This savory salad is perfect for a light dinner or served as a hearty side dish.  Made with roasted sweet potatoes, bacon, pecans, and feta cheese, it’s sure to please even your biggest salad avoiders!
roasted-sweet-potato-salad-with-bacon-and-pecans

I shared this salad on Facebook a while ago and decided I needed to write it up so I don’t forget how to make it!

This roasted sweet potato salad is the perfect cure for the winter blues.  It’s hearty and full of so many of my favorite foods.  You start by roasting sweet potato cubes in olive oil and salt and pepper.  While those are roasting you fry up a few pieces of bacon.  The grease from the bacon becomes the base for this salad’s delicious and savory dressing.  If you aren’t a fan of vinegar you’ll be happy to know that I use lemon in place of it.  You’ll top your favorite salad greens with feta cheese, toasted pecans, the roasted sweet potatoes, bacon, and dressing.  I didn’t include it in the recipe but my husband threw a few dried cranberries on top of his and he said it was tasty!

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This lightly sweet and tangy Apple Cider Vinaigrette is super simple to make and tastes great on just about any salad.

apple-cider-vinaigrette

This dressing takes just a couple of minutes to make and it’s mild and slightly sweet flavor make it perfect on just about any salad.  It pairs especially well with a salad that has sweet and salty toppings.  I love it with apples, candied nuts, and Feta or honey ham, avocado, and Cotija.  Just the other night I had it on a salad with sautéed kale and mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, Feta, and sausage.  It was SO good!  The possibilities are endless.

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***In my Good Eats and Good Reads posts I’ll share a recap of the last several weeks in recipes, photos, and links.***

Things have been super busy around here.  I feel like the blog has been put on the back burner for a few weeks and I’m really trying to get back to it.  I recently gave two presentations to a local MOPS group and I spent a lot of time and energy preparing for that.  Hopefully future talks will take a little less preparation now that the first one is under my belt!

Here are a few yummy things we’ve eaten over the last few weeks.  (I share a lot of these on Facebook and Instagram so it may be a repeat for some of you.)

***One night I pulled out some Salmon Patties from the freezer and cooked them for the purpose of topping salads.  They make such a delicious topping for just about any salad combination.  Our salads had mixed greens, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, cucumbers, onions, and mushrooms.  We used my homemade balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.

salmon patty salad

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Lightened Up Tuna Salad

I love a good tuna salad.  Unfortunately most store bought tubs and restaurant dishes are full of fat, high in calories, and made with some unnecessary ingredients and/or preservatives.  In addition, most recipes include eggs and relish, both of which I don’t really like in my tuna salad.  So I set out to make my own recipe that still has all my favorites but it’s not nearly as high in calories and fat as many recipes out there.  I’ll be honest, I’ve tried to make tuna salads without mayo and it’s not even like eating tuna salad to me.  So I do use a little mayo to get the creaminess but not nearly as much as many recipes call for.  Fresh dill is the ingredient that makes this tuna salad so good though.  I just can’t get enough of it.

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Kale Salad With Warm Maple Bacon Vinaigrette

We’ve been eating kale salads for a while.  Pretty much every time I make one my husband says that bacon would make the salad even better.  So tonight I finally took his advice and added bacon.  Not only did I add bacon, I decided to use the bacon grease to make a warm maple bacon vinaigrette dressing to top the salad.  I did a little searching to get some inspiration and I think I came up with a winner.  My husband has a serious aversion to vinegar so I had to be careful how much I used for this recipe.  I added a little lemon juice to make up for the decrease in the vinegar that most recipes suggest.  In addition to bacon, the salad is topped with Parmesan cheese and toasted pecans.  Because I made this as a main dish I didn’t skimp on the cheese and nuts.  If you want to make this recipe as more of a side dish you could always decrease those ingredients to keep it lighter.

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superfood spinach salad3

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time it should be no surprise to you how much I love salad.  I eat one almost daily.  And it’s not because I feel like I have to; it’s because I really enjoy them.  Salads are such a tasty way to eat lots of nutrient dense foods in one meal.  Sure, you can eat all those things separately, but it’s just more fun in a salad.  Today I’m sharing one of my favorite salad combinations.  I’m calling it Superfood Spinach Salad because it is full of super healthy ingredients.

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quick and easy sauteed chickenOne of my favorite dinners is a simple chicken breast with some veggies on the side.  I used to bake chicken regularly but have recently found that I prefer the taste of sautéed chicken over baked.  It’s much more juicy and has a nice little crisp on the outside.  The problem is that cooking the perfect sautéed chicken takes some practice.  I’ve been working on it and think I’ve finally got it down.

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How To Build a Great Salad

Left: mixed greens, toasted almonds, avocado, cilantro, yellow bell pepper, parmesan cheese and cucumber;  Top right: spinach, almonds, parmesan cheese, carrots, and olives; Middle right: mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, red bell pepper, avocado, parmesan cheese; Bottom right: Salad to go!

Last week I shared my favorite salad dressing recipes.  Today, I’m sharing how I make my favorite lunch salads.  You can see from the pictures that I don’t go hungry when I eat a salad for lunch.  It seems like I keep needing bigger and bigger bowls because I find new things to add in!  I choose to eat a salad most days because I find it an easy way to get a good mix of veggies, protein, healthy fats and fiber.  This combination keeps me full for most of the afternoon.  I’ll usually have one small snack and I’m good to go until dinner.  The key to a great salad is to find a good mix of toppings you like and a great dressing.  (You definitely don’t have to be eating salad every day to be eating a healthy lunch!  I would just encourage you to think outside the average lunch box (i.e. sandwich and chips) and eat a lunch with a variety of healthy foods.)  I’m not going to lie, it takes me more time to fix a salad than it would a sandwich and chips but the health benefits are worth it to me.  If you are short on time, spend just one or two nights a week chopping/prepping ingredients for healthy lunches throughout the week.  I take my salads with me on the go all the time.

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