Green Bean and Pasta Salad

I haven’t made this, but my sister Julie, her hubby, and their two-year old loved it. That is good enough for me! She got this recipe from

Julie’s notes: I changed a few things. I make the vinaigrette in the big bowl I’m going to serve in. I use: the juice 1 lemon,  3 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon dijon, 1 tsp honey, salt, pepper. I don’t let the pasta and green beans cool – I put them right into the dressing. Then I add the red beans and the parsley and mix it all up. I don’t add the parmigiana cheese until I’m ready to serve – so you can just use it as a garnish in case of allergies. It doesn’t need the cheese to be delicious. And the two beans plus pasta are very filling – Dan didn’t need anything to go with it.



Easy Dairy-Free Garden Pasta Salad

I made this tonight out of on-hand ingredients. For transparency’s sake, I am going to list all the ingredients I used, and in parenthesis all of the ones I WOULD include if I had actually planned ahead. 🙂

1/2 box whole wheat spirals (or rice pasta spirals)

3 garden-fresh tomatoes (or Roma or vine-ripened)

1 green pepper 

(1 red pepper)

1/2 can of cannelini beans

(1/4 lb deli salomi)

(1/4 lb deli pepperoni)

1/4 c. balsamic dressing (I used Kraft but you could also make your own)

dried oregano

dried basil

salt and pepper

Cook noodles, cut vegetables and mix together, using spices to taste. So easy and my family loved it!

Cobb Salad by Rachel Ray and my friend Kelly

Right after I had Ty, my friend Kelly brought me her version of Rachel Ray’s Cobb Salad, with a dressing she created. Even without the cheese and egg that traditionally go with Cobb Salad, it was so delicious and so satisfying! We licked the plates. Here is Rachel Ray’s recipe, and Kelly’s dressing. I think instead of the poultry seasoning Rachel recommends, Kelly marinated the chicken in the salad dressing.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, eyeball it
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 sliced bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and scooped from skins with a spoon, then diced
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups white cheddar or Monterey Jack, shredded (or blue cheese crumbled)


Heat a grill pan or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons oil, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Wash hands. Grill or pan-fry chicken 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. In a small pot, cover eggs with cold water. Place over high heat and bring water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, cool eggs under cold running water. Peel and chop. Brown chopped bacon in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop 3 hearts of romaine lettuce and place in a large serving platter or salad bowl. Dress chopped lettuce with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over lettuce. Season greens with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss diced avocados with juice of remaining 1/2 lemon, to retard browning. Halve chicken breasts and chop the meat. To serve, arrange rows of chopped chicken, chopped hard boiled egg, crisp bacon bits, diced avocado, diced tomato, chopped red onion and shredded cheese on top of either 4 individual portions of dressed romaine or 1 large serving platter.

Kelly’s dressing:

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. lime juice

1 1/2 t cumin

2 T honey

1 T dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Shake and serve!


Pittsburgh Salad (sort of)

In Pittsburgh, they have this great tradition of putting fries on salad. It is probably one of the few good things about the city of Pittsburgh. JUST KIDDING!!! Kind of. Anyway, we really enjoy this salad in our house. It even satisfies a hard working man! And it’s good enough for company!


  • 3 russet potatoes
  • grilled chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • romaine lettuce
  • one onion
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • shredded carrot
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Saute chicken breast in olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Wash and chop salad ingredients: lettuce, tomato, carrot, and avocado. Slice onoin (not chop) and saute in olive oil for a long time, until it caramelizes. Set aside onion. Slice potatoes in long french-fry form. Make sure the slices are small so they cook well. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay on sprayed pan and cook at 425 degrees. The key is to cook them for a LONG time. They need to be crispy. No limp fries on this salad! Once they are about done, prepare each salad on a plate, in this order: lettuce, tomato, carrot, avocado, onion, chicken, fries.  Then drizzle with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Better Than Mayo *Sandwich*

During my allergy-diet days, for some odd reason, the thing I craved most was mayonnaise. I guess maybe because there is no real substitute? I came up with this combination that, oddly, satisfied the mayo craving. I have kept making it because now it tastes better than a sandwich with mayonnaise. Honestly. 🙂 If you are wheat-free, this would make a delicious salad combination!


  • (bread)
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • sliced cooked chicken breast (or deli turkey)
  • honey
  • mustard
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Slice avocado and tomato, and layer on top of chicken/turkey. Drizzle with honey and then mustard. Top with salt and pepper. Put on bread or lettuce!

Apple Spinach Salad

Apple Spinach Salad

 (recipe from

Yield: 6 servings

1 (10 oz) package fresh spinach

2 Granny Smith apples, chopped

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. celery salt

1/4 c. vegetable oil

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Combine spinach, apples, and raisins. Combine sugar, vinegar, celery salt, oil, and garlic salt in a jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Dressing is better when allowed to rest in refrigerator a few hours prior to serving. Shake well before serving.