Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

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The power of suggestion can be a beast, can’t it?

On the way to the grocery store, I was listening to Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next? podcast. And in an ad, she mentioned a recipe for arugula salad with peaches, goat cheese, and almonds. Once I got into Publix, I couldn’t stop thinking about an arugula salad with peaches. I love both of those ingredients a lot, and it sounded so good.

I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, though, but feta – I could eat feta on everything. And adding a crunchy bagel chip (I got for dirt cheap with a sale plus coupon) for a “crouton” and an amazing vinaigrette due to some locally made white balsamic vinegar? Mr. V and I ate all of ours plus any the kids didn’t eat.

(Which, if you know my kids, was most of theirs. Surprisingly, David and Libbie did actually try arugula and at least ate peaches and the bagel chips.)

As with most salads, I recommend throwing in whatever quantity of ingredients looks good to you. This recipe is an approximation of what I used, but make it to your tastes. And then enjoy the applause of those around you, because SO YUMMY.

(Want to have peaches for dessert, too? Try Peach Pie Coffee Cake with Maple Buttercream or Fresh Peach Cake!)

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: one entree-sized portion or four side salads

Peach & Arugula Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Peppery arugula, tangy feta, sweet peaches, crunchy almonds, and a balanced vinaigrette come together for a delicious summer salad.


  • half of a 5-ounce clamshell of arugula
  • one peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 T crumbled feta cheese
  • a handful of whole almonds, roughly chopped, or sliced almonds
  • 3 to 4 bagel chips, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar, preferably peach-flavored
  • 3 T salad oil of choice (I used a cold-pressed combination oil from ALDI but olive oil would work, too)
  • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


In a bowl or plate, layer arugula, peaches, feta cheese, almonds, and bagel chip crumbles.

Whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette together until uniform.

Drizzle vinaigrette over salad right before serving.

What is your favorite summer salad? We’re trying to introduce our kids to having a salad or cold vegetable course before our dinner, and I’d love your suggestions!

BLC Pasta Salad

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Bacon? Mmmm. Lettuce. Good. Tomatoes? Ick. And that, my friends, is why I’ve never had a BLT.

I’m always terribly embarrassed to admit that I don’t like fresh tomatoes. I’ve even been trying to make myself eat them this summer, in things like our Summer Bow-Ties recipe. Honestly, I hate that I don’t love tomatoes!

A summer food that I do love, however, is cucumbers. I came home with a bunch from the farmer’s market last weekend. And the only other person in my house who will eat them is David. (Raw cuke is a great teething toy!)

I’ve been using the cucumbers frenetically, trying to get in all their goodness before they go bad. I knew I wanted to make some kind of pasta salad with them, but it wasn’t until I looked in the fridge that I got inspired and tossed this Bacon, Lettuce, and Cucumber Pasta Salad together! Who needs BLTs when you can have a BLC? If you like tomatoes, you could of course make it a BLTC Pasta Salad!

BLC Pasta Salad

BLC Pasta Salad

Yield: 2 entree servings or 4-6 side servings


  • 2 c. shaped pasta, cooked and cooled (or rinsed with cool water)
  • 2 oz. cheddar cheese, diced or shredded
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and diced
  • a handful of lettuce, torn
  • 3 T mayonnaise
  • 2 T ranch dressing
  • 1 T vinegar (I used white vinegar)
  • salt and pepper


Toss together cooled pasta, cheese, cucumber, bacon crumbles, and lettuce. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, ranch dressing, and vinegar. Pour over pasta mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Refrigerating for a while before serving will help the flavors to meld, but the lettuce won’t be as crunchy. So it’s up to you and your texture preferences. You could stir lettuce in just before serving.

Linked to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Cooking Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Mouthwatering Monday: Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

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Last week, someone was supposed to bring us dinner but it fell through because of illness. I had purchased groceries to make my very quick D-Hall Feta Pasta, but I wanted a yummy side dish. So I created this super easy spinach salad, and it was DIVINE!

It’s also easy to substitute what you have on hand. Swap blue cheese for feta, pecans for walnuts, strawberry jam for cherry, pears for apples. But for some reason this combination just hit the spot for me!

Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 side salad portions

Five-Minute Spinach Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette


  • Baby spinach leaves – about half a bag or 4-5 cups, loosely packed
  • 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 c. walnuts (toasted if you want, but that may make the recipe more than 5 minutes)
  • half an apple, diced
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 T cherry whole-fruit jam, such as Smuckers Simply Fruit
  • 1 T pomegranate or pomegranate-cherry juice, like POM Wonderful
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Toss together salad ingredients. Try not to eat all the feta and walnuts before you put the dressing on the salad.

For the vinaigrette, whisk juice into the jam until jam is broken up and smooth. Whisk in olive oil until you reach desired dressing consistency. (I like just enough oil to make it runny so it is still very acidic, but it’s up to you.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad and toss.

Not sponsored by Smuckers or POM Wonderful, those are just what I used in this recipe when I created it and I thought they worked well!

Added to Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam


Sweet Beet & Heat Salad

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For our first wedding anniversary, Mr. V and I had a little Nashville staycation. We spent one night at a bed and breakfast in Leiper’s Fork, saw a movie in the (now-closed) Franklin Theatre, used our season passes to see a show at the Boiler Room Theatre, and had a fancy dinner at Restaurant Zola (also closed now … are we bad luck?).

Perhaps other foodies can relate, but I remember pretty much every dish I’ve cooked and many that I’ve eaten out. Some sort of crazy Food Memory.

At Zola, I had a wonderful salad they called “Beet and Heat” (I think). While I’m not a huge beet eater, I love pickled beets on the salad bar. Last week, visions of this salad started floating in my head after I bought some lovely, organic beets at Green Life.

So I pretty much made it up as I went along. Forgive me lack of real measurements, and experiment to make it to your liking!

Sweet Beet & Heat Salad with Mustardy Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 beet, roasted (I used this as a tutorial)
  • 1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted in a skillet and then sprinkled with brown sugar and cayenne pepper (lots of sugar, a pinch of cayenne is my preference. Stir to let combine and cool.)
  • romaine or spring mix lettuce
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • Mustardy Vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil, to taste


Divide your lettuce among two salad plates. Slice your beet and put slices atop lettuce. Sprinkle with goat cheese and pecan pieces.

For vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stream in olive oil until runny but not too oily–you want it to still be very tart. Taste as you go along until it is how you like it. Drizzle over salads before serving.

Hopefully your husband will at least taste it. Ahem.

Linked to Mouthwatering Monday and Tasty Tuesday.

Family Recipe Friday: Turkey Pecan Salad

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Family Recipe Fridays

My mom has been here all week, which means: FOOD! For free! And I don’t have to make it!

I think if you’re a regular reader you’ve surmised that my mom is a very good cook and I have a lot of happy food-memories. I love her enchiladas, potato soup, and cabbage rolls.

This one is another Mom classic from my growing-up years. My directive for this week is: YOU MUST TOAST THE PECANS. It makes a huge difference. Enjoy this delicious summer salad! She often serves it with a Waldorf salad on the side.

Turkey Pecan Salad

Yield: about 4 servings

Turkey Pecan Salad


  • 1 lb. cooked turkey breast, cubed (can use smoked deli meat, cut 1-inch thick)
  • about 2 cups pecan halves, toasted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
  • 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • Dressing
  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • a pinch white pepper


Toss together turkey, pecan halves, and celery. Mix dressing. Stir in dressing just before serving. Serve on a bed of lettuce or in pita pockets.

Gluten Free Meal Plan via Musings of a Housewife

Family Recipe Friday: Layered Salad

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Is there one certain recipe that seems to be at every extended family gathering you have?

For me, it’s my Grandma R’s layered salad.

Grandpa and Grandma R* with Libbie a few days after we came home from the hospital.

It is seasonless. The ingredients are nothing terribly out-of-the-ordinary. And it’s graced the buffet for every family holiday I can remember.

The crunchy lettuce, the creamy mayonnaise, and the rolly-polly peas meld together for a truly delicious bite. I am honestly not a big mayonnaise fan; I eat pasta and potato salads and the like, but if I have it on a sandwich I just spread the tiniest amount. Thinking of eating straight mayo makes me gag–it is seriously the grossest thing I can think of. But the mayo in this blends with the other ingredients and seasonings and I never think of it as anything but a good dressing for the lettuce.

This salad would be great for any 4th-of-July gatherings you’re planning this weekend. My grandma always serves it in a Pyrex 9 by 13 pan.

Grandma's Layered Salad

Layered Salad


  • 2 to 3 Romaine hearts, chopped or torn
  • 4 to 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 c. frozen peas, uncooked
  • a sprinkling of dehydrated onion flakes
  • 1-2 c. mayonnaise, spread (enough to cover)
  • 1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled
  • a sprinkle of salad seasoning
  • 1/2 c. or so of Parmesan cheese


In a 9x13 pan, layer ingredients in order listed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*I always called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa S (the whole last name) and Grandma and Grandpa R (same). NO ONE in Tennessee calls their grandparents “Grandma and Grandpa.” It’s Nana, Pawpaw, Mawmaw, Memaw, Nona, Granny… is “Grandma and Grandpa” Northern jargon? (My parents and grandparents are from Ohio.) It just always strikes me as one of those funny things.