Grilled Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Welp I did it kids! Actually I am kind of surprised how long it has taken me to pop this cherry. And even more surprised how I totally lost any bragging rights on this one. No, no friends, get your minds out of the gutters. I set off the smoke alarm in our apartment for the first time.

I mean, at our last apartment I set our entire grill on fire. A grill which was set under a tree, in Southern California, in a drought. Like that’s a good story. (FYI when making bacon wrapped asparagus, put some tin foil under the bacon to catch the grease. It catches on fire & makes really high flames. Woops)

Tonight was not such an exciting story. Chris & I were rushing dinner, settling on some leftovers & easy Trader Joe’s quick fixes before we headed to Starbucks to do some work. He was having some left over pasta & I was pan frying a Mahi Mahi burger to go on top of my salad when I looked up & the entire kitchen was filled with smoke. I ran to the window but it was too late. The damage was done.


Such a bad, bad fail. I know, you don’t want to take any cooking advice from me anymore. But it’s okay, this salad has zero protein on it at all. That means no possibility of burning the house down over a simple little salad. But it sure is full of amazing flavors & veggies.

I am obsessed with weird veggies. I love any type of vegetable that 6 year olds, or my 30 year old boyfriend, would call icky or gross. Beets, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, cabbage and collard greens are just a few of my favs. And this salad has one of my favs featured right on top. Arugula, topped with goat cheese, almond shavings & amazing grilled beets. If you want, I guess you could throw on a juicy grilled chicken breast but you in no way need to. All you need to do is have some supervision while you grill the beets for 45 minutes then throw everything together & enjoy.

Even better, if you could get your hands on some of this amazing pomegranate balsamic dressing from Temecula Olive Oil Company you should. It adds an amazing sweet tang to the salad which is perfection. Try this amazing salad, full of flavor, & if you can handle pan frying a Mahi Mahi burger from TJs, throw it on top.



1 medium beet
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cups arugula
5 oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
Black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp pomegranate balsamic
1 Tbsp olive oil (for dressing)

1. Pre-heat grill to medium high heat.
2. Wash beet thoroughly and pat dry. Place on the middle of a 12 x 12 inch square of tin foil and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Loosely close tin foil around beet and cook on grill for 45 minutes on medium high heat. Once you can pierce the beet with a fork it is done.
4. Allow the beet to cool to touch. Using a paper towel, remove the outer skin of the beet. Cut into small bite size slices and place in refrigerator to cool.
4. Assemble salad with arugula, goat cheese crumbles, sliced almond. Top with grilled beet, black pepper, balsamic and olive oil.

Cabbage, Spinach, Mozzarella Salad

I am still stuffed after that Thanksgiving dinner. Saturday we had our late Thanksgiving dinner & we pigged out all night! We had stuffing, mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, cranberry sauce, & much more. Today I am still sitting in a food coma thinking about the amazing turkey we had.

We even attempted to make a pie from scratch. Just a side note: evaporated milk isn’t the same as condensed milk. No matter how lazy you are & no matter how badly you don’t want to go back to the store.

Anyway… now it’s Wednesday & all I should be eating is salads. We eat a lot of salads here in this house, but usually as a side or after dinner. This week, all the rules are out the window! I am planning on having tons of salads for lunches & dinners.


I love throwing veggies together, with some great cheeses, & toppings to make new salads. The first time I put this salad together I literally opened the fridge & pull whatever was reaching it’s shelf life out. I had some left over coleslaw, mozzarella that I needed to eat or trash, & my chia seeds that live in my cheese drawer for life.

As long as the coleslaw sits overnight, enough liquid will form & no dressing will be needed. Healthy!! Here is the recipe for just one small salad, that is good enough to eat on it’s own.



2 ½ cups baby spinach
2 oz mozzarella cheese
½ cup coleslaw
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Coleslaw Ingredients:
½ small head purple cabbage
½ cup mayonayze, sliced thin
2 carrots, shredded
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon mayo

1. Mix all ingredients for cole slaw and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Place a bed of baby spinach in bowl. Top with coleslaw.
3. Cut cheese into chunks and place on top of salad.
4. Sprinkle chia seeds and serve.

Taco Salad

The only thing missing from this recipe is my mom’s yellow Tupperware bowl. Growing up there were a few staple summer dishes my mom would make. They were in the fridge more often than not in case my friends or any of my brother or sisters friends stopped by. Taco salad was one of the essentials in our house and it was always in a big yellow bowl with a clear top.


It super simple to make and can feed a whole lot of people which is perfect for a house of teenagers who have friends stopping by all of the time. You can really alter it however you’d like. Basically if it goes in a taco, you can throw it in the salad.

This past weekend we had Chris’s dad and his younger siblings down to our house. We went to Disneyland one day and the next day everyone spent the day at the pool while I went to work. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to cook for everyone I made my taco salad so they would have something to eat with their hamburgers and hot dogs. Chris just had to pull it out of the fridge, pour some extra dressing on top and bring it down to the pool area.

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1 lb ground beef
1 package Taco mix
1 small red pepper
1 bag Cool Ranch Doritos
8 oz California French salad dressing
½ head iceberg lettuce
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup olives, halved
1 small onion
1 small carrot, shredded

1.  Cook meet until browned, drain and remove from pan.
2.  Add Taco seasoning and add a splash of water to smooth together seasoning and meat. Add cheese and refrigerate.
3.  Chop veggies and set aside. Chop lettuce.
4.  Open bag of chips and crunch chips to bite size pieces.
5.  Mix veggies and chips into bowl with meat and cheese.
6.  Mix in salad dressing.
7.  Can refrigerate after serving for up to 5 days. Before serving left overs, add about a tablespoon of more dressing.

Mock High Tide Salad

While we were in Florida a few months back I faced one of my biggest fears, while doing something I’ve always wanted to do. We spend the morning of Chris’s cousin’s wedding paddle boarding along Jupiter Florida’s intercostal inlet. Now I hate water. I don’t go in if I can’t see my feet, but paddle boarding is something I’ve always wanted to do.

In fairness I’ve always picture somewhere a little more blue. Hawaii, or the Caribbean. Somewhere where if I fell in I wouldn’t be scared of what was lurking underneath my board. But to tell you the truth, it ended up not being so bad.

We were out on the water for about two hours & let me tell you, it was the hottest & sunniest day of our entire vacation. It was an absolutely exhausting experience that I fell in love with. Since we’ve been back in So Cal we have been keeping our eyes peeled for Groupons and Living Social deals to try out our new found muscles here in Orange County. We haven’t gone yet but are hoping to get one ride in before the end of the summer.

After our morning workout we went by the pool at the Jupiter Beach Resort to relax, even out our tans from being out on the water all morning, & veg out. We were all starving so we ordered some salads to eat & I had one of the best, most filling salad ever. Full of quinoa, fennel, cranberries, & topped with salmon. Yum! It was the perfect meal to have after an outdoor, summer workout.

When I got home I knew I wanted to recreate it so I ran to my grocery store & then remembered why I don’t by quinoa. Damn it’s expensive. I figured I’d make my own, budget friendly version of the salad instead. It was just as good the second time as the original. I hope you enjoy!

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2 Salads 

1 lb salmon
1 cup less sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
½ cup prepared brown rice
2 cups baby greens
2 cups baby spinach
4 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped.

1.  Allow salmon to marinate for 20 minutes in soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.
2.  Preheat an oiled grill on medium heat.
3.  Place salmon skin side up and don’t flip.
4.  Grill until ¾ of the fish becomes opaque and the fish begins to curl up from the grill.
5.  Flip and continue cooking.
6.  Assemble salad by making a bed of greens and spinach, add rice and artichokes. Can also top with dried cranberries.
7.  Add store bought white balsamic dressing and top with salmon.

Blackened Shrimp Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

Sometimes summer in SoCal can be a little brutal. Even though we are just a 20 minute drive to Newport Beach, where it usually tops out at 85 degrees during the hottest months, we live & work as far east in Orange County as you can get so we get zero beach breeze during the summers. Between July, August & September it is very common for temperatures to hit triple digits! That’s right… we’re talking 102⁰ & 105⁰ degree days, 5-7 days a week.


The last thing I want to do on days like that is turn on the stove or eat a heavy meal. This weekend we are heading down to Temecula Wine Country with Chris’s boss & his boyfriend for some wine tasting & relaxation. I figured I’d make us some light salads to come home to. It will be the perfect thing to have after a day of drinking in the hot desert sun. Also we can grill and keep the heat outside.

We eat salads here all year round but summer is my favorite time to try new ones. Chicken, fish, shrimp. Everything is fair game. So far, this is one of my favorite at home shrimp salads. Enjoy!



Four salads:
2 medium heads of romaine lettuce
2 small sweet peppers, chopped
1 ear of corn on the cob, grilled and kernels removed
½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup Ranch dressing
½ avocado
Juice of a whole lime
4 Tbsp cilantro

Shrimp Seasoning:
¼ cup chili
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. black pepper

1. Mix shrimp seasoning together in deep bowl. Remove from bowl and place on parchment paper and allow to sit.
2. Compile salad using lettuce, peppers, corn, and grape tomatoes.
3. To make salad dressing blend Ranch dressing, avocado, lime juice and cilantro until smooth. Add more cilantro to taste.
4. Skewer shrimp 4-5 per skewer. Allow room in between each shrimp to cook.
5. Grill 3-4 minutes per side.
6. Toss salad with dressing and top with skewer of shrimp.