5 Minute Avocado Salad

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5 Minute Avocado Salad

a bowl of avocado salad mixed with toasted pine nuts and chunks of manchego cheese topped with cilantro.

This avocado salad is bright and fresh and only takes 5 short minutes to make! Creamy avocados topped with a simple tangy dressing, toasted pine nuts and chunks of manchego cheese. It’s just a lovely salad!

Avocado is one of my love languages. They are pretty much the best little fruit ever. I mean, how many foods out there can you eat for any and every meal? They are healthy and satisfying. They are beautiful and so creamy. Throw them on some toast, mash them into guacamole, add them to a taco, wrap them with bacon, blend them into a dressing, or in this case, make them the base of a salad. Winning, winning, winning!

Ingredients for Avocado Salad

I love coming up with new salad recipes and this one is a little out of the box (i.e. I didn’t find another salad quite like it out there on the interwebs) but it seriously just works! All you need is a few avocados, a couple of simple ingredients for a zesty dressing and a few fun add-ins that just make dish come alive! Here is what you will need:

  • Avocados: you’ll want ripe hass avocados, see my section below on how to pick ripe avocados
  • Lime Juice: fresh is best, like by far the best
  • White Wine Vinegar: combined with the lime juice, this is just the acid you want to balance out of the creamy richness of the avos
  • Manchego Cheese: a semi-hard Spanish cheese made from sheep’s milk that is buttery in texture and similar in flavor to pecorino romano
  • Pine Nuts: toasting the pine nuts gives them a little crunch and enhances their flavor
  • Salt: adds and enhances flavors
  • Cilantro: adds a fresh herby pop of flavor and is my favorite herb to pair with avocados

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

Possible Substitutions:

Ok, I realize that some of these might not be common ingredients to have on hand, so here are some possible substitutes, but I highly recommend hitting the grocery store and trying the original recipe.

Avocados – no substitutes here because nothing can replace the heaven of an avocado

Lime Juice – you could try lemon juice, but lime and avocado just belong together

White Wine Vinegar – try red wine vinegar or rice vinegar (not seasoned)

Manchego – pecorino romano, asiago or monterey jack are ok substitutes

Pine Nuts – pistachios, toasted almonds or chopped cashews

How to Pick a Ripe Avocado

There are few things better than a perfectly ripe avocado and there are few things worse than an over- or underripe avocado! To pick a r

Spring Quinoa Salad with Artichokes, Feta, and Asparagus

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Hi friends! Happy humpday! Looking for a booty workout? Check out this one; it’s one of my very faves. I hope you’re enjoying the week so far!

Spring Quinoa Salad with Artichokes, Feta, and Asparagus

When I first wrote this post, we had just gotten back from an awesome Vegas vacay. It was so good to get back into the swing of things and back in the routine of the girls’ classes and lessons, teaching fitness classes, and catching up on work stuff.  It also felt good to eat some home-cooked food! When we travel, I try to stick to one indulgent meal each day and go for my normal eats for the most part, but Vegas is a little different. It was easy for me to make healthy choices for breakfast, but you definitely have to take advantage of all of the fantastic entree and dessert options. 😉

I was also like, “I can’t wait to eat a vegetable when we get back” but then I looked in our fridge, it was pretty much empty, and I ended up eating coconut milk salted caramel ice cream for lunch. I guess I was still in Vegas mode. 😉 Once I was finally able to replenish the fridge, I created this little on-the-fly salad with some of the new grocery stash.

Spring artichoke asparagus quinoa salad

This salad is perfect for any upcoming spring parties or picnics, and includes two of the “great A’s”: artichokes and asparagus. It has fresh, flavorful, and bright lemon flavors from the lemon juice + zest, and since it’s quinoa-based, it’s sturdy enough to last a few days in the fridge so you can make it in advance! I made it as part of this week’s meal prep (along with some grilled chicken, amazeballs, and protein baked oatmeal) so I could easily eat it alone on top of salad greens or with grilled chicken or tuna for an easy lunch.

ingredients

This salad is filling and satisfying, plus it’s gluten-free. Vegan friends can omit the feta cheese, or add in their favorite vegan cheese, for a vegan option

Plus it’s one of those, “toss everything in a bowl and forget about it” kinda recipes, which means I’m a fan.

Read more

Fluffy Cheesecake Fruit Salad [+ Video]

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Fluffy Cheesecake Fruit Salad [+ Video]

a photo of a bowl of creamy cheesecake fruit salad topped with slices of banana and whole raspberry and sliced strawberries

This cheesecake fruit salad is awesome for a side at a potluck or BBQ or even as a dessert! Plus it’s so easy it’s foolproof! The perfect summer salad!

Ummmmm I could eat this berry cheesecake salad recipe for the rest of my life and die happy. Seven years ago we posted this recipe and I’ve been waiting all winter for berry season to hit so we could bring this recipe back to the front for everyone to enjoy.

It’s sweet deliciousness. It seems a little wrong to take all of those healthy berries and turn them into a calorie fest with everything you put in this dish, but guess what, WORTH IT!!

Seriously, you should all make this on a perfect sunny day and eat outside with the family. Or maybe take it to a BBQ so everyone can ask you what the amazing recipe is.

Cheesecake Fruit Salad Ingredients

This fruit salad recipe is so versatile. I’m going to list out the ingredients that we love, but know from the start that you can totally swap out different fruits or flavors of yogurt. Here is what you will need:

  • Instant Cheesecake Pudding: You want just the pudding powder to add that yummy cheesecake flavor.
  • Cool Whip: adds sweetness and creaminess
  • Strawberry Yogurt: adds more fruity flavor and creaminess to the salad
  • Bananas: cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Strawberries: stem removed and sliced
  • Raspberries: left whole but rinsed
  • Optional: Blueberries, Blackberries, Peaches, Cherries or Grapes
  • Graham Crackers: If you really want to make this salad taste like a true cheesecake, add crushed up graham cracker.

PRO TIP: After trying many different combinations of fruit in this recipe, I’ve decided my favorite concoction is fresh bananas, fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, fresh raspberries and fresh blackberries. So fresh! Haha!

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to Make Cheesecake Fruit Salad

One of my favorite things about this side dish is that it couldn’t be easier! Just two quick steps and you have a delicious fruit salad.

  1. In a large bowl, mix the pudding powder, whipped topping and yogurt together.
  2. Add the fruit and carefully fold it into the creamy cheesecake mixture. Then let it chill in fridge until it’s ready to serve (at least 30 minutes).

These instructions can also be found in the recipe card below where you can also print or save the recipe.

Watch How This Fruit Salad is Made…

Southern English Pea Salad

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Southern English Pea Salad

a wooden bowl full of creamy southern english pea salad with bacon, chunks of colby jack cheese

This Southern English pea salad is a refreshing and delicious side dish, perfect for any gathering. Made with peas, bacon, herbs, and a creamy dressing, it’s sure to be a hit at your next potluck or holiday dinner.

It’s the perfect side dish for Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. I don’t know where English pea salad originated from, or why it’s so dang good considering it’s the world’s shortest list of ingredients, but I do know that any time someone shares a photo of a Southern Potluck or church spread, there’s that pea salad!

Last Fourth of July, we had Cade’s mom, brother, and his family and a friend over for a fun day of swimming and eating. Yes, I did wear a red bathing suit. Yes, I did get mistaken for the lifeguard 100 times. I have had the worst time trying to find a bathing suit that wasn’t cut crazy high or crazy low all year and this one I love, though I will watch where I wear it now. 

But back to the BBQ — we swam, the kids became exhausted, and we headed back to the house where we cooked up classic burgers thanks to our 2 hamburger secrets post, and a selection of our favorite summer salads including this green pea salad, our tomato mozzarella salad, and Nancy’s Southern Grape Salad. We finished the night off with our dreamiest Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting EVER.

Green pea salad is considered to be low-carb, gluten-free, and a slightly healthier option to pasta salad (though we have a pasta version of this recipe too if you prefer). But this doesn’t mean it’s straight up healthy — it contains bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise, after all.

What Ingredients Do I Need for This Salad Recipe?

Although English pea salad has a few different names, it’s all the exact same thing — cold pea salad. You may hear it called pea salad, English Pea Salad, Southern Pea Salad, Green Pea Salad, or, as we’ve called it, Southern English Pea Salad.

Here’s what goes into this easy potluck side dish recipe: 

  • Frozen Peas
  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple Cider Vinegar 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Bacon
  • Cheese (Colby Jack or Cheddar Cheese is our favorite)

Some recipes also call for hard-boiled eggs, which we left out this time as I’m really enjoying it as a straight up pea salad lately. I’ve added it into the recipe as optional in case

Easy Spring Salad [+Video]

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Easy Spring Salad [+Video]

a photo of a wooden dinner plate full of fresh spring salad including greens, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, roasted chickpeas and topped with a lemon vinaigrette.

This is an easy spring salad full of seasonal ingredients like asparagus, radishes, peas, fresh herbs and enhanced with roasted chickpeas, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, and hard boiled eggs all topped with a bright and tangy lemon salad dressing.

Well, we did it again! We survived winter! And boy was it a doozy here in Utah this year. I have never seen so much snow here and we have lived here a really long time. So the fact that a “spring” salad is even a possibility brings a smile to my face! It is time for bright refreshing flavors and warmer temperatures!

What Goes in a Spring Salad?

One of the beauties of a salad is that they are so versatile, so I’m going to share the ingredients for how we like to make this salad, but keep in mind that you can omit or add ingredients to your liking. Here is what we like…

Dressing

  • Olive Oil: the base of the dressing
  • Dijon Mustard: adds intense mustard flavor
  • Lemon Juice and Zest: adds a bright pop of freshness and acidity
  • Shallot: adds mild onion flavor
  • Champagne Vinegar: if you can’t find champagne vinegar, you can use prosecco or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper: adds flavor

Salad

  • Pine Nuts: adds texture and we toast them for maximum flavor
  • Asparagus: remove the tough stem end and then cut it into 1-2″ pieces
  • Frozen Peas: let them defrost in a bowl of water
  • Baby Salad Greens: this can be any mix of greens you enjoy…romaine, spinach, arugula, chard, etc.
  • Radishes: adds a little heat and gorgeous color
  • Cucumber: we prefer an English cucumber
  • Fresh Herbs: mint, basil, parsley, chives – this blend is so bright and bold
  • Feta: totally optional, but we love them saltiness flavor it adds
  • Roasted Chickpeas: you can buy roasted chickpeas or roast your own and they add great texture
  • Olive Oil: used to roast the chickpeas
  • Salt and Pepper: adds flavor
  • Hard Boiled Eggs: adds protein and heartiness to the salad

This is meant to just be an overview of the ingredients for this salad. For all the details and measurements, scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

How to Make a Fresh Spring Salad

I like to start salad recipes by making the dressing. It can be made up to a day or two ahead of time, so it’s nice to get that made and out of the way. For this salad dressing, just whisk all the ingredients together and set it aside.

Other parts of this recipe can also be prepped ahead of time. You can hard boil the eggs, toast the pine nuts and roast the chickpeas up

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