Treks & Bites | Salad Bar

Eating the rainbow! We love salads and have them every night either as a side or as the main course! (Soon we’ll post our Taco Salad, too.) We usually have some kind of salad for lunch too! And, as we learned on our trip to Israel a few years back, there’s almost nothing like a good Israeli salad, (made with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and parsley) for breakfast, too! I love it with a scoop of cottage cheese! 

With such a hankering for the crunchy, colorful veggies that Mother Nature produces for us, we like to come up with a variety of options to keep it interesting! This page is devoted to quick and easy salads that you can make with a great big huge variety of seasonal ingredients!  We will update it regularly with new fun and festive salad ideas for you to try at home!

Scroll down to see more salad ideas as we add them to this page! 

*Arugula, Fennel & Green Apple Salad with Goat Cheese & Champagne Dressing

*Curly Celery Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Pecans

*Chinese Chicken Salad

*Blue Cheese Coleslaw

*Roasted Delicata Squash and Cranberry Salad

*Pink Grapefruit Pomegranate Salad

*Tomato & Green Bean Salad

*Blistered Shishito Pepper Salad

Arugula, Fennel & Green Apple Salad

 ARUGULA, FENNEL & GREEN APPLE SALAD w/GOAT CHEESE & CHAMPAGNE DRESSING
This is one of the delicious dishes we enjoyed at The Bentwood Inn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming during our recent visit. The unique combination of green apples, shaved fennel and arugula is so fun and fresh! We added a little crumbled goat cheese, just because we love goat cheese, and plus it complemented the salad flavors so well. But, no cheese or blue cheese would also be wonderful with this salad. Melissa (the chef at The Bentwood, served it with sherry-honey vinaigrette at the inn, but we decided to toss it in our champagne dressing and loved the results
This is an easy salad to make with pre-washed arugula and then all you have to do is shave the fennel and the apples and make the dressing! You can use a mandoline slicer to shave the fennel and thinly slice the apples, but you can also use a potato peeler for the fennel and a sharp knife for the apple. You just want to get both of these as thin as possible!
Servings 4
Prep Time 20 mins

Ingredients

Arugula, Fennel & Green Apple Salad

  • 5-6 oz. 5-6 oz. pre-washed arugula 
  • 1 cup of shaved fennel
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced (leave skins on)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 recipe champagne vinaigrette (recipe just below)

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.

Instructions

  • Distribute arugula leaves among four salad plates.
  • Arrange shaved fennel and sliced apple on top of the bed of arugula.
  • Sprinkle goat cheese evenly over each salad. Drizzle champagne vinaigrette over all and season with salt and pepper.
Author: Suz

Curly Celery Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Pecans

There is something so great about the fresh taste of celery and usually, it is relegated to being a small ingredient in a larger dish, like an ingredient in soup or salad or even as a minor character in spicy chicken wings. It never dawned on me to make it the focal point of a dinner salad until my good friend Mouna served it to us one night! From that point on, we were hooked, and we’ve enhanced the salad by adding blue cheese and toasted pecans and also incorporating some of the celery leaves, which are not only beautiful but add a flavor all of their own! They are slightly more bitter, but so fresh tasting and they make the salad a bit more complex in nature. 
This salad is so easy, and all you really need is a good potato peeler or a mandoline slicer if you have one, and your favorite vinaigrette. One of our favorites for this dish is our super light and Zesty White Balsamic (Dijon) Vinaigrette, but any bottled or your favorite homemade dressing will work great. So many options! If you have a dressing you love, please send it our way and we’ll give it a try!     
Servings 4 Curly Celery Salad with Blue Cheese & Toasted Pecans
Prep Time 20 mins

Ingredients

Salad Fixings

  • 1 large bunch of celery with leaves still attached
  • 2 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot cut into long ribbons with a mandoline or potato peeler
  • 1 carrot cut into long ribbons with a mandoline or potato peeler
  • 1/2 cup pecans pieces, toasted in 350 F oven for about 5 minutes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 recipe of your favorite vinaigrette (our recipe is below)

Zesty White Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • (Yields approximately 1 cup of dressing)
  • 1 rounded tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  • Cut off the bottom of the bunch of celery, separate the bunch into individual stalks and wash. 
  • Remove about 12 of the celery leaves from the stalks and set them aside. 
  • Take three of the celery stalks, and using a potato peeler or mandoline makes a few long ribbons from each stalk. Set aside. Chop any remainder left of the stalks.
  • Cut the remaining celery stalks into thin slices or bite-sized pieces.
  • Put chopped celery into a salad bowl along with the leaves. Arrange the celery ribbons on top of the celery and leaves in the bowl. 
  • Sprinkle toasted pecans and crumbled blue cheese over the celery.
  • Garnish salad with carrot ribbons and sliced radishes. 
  • Drizzle dressing overall. (If you don’t want a fancy presentation, just toss all of the ingredients with the dressing, but for a pretty visual presentation, just drizzle dressing!
  • Pretty simple … mix all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well! Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temp before tossing your salad!
Author: Suz

Chinese Chicken Salad

This Chinese chicken salad is perfect for light dinner and what a great way to use any leftover April’s Chinese Basting Chicken you might have on hand! Besides, who doesn’t love a tangy pop of sesame, ginger, and soy dressing splashed over a bowl full of crunchy veggies, nuts, seeds, and dried noodles? You can use any kind of roasted chicken, but April’s has already got the perfect flavor from the basting sauce and it goes so well with this salad. Besides, it’s so nice, because when you make April’s Chinese Basting Chicken, you practically have two meals ready to go! This is a time saver and an appetite pleaser! 
We are always game for a salad for dinner and this Chinese Chicken Salad using April's Basting Chicken is perfectly delicious. You can use cabbage, or romaine, or whatever green you like, but be sure to add some cilantro leaves and a bunch of crunchy things, like toasted almonds, peanuts, or cashews, (or all three), toasted top ramen noodles, sesame seeds, celery, radishes, and chow mein noodles. Oh, and we love the wonton strips in this salad, too! Garnish with a few more nut sprinkles, a sprig of cilantro, and a lime wedge. 
Prep Time 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups leftover April’s chicken shredded or cubed (and use any shredded or cubed chicken)
  • 1 head green cabbage Napa or regular, thinly sliced, or chopped (or 1 head Romaine lettuce, torn), or a combination of both
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced
  • 2 radishes thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 package Top Ramen noodles crushed a bit and dry toasted in a pan
  • 1/2 cup chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds can also add peanuts or cashews
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup wonton strips
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or green onions as garnish

Asian Sesame Ginger Dressing

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • In a frying pan, “dry” (no oil) sauté ramen noodles and almonds until just beginning to brown.
    Add sesame seeds and continue to cook for just another minute or so, until seeds also are golden-brown.
    Remove from heat and cool. Set aside.
  • Place cabbage, noodles, nuts, seeds, and chicken in a large salad bowl.
    Toss with dressing and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Asian Sesame Ginger Dressing

  • Place all in a container with a tight-fitting lid.
    Stir with a fork until peanut butter is integrated and then shake vigorously.
    Taste and adjust as you see fit, by adding a little more oil or vinegar to suit your tastes.

Toasted Sesame Blue Cheese Coleslaw

This is a fun twist on the traditional sweet and tangy coleslaw, using sesame oil and soy sauce stirred into your favorite blue cheese dressing. We love yogurt-blue cheese instead of the more typical mayonnaise-based dressing, but pick your favorite homemade or packaged blue cheese and add a dash of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil for an Asian flair. Not only is this slaw colorful, but it's delicious and pairs so well with tacos, burgers, spicy wings, teriyaki, or barbecue. Toasted slivered almonds and toasted sesame seeds add the perfect crunchy accents. We like to mix the red and green cabbage, but you can use just one or the other, along with the carrots, if you prefer! 
There is no exact measurement for how much of the blue cheese dressing to add, so I'd start with about 1/2 cup and add more to get to the consistency and taste you like. Also, if you really love the blue cheese flavor, add extra blue cheese crumbles when you toss it and you'll have an intensely blue cheese experience! And, this veers way off the vegetarian diet, but a little crumbled bacon is … well, fabulous!

Ingredients

Toasted Sesame Blue Cheese Coleslaw

  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 small head red cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded or grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup  blue cheese dressing (add the following three ingredients or use our recipe below)
  • +2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • +2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • +1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Garnishes

  • 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Toasted Sesame Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing

  • (Yields 1 1/4 cups dressing, and you won't need all of this so save it for your next salad adventure!)
  • 5 ounces crumbled blue cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

Instructions

Toasted Sesame Blue Cheese Coleslaw

  • Place cabbage and carrots in a salad bowl.
  • Toss with olive oil and rice vinegar.
  • Mix blue cheese dressing with sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar, and then mix into cabbage mixture until cabbage is well coated.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Top with blue cheese crumbles, toasted slivered almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and maybe even some crumbled bacon.

Toasted Sesame Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing

  • In a small bowl, mash blue cheese until fairly smooth using a fork.
  • Stir in rice wine vinegar, olive and sesame oil, and white pepper.
  • Blend until well integrated.
  • Add yogurt and mix well. This makes a very thick dressing.
  • Add more olive oil or yogurt as desired to arrive at the dressing consistency you enjoy. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
Author: Suz

Delicata Squash Salad

Delicata squash is delicious no matter how you slice it, and it’s especially good roasted with brown butter and a tiny sprinkling of brown sugar. You can eat the entire thing, skin and all and it’s delicious when paired with dried cranberries, blue cheese, and toasted pecans on a bed of arugulaDrizzle with your best olive oil and red wine vinegar over the entire salad and you have a great head start on dinner!

Ingredients

Salad Fixings

  • 6 cups fresh arugula leaves
  • 2 Delicata squash, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2-inch rings
  • 2 tablespoons brown butter (this link will show you how to brown the butter)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Salad Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
  • Lemon Pepper
  • S & P to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Place Delicata squash rings on the tray.
  • Brush the tops of the squash ring with half of the brown butter and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar.
  • Roast for approximately 10 minutes and flip rings over.
  • Brush the top side with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar.
  • Continue to bake for another 5 minutes or so, until a knife inserts easily into the flesh of the squash. Remove from the oven and cool. 
  • To make salad, place arugula in the bowl, and arrange roasted Delicata squash rings on top along with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and blue cheese.
  • Toss with all with olive oil first and then vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste with lemon pepper, salt, and pepper. 

Pink Grapefruit Pomegranate Salad

We love the spectacular color and the fresh taste of pink grapefruit and when complemented with perfectly ripe avocado, it's salad perfection! And, since pomegranate seeds are just so charismatic, we decided to add a little extra flavor along with color and texture by tossing in fresh pomegranate seeds and radicchio. Drizzle a good champagne vinaigrette over the top and it doesn't get much better! Besides, for all you Wicked lovers out there, you already know that "pink goes good with green"!

Ingredients

Salad Fixings

  • 1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and the pith and membrane removed
  • 1 large firm, but ripe avocado
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 cups of baby greens
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Champagne Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • S & P to taste

Instructions

  • Mix all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.
  • Arrange salad ingredients on a platter or in a shallow salad bowl.
  • Drizzle dressing over the top of the entire salad and pass extra dressing around the table!

Tomato & Green Bean Salad

Servings 8 as side salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 10-12 oz. cherry tomatoes halved 
  • 2 large shallots, tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt and roasted at 400 F for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 4-6 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Pinot Grigio White Wine Vinegar (Bertolli makes this, but plain white wine vinegar works too)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • S & P to taste

Instructions

  • Toss all together and season with oregano, salt, and pepper!
  • You can also simply use feta, tomatoes and beans for a super easy, beautiful salad!

Blistered Shishito Pepper Salad

We love shishito peppers as an appetizer all by themselves, but this salad recipe is really fun and creates such a beautiful, colorful plate. You can literally use any fruit you like, and we've used mango, pineapple, kiwi and peaches … whatever you can find in season. 
Servings 4 as side dish

Ingredients

Salad Fixings

  • 1 small head romaine lettuce torn into bite sizes
  • 24 shishito peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh fruit of your choice: pineapple mango, kiwi, peaches, sliced and grilled
  • 1 large avocado sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 lime quartered

Dressing-Sesame Teriyaki Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki or similar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Dressing-Sesame Teriyaki Vinaigrette

  • Make the dressing by mixing all ingredients in a jar.

Bister Peppers:

  • To blister the shishito peppers, place the cleaned peppers on a piece of foil and drizzle with a little olive oil, and season with a dash of pepper and Himalayan pink salt … our favorite!
  • Heat the grill to medium and cook them for about 3 minutes per side, or just until they begin to darken and blister.
  • Remove from grill and set aside. You can also blister them in a frying pan, by cooking over medium-high heat until blistered and browned.
  • Drizzle the sliced fruit with a splash of olive oil and grill the fruit at the same time.
  • Arrange lettuce and all of the other ingredients on the plate just as pretty as you please.
  • Drizzle dressing over all and season to taste with S&P.
    Dive in!

Notes

For a dinner salad, simply add grilled chicken breast!

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