Tabbouleh Salad

I’m a big fan of Mediterranean flavors and tabbouleh salad is such a refreshing side dish to any meal. My friend Susan made this Tabbouleh Salad and it’s a great way to incorporate bulgur in your diet!

Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup bulgur
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil

Place cracked wheat in bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes; drain and squeeze out excess water.

In a mixing bowl, combine the wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Toss and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Toss again prior to serving.

The World’s Most Delicious Asian Chicken Salad

My friend Jen prepared this dish for my Chef Spotlight Dinner where we focused on health conscious chefs. She chose to highlight chef Kathleen Daeleman and brought this delicious chicken salad!

The World’s Most Delicious Asian Chicken Salad
recipe from Kathleen Daeleman

1 Tablespoon white or yellow Miso
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar or more to taste
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1 pound grilled, poached or roasted chicken cut into bite size pieces
2 oranges, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 quart fresh strawberries, halved
1 pound fresh spinach leaves, washed & dried, in bite size pieces or baby spinach
1/2 bag shredded carrots

Whisk first three ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add remaining ingredients. Toss until well coated. Taste and adjust seasoning, serve.

Spinach Orange Cranberry Salad

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. I chose this dish to be on my menu because I wanted to incorporate mandarin oranges somehow. I especially like spinach salads and thought the oranges and dried cranberries would not only add some sweet and tartness, but also for color. To me, the best salads incorporate some fruit, toasted or candied nuts and a good cheese to complement it all together.

Spinach Orange Cranberry Salad
recipe adapted from

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning salad
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
10 ounces baby spinach (6 cups), washed and dried
1/2 cup sliced red onions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Lightly grease a 10-inch square of aluminum foil with butter or vegetable oil and set aside.

Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until the sugar turns a golden amber color, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the almonds and stir to coat. Continue cooking until the almonds are fragrant and golden brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared aluminum foil, using a spoon to spread into a thin layer, and set aside to cool completely.

Combine 1/4 cup orange juice, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the Champagne vinegar, olive oil, orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the cayenne in a mixing bowl and whisk to blend. Transfer the dressing to a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid until you are ready to serve.

Put the spinach in a large serving bowl, then top with the orange segments and french fried onions. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, add dried cranberries, break the caramelized almonds into bite-size pieces and scatter over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly and serve immediately.

Tropical Fruit Salad

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. This recipe is adapted from my mom’s Filipino Fruit Salad that she often made when she catered parties. I added this because of the tropical fruits it includes: mangoes, papaya, pineapple.

When making this, it’s important that the fruit is dry and drained thoroughly. If there is too much moisture or liquid, it will be slightly soupy… which is not ideal. Another tip is that this is great frozen. Whenever we had leftovers, my parents would freeze it portioned in ice cube trays and pop them out for something sweet and frozen for later.

Creamy Tropical Fruit Salad
adapted from my Mom’s recipe

2-3 cans of tropical fruit salad, drained well
1/4 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained & patted dry
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup fresh mango chunks
1 cup fresh papaya chunks
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Combine all the ingredients and toss to fully combine.

Chill overnight and serve cold.

Carribbean Jerk Chicken Salad

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. I added this salad to the menu to give my guests more food options and vegetables. Caribbean jerk had to make its way in my menu and I chose to incorporate it by seasoning chicken that would be tossed into my green salad. This isn’t quite that blogworthy, considering I used a bottled sauce to flavor my chicken for the salad. However I did want to share the bottled sauce since it was a great find at my local supermarket!

Carribbean Jerk Chicken Salad

1 bottle Caribbean sauce
1-2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Pour entire bottle over chicken and toss to coat.

Add chicken to your choice of greens and salad veggies.

Cranberry Praline Pecan Spinach Salad

Cranberry Praline Pecan Spinach Salad
inspired by friend, Megan

baby spinach
grape tomatoes
dried cranberries
praline pecans
log of goat cheese

In a salad bowl, place spinach.
Top with grape tomatoes, dried cranberries and pecans
Run a fork over the log of goat cheese to crumbe the cheese & top the salad.
Serve with your choice of dressing. (I recommend lemon poppyseed & raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette!)

Roasted Pepper, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

3 6-to 8-ounce tomatoes, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large English hothouse cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
3/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted, quartered
2/3 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Char pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened. Enclose in plastic bag 15 minutes. Peel, seed, and cut pepper into 1/3-inch cubes. Place in large bowl. Add tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion, and parsley. Whisk oil and lemon juice in small bowl to blend; season with salt and pepper, then mix into vegetables. Let vegetables marinate at least 15 minutes before serving.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Chickenpea Salad w/Cilantro Lime dressing

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Chickenpea Salad w/Cilantro Lime dressing
shared at the event by Yumi
recipe courtesy of Vikas Khanna

2 (15 oz or 425 grams) chickpeas, washed and drained

1 medium red onion

1 medium ripe tomato

Juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large (non-reactive) mixing bowl and serve cold as a salad or a side dish.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed w/Chicken Apple Salad

The following recipe was prepared during my International Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and check out the other recipes that were made for the event HERE.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed w/Chicken Apple Salad
shared at the event by Ruby
recipe courtesy of Robert Irvine

2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 cherry tomatoes
2 Granny Smith apples
1 teaspoon lemon juice, to keep apples from turning brown
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
16 very small sprigs parsley, for garnish

Poach chicken in water and set aside to cool. Carefully slice off a small amount of the top of tomatoes (be careful not to remove too much) and scoop out seeds. (A 1/4 teaspoon measuring spoon works well for this procedure.) Peel apples, remove core and chop fine, and coat with lemon juice. Chop cooled chicken fine, season with salt and pepper and cinnamon, and stir in mayonnaise and chopped parsley, mixing well. Spoon chicken salad into tomatoes and garnish with parsley.

German BBQ Potato Salad

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Joelen’s German BBQ Potato Salad
recipe adapted from HERE

6 large potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 cup Bermuda onions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup salad oil
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 egg
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Thoroughly wash potatoes and boil with the skins on until tender (about 25 minutes). Remove potatoes from pan and drain the water. Return the potatoes to the pot and place over a low heat shaking constantly to dry the potatoes. Peel and chop potatoes into 1/4-inch pieces. Place potato pieces in a large bowl and toss with onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile combine the vinegar, water and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Whisk egg in a bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over top while stirring. Add salad oil and stir. Pour this mixture over potatoes and place in a large skillet or pot over a low heat. Cook until evenly heated. Top with crumbled bacon.