Cook’s notes: the beets are so good this way, but the dressing — oh my! Delicious.
3 medium beets, scrubbed and trimmed
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Coat beets lightly with olive oil.
- Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, and then peel and dice.
- Drizzle with the balsamic-maple dressing.
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Adapted from Roasted and Pickled Beets Recipe – Allrecipes.com and a beet recipe by Bobby Flay
Cook’s notes: I made this salad recently for a Grilled Cheese Housewarming Party. The hosts asked everyone to bring a kind of grilled cheese sandwich or a compatible dish. It’s a pretty salad … and it goes well with grilled cheese. The recipe is easily cut in half.
6 cups mixed green lettuce
6 cups butter lettuce
1 Braeburn apple, cored and diced
1 Granny smith apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
Put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-sealing lid. Close the lid firmly and shake vigorously to combine.
Cook’s notes: This is a riff on an older recipe, the Best Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Salad. We needed a smaller amount of the corn salad to use as a topping on turkey taco salad.
2.6 oz. olive oil
2 oz. lemon juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried cilantro
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounce can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
Mixed salad greens
In a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil to black pepper). Stir in the corn and black beans. Serve on a bed of mixed greens.
Cook’s notes: Thank you, Paula Jones, for a lovely sauce recipe! via Lighter Sriracha Dipping Sauce » Call Me PMc. She recommends serving it on turkey burgers or with fries or baked cauliflower or on a salad. It would also go well with raw or roasted veggies. I served it with brown rice and sauteed chicken thigh strips.
- 4 Tablespoons “Just Mayo” light mayonnaise
- 4 tablespoons plain fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in refrigerator up to one week.
Cook’s notes: Loaded with veggies and wonderful for parties. Serve with raw vegetables and pita chips for dipping.
Layer the following in an 8×8-inch dish:
- 2 cups hummus
- 1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, mixed with 1 teaspoon dried shallots and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Diced cucumber, about 1 cup (we spiralized 1 English cucumber and cut the spirals into bite-size pieces)
- Cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
- Sprinkling of dried herbs
Cook’s notes: I am fairly obsessed with making my own salad dressing and often browse recipes and instructions on this topic. The Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing post has several notes about ratios and emulsifying. I recently found a terrific recipe for a sweeter apple cider vinaigrette, which is perfect on a salad with mixed greens, carrots, and sliced apples. And I still love the Best recipe: Small Batch Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette with rosemary.
I’ve pulled the recipes for these three dressings, the ones I rely on the most, into the matrix below. Read the linked posts for more details.
First, pick which type of vinegar you want to use, and then follow the grid:
Cook’s notes: This refreshing salad is good for hot summer days. We brought the components to a dinner party so guests could choose if they wanted olives or cheese in their salads.
Top butter lettuce leaves with:
- Spiralized English cucumber
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Black olive slices
- Crumbled feta cheese
Dressing: Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing (make a double recipe)
Makes about 2.5 oz (5.2 Tablespoons; about 3 servings). Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.
Favorite Italian Dressing
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week. Stir again before serving if needed.
Cook’s notes: This recipe is loosely inspired by the “Build your own salad” at Bruegger’s Bagels. Their menu says “choose 3 veggies, 1 meat [protein], 1 cheese & 1 topping, tossed with field greens & the dressing of your choice.” I have simplified this to the following formula:
- 3 vegetables
- 2 cups (60 g) mixed greens and lettuce
- 1 protein: 3 oz. lean chicken or 3 oz. drained tuna or 1/2 cup canned beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 topping/extra: a sprinkle of cheese (up to 1 oz.); 3 to 6 olives; 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds, nuts, or dried cranberries; or croutons if you like them
- Dressing of your choice, up to 2 Tablespoons
- 3 vegetables: Shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, shredded cabbage
- 2 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 protein: 1/2 cup chickpeas
- 1 topping: 1 Tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds
- Buttermilk ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt (recipe from Ellie Krieger)