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!

Cucumber and Radish Salad

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Cucumber Radish Salad


I came across several versions of this little salad while I was working on an article about Spring vegetables last year. When I was pregnant with Joshua, I developed a taste for radishes like I have never had before. And it hasn’t gone away! So this salad became a healthy favorite.

A few minutes with a mandoline or sharp knife, and you will be set with a big bowl of fresh yummyness.

radishes cut on mandoline

The more-authentic recipes of this Eastern European classic dish recommend green onions; they are not my favorite, so I’ve subbed in dried minced onion for ease. You can use the white parts of three green onions, though, if you’d like. The sour cream really mellows out the spicy red radish, but if you like a less-peppery radish, try the watermelon radish variety.

Cucumber and Radish Salad

Yield: 4 side servings

Cucumber and Radish Salad


  • 1 cucumber (English or regular)
  • 1 bunch red radishes
  • 2/3 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion


Wash and trim vegetables. Using a mandoline (I have this cheap one, which is great for infrequent use) or a very sharp knife, slice vegetables very thin. Toss together in a medium-sized bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, salt, and dried minced onion. Spoon onto vegetables and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps well for several days in the fridge.

 Do you like radishes?

Lemony Vegetable Quinoa Salad

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I know I’ve been posting a whole lot of sweet stuff here lately. But I promise, I’m eating some healthy things, too! I’ve been scarfing down veggies with eggs and avocado for breakfast in an attempt to stay full. It works wonders for this nursing mama.

This quinoa salad was a big hit with my husband and my in-laws, much to my surprise! Usually my husband sticks with classic food. But I filled this with vegetables we both like, and he didn’t complain about the unpronouncable quinoa. He even suggested the salad would be great on spinach and proceeded to eat it like that the next day.

You can use any veggies you like in here. Crunchy ones like bell pepper give a nice contrast to the quinoa. The original recipe calls for tomatoes, which I’m sure would be fantastic if you like them. But I don’t.

Lemony Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Lemony Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Adapted from The Garden Grazer, who adapted it from Betty Crocker


  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 15 oz. canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, diced small
  • 1/2 c. frozen corn, defrosted (in the summer, you can sub fresh corn ... yum!)
  • 1/2 c. frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 green onions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • Dressing
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil or 2 T fresh basil, cut in chiffonade


Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. For best results, refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors meld.

Mr. V suggests serving this on baby spinach salad with a little extra dressing for optimum goodness. It's terrific by itself, though, too!

Do you like quinoa? If so, what’s your favorite quinoa recipe? I’m always looking for a good one. 

Gluten Free Meal Plan via Musings of a Housewife

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan … and altogether just good and healthy!

Added to Ultimate List of Mom Resources & Ingredient Spotlight: Bell Pepper.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Stems Recipe

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As a woman in my child-bearing years, I try to be pretty alert to the nutrients I am taking in. Although I’m no nutritionist, from what I understand dark, leafy greens are some of the best foods for you to eat.

Swiss chard ranks number two in the “world’s healthiest foods,” right next to spinach. Only a handful of fruits and vegetables contain folate, the all-important nutrient that prevents spina bifida in growing babies, and chard is one of those. The risk for spina bifida is reduced by 75% if a woman takes in adequate amounts of folate or folic acid before she is pregnant. Even if I am not trying to get pregnant, I think it’s important to include folate in my diet just in case.

Some beautiful rainbow chard jumped into my cart at Earth Fare last week, and I found inspiration in (strangely) an episode of Chopped on the Food Network. The judges gave great accolade to one chef who used the stems of the Swiss chard in his basket as well as the leaves. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about … you need to watch an episode of Chopped. It’s wild.)

This chard recipe incorporates the stems, smoky and delicious bacon, and garlic. And you can’t go wrong with bacon and garlic, right? It’s necessary to boil the dish some to get out the bitterness of the chard and leave just the rich, tasty flavor.

I found one bunch of chard only made a side dish for two people. Like most greens, it cooks down quite a bit.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Stems

Yield: 2 side servings

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Stems


  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 bunch chard (Swiss, rainbow, or other variety)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth or stock
  • salt and pepper


“Butcher” the chard: cut off long lengths of stem. If stems are very thick, you may want to cut them lengthwise in half. Discard woody end and then slice into 1-inch lengths. Cut the leaves away from the remainder of the stems. [This YouTube video shows what I mean when I say cut it away from the stem.]

Cut bacon into small pieces (I use kitchen shears for this) and saute on medium-high until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.

Add the stem pieces and garlic cloves. Cook on medium heat about 8 minutes, until stems are soft. Add chard leaves and toss. Stir until wilted. Remove garlic cloves.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and let boil, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes. Taste to make sure chard is not too bitter.

Drain off any remaining chicken stock. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in bacon pieces and serve.

More chard recipes:

Quinoa with Chard and Mushrooms
Crustless Chard Quiche
Swiss Chard Tart

Submitted to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Sliced and Diced at Once a Month Mom, Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as MOM, and Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Potato Cubes: Simple Side Dish

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This is less a recipe and more a technique, but I had to share because Libbie is crazy about these. I don’t know whether it’s the yummy roasted flavor or the ease she has picking them up with her little fingers, but she will gobble down a ton of sweet potato cubes! (She prefers sweet potatoes to the white potatoes, but she’ll try either.)

I’d never thought of doing anything like this until I was making Kate’s Loaded Baked Potato Salad and to bake the potatoes she had you make baked cubes. So really, you can thank Kate for this mini-tutorial.

If I just do regular potatoes, I might add some Ranch dressing mix or other seasoning to the potatoes before roasting; if just sweet potatoes, maybe cinnamon. But since I made a mixture the other night, I just stuck with salt and pepper for a classic but delicious taste!

I find these cubes to be perfect to pick up extra sloppy joe meat that falls off the bun!


Potato Cubes


  • Any variety potato, cut into even cubes (I used sweet potatoes and Yukon golds here)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


Place the cubes on a rimmed baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. Drizzle some olive oil on top and toss with fingers to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or desired seasonings.

Cook in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time.


For more wonderful recipes, visit Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.


Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes – $5 Dinner Challenge

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After hearing Jo-Lynne talk all the time about her love for Ina and reading somewhere that most of the Barefoot Contessa recipes are whole foods, I knew it was about time I tried an Ina Garten creation.

I’d snagged a copy of Barefoot Contessa at Home from Paperbackswap (after being on the wait list for about three years!) a few months ago. But with the hubbub of moving, I had yet to try a recipe.

I like lentils but I have had issues knowing how to prepare them. The one time I tried to make them like I had them in Brazil, my final product really fell flat.

These stewed lentils, though, did not disappoint. Aromatic, deeply flavored, and singing with thyme, I could eat them every week! We ate them as a side with a little bit of leftover London Broil, but they would be a fine main meal as well.

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 c. large-dice yellow onions (.40)
  • 2 c. large-dice carrots (.44)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted with garlic, and omitted garlic above) (.40)
  • 1 c. green lentils (.39)
  • 2 c. homemade chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (.24)
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T white or red wine vinegar


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the onions start to brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic (if using) and cook for 1 more minute.

Rinse and pick over the lentils to make sure there are no stones in the package.

Add tomatoes, lentils, chicken broth, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 40-50 minutes, until lentils are tender.

Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 more minutes. Stir in vinegar and season to taste.


slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

Total Cost: $1.87 + trace amounts for items I always have on hand
Leftover London Broil: $2.67 (about 1/3 of the beef I bought)
Grand Total: $4.54 for a whole lot of deliciousness, and plenty of leftover lentils for lunches!

As a bonus, Libbie LOVED them! For a girl who only a week ago would eat just bread, cheese, bananas, and applesauce, that’s definitely saying something!

Linked up to the $5 Dinner Challenge, Ingredient Spotlight: Tomatoes, and Tasty Tuesday.