Spinach Apple Salad with Honey Cider Dressing

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Crisp baby spinach, spring mix lettuces, tart apples, sweet raisins, crunchy almonds, and the ultimate honey cider salad dressing are combined to create a fantastic Spinach Apple Salad.

Spinach and Apple Salad in shallow white bowl with napkin

I made this salad three times within a month the first time I made it. And in the years since then, this salad has made frequent appearances in my home.

Spinach Apple Salad

The Honey Cider Dressing is wonderfully tangy and sweet and the combination of those flavors with the rest of the Spinach Apple Salad immediately made this one of my all-time favorite salads.

And that says something because this parsley salad with oranges and the apple walnut salad with blueberries are big favorites too. There’s just something unforgettable about a fresh salad filled with fruits and tossed in a tangy sweet dressing.

I was determined to serve this with my Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago. So, I played with several different ways to make the salad in advance and still keep the apples fresh.

(Like most people I know, making as many of the Thanksgiving dishes as possible in advance keeps me the happiest!)

Everything I tried initially, changed the flavor of the salad too much. Fortunately, apple cider vinegar did the trick and after 36 hours in the fridge, the salad still had apples that were crisp, white, and tasting like fresh apples.

spinach and apple salad with honey cider dressing

Honey Apple Cider Vine

Thanksgiving Sides Roundup

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Thanksgiving Sides Roundup

I saw a t-shirt the other day that said, “I’m just here for the sides” and I felt like it should be mine! Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. I could honestly do without the turkey…shhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone, but it’s true. Give me allllllll the potatoes, rolls, stuffing, veggies, sweet potatoes, salads and gravy!! And the pie…always save room for a slice (or 5) of pie! But that’s a whole different post! So here’s a roundup of all our favorite Thanksgiving sides


Let’s start with the potatoes. Are you a classic mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving person? Or do you like to mix it up? We have recipes for roasted potatoes, baked potatoes, and several cheesy potato casseroles. No matter which way you want to potato, we have you covered!

Mashed Potatoes

This is your classic, creamy mashed potato recipe that is buttery and totally irresistible! Topped with some turkey gravy and you’ve entered turkey day euphoria!

a grey le creuset pot full of creamy mashed potatoes with butter and parsley

Steakhouse Smashed Potatoes

These masked potatoes have a little texture to them so we call them “smashed potatoes”. We leave the skins on and leave the potatoes a little more chunky.

A photo of a blue serving bowl full of chunky smashed potatoes garnished with fresh chopped parsley.Read more

Israeli Couscous

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Toasted pearl couscous with pistachios and pine nuts, chewy raisins, a hint of cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon combine in this incredibly flavorful Israeli Couscous dish.

Perfect as a side dish or an easy lunch all on its own, this is one couscous recipe you need to try straight away.

Israeli Couscous

Israeli Couscous

Over a year ago, my sister, Jenny, told me that she had a dish she wanted to make for me and described this Israeli Couscous. I’ve looked forward to trying it ever since the first time she mentioned it.

This past month, we finally had the chance to make this recipe together. Served with Pan Fried Chicken Thighs, this is a meal that is as perfect as it can possibly be.

Savory pine nuts and pistachios coupled with sweet raisins and flavorful mediterranean herbs and spices make Israeli Couscous recipe stand out. It’s so much better than just about any other couscous recipe I’ve tried.

I loved this couscous so much, I hid the leftovers in the back of the fridge and helped myself to them frequently over the next couple days.

This is a wonderfully easy side dish that is substantial enough to stand alone for a meal. Israeli Couscous keeps fabulously in the refrigerator and I can see myself making future batches to eat for my lunches all week long.

What is Couscous?

Couscous looks and cooks very similar to grains like rice and barley but it’s actually pasta! If you’ve only ever had traditional couscous, the itty bitty pieces that have a powdery texture, you might be surprised by Pearl Couscous.

This type of couscous (also called Israeli Couscous) is little round balls of pasta. Pearl Couscous are slightly chewy, a little bit nutty, have a satisfying bite, and taste absolutely nothing like traditional couscous.

Couscous is popular in mediterranean cooking but it’s also a way to shake things up if you’re tired of the usual rice and pasta side dishes. It goes so well in salads and stir-fries and is super easy to cook.

I am head over heels in love with this dish and I can’t encourage you enough to try it for yourself.

israeli couscous in large skillet with brothRead more

Orange Parsley Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Sweet bites of oranges are tossed with crisp lettuce and parsley and then topped with caramelized almonds to create a refreshing salad.

Orange Parsley Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

I can not thank my sister enough for telling me about this salad so many years ago. Jenny called to tell me about this parsley salad with oranges one night after a party with her book club.

I made this salad every single day for weeks after that call. And no, I’m not exaggerating at all. Years later and this salad still makes a regular appearance on our table.

I first shared this recipe on the site more than five years ago. I shot new photos for this recipe a few years ago while my friend Rebecca was visiting.

Knowing it have been over seven years since I created this version. It is definitely time to re-share it on the site for those of you who might have missed it initially, you now have a second chance to fall in love with it.

The odds are good that once you’ve tasted it, you will be making this salad on repeat as well, or at least until the very last of the clementines disappear from the stores.

Parsley Salad

My friends, I am begging you not to let the name of this salad turn you away. If you haven’t tried a salad with an abundance of fresh parsley in it, you are truly missing out.

The fresh parsley brightens the savory flavors similar to the way that lemon will brighten a dish and simply make it taste better.

This is one of my all-time favorite salad side dishes and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette

This parsley salad is dressed with a simple White Balsamic Vinaigrette. I love that dressing so much; I gave it a full post of its own.

I keep the vinaigrette in my pantry now and use it on almost every salad I make with fruit or a sweet note to the salad.


Boiled Baby Red Potatoes

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Boiled Baby Red Potatoes are beyond easy and simple to make. Served with an easy slow cooker roast beef and these roasted green beans, this is a company-worthy meal that only requires a few minutes hands-on effort.

Little round red potatoes are a side dish that’ll never steer you wrong. This delicious and easy side dish can complete a meal any night of the week; we rarely get tired of potatoes!

Boiled Baby Red Potatoes are the classic side dish that everyone loves!

I love potatoes in just about all their forms. From Crispy Cheese and Bacon Potatoes to fancy tasting Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes, there are potatoes on my dinner menu more often than not.

Typically, I find myself veering toward roasted or baked potato recipes like  Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes. When boiled potatoes aren’t done right they can be grainy and flavorless.

These potatoes, I’m happy to report, are neither of the above. Each baby red potato is tender, salty and melts in your mouth.

For a real treat, put a smear of butter on your plate and use your fork to break each potato in half as your eat them. Dip the halves in the butter as you devour them.

What are baby red potatoes?

Baby red potatoes are small round potatoes with pinkish-red or brownish-red skin. They have a light and creamy flavor that makes them perfect for roasting and boiling. Red potatoes can also be mashed like in this Garlic Parmesan Mashed Red Potatoes recipe from Big Bear’s Wife.

Red potato skins are thinner and milder flavored than Russets so they’re typically eaten with the skin on. As a bonus, the skin is full of lots of beneficial nutrients! My favorite thing, though, is that cooking with red potatoes saves me the extra step of peeling.