Tag Archives: salad

Copycat Olive Garden Dressing

5 Jul

Olive Garden Dressing 3
Have any of you stripped and refinished furniture before? Any tips or tricks? It’s our big project this weekend and it seems like a bit of work but I’m super pumped about it.

We are tackling our dining room table and buffet which are both older than me. My parents bought it right before I was born and we got it as a hand me down after we were married and they bought a new table. The chairs were replaced by some fun Ikea chairs a few years ago when they started to fall apart but the table and buffet are still going strong. We thought about buying new but I kind of love the history behind them so we’re going with the freshen up approach. The table will be a creamy white and this green is going on the buffet. The green is definitely bolder in person and will be a fun pop of color. So excited.
Olive Garden Dressing 4
You know what else excites me? Olive Garden salad. And when I say salad, I mean the dressing it is swimming in. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite thing about visiting the restaurant. And I have good news for you, this tastes just like it.
Olive Garden Dressing 1
I love it so much that I can think up just about any reason to make this. Oh, you stubbed your toe? Let me make Olive Garden salad, it will make you feel better. You spent all day inhaling fumes from the paint stripper and dust from the sander? Here, I have salad. You see where I’m going here?
Olive Garden Dressing 2
Copycat Olive Garden Dressing
recipe from Dear Beautiful You

1/3 cup white vinegar
4  1/2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 packet Good Seasons Italian salad dressing packet
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in airtight jar and refrigerate. Dressing tastes best if made the night before.

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

1 May

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette 1
This is officially my new favorite salad dressing and I’m pretty sure it will be my dressing of the summer. It’s incredibly vibrant and zingy….the perfect dressing to keep it light and bright for the upcoming swimsuit season.
Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette 1
My favorite way to serve this dressing is over a salad of romaine, chipotle chicken, grilled corn, black beans and diced avocado. What’s even better is that now that I’m addicted to cilantro lime rice and make it almost once a week, I always have the needed ingredients on hand for this vinaigrette. Which means I pretty much always have this dressing in my fridge. Try it, you won’t regret it!

Honey Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2/3 c olive oil

Combine all ingredients and shake. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow the oil to come back to room temperature.

 

Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

17 Jul

Asian Chicken Salad 4
I have been wanting to make an Asian Chicken Salad for quite some time now and I keep seeing them pop up everywhere around the blogosphere. My absolute favorite version is from Granite City and it was my mission to recreate it and share it with you all.
Asian Chicken Salad 5
Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list…a lot of the ingredients are the same throughout the different elements and the dressings and marinade can be mixed up ahead of time.
Asian Chicken Salad 3
Although this wasn’t exactly like the restaurant version, it was still quite a light and delicious dinner on a hot night. I have to say the dressings are what made it for me. That sweet chili lime vinaigrette is sweet, a little spicy and has just the right amount of sesame. I could probably eat it with a spoon. The light drizzle of the peanut dressing gives a nutty depth that puts the salad over the edge for me. And I just can’t eat a salad without some kind of crunch on top so the wonton strips were a perfect addition.

Joel wasn’t a huge fan so it probably won’t be hitting the dinner table too often but it will be on frequent rotations for my weekday lunches.
Asian Chicken Salad 2
Asian Chicken Salad with Chili Lime and Peanut Dressings

For the Pineapple Chicken Marinade:
1 lime, zested and juiced
6 oz. can pineapple juice, or 1 cup
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts

For the Salad:
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 English cucumber, sliced into half moons
2-3 carrots, julienned or shredded
1 red pepper, small dice (I didn’t use but thought it would be a good addition)
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Green onion, to taste
Wonton Strips

For the Chili Lime Dressing:
recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
1/2 cup sweet chili garlic sauce
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice

For the Peanut Dressing:
recipe adapted from myrecipes.com
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
2 tsp. dry-roasted peanuts

1. For the chicken: Combine all marinade ingredients together in a ziplock bag and mix around to combine. Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness and marinate for 1-4 hours.

2. While the chicken is marinating, mix up the dressings. For the chili lime vinaigrette: combine all ingredients in a mason jar, seal tightly and shake until well combined. Refrigerate. For the peanut dressing: Combine first 8 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add in peanut and blend for 10 seconds more. Place in bowl or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Preheat grill to medium heat and cook chicken until juices run clear. Meanwhile, put the salad together. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine ingredients. Once chicken has been grilled, slice into bite size chunks and place on top of salad. Scatter with wonton strips and drizzle with a good amount of chili lime vinaigrette and a bit of the peanut dressing. Enjoy!
Asian Chicken Salad 1

Cobb Salad

26 Jun

Cobb Salad 2
Now that the summer heat has set in, I have been craving cool, crisp salad all the time. The only problem here is one of those boys I live with (the big one) doesn’t think salad is a meal.
Cobb Salad 3
In comes the Cobb Salad to prove him wrong because if you know me, you know I like to be right. I even have a magnet given to me by my mom’s best friend that states: “The Happy Couple: Mr. Right and Mrs. Always Right.” It’s a problem I have. But not really…life is just easier if things are done my way.
Cobb Salad 1
How could a salad covered in grilled corn, hard boiled eggs, bacon, chicken, avocado, cucumbers and cheese then drizzled with roasted garlic vinaigrette not be deemed a meal? Well, people…it was. I knew I would convince him (if he knew what was good for him). And there were no complaints from the dinner table. I call that a success!

Cobb Salad

1 romaine heart, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce, chopped
2 ears grilled corn
2 hard boiled eggs
1 avocado, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbles
1 grilled chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 english cucumber, sliced into half moons
1/4 cup bleu cheese, feta or gorgonzola
croutons 
Roasted garlic vinaigrette

Mix together the romaine and butter lettuce. Place chicken down the middle. In a line layer the avocado on one side and the cucumber on the other. Continue with the remaining items (except dressing). Serve individual portions being sure to get all the toppings. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

21 Jun

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette 3
I made an amazing salad last night (which I will be sharing with you soon) and I needed the perfect dressing to go with it. I have to admit, I am normally a bottled salad dressing kind of girl but lately I have been making my own and it’s crazy how easy it is. Not only that, but it’s much healthier because you control exactly what goes in it which means no weird, funky processed junk that nobody can pronounce.
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette 2
I was very intrigued when I came across this recipe and knew it had to be made pretty much immediately. When I saw that it called for 3 whole garlic bulbs, I was a bit concerned that it would be garlic overload but I was totally wrong. It lent a sweet, almost buttery flavor to the dressing and helped mellow out the zinginess of the vinegar. This dressing will definitely be a staple in our refrigerator from here on out.
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette 1
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
recipe from Taste of Home
Yields 3/4 cup

3 whole garlic bulbs
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Remove papery outer skin from garlic (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut tops off of garlic bulbs. Brush with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap each bulb in heavy-duty foil. Bake at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until softened. Cool for 10-15 minutes.

2. Squeeze softened garlic into a blender. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, mustard, salt, pepper and remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil; cover and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator. 

Cucumber Tomato Salad

22 Apr

Cucumber Tomato Salad 1
So, I know I have already shared a couple cucumber salad recipes with you all (here and here) but Noah and I are big cucumber fans and we go through quite a few every week. Because of this, we are always looking for new ways to eat them and this is our current favorite. My mom whipped this up one night when we were over for dinner and it was amazing and so simple.
Cucumber Tomato Salad 3
And the ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand. I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love those kinds of recipes!

The recipe recommends making this two hours before you are going to serve it but it is soo much better the next day so if you have the time, mix it up the night before so that it has time to marinate and soak up the delicious dressing.
Cucumber Tomato Salad 4

This is going to be my official summer side dish. Delish!

Cucumber Tomato Salad

3 English cucumbers, washed and thinly sliced
3 medium tomatoes, washed and diced into bite size chunks
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vinegar (I used plain ‘ole white but red wine vinegar would be really tasty too)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup oil (veggie or canola)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. course ground pepper

Place cucumbers, tomatoes and onions in a medium sized bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, water, oil, salt and pepper to a mason jar or some container with a tight seal. Shake until thoroughly combined. Pour over veggies and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
Cucumber Tomato Salad 3

Favorite 30 Minute {or Less} Meals

10 Apr

Wow, Vegas was a whirlwind and I have to say, I was definitely ready to come home! It was a fun trip but we tried to do way too much in not enough time. Joel and I always seem to do this when we have a little getaway without Noah. When I go somewhere for the first time (and if I’m not sure I’ll be going back again) I like to see and do everything possible…which translates into a packed vacation that lacks relaxation. After this trip, we vowed to not do that again. But I really can’t make any promises.

Plus, I had a whole airport fiasco that ended up in my being stuck in the Vegas airport for over 7 hours before I finally got to board a flight (and not my original). The flight I was supposed to be on got delayed almost 2 hours because of strong winds in Phoenix which would have meant I would miss my connection and be stuck there overnight. I kept being told that I would make the connection and they had me board then right before leaving the gate they called my name and pulled me off the flight saying that I wouldn’t make the connection…no way, the flight didn’t board until 6:40 and my connection was to take off at 7:20. Sooo, they put me on a direct flight at 8:20. I had to wait a little longer but at least I wouldn’t be stuck somewhere overnight. Once I got to my new gate, I found out it was delayed until 10:10 meaning I wouldn’t get home until 3 a.m. Luckily, my bag made it and I eventually got to my parents around 3:30. I got about 3 hours of sleep before Noah woke up and we had to drive the hour home so that Joel could get to work. It was a rough day to say the least.

I’m sure many of you out there get to the end of the day exhausted and needing to whip up a quick and easy dinner so today I’m sharing some of my favorite 30 minutes (or less) main dishes that I have featured here. Many of these are regular rotations for us during the week.
30 Minute Meal 1
Veggie StirfrySkinny Bang Bang Shrimp, Ultimate Grilled Cheese, Oven Tacos
30 Minute Meal 2
Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese, Honey Mustard Pork Burgers, Catalina Taco Salad, BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
30 Minute Meal 3
Steak Bites, Sesame Noodles, Buffalo Sloppy Joes, Salt and Pepper Pork Chops

Crock Pot Cafe Rio Chicken

8 Feb

Crock pot meals are totally where it’s at right now in our humble abode. As I said before, picking up Joel from work every day is totally cramping my cooking style so I have to adjust until a darn space in a parking garage opens up.
Cafe Rio Chicken 1
The ingredients combine to create a zesty, smokey and slightly spicy chicken that is just perfect in tacos and burritos or atop tostados and salads. Trust me, I have had it in all these forms. I think my favorite was definitely the tostado which is pictured below. I’ll be sharing the recipe for some delicous {crock pot, duh} refried beans that was just perfect to go with this yummy chicken.
Cafe Rio Chicken 2

I have never been to Cafe Rio so I can’t make a comparision but it was so great that it will become a regular around here. But if I ever get the chance, I will totally be there.

Cafe Rio Chicken
recipe from Mandy’s Recipe Box

2 lbs chicken breasts
1 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 packet ranch dressing mix (mixed with 1/2 cup of water)
1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin

Mix Italian dressing, garlic, ranch dressing mix, chili powder and cumin in the crock pot. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Shred with a fork and serve.

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

31 Dec

2012 has been a wonderful, busy, crazy year and I’m so glad I have been able to share it with you all! My readership and views have skyrocketed this year and it’s all thanks to you. I truly appreciate all the views and comments and just for giving me a little of your time each day! So here are the top 12 most viewed recipes of 2012. I hope you take a look and {hopefully} enjoy them again! Happy New Year!

Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Sweet Cornbread
Sweet Cornbread
Cheesy Bread
Cheesy Bread
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Mexican Chicken Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
Mexican Chicken Salad
Salted Pretzel Caramel Bark
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
Bang Bang Shrimp
Lasagna Cupcakes
Lasagna Cupcakes

Catalina Taco Salad

24 Aug

Catalina Taco Salad
Ever since I was a child I have loved Catalina dressing. Like a dip my chicken nuggets in Catalina while other normal kids dipped in ketchup kind of love. I even liked to drizzle a little on my cottage cheese. Strange, I know. I still love it today, but just on my salad (although I may just have to try the cottage cheese thing again).
Catalina Taco Salad
So when I saw this salad I knew I had to try it. The salt and crunch of the fritos is a nice contrast to the rest of the salad. And the warm ground beef makes it extra yummy and filling.

Catalina Taco Salad
recipe slightly adapted from Jennifer Cooks

8 cups torn romaine lettuce or lettuce blend
1 ½ pounds ground beef
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed & drained thoroughly
1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained thoroughly
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
1 (14 ounce) bag Fritos corn chips
1 (24 ounce) bottle Catalina salad dressing

1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Set aside and cool slightly while preparing other ingredients.

2. In a very large serving bowl, combine lettuce, grated cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, and onions.  Toss gently to blend.

3. Just before serving, add cooked ground beef and corn chips; toss gently to combine with salad ingredients.  Begin drizzling salad dressing over salad mixture and lightly toss salad until the desired amount of dressing is used.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,721 other followers