Buffalo Chicken Salad with Healthy Ranch Dressing

There have been a lot of salads for dinner in the MCP kitchen of late, but the warmer weather brings with it my general craving for salads. Something cool and crunchy, with an added protein, and a nice homemade dressing – yes nice healthy end to the day when I don’t feel like turning the oven on.

This recipe for a Buffalo Chicken Salad that I came across here caught my attention. A spicy chicken, served on a bed of lettuce, carrots, celery and crunchy gala apples.But instead of going with a store-bought ranch dressing, I decided to make my own – with a couple healthy tweaks.

Greek yoghurt in place of mayonnaise, spiced up with garlic powder, mustard powder and a bunch of fresh herbs. And after playing around with the ingredients for a while, I soon had a blend that I will be sure to make again.

Tangy from the yoghurt, and packed with flavour owing to the fresh herbs, this is one versatile dressing! I think you could quite easily use it as a dip too – just add a little less water…

Healthy Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • a handful of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, chopped dill and basil)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs water*
  1. Combine all ingredients with 1 tbs water. Add more water if you would like a thinner dressing (or keep it thicker if you are using it as a dip).
  2. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Tahini chicken caesar salad

IMG_2991 Yes, friends, my love for tahini is ever strong. Particularly when it comes to adding a little nuttiness to dressings and sauces – you will always find me grabbing for the tahini. IMG_2985 On one such occasion, quite a while ago now, I had a craving for caesar salad. But not the usually calorific caesar salads you will find in the shops or on the cafe menu. Nay – a lightened up version. IMG_2986 With tahini and yoghurt as the main dressing ingredients, jazzed up a little more with the addition of garlic, dijon, lemon juice and worcestershire sauce. IMG_2987 And, as for the rest of the salad, the chicken was given a little citrus kick with another favourite ingredient of mine – lemon pepper! IMG_2983 Grilled then piled upon a bed of dressed crunchy cos lettuce and cucumber. Finished with a sprinkling of parmesan and a boiled egg on the side. IMG_2988 I loved the tangy dressing – of which the tahini was key. Coupled with the zingy grilled chicken…delish! IMG_2989 So easy to put together – and a lovely healthy take on the original. Tahini Caesar Salad Dressing  (serves 2)

  • 2 tbs natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. Add a little water if the dressing is too thick. Season to taste.

What about you? What is your favourite homemade dressing?

Blood orange salad with yoghurt dressing

IMG_0529 It’s Day 2 – of what can only be described as ‘blood orange’ week.  And while it was all about dessert yesterday, today’s recipe is more on the savoury side. IMG_0537 A delightful little blood orange and fennel salad, that would work just nicely as a vegetarian lunch or perhaps a side dish for fish or chicken. IMG_0532 Packed with mesculin, fennel, blood orange segments and flaked almonds for crunch…. IMG_0539 Drizzled with a vibrant PINK homemade blood orange and yoghurt dressing… IMG_0541 A word of warning, however…..do not leave said dressing unattended with a 2 year old?! IMG_0545 Blood orange salad with yoghurt dressing

  • 1-2 tbs blood orange juice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs natural yoghurt
  • 2 cups mesculin lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 fennel, thinly sliced (+ fronds)
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and segmented
  • 2 tbs flaked almonds
  1. Combine juice, olive oil, sugar and yoghurt – and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place salad ingredients in bowl, and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing to taste.

What about you? Are you a fan of fruit in salads? (A big thankyou to Red Belly Citrus for gifting me with these blood oranges, and inviting me to create some recipes!)

Cobb Salad

IMG_4781 With the weather slowly warming up, my desire at dinner is turning more to meat + salad, than the hearty stews I craved during the cooler months. But the challenge is keeping them interesting, particularly when you have a husband that does not generally get all that excited when I mention that we are having salad for dinner. One of my recent favourites, would have to be this cobb salad. IMG_4776 Filled to the brim with tasty ingredients… including lettuce, bacon, avocado, smoked chicken, tomatoes and boiled egg. IMG_4778 As for the dressing – I experimented a little. Garlic infused olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil pesto and natural yoghurt – and we soon had ourselves a rather moreish creamy pesto dressing. IMG_4770IMG_4771 And yes – even the salad-shy members of our household were happy with this one! What about you? Tried any tasty salad combinations lately?

Quinoa salad with tahini dressing

IMG_3111 After a weekend of sunshine, snoozes, yoga and relaxation, I woke up feeling rather refreshed this morning. Certainly a far cry from the illness that knocked me around last week, that’s for sure. I also continued my attempts to get in as many vegetables as I could over the weekend, particularly as my appetite started to return with a vengeance. Starting with a tasty little quinoa and vegetable salad that made an appearance for lunch. So simple, yet oh so delicious. IMG_3121 And a perfect "pantry" cleaner. I cooked a cup of quinoa in a mixture of water and vegetable stock, until the quinoa had softened and absorbed the water. IMG_3102 Then it was simply a matter of combining the quinoa with a variety of vegetables I had on hand. IMG_3103 Capsicum, cucumber, tomato and baby spinach. IMG_3106 To finish, I made a simple tahini dressing to pour over the salad. IMG_3108 And so lunch was served. IMG_3105 Fresh, healthy, tasty…. Vegetarian and gluten free. IMG_3116 And a tad addictive. Especially with the luscious creamy tahini dressing. Quinoa salad with tahini dressing (serves 2-4)

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 green capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and diced
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs tamari
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • 1tbs water (or more or less to get desired consistency)
  1. Cook quinoa in water and stock, according to packet directions. Set aside to cool slightly, then stir through the vegetables.
  2. To make the tahini dressing: Whisk all ingredients together, adding more or less water to get your desired consistency.
  3. Divide salad among serving dishes and top with tahini dressing to serve.

What about you? How do you like to use quinoa?