepper

Of course this vinaigrette is only a suggestion – one of many.  Lemon poppyseed and sesame ginger are also excellent. Adding blueberries is nice too, especially in summer.

you can add corn & rinsed black beans for another version
Add corn & canned, rinsed black beans for another version

Do you have a favorite Quinoa Salad Recipe you’d like to share?

Simply Satisfying – Fiesta Salad

Sunday for lunch I ordered a deliciously tasting salad from the *Taos Cantina in Sedona, AZ.  Sedona has to be one of the most picturesque cities in the world.

Fiesta Salad
Fiesta Salad

It’s a take on traditional taco salad but without the taco shell. It came with ranch/chipotle dressing on the side and sour cream.  I would omit the sour cream (extra calories) and mix a litehouse ranch with chipotle (sparingly to taste) from the can.

What a pleasant presentation for guests especially in the summer.  Underneath the surrounding mix of chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, black beans, corn kernels, queso blanco (mild Mexican white cheese – but you can probably substitute with Mozarella) there was a nice array of organic spring mixed lettuces which you can’t see until you mix it all up.  On top in the middle was some guacamole and a few tortillas.  I would suggest chopped avocado and cilantro in place of the guacamole and lime slices on the side…and a Corona extra.  I’m ready for another FIESTA!

*We sat outdoors surrounded by majestic red rock mountains (or monoliths) on all sides. Sedona  is known as a spiritual place abundant in spas and retreats but it is also a tourist destination with many touristy shops.  Great place to bike & hike.

Taos Cantina - Sedona
Taos Cantina – in Sedona with a backdrop of spectacular scenery.