Healthier Turkey Salad


Looking for something to do with some of that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?  Look no further than this healthy turkey salad!  Colorful, tangy and sweet and filled with fruits, it will brighten any sandwich, salad or cracker but not leave you feeling like you just ate (and gained) Thanksgiving once again.  I am all for Thanksgiving leftovers but by the third time I have eaten them, I need something new. The ingredients in this turkey salad are ones that you should already have on hand.

This recipe is an adaption of about three different chicken salad recipes.  As I have stated many times before, I loathe mayo so that was the first ingredient to go.  What left is the combination of the best things from each of the recipes.  Don’t care for Greek Yogurt?  You can add the mayo back in.  Just be aware it no longer is healthier.  Lots of different fruits can be added if you don’t care for apples or cranberries.  Think grapes and raisins.  Same goes for the nuts.  Pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts can be substutited or even left out all together.

I recommend making this salad either in the morning or the night before.  You are going to want some time for the flavors to “mingle.”  It’s great to out out with dinner rolls for people to snack one throughout the day or if they need something quick to grab.


Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Healthier Turkey Salad

A Healthier turkey salad that uses the leftovers from holiday dinners.

10 minPrep Time:

10 minTotal Time:

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  • 2 cups cooked, shredded turkey
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced apple chunks
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1/8 cup apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a large mixing bowl toss together shredded turkey, celery, almonds, dried cranberries and apples. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together all remaining ingredients until well blended.
  2. Pour dressing mixture over turkey mixture and stir to coat.
  3. Serve on sliced bread, leafy greens, rolls or crackers.
  4. Store in the refrigerator.


21 Day Fix: 1 R, 1/2 P, 1/2 B, 1 tsp



Steak & Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad


Now, before you all go “ewww” on me, I ask that you give it a chance.  I am not a huge fan of brussel sprouts BUT I really like this salad. Mostly because it doesn’t taste like brussel sprouts.  Ironic.  The husband is a huge fan though and I made it for him.  Hence the reason I am eating a steak too.  As I have previously stated, I rarely eat beef BUT it’s been very hot here in upstate NY and steaks were on sale and I wasn’t about to stand over a hot stove/oven and cook.  It’s September.  It’s not supposed to be 90* in NY.  We are supposed to be drinking pumpkin spice lattes, picking apples and watching leaves change colors.  Not sweating…

Not complaining though.  That’s what the AC is for!  Winter will be here soon enough.

Okay back to the salad.  It’s actually a very easy salad to assemble.  The sprouts are raw.  Yes, I said RAW.  No cooking required.  The only danger is the shaving of them.  You can buy them already chopped but the salad really doesn’t taste the same.  You can use a mandolin to slice this thin or if you have an slicer attachment to a stand mixer,  you can it it that way.  I started with the mandolin but the husband walked in as I was slicing them super fast and had a mini heart attack.  He gently reminded me of my thumb that is missing part of its side (sadly, that’s not from just one experience) and went and got the attachment down and started to slice them for me that way.  Alright by me!

Once the brussels are thinly shaved/sliced,  I added chopped almonds, dried cranberries, turkey bacon and mixed it all up.  I then drizzled the salad with a dressing of orange and lemon juice, their zest, apple cider, minced onion and olive oil.  I tossed that around and added coarsely grated parmesan to it and topped with the perfectly grilled and sliced steak!  So easy and very tasty!


That being said, I do have to warn that the salad isn’t very good as a left over.  The sprouts get soggy and flat tasting.  Sorry, this is a dish best enjoyed right when it is made.  It is easy doubled and is very popular are gatherings.  Must people don’t even realize they are eating brussel sprouts!


To grill the steak, about 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature. Heat your grill to high. Season both sides with with salt and pepper and place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill and cover the steaks with foil and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Yield: 4-5 Servings

Steak & Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad

10 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

20 minTotal Time:

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  • For the dressing:
  • juice of one lemon and 1 teaspoon zest
  • juice of one orange and one teaspoon zest
  • 1- 2 tablespoons apple cider (not vinegar)
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 2 dozen brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 3 slices cooked turkey bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Steak, Grilled


  1. Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, zests, apple cider, and onions in a bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil in a stream and whisk for a minute or two, until it becomes creamy-looking.
  3. Slice the brussels sprouts as thinly as possible with a mandolin or stand mixer attachment,(watch your fingers).The thinner the shreds, the better the salad!
  4. Toss the shreds so they separate and fluff a little bit.
  5. Toss the brussels sprouts, almonds, bacon, cheese, cranberries and dressing together.
  6. Top with sliced steak.
  7. Serve immediately or within a few hours of tossing.
  8. To Grill the Steak:
  9. 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.
  10. Heat your grill to high.
  11. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
  12. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes.

Turkey Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad



I am a big fan of pasta salads in the summer.  Non mayo salads of course.  Remember, I have a strong hatred for the gelatinous stuff.  Pasta salads are great quick and easy dinners for when we are running around to karate and soccer and other various places.  I can make them in the morning and they are ready to go for dinner!  And the leftovers the next day aren’t too shabby either!

For this pasta salad, I started by chopping my tomatoes and adding them to a large bowl.  I then add some finely minced red onion, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and basil and mixed it all together and stuck it in the fridge to “meld” together the flavors.


While I tomatoes are chilling, I get moving on the bacon.  Unless, I am in a hurry, I don’t cook my bacon in a skillet.  I take the easy way out and bake it. Myself and my clothes don’t get splattered in grease and the clean up is much easier.  I used turkey bacon for this recipe so technically there wasn’t any grease to splatter, but I had other things to do so I didn’t want to stand over the skillet and watch it.  All you do is line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Place the desired numbers of slices on the sheet and put it in the cold oven.  Turn the oven to 375* and let it cook for 12-16 minutes or desired crispiness!

While the bacon is doing its thing in the oven, I get the pasta boiling.  For this I used whole grain cellentani.  Feel free to use whatever fun shape you want.  When the bacon is done, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to cool for a minute.  Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.  Add the pasta to the tomato mixture and stir.  Diced avocados and add to the bowl as well, stirring to combine.  Crumble or chop the bacon and sprinkle it on top.  Grate some fresh Parmesan over the top and serve!  Viola!



Yield: 6 Servings

Turkey Bacon Avocado Pasta Salad

Fresh tomatoes, avocado and crispy bacon come together to create this delicious salad!

10 minPrep Time:

10 minCook Time:

20 minTotal Time:

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  • 4 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces whole grain pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 slices of cooked turkey bacon, diced
  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Put it in the fridge to chill.
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well and rinse with cold water.
  4. Combined pasta to the tomato mixture and stir.
  5. Add in diced avocado and sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.
  6. Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmesan.


If not serving right away, do not add avocado. Wait till you are about it serve so it does not brown.



Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad



Dinner salads during the summer are a must!  It’s hot and sticky outside and no really wants to eat yet alone next in a hot kitchen and cook.  The air conditioner definitely makes it better but its still not the thing someone wants to do.  I could eat just a regular salad without a problem but just salad for dinner to my husband, isn’t dinner.  Same goes with soup.  He kills me.

Any how, I have to make sure the salad has subsistence if he is going to eat it.  That is why I love this oriental grilled chicken salad.  It has the subsistence with the chunks of marinated grilled chicken but the light crispiness of a fresh summer salad.  Plus, it is quick and easy to do.  Win Win!!  The original recipe is here but I had to modify it to fit my family and their picky palates.

You start by whisking the marinate/dressing ingredients together. Trim any fat from the chicken and place them in a gallon ziplock bag. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the marinade to the chicken.  I like to do this in a Ziplock bag because it is an easy clean up.  You are going to SAVE the rest of the sauce that you made.  It will become the dressing later.  

Once all the air is squeezed out of the bag, place it in the frig for at least 30 minutes.  Finish off the dressing by adding red wine vinegar and some finely diced onion.  Put that in the refrigerator also.

Now here comes the part where I completely cheat.  My local Wegman’s makes an oriental salad blend.  It comes with shredded cabbage, carrots, celery green onions and broccoli, toasted almonds, chow mein noodles and a dressing (which I do not use).  The recipe I adapted my version from, chops all of this up on her own.  You can do that but I find it easier to cheat and get the stuff that is already done.  Up to you! Both will be yummy!

Once your chicken has marinated for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat the grill on high.  Once it has warmed up, place the chicken on the grill (throw away the Ziplock bag) and turn the heat to a medium low.  Cook the chicken for about 18 minutes, turning it over half way through or until the internal temp has reached 165 degrees.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes.  You never want to cut into any of your meat right after it’s taken off the grill.  All the juices will run out leaving you with yucky, dry meat!  Blah!  You can cover it with Aluminum Foil to keep some of the heat in.  After the 15 minutes, you can cut them into chunks.

While the chicken is cooling, dump the salad mixture onto 4 plates, reserving the toasted almonds and noodles.  Remove the dressing from and frig and whisk again just to stir everything up.  Drizzle a little over the salad.  Place chicken pieces on top of the salad mixture, drizzle with more dressing and sprinkle almonds, noodles and sesame seeds over the top!

There you have it!  A nice a hearty oriental grilled chicken salad in no time!  Enjoy!


Yield: 4 servings

Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad

30 minPrep Time:

20 minCook Time:

50 minTotal Time:

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  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 3 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 package of Oriental Salad Mix (toasted almonds and noodles set aside)
  • Sesame seeds, optional


  1. Whisk together the soy sauce, canola oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha to make the marinade.
  2. Put the three chicken breasts in a gallon sized zip-top bag and add 3-4 Tbsp of the marinade over the chicken.
  3. Reserve the rest of the marinade for the dressing.
  4. Marinate 30 minutes.
  5. To the reserved marinade add vinegar and onions.
  6. To a hot grill add the chicken breasts. Turn heat to medium low.
  7. Cook them with the lid down about 8 minutes per side or until there is no signs of pink.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow them to rest 15 minutes.
  9. Distribute Salad Mix to 4 plates.
  10. Whisk the dressing and drizzle a little over each salad.
  11. Add chicken chunks to each plate.
  12. Garnish with the almonds, noodles and sesame seeds on each salad.
  13. Add more dressing if desired.


Adapted from



Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad


Lite and refreshing with vegetables straight from the garden or market! No cooking required!

It’s been hot and humid here in upstate NY lately.  I used to be able to handle the heat and humidity without a problem.  The hotter the better.  I spent summers in Nashville with my grandparents so compared to their heat, the “it’s hot” in NY,  was nothing.  Not the case anymore.  I makes me cranky.  Like REALLY cranky. When it’s like that outside, no one wants to run an oven or stove and I especially don’t want to stand over one.  Cue today’s recipe.  A simple summer salad – a tomato, cucumber, avocado salad. This is a quick and easy salad to put together that uses just a couple of summer ingredients most people have growing in their gardens. Juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and my favorite, avocado.  Seriously, if I could figure out how to get an avocado tree to grow in upstate NY, I’d save so much money.  I also added some creamy fresh mozzarella and a little minced parsley as well.  Just toss all that together with a red wine vinaigrette and the salad is ready in under 15 minutes. No cooking required!

We put our salad over the top of turkey zucchini burgers and had some grilled nectarines on the side.  You can use this as a side dish or put it over the top of grilled chicken, pork chops or burgers like we did.  If serving as a main dish, I would say it serves two instead of four.


Yield: 4 servings

Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad

15 minPrep Time:

15 minTotal Time:

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  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes chopped, I used grape tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled (optional) and chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic infused Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 ounces fresh Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
  • 1 handful fresh parsley, finely minced


  1. Chop tomatoes into a medium dice. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Add to a bowl.
  2. Peel (optional) and dice one cucumber. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
  3. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Dice avocado and using a spoon scoop out the avocado from the peel. Add it to the bowl with the tomatoes and cucumbers.
  4. Cube mozzarella and add to bowl with the other ingredients.
  5. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and pour over the salad.
  6. Toss gently. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately


If not eating immediately, refrigerate and keep the avocado aside. Dice and add before serving.


Dijon Mustard Tuna Salad with Garlic, Egg and Banana Peppers



Tangy Dijon Tuna Salad

This recipe took me forever to come up with.  TONS of trial and error.  I am not a fan of mayonnaise so tuna salad has never been an option for me.  Okay, it’s an option, let’s just say…not a viable one.  Many in my family would like to disown me for this, “flaw.” They all live in the deep south where mayo is considered a vegetable.  But, my dislike for mayo, runs deep.  Whatcha gonna do.

I had to make 3 lbs of macaroni salad for our church’s chicken BBQ recently.  Everyone had to follow the same recipe.  1  1/2 quarts of mayo people!  I gagged through the entire process.  Of course, my husband thought it was the best macaroni salad he has ever had.

Any who, back to the tuna.  I tried using Greek yogurt, avocado, sour cream and combinations of each mixing in different things such as garlic, onions, hard boiled eggs, dill, cucumbers, celery and pickle relish.  Each were better than mayo but wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  Not something that I would say were great and I would make again.  Then I decided to try Dijon mustard (I used Jack Daniels brand).  I LOVE mustard!  Why I never thought to use it before, is beyond me.  My husband says it’s because the combination of tuna and mustard is repulsive.  In his defense, his distaste for mustard rivals my distaste of mayo. Oh well, more for me!

It was good with just the tuna and mustard.  The zip i was looking for was there but it still needed something.  Garlic helped but it still needed more.  I had a hard boiled egg that needed to be used, so I chopped that and threw it in.  Not bad but it needed more zip.  Then I saw them.  Banana peppers!! I quickly chopped a few and stirred them in.

Eureka!!  I had found it! It had the tangy zest I was looking for and it is a recipe I will definitely be making again!

Dijon Mustard Tuna Salad with Garlic, Egg and Banana Peppers                                                                                                                      Makes 1 serving


  • 1  3 oz can or pouch of albacore tuna in water
  • 1 hard boiled egg, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard (or to taste)
  • Banana peppers, chopped (to taste)



  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.


Tips:  Get creative!  Serve the tuna salad in a hollowed tomato or pepper, over a tossed salad or with some baked pita chips!

Fiesta Lime Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad over Ground Turkey Taco Salad

Ha!  I love it!  I am already getting requests for certain types of recipes.  Well, since it is my neighbors Birthday and she requested some ground turkey/ground chicken recipes, I am going to push this recipe up on the posting list and present…


A light a refreshing summer salad…with zesty a twist

The title sounds a little redundant but I wasn’t sure what else to call it.  Grilled corn, black beans, ripe tomatoes, red onion and avocado, marinated in a garlic-lime dressing ans sprinkled with fresh cilantro.  How amazing does that sound?  Make sure if you are using dry black beans you have let them soak overnight.

This salad could be a complete meal on its’ own or a yummy side dish.  We chose to put it over a ground turkey taco salad.  Homemade taco seasoning, crisp baby spinach, more ripe tomatoes, olives and cheddar cheese.  We also served blue corn chips on the side to help scoop shovel the taco salad in our mouths.  I am not a huge fan of beef so a lot of the time I use ground turkey or ground chicken.  Feel free to substitute ground beef here if that’s your preference.

Since Taco salads are very versatile and can be made to accommodate individual taste preferences, I will let you decide how to want to build your taco salads.  However I will provide you with my homemade taco seasoning.  It is so much better then any packaged stuff and it has a fraction of the sodium!  So much better for you!


Fiesta Lime Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad over Taco Salad


  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Avocado peeled and chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about one lime)
  • Zest from 1 one lime
  • 2 cloves freshly minced garlic
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste



  1. Heat an indoor grill to high.
  2. Once heated, spray the grill with cooking spray and add the corn to the grill spreading it out as much as possible.  Grill for approximately 4-5 minutes.
  3. The best you can, gently stir the  corn every minute for even cooking.
  4. Turn off the grill, remove the corn to a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, lime juice and zest.  Set aside.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, beans and onion to the bowl with the corn and stir.
  7. Gently toss with the marinade and chill for 30+ minutes prior to serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Before serving add avocado and stir and sprinkle with the fresh cilantro.

Notes:  Fresh corn on the cob can be used in place of frozen corn. Simply rub the corn with vegetable oil and grill it, cover down, for approximately 6-8 minutes. Rotate the corn every few minutes for even cooking.


Homemade Taco Seasoning


1 and 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 and 1/2  teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoom onion powder

cayenne pepper to taste (optional)



Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. Store the mix in an airtight container. 2 ½ – 3 tablespoons is equal 1 packet of taco seasoning.