Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Taco salad is usually one of those meals where the dairy is conspicuously missing. Not so here! Sam told me, “Mom, I’m really enjoying this!” Too cute! I shred his lettuce quite a bit, but he does eat it!  Make sure to include as many toppings and spices as you can here, and you won’t even miss the cheese!


  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • head of romaine lettuce
  • two roma tomatoes
  • two avocados
  • can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • handful of frozen corn
  • two handfuls of cilantro
  • packet of taco seasoning, or a homemade mix similar to this one

Instructions: Wash lettuce and tomatoes. Shred lettuce, chop tomatoes and avocado. Pile all ingredients on lettuce. Brown turkey and when almost done, add your taco seasoning. Put on top of salad.

For the vinaigrette: (recipe adapted from (Note: I did not measure here. I had two hungry little ones. I probably used less sugar and olive oil.)

  • Place lime juice, orange juice, honey, orange zest, and sugar in a large bowl. With a whisk in 1 hand and the oil in another, slowly begin to add the oil until it’s all gone. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.


Pittsburgh Salad

In Pittsburgh, they have this great tradition of putting fries on salad. It is probably one of the few good things about the city of Pittsburgh. JUST KIDDING!!! Kind of. Anyway, we really enjoy this salad in our house. It even satisfies a hard working man! And it’s good enough for company!


  • 3 russet potatoes
  • grilled chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • romaine lettuce
  • one onion
  • avocado
  • tomato
  • shredded carrot
  • red wine vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Saute chicken breast in olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Wash and chop salad ingredients: lettuce, tomato, carrot, and avocado. Slice onoin (not chop) and saute in olive oil for a long time, until it caramelizes. Set aside onion. Slice potatoes in long french-fry form. Make sure the slices are small so they cook well. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay on sprayed pan and cook at 425 degrees. The key is to cook them for a LONG time. They need to be crispy. No limp fries on this salad! Once they are about done, prepare each salad on a plate, in this order: lettuce, tomato, carrot, avocado, onion, chicken, fries.  Then drizzle with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cobb Salad by Rachel Ray and my friend Kelly

Right after I had Ty, my friend Kelly brought me her version of Rachel Ray’s Cobb Salad, with a dressing she created. Even without the cheese and egg that traditionally go with Cobb Salad, it was so delicious and so satisfying! We licked the plates. Here is Rachel Ray’s recipe, and Kelly’s dressing. I think instead of the poultry seasoning Rachel recommends, Kelly marinated the chicken in the salad dressing.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 ounces each
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, eyeball it
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 sliced bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and scooped from skins with a spoon, then diced
  • 2 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups white cheddar or Monterey Jack, shredded (or blue cheese crumbled)


Heat a grill pan or nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat chicken breasts with 2 teaspoons oil, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Wash hands. Grill or pan-fry chicken 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes. In a small pot, cover eggs with cold water. Place over high heat and bring water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, cool eggs under cold running water. Peel and chop. Brown chopped bacon in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop 3 hearts of romaine lettuce and place in a large serving platter or salad bowl. Dress chopped lettuce with the juice of 1 1/2 lemons. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over lettuce. Season greens with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss diced avocados with juice of remaining 1/2 lemon, to retard browning. Halve chicken breasts and chop the meat. To serve, arrange rows of chopped chicken, chopped hard boiled egg, crisp bacon bits, diced avocado, diced tomato, chopped red onion and shredded cheese on top of either 4 individual portions of dressed romaine or 1 large serving platter.

Kelly’s dressing:

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. lime juice

1 1/2 t cumin

2 T honey

1 T dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Shake and serve!