salad recipes

Thai Rice Bowls

Buddha bowls are a super trendy thing now.  The name for this grain based bowls inspired by Buddhist monks and nuns, have been eating this way for over two thousand years.   I'm feeling grateful for this super healthy, balanced meal inspiration, which always offers a colorful balance of plants, additional fiber, healthy fats and protein!


What You'll Need:

For the dressing:
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter (no Jiff here guys, like for real)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
squeeze Sriracha

1 block tofu, sliced lengthwise and pressed*
2 c cooked brown rice
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
2 c cabbage, thinly sliced (use purple cabbage to make this plate pop even more!)
1 c fresh cilantro, chopped
2 c lettuce greens, chopped

1/4 c peanuts

*Press tofu by layering on a plate: tea towel, tofu, tea towel, something heavy-ish. Allow it it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator.

Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Prepare and arrange ingredients in a large bowl or dinner plate.  Drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with peanuts, and DIVE IN!


Serves 4.

Salad Dressings

There is nothing better than a big 'ol salad.  What we often don't realize is that most dressings are loaded with added sweeteners, chemicals, and not-so-good-for-you funk.  It's always best to order vinegar based dressings, on the side, when eating out, and to make your own at home.  Or, even better, ask a restaurant what oil & vinegar based salad dressings they make in house! 

When at home, ditch the trade in store bought varieties for these...

Photo Credit:  Cooking Light 

Photo Credit:  Cooking Light 


I share some of our favorites here--double the batch to have more on hand! 

**Also important to note a salad dressing portion is about 2 Tbsp.  Certainly enjoy a big salad, but don’t use it as an excuse to load up on the dressing!**


Basic Garlic Oil Dressing

1/2 c olive oil

1/2 c flaxseed oil (you can do all olive oil, but adding the flax not only increases health benefits, but allows you to keep it in ...the fridge without becoming a solid mass.)

juice of 1 lemon

3 peeled and pressed garlic cloves (I just smash them)

2 tsp fresh or dry herbs (do what you have on hand--I love to pull stuff from my herb garden in the summer, but used anything green and dried in the winter months)

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp mustard powder

pinch of cayenne

*store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks


 Cider Vinaigrette

1/3 c apple cider vinegar (use one with 'the mother' like Braggs!)

healthy squeeze of honey or 1-2 tbsp stevia

1 c olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp celery salt

This one is especially good on a salad with fruit--think apples, berries…



4 tbsp. honey or stevia

4 tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 c olive oil

1/2 tsp pepper

twist or two of sea salt

This one is a great pair for anything citrus!


Greek Dressing

¼ c red wine vinegar

¼ c olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh oregano

1 clove minced garlic

salt and pepper


 Balsamic Vinaigrette

½ c balsamic vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp raw honey

4 tsp whole grain or dijon mustard

½ c olive oil


Citrus Vinaigrette

½ c olive oil

¼ c juice of any citrus (I love a grapefruit!)

¼ c white balsamic or white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp REAL maple syrup

Salt and pepper


Thai Peanut

3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 c olive oil

2 1/2 Tbsp all natural peanut butter (no Jiff here guys, like for real)

1 Tbsp honey

3 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce

squeeze Sriracha



2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoons finely minced shallots

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh ground black pepper to taste



Olive Citrus

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

½ c olive oil

¼ c Kalamata olives

1 ½ tsp thyme

Salt to taste

Blend in blender or small food processor.

Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Toasted Sesame

1/4 c toasted sesame seeds

1 garlic clove 

zest AND juice of 2 lemons

1 Tbsp local honey 

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar 

1/4 c olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Spread sesame seeds into a cookie sheet.  Pop into the toaster oven, or under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to toast.  This happens quickly, so keep your eye on them!

While seeds cool, combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Add toasted seeds once cool.