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Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette // Karista's Kitchen

I’m writing today from my new office which has the loveliest view of rolling hills and a menagerie of deep green trees. I think this is going to be the perfect spot for loads of creativity and mouth-watering recipes. I’m still in the midst of unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for everything so this post is short and sweet; and of course, delicious.

This Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad is vibrant in color, not to mention quite sassy in flavor. 

This salad is filled with spicy watercress and radishes mixed with sweet mandarin sections drizzled with a zesty lime vinaigrette creates a flavorful, beautiful and refreshing salad.  If watercress isn’t to be found, this is just as delicious over shredded cabbage. I like to garnish with fresh cilantro but you can certainly use fresh mint or basil.

I’ve got several new recipes to post soon so stay tuned!

Loads of Love,


Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 4-6

Radish and Mandarin Orange Salad with Zesty Lime Vinaigrette


  • 8 oz red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 16 oz canned mandarin orange wedges, or 2 cups fresh mandarin orange wedges
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime juiced, about 2-3 teaspoons
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ - 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  • Whisk together the lime juice, mustard and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, adding additional oil to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Next, layer the watercress on a platter, then layer the oranges and then top with the radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette and serve immediately.
  • Notes

    I originally created this recipe for Home By Design Magazine in 2016.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Salad Sassy Side dishes

    Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad

    Mango Avocado and Quinoa Salad // So perfect for spring roasts or summer grilling // Karista's Kitchen

    I woke up at 3am the other morning thinking about Mango Avocado Salsa and how delicious it would be in a salad. Because honestly, I could eat Mango Avocado Salsa like a salad.

    And wouldn’t that salad be so fantastic if I added some quinoa and maybe greens?  Then I thought to myself how much you would love this salad!  So the next morning, I had to make it.

    It turned out just as tasty as I thought it would.  Quinoa, red onion, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, a little pepper, avocado, mango and micro greens.  It. Is. Divine. 🙂

    Mango Avocado and Quinoa Salad // So perfect for lunch, brunch or summer grilling // Karista's Kitchen

    I had a little leftover yesterday and added it to baby spring greens and dressed it with some of my leftover honey mustard dressing and that was equally as delicious.

    I’ve listed the recipe below but truly, you can create this salad to your tastes.  Adding more greens or less onions, more avocado and less mango.  It’s a base recipe so have fun and create an enticing spring and summer salad that will be so fabulous for brunch, lunch or with spring roasts or summer grilling.

    Wishing you all a most marvelous weekend!

    Loads of love,


    PS: Thank you all so much for your heart warming and thoughtful comments about my last post, My Lost Love for Social Media.  I adore you all and I feel so lucky to have such an incredibly lovely group of engaging readers!

    Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad

    Serving Size: 4

    Mango Avocado Quinoa Salad


    • 1 cup quinoa, cooked to package directions (Einkorn or other ancient grain works well too)
    • 1/2 cup diced red onion
    • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 1 lime juiced
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1-2 mangos, diced
    • 1-2 avocados, diced
    • Handful of micro greens
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Fresh baby greens, baby spinach or arugula if desired
    • Crumbled Cotija cheese, optional


  • Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and then let it cool.
  • Toss together the quinoa, onions, fresh cilantro, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lime juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Layer the salad on a platter or plate with the quinoa, mango, avocado and top with micro greens. Garnish with Cotija cheese if desired or serve the entire salad over a platter or plate of baby greens.
  • For a little extra dressing, whisk together 1 part lime juice with 2 parts olive oil and a dash of honey, salt and pepper. This makes a quick lime vinaigrette. Adding a little Dijon mustard to it is also nice.
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    Grilling Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Grilled Summer Corn and Tomato Salad

    Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad with Sliced Red Onions and Fresh Basil // Karista's Kitchen

    This is the time of year I’m in food heaven. Summer produce is at its peak and it adorns my table with gorgeous color and delicious flavors, like this Grilled Corn and Summer Tomato Salad.  

    Most of the plants in my garden are ready to harvest, with the exception of the few plants that have suffered little critter attacks, the heat and my apparent lack of gardening knowledge.  I was so excited about my little strawberry patch, only to walk out one morning and notice tiny teeth marks on my sweet red berries.  Darn bunnies. 🙁

    I have a short list of plants I probably won’t attempt growing next year.  I have completely failed at sugar snap peas – and I love sugar snap peas.  Disappointment is looming.  I’m not sure what happened but I think I may have planted them in the wrong spot in the yard.  My knack for growing cauliflower never emerged this season… and then the white flies noticed the fledgling cauliflower hanging about and pretty much decimated what was left of the cauliflower crop.

    I’ve had a few successes however.  I am awesome at growing greens!  Which is great because we eat loads of greens in my house.  Bok Choy, Spinach, Swiss Chard and Collards are being harvested daily.  My spring lettuce flourished as did the arugula.  Tomatoes will be ready soon and the cucumbers are popping out everywhere.  Another huge success are the peppers, which is making Ranger Craig very happy.  He could eat peppers daily.  And of course my herb garden is overflowing with the most beautiful and fragrant herbs.  Ok, so I have somewhat of a green thumb.  I believe it may be more determination than an actual green thumb. 🙂

    Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad with Red onion and Fresh Basil in a Sherry Vinaigrette

    The one vegetable I do wish I’d grown in my garden this year is corn –  so I could make this Grilled Corn and Summer Tomato Salad straight from my garden.  

    Summer isn’t summer without corn. And well… potato salad, grilled ribs, grilled chicken, burgers, grilled stuffed peppers, macaroni salad and I could go on and on.  Maybe it’s the memories it evokes, noshing on corn on the cob with smears of butter on warm summer days, or watching my family dig into a bowl of this sweet corn and tomato salad.

    Grilled summer corn and tomato salad is a staple on our summer table.  

    It’s easy to prepare and it holds well in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Although it doesn’t last that long in my house.   Slightly sweet from the corn and a little tang of fresh cherry tomatoes combined with a little spice of sliced red onion and then topped with fresh and fragrant basil.  The simplicity of clean, fresh flavors shines through and is melded together by a little taste of char from the grilled corn.  Earthy, fresh, fragrant and most of all, delicious.

    Cheers to a delicious and fun-filled summer!

    Loads Of Love,


    P.S. Having a little trouble with my print plugin but hopefully it will be fixed soon.  Thanks so much for your patience!

    Grilled Summer Corn and Tomato Salad


    5-6 cobs of fresh summer corn, husks peeled and rinsed

    1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

    1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped chiffonade (Julienne)

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

    2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (start with 2 tablespoons and taste, if you need more add the extra tablespoon)

    Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


    Pre-heat the grill to 400F.  Brush each corn on the cob with a little oil and then wrap each corn on the cob in aluminum foil and place them on the grill.  Note: Some people like to soak the corn on the cobs in water for about 10-15 minutes prior to grilling.  But if the corn is fresh and kernels look plump, this step won’t be needed. I don’t typically soak my corn prior to grilling unless its end of the season and the kernels look less than plump.

    Grill the corn for about 15-20 minutes, turning with tongs every five minutes to insure even cooking.  Once the corn is done, remove from the heat and let them rest for about five minutes.  Then unwrap the corn and let them rest another five minutes if they are too hot to handle.  Then scrape all the corn off the cob and place it in a bowl.

    To assemble the salad, gently toss together the corn, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, chopped Italian parsley and basil.  Whisk together the olive oil and sherry vinegar and then gently toss with the vegetables.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    This salad is fabulous when it’s had about 30 minutes to sit on the counter at room temperature.  This will allow all those delicious flavors to meld together.  Place any leftover salad in a covered container in the fridge for up to five days.



    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

    Red Quinoa Lunch Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    You know that salad you’ve always got to have on hand, stocked in the fridge, or someone in the family just might have a meltdown?  Yep, that is this salad.

    I first dined on this salad at my favorite co-op market in Seattle many years ago, PCC Natural Markets.  Not only did I work as a cheese specialist at PCC Natural Markets, but I also taught culinary classes at their IACP award winning culinary school, PCC Cooks, for four years.  A fantastic group of professionals committed to our community farms, quality food and nutrition. I couldn’t have asked for a more gratifying place to work.  I met the loveliest and most interesting people, including fellow chef’s, nutritionists and culinary instructors.  Some are now dear friends – I love it when that happens!

    This red quinoa salad was always served in the deli at my local PCC Natural Market.  I never left the store without a medium container filled to the brim with this salad.  Sometimes I’d hide it in the back of my refrigerator when I got home; so I could at least sneak a few bites before the rest of my family found it and devoured it.

    Red Quinoa Lunch Salad // Karista's Kitchen

    I now live about 275 miles south of the nearest PCC Natural Market – so I make this salad at home.  I snagged this recipe (called Red Quinoa Tabouli on the website) and ended up adapting it a bit to suit my family’s tastes.  My family dubbed it the “Red Quinoa Lunch Salad” because that’s usually when everyone wants to eat it;  at lunch.

    My family has also been known to add extra ingredients like Italian salami, sweet peppers, bay shrimp, grilled chicken and on occasion Ranger Craig will toss it with some smoked salmon.  However it’s served it’s nutty, fragrant, full of flavor and so completely satisfying.

    Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.  Don’t forget to move the clock forward one hour! I’m already feeling sleep deprived just thinking about it.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Red Quinoa Lunch Salad

    Serving Size: 4-6

    Red Quinoa Lunch Salad


    • 1 1/2 cups dry red quinoa, rinsed
    • 2 1/3 cups water
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
    • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
    • 1 cucumber, chopped
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    • Avocado slices for garnish


  • In a medium pan bring the 2 1/3 cups water to a boil. Add the quinoa and bring it back to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about five minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for another five or ten minutes until the quinoa has sprouted or is cooked. Drain well, if needed. Cool in the refrigerator.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, Dijon mustard and sugar. Toss the vinaigrette with the quinoa and then add the lightly fold in the green onions, cilantro, cucumbers and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Let the salad sit overnight or for a few hours so the flavors can meld together. Serve cold or at room temp.
  • Garnish with Avocado slices.
  • Notes

    This recipe was slightly adapted from the PCC Natural Markets Red Quinoa Tabouli.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Green Bean and Smoked Goat Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pine Nuts

    Green Bean and Smoked Goat Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pine Nuts

    As often as we possibly can, Ranger Craig and I head to the ocean.  Just to stroll, hike if we’re feeling ambitious, tour the light houses or sit quietly on the cliffs watching for passing whales and playful seals.  Snapping pictures each with our own cameras and then comparing photos to see who got the best shot.

    Whether its cloudy, foggy, misty or sunny – just spending time by the sea makes me feel a little more renewed and seems to refill my artistic coffer.  Sort of clearing my mind of the busy week behind me and all the tasks that had to be tackled.

    Newport, Oregon

    My most treasured reason for spending time at the ocean is of course, the seafood.  And there is none better than the delightful, inventive, fresh and delicious cuisine at Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, Oregon.  It’s such a pleasure to dine at Local Ocean, watching the all the talented prep cooks and chefs create their art in the open kitchen.

    Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, Oregon

    The fantastic and professional staff at Local Ocean Seafood!

    After our meal we always stop by Amber’s fish counter for fresh oysters and my absolute favorite chevre, a smoked goats cheese called “Up in Smoke” from our local award-winning Rivers Edge Chevre created at Three Ring Farm here in Western Oregon.

    Rivers Edge Chevre

    Rivers Edge Chevre from Three Ring Farm

    A soft but slightly firm chevre that is wrapped in large maple leaves and smoked to perfection.  Not overly smoky, just ever so slight – enhancing the flavor and texture of this lovely little cheese.  I serve this chevre with assorted crackers or crostini and sometimes alongside a local red pepper jelly or fig preserves.  Such a delicious cheese, I thought it would pair beautifully with summer green beans, dried cherries and toasted pine nuts.  Tossed in a balsamic vinegar and my best California extra virgin olive oil.

    Although this salad is perfectly delicious on its own, while sipping on a little glass of red or white wine, it paired beautifully with our dinner of Chicken Gaston Gerard.  This salad will also make a lovely summer side for grilled meats, poultry and fish.

    If you ever venture to Newport, Oregon, dining at Local Ocean Seafood is a must.  Tell Ms. Amber that Karista sent you by!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,


    Green Bean and Smoked Goat’s Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries and Toasted Pine Nuts

    Serves 4


    1 lb fresh green beans

    4 oz smoked chevre or more if you love your chevre (if you can’t find smoked chevre feel free to sub with your favorite soft goats cheese.  A flavorful goats cheese is excellent on this salad)

    A handful of dried cherries

    ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

    2-3 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

    3-4 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


    To Blanch the green beans:

    Begin by filling a large pot half way up with water or enough to cover the beans.  Do not salt the water.  Bring the water to a boil.

    While the water is heating, snap the stem end off the green beans.  I like snapping them by hand but feel free to use a small knife.

    Fill a large bowl with ice water to create an ice bath for the green beans. Have it ready before adding the green beans to the boiling water.

    Add the green beans to the boiling water and let them cook for about 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  You want them crisp tender.  Just this side of raw. Not mushy.

    The easiest way for me to quickly get them from boiling water into ice water is to pour the green beans into a large strainer in the sink and then transfer the beans to the ice bath.   But you can also scoop them out of the boiling water with a handheld mesh strainer and transfer them into the ice bath.

    Let them sit in the ice bath for about 3-4 minutes and then drain.  I like to lightly blot them dry so the vinaigrette will stick to the green beans.

    Prepare the salad:

    Salt and pepper the green beans and then arrange them on a platter.  Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the green beans.  Next sprinkle with crumbled chevre, the dried cherries and toasted pine nuts.

    Serve as a side dish with meat, poultry or seafood.  This is also lovely as a main dish over a bed of mixed greens and a few more veggies, like pickled beets and roasted carrots.  Enjoy!

    Karista's Kitchen Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Spicy Cabbage Salad



    cabbage salad with Sriracha dressing

    My favorite Spicy Cabbage Salad

    Over a thousand pictures, an enchanting week, the loveliest new friends and more wine and food than one could ever imagine.

    Tuscany.  The DaVinci Wine Storytellers Experience 2013.

    An event that has forever changed the heart of this Chef.  I have so much to tell you, to show you and new recipes to share with you.

    While I’m making my way through the memories and photos, here are just a few snapshots I wanted to share; and my favorite cabbage salad.

    My final post, including eight new enticing and delicious recipes, will be revealed on the DaVinci Wine Facebook page after the 1st of November.  Stay tuned!

    Ciao and Buon Appetito!


    (By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.  Thank you.)


    Vinci, Italy

    Vinci, Italy


    Streets of Montalcino, Italy

    A visit to the Medieval Tuscan town of Montalcino


    DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Jenna, Leela (Storyteller) and Lisa. Our first Storytellers dinner


    DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    First evening with 2013 Storytellers Kristina Laurendi Havens and Karista Bennett


    Trattoria in Montalcino

    Trattoria in Montalcino.

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Storytellers Jim O’Donnell and Leela Cyd with Videographer Keston Migdal walking to a vineyard near Montalcino

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers: Karista Bennett, Leela Cyd, Kristina Laurendi-Havens and Jim O’Donnell

    My Favorite Spicy Cabbage Salad

    This is one of those salads that can be tweaked to your tastes.  A little more of this a little less of that and it’s perfect.  I’ve given my basic recipe but feel free to prepare this salad how you wish.  I also love this cabbage salad as a slaw for tacos. I use this one for pork, chicken and grilled fish tacos.  Yum!  Delete cukes and replace with thin sliced apples for fish tacos.


    For the salad:

    1 head of Napa cabbage, halved and thinly sliced

    1 cucumber peeled and thinly sliced

    1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped

    1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced


    1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonnaise

    1-2 dashes Sriracha (or more to taste)(Sriracha is Asian hot sauce and can be found in most markets)

    1 teaspoon fine ground sugar or dash of agave syrup

    1/2 lime juiced (or more to taste depending how juicy the lime)

    salt and pepper to taste


    Whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, sugar and lime juice.  Toss the cabbage in a large bowl with salt and pepper.  Then toss the cabbage with the dressing and plate.  I like to put the salad on a platter and then layer with cucumbers, cilantro and green onions.  It makes a beautiful presentation.

    If making this for one or two, I place dressed cabbage in salad bowls or plates and layer with cucumbers, cilantro and green onion.  I have a friend who doesn’t like cilantro,  This salad is just as delish without the cilantro.  To substitute cilantro, toss in some sliced radishes or shredded carrots.




    Beef Grilling Kid Friendly

    Grilled Steak Salad with Fresh Peaches and Smokey Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

    Grilled Steak Salad with Fresh Peaches and Smoky Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

    First day of Fall and it’s 80 degrees.  Most people would say that’s normal for this time of year.  In Seattle??

    But hey, I’m not complaining.  It could be 60 and rainy.  And we all know that’ll happen soon.  Like… in two days.

    Washington Yellow Peaches

    So tonight we’re celebrating summer! I wish I could tell you that Ranger Craig and I drove over to Kittitas and picked up a few flats of peaches like we did last year.   Or that we flew over to the Spokane Valley to go peach picking.  That’s what I really wanted to do.

    Rogue Creamery Smoky Bleu Cheese

    Nope, I got my beautiful peaches at our local co-op, PCC Natural Markets.  Which is great, because they always have the best local seasonal produce on hand.  You know, just in case I can’t pick it myself.  🙂

    Fresh From My Garden Basil

    A little fresh basil from my garden, my fave smokey bleu cheese from Rogue Creamery, Washington peaches, grass-fed Eastern Washington Beef and a tangy but sweet vinaigrette and my little salad was born.

    Actually, this little salad was born last year, only with Mangos.  But I’m allergic to mangos.  I know, this is tragic!  So peaches made the substitution.

    And a fabulous substitution it is.  Happy first day of fall!

    Loads of Love,


    Grilled Steak Salad with Fresh Peaches and Smokey Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette

    Make this salad vegetarian and substitute the beef with grilled portabello mushrooms.  Delicious!

    Serves 4-6


    1- 1 1/2 lbs beef steak (any cut or your favorite), grilled how you like it or pan seared (I used a skirt steak that I pounded out very thin, almost like carne asada)

    4-6 cups fresh greens (I like a mixture of romaine, butter and red leaf lettuce)

    4 ounces smoked bleu cheese (or your fave), crumbled

    1/4 cup fresh basil, cut in strips (chiffonade)

    2 peaches, washed and thin sliced

    Toasted or caramelized walnuts for garnish (optional)

    For the Vinaigrette

    1 clove garlic minced

    1 tablespoon grated onion

    1 tablespoon ketchup

    1 teaspoon yellow mustard

    1 tablespoon sugar

    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

    ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons water


    Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

    Brush the steak with oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat the grill to 400F and grill the beef until it reaches desired doneness.  Let the steak/steaks rest before slicing.  Once they’ve rested for about 5 minutes, slice thinly against the grain.

    Toss the mixed greens with the vinaigrette.  Use as much or as little vinaigrette as you like.  Assemble on individual plates or one large platter.

    Layer with fresh peach slices, sliced steak, bleu cheese and fresh basil.  Garnish with toasted walnuts.

    Flying Grilling Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Spring Onion Salad… and a trip to San Juan Island Farmer’s Market!

    Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Leek Salad

    The summer is coming to an end, school is in session and I’m feeling a slight chill in the morning air.  Ahhh… I’m loving this time of year.

    I did manage to freeze a fair amount of my farmer’s market finds, but if I’d really been on top of things I would’ve canned some produce as well.  I’d like to think I’m super woman.  It looks like I’ve fallen short this year.  Bummer.

    Our sweet little airfield

    The drizzly weather will be here soon so Ranger Craig and I decided we’d fly to one last farmer’s market.  Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  Wow.  I’ve been there a hundred times and every time I’m in awe.  A beautiful spot in the world.

    Landing on San Juan Island

    Thankfully, it’s always an easy landing on San Juan, nice and smooth and lots of room.  Just the way I like it!

    Beautiful San Juan Island Produce

    A Farmer’s Market With A View

    The farmer’s market did not disappoint.  Although, I was scolded by a very pleasant-looking lady for having my little guy Tank with me at the market.  I guess dogs aren’t allowed.  I didn’t get the memo. 🙁

    The most deliciously sweet cherry tomatoes!

    While Ranger Craig and Tank walked around town, my little gal and I walked around the market gathering loads of fabulous food (and other good stuff!).  Grass fed beef, organic fruits and veggies, beautiful baskets of baked goods, and the loveliest quilts and crafts.  And did I mention the jam?  Lots of jam.

    I fell in love with this quilt!

    Ok, so I had to exit the farmer’s market at some point or I’d never be able to carry my loot back to the plane.

    Ranger Craig and Tank cruising the town.

    No, this is not our cab.  Although Ranger Craig thought it was pretty cool.  Tank was more worried about lunch.  Me too.


    We found lunch. Grilled oysters, fish and chips and of course clam chowder.  I now needed a nap.

    We took a stroll down to the marina, you know, to walk off lunch.  I think Ranger Craig just wanted to check out all the sailboats.  And score!  We saw a sea plane take off in the bay.

    Grilled Grass Fed Rib Eye Steak and Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Spring Onion Salad

    Home we flew. Dinner was delicious!

    Cherry Tomato, Cucumber and Spring Onion Salad with a White Balsamic and Olive Oil Drizzle

    Serves 4


    1 pint sweet cherry tomatoes, halved1 cucumber, diced into bite sized pieces

    1-2 spring onions, diced (substitute with scallions if you can’t find spring onions)

    Fresh chopped Italian parsley to taste (I like 2-3 tablespoons)

    Drizzle of white balsamic vinegar (pull out your good stuff for this salad)

    Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (pull out your good stuff for this salad)

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


    Gently toss together the tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions and parsley.  Drizzle with the vinegar and oil and then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with grilled meats or chicken.  Or enjoy all by itself!

    Kid Friendly Salad Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Cabbage, Carrot and Dried Cherry Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dijon Dressing

    This is my new “go to” salad.  For some reason I’ve been on a cabbage kick lately.  Not sure what got that started but my frig has constantly been full of purple cabbage, savoy cabbage, and Napa cabbage.  I think it’s due to all that beautiful cabbage staring at me when I walk through the produce section of the market.  It can’t help but jump into my basket!  

    I often prepare a broccoli slaw recipe from cookbook Author, Kathleen Daelman.  She uses broccoli slaw with dried cranberries and a tangy buttermilk Dijon dressing.    It’s fantastic, but because I had all that cabbage in my frig, and lots of carrots, maybe I could come up with something similar, only using the cabbage.  

    As you can see, it was a delicious idea; thin sliced Napa and purple cabbage, and shredded carrots.  I was completely out of dried cranberries but I had a huge bag of dried cherries.  No buttermilk either, however, I always have plain yogurt hanging around.  A great substitution! 

    My new “go to” salad is born!  I love it when dishes on a whim come together so beautifully and so tasty!  Crunchy sweet carrots, spicy purple cabbage and tender, mellow Napa cabbage all tangled together in a tangy and spicy, but sweet yogurt dressing.  Add a little grilled chicken or fish and voilla!  You just made dinner.  🙂

    Serves 4 (or 2 if you really love salad!)


    1 small head organic purple cabbage, thinly sliced

    1 head organic Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

    2 cups shredded carrots (I buy the bagged organic carrot shreds)

    1 cup dried cherries (use more if you like)

    Salt and pepper

    1 cup (or a little more if you love dressing) plain yogurt ( I love Nancy’s plain lowfat organic yogurt)

    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

    2-3 tablespoons honey

    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (a little more if you love spicy)


    Place the purple cabbage, Napa cabbage and carrot shreds in a large bowl.  Hold the cherries until the end or they all fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper.

    Whisk together the yogurt, vinegar, honey and Dijon.  Taste to be sure flavors are perfectly suitable for you.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper if needed. Sometimes I’m feeling my dressing a little sweeter so I add a dash more honey.  And sometimes I want a little more spice so I’ll add a dash more Dijon.  This is definitely a dressing you can play with to make it your own.

    Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Now toss the salad with the cherries and serve!

    This is a delightful spring and summer salad and it pairs deliciously with grilled meats and fish.  Great for barbeques and picnics.  If you’d like to make this a travel dish, prepare the salad and dressing but don’t toss them together until you are ready to serve the salad.  Enjoy!