Chickpea “Meatballs” with Crunchy Romaine Salad

As promised – a recipe!  And not only is it incredibly healthy but it’s one of the best salads that I’ve made at home.

This Mediterranean-inspired salad is packed with flavor and the chickpea “meatballs” reminded me a lot of the flavor of garlic hummus.  The meatballs were best the day you make them (aka crunchy on the outside) but don’t think I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day.  Even Big Guy loved this salad.

To make the meatballs, you process the chickpeas in a food processor until ground.  Then add in the panko (I used gluten-free), cumin, paprika, garlic (I obviously used more than the recipe called for), tahini and salt.  Once smooth, add in an egg and pulse until just combined.  The mixture is then shaped into meatballs – about 1 tablespoon each – and cooked in olive oil until crisped and browned on all sides.

The salad base is simply a mix of chopped romaine, parsley (LOVE this ingredient in a salad), cucumber, grape tomatoes and red onion.  To make the dressing, simply combine a grated garlic clove, lemon juice (key ingredient), warm water, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper.


If you’re anything like me, after the holidays (or between Christmas and New Years) you crave a big salad of goodness.  And this is just what I needed.  The flavors were out of control and my favorite bites included the garlicky meatballs and lemon tahini dressing. And as you can see from above, the bump couldn’t help but make an appearance.


Thai Beef Salad

I present to you another edition of “Cook Once, Eat 3 Times.”  Cooking Light has been printing this monthly feature in their magazine for a while now and I absolutely love the concept.  The first night you spend a little more time in the kitchen and then the second and third meals come together a little faster because you utilize a major ingredient from the first night.

On Saturday night we made Smoky Caramelized Onion Burgers (they were DELICIOUS but my pictures turned out incredibly dark) and I’ve been using the four leftover patties all week in our other meals.  On Monday night the burgers were crumbled and transformed into a Thai Beef Salad that was so unique and I honestly felt like I was eating a completely different meal – not just a burger crumbled up.

To make the dressing, whisk together lime juice, light brown sugar, fish sauce and Sriracha.  This dressing is used to flavor the meat as well as dress the greens when a little EVOO is added.  Like I said, crumble the burgers and sauté in a little but of EVOO until crispy and warmed.  Then add in some of the dressing and allow the liquid to be absorbed.  I made a few changes to the recipe and used romaine lettuce instead of cabbage and I used red onions instead of green onions.  The greens are tossed in the remaining dressing along with steamed haricot verts (French green beans).  Top the greens with the crumbled beef and peanuts for some extra crunch and nuttiness.


Big Guy and I both loved the flavors in this salad.  Completely different than the burgers. So refreshing and you guys know I love a meal with a huge portion size.

Tomorrow I’ll show you how I used up the last two patties…it might just be my favorite.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Crab

Think you’re grill is only for burgers and chicken?  Think again.  Grilling romaine hearts gives them a smoky flavor while still remaining crisp.  Big Guy and I both love amping up salads by grilling the greens.

The dressing for this salad only requires TWO ingredients:  pre-made guacamole (Wholly guacamole is my favorite) and lemon juice.  Other toppings include grilled corn (another love of my life), cherry tomatoes and crab (if you don’t have access to fresh, high quality crab meat, use grilled shrimp).

I prepped all the ingredients ahead of time so that when it was time for dinner, all Big Guy had to do was fire up the grill and cook the corn and romaine.  While the romaine was cooking, I cut the corn off the cob.

Make sure to season the salad with plenty of salt and pepper – it’s a simple salad and these two ingredients make a huge difference.


So fresh and full of flavor!

And don’t you dare skip grilling the romaine.

Sweet Potato Medallions with Almond Sauce and White Bean Salad

And another weekend has come and gone.  Why, oh, why must the weekends fly by?  Our weekend included my new favorite margarita, watching the Derby at home, a sushi date and a fun Sunday afternoon in the sunshine.  It was basically a perfect weekend.

This week is full of the usual but I’m so excited for Friday to arrive because that means I get to meet my newest nephew, Tanner.  And since we’ll be visiting my brother and sister-in-law, I’m going to prep a few freezer meals for them to have in the coming weeks.

About this salad.  It’s so unique but incredibly easy with only FIVE ingredients (not counting EVOO and S&P).  I decided to make this salad last week in an effort to use our homegrown sweet potatoes before they go bad.  (p.s. sweet potatoes last forever)  To make this salad, microwave the sweet potato so that it’s softened and then cut into disks. Brush the potatoes with a little EVOO and then cook on the stovetop until browned on each side.  The almond butter drizzle is made with almond butter (duh), a little warm water and lemon juice.  Finally, prep the salad greens by tossing with white beans (use whatever you have on hand!), some lemon juice and EVOO plus salt and pepper.

Arrange the potato sliced on top of the beans and greens and then drizzle with the almond butter sauce.  So simple!


I literally can’t think of an easier salad plus it’s vegetarian and perfect for meatless Monday.

I hope you have a great start to the week!

Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios

Happy Monday, friends!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Ours didn’t go as planned but the silver lining was time with Big Guy’s family in Lumberton.  I did manage to squeeze in a ladies lunch on Saturday and yesterday we spent the evening catching up on all our DVRed shows and making pizza.  This week is a busy one but I’m looking forward to a weekend at home coming up.

This salad was our dinner on our actual anniversary.  And it’s salad perfection.

Juicy, sweet, local berries
Homegrown lettuce
Tender grilled chicken
Crunchy pistachios
Creamy, tangy goat cheese

Half of the berries marinate for about 15 minutes in a mixture of EVOO, balsamic vinegar, honey, thyme and salt plus pepper.  Y’all!  I could have eaten the whole bowl of these delicious berries.

The chicken is seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika before being grilled.

To assemble the salad, simply fill a bowl with lettuce, top with the marinated berries and remaining dressing, along with sliced red onions, the sliced grilled chicken, remaining berries, pistachios and goat cheese.


The perfect Spring salad.


Chickpeas with Spiced Carrots, Dates and Pistachios

Let me introduce you to my new favorite refrigerator staple:  Chickpeas with Spiced Carrots, Dates and Pistachios.


This salad comes together in no more than 10 minutes and it’s the perfect lunch or light dinner.  In fact, I cannot wait to eat leftovers for lunch today.  Prep this salad on Sunday and you’ll be able to eat on it all week long.

This no-cook salad involves one bowl and a simple list of ingredients.

The “dressing” is a quick mix of EVOO, cumin, cinnamon (!!!) and a little salt.  The powerhouse ingredients include canned chickpeas (if you use dried, more power to you), shredded carrots, chopped dates, cilantro and pistachios.  I served the salad on a bed of lettuce last night and an extra sprinkle of flaky salt.

It’s sweet, it’s crunchy, it’s savory, it’s salty and it’s full of good-for you stuff.




End-of-Summer Cheeseburger Salad

Oh, it feels like Monday.  Thankfully the stars aligned and what I thought was going to be a crazy, disjointed day just became a little more relaxed.

Last night’s dinner was a nod to the end of summer.  While the weather will continue to be hot and summer-like, we’ve officially left the summer months.  Last night we threw together a salad with all the flavors of a cheeseburger:  shredded cheese, ground beef burger, lettuce, tomato, a ketchup & mustard inspired dressing and some crunched up potato chips.


The salad starts with a base of lettuce.  Then comes a sprinkle of chopped tomatoes.  The burger patty is simply two burgers that were seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled until your desired doneness.  Then chop up the burgers and add that to the pile of lettuce.  Then a little cheese – we used fontina and the dressing.  The dressing is a mix of mayo, tomato sauce, mustard and a sprinkle of salt.  And finally the entire salad is amped up with some crushed potato chips for the ultimate crunch.

Such a fun twist on a classic summer favorite.