melinda’s vegetable salad with apples, bacon & honey apple vinaigrette

My grandma taught me how to make a wonderful salad last week that is perfect for autumn! She got the recipe from her friend Melinda, who she plays bridge with at the senior center every week. ūüôā This salad makes a perfect side dish, but is also hearty enough for a main course. I brought the leftovers to my writing “office” {i.e. the local library} for lunch the next day and they were terrific!

melinda salad

for the salad:
– cauliflower*
– broccoli*
– brussels sprouts*
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 1 package baby spinach
– 1 apple {we used a granny smith}
– 4 slices bacon
– 1 cup chopped walnuts
– 1 cup dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup feta cheese
* Feel free to use a combination of your favorite vegetables, and the amounts can vary of each. We used an equal amount of cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts, about 2-3 cups chopped of each.

for the dressing:
– 1/4 cup apple juice
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tbsp honey

1. In the oven or on the stovetop, cook the bacon until it is very crispy. Set aside.

2. Finely chop the cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Thinly slice the apple.

3. Saute the minced garlic in a bit of olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped vegetables and cook 8-10 minutes, until tender.

4. Add the sliced apple and baby spinach and cook another 2-3 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Then remove the salad from heat.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: apple juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey, until well combined.

6. Toss the salad with the dressing, crumbled bacon, walnuts, dried cranberries and feta cheese. Serve warm, with salt and pepper to taste.

Hope you enjoy!

springtime veggie pasta bake

Hi everyone! I have a simple, delicious and healthy recipe to share with you today. This meal is simple to make, easily adaptable to your preferences, and is bursting with fresh veggie flavors! Hope you enjoy!

springtime pasta bake

– 1/2 box whole-wheat pasta {I used rotini}
– 1 yellow squash
– 1 green bell pepper
– 2 roma tomatoes
– 1/2 sweet onion
– 1 cup fresh baby spinach
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– a drizzle of olive oil
– your sauce of choice {I used a combination of tomato sauce & pesto}
– 2 cups shredded cheese {I used an Italian blend}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.

3. Chop and dice the veggies. Toss them in olive oil and saute them in a large pan on medium heat, until onion and garlic are fragrant and spinach is wilted.

4. Drain the pasta and pour cooked noodles into a large casserole dish. Toss with sauce and veggies until everything is well mixed.

5. Top with shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve and savor! This is one of those recipes that makes terrific leftovers, too!

pasta bake

What are some of your favorite springtime recipes?

if you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
easy veggie, potato & sausage bake
cilantro-lime quinoa with chicken
tilapia with pineapple salsa

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: delicious recipes to re-use your leftovers

Today I’m linking up again with Tammy’s Recipes for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

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A couple weeks ago, I posted a tip about making the most of your oven time by cooking meat or veggies to use later in the week. {I often bake chicken to use in later dishes.}

This week, I’m sharing some recipes to use up leftovers. I really dislike wasting food, and re-using your leftovers in new recipes is a great way to save food and money!

  • Leftover mashed potatoes? Fry them up into potato pancakes.
  • Leftover oatmeal? Make these delicious, super-moist oatmeal cookies.
  • Leftover veggies? Add them to pasta or a casserole.
  • Leftover fish? Make baked fish cakes.
  • Leftover chicken? Add it to a leafy green salad, or mix in some mayo, mustard, raisins and almonds to make chicken salad.
  • Leftover quinoa or rice? Dump it in a pot of soup to make the meal heartier.
  • Leftover French or sourdough bread? Tear it up into chunks and bake cinnamon french toast.

This is another terrific post about creative ways to reuse leftovers: http://www.findananny.net/blog/27-blogs-sharing-creative-ways-to-reuse-your-leftovers/

Does anyone else repurpose leftover food into new dishes? I’d love to hear your recipes in the comments below!

easy honey-lime chicken enchiladas

Tired of turkey leftovers? I was in the mood for Mexican food tonight, and when I saw this recipe for a honey-lime marinade for chicken, I was inspired! I turned it into a crock-pot recipe, added some diced onion and bell pepper, tortillas and cheese and green tomatillo sauce, and made honey-lime chicken enchiladas. They turned out del-i-ci-ous, and SO easy!

I made a small batch since it’s just Mike & me, but you could easily double or even triple this recipe to feed a bigger family. These enchiladas heat up great as leftovers and even freeze well for later meals.

honey-lime chicken enchiladas

– 2 large chicken breasts
– 2 tsp minced garlic
– 1/3 cup honey
– 1/3 cup lime juice
– 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
– 3 wheat tortillas
– 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
– 1 small can green enchilada sauce

1. Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock-pot. Add chicken broth, honey, and lime juice, and stir to combine. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

2. Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper in a little olive oil over low heat for 3-5 minutes, until onion becomes translucent. Add ingredients to crock pot mixture and cook for another 1-2 hours.

3. The chicken mixture is done when chicken is fully cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. If needed, take off the lid and turn heat to high for the final 15-20 minutes of cooking.

4. Turn off crock-pot and use a knife and fork to pull apart/shred the chicken.

5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare an 8×8 glass baking pan by pouring about 1/3 of the can of enchilada sauce into the pan to coat the bottom.

6. Fill each tortilla with the shredded chicken mixture and a spoonful of enchilada sauce. Roll and lay into the pan. Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce evenly over the tortillas and top with cheese.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is fully melted and edges of the tortillas are a little crispy.

I served mine with brown rice and broccoli for a filling, healthy and delicious meal!

What are some of your favorite post-Thanksgiving, non-turkey meals? {Actually, this recipe would probably work well with turkey, too, now that I think of it!} ūüôā

Hope you’re having a great week!
-Dallas