Crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado dressing make THE BEST pasta salad recipe! This BLT Pasta Salad is quick and easy to prepare. It’s delicious served warm or cold and the perfect side dish for summer BBQ’s!
I was never a big fan of potato or pasta salads growing up. Blasphemy, I know! I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise, which is the base for a lot of potato and pasta salad dressings.
I also found a lot of pasta salads to be boring. They were lacking in that delicious kick of flavor I was looking for!
But today, I’m here to introduce you to THE SECRET ingredient for making a creamy, flavorful pasta salad dressing without mayonnaise. Avocado! That’s right, the creamy avocado dressing in this salad packs a serious punch of flavor and the texture is deliciously creamy.
Bonus, it’s so much healthier than a mayonnaise based dressing! And you only 6 ingredients to make it, two of which are salt and pepper! Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and boom, you’ve got one tasty pasta salad dressing!
I love replacing mayonnaise with avocado on a BLT sandwich. So I decided to make a BLT Pasta Salad with my homemade avocado dressing. Who can deny the combination of crispy bacon, creamy avocado and juicy tomatoes?! I know I sure can’t!
This recipe will be your new go-to summer and BBQ staple! My family loves this recipe. And every time I make it for a party or BBQ, it gets rave reviews from all my friends!
Grilled pesto chicken, fresh avocado & cherry tomatoes top this healthy, easy, gluten free salad recipe. It’s delicious as an entree or side dish and it’s perfect for meal prep!
Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at California Avocados!
I love topping a delicious bowl of greens with flavorful grilled chicken. And obviously, I’m not the only one! These Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls are the most popular gluten free recipe on the blog.
When it comes to my favorite topping for any salad, bowl or basically any meal, it has to be avocados! Creamy, flavorful California Avocados are a staple in my pantry and a huge part of my diet. I love that you can add them to everything from smoothies to enchiladas.
For this salad, I added a whole sliced California avocado with quartered cherry tomatoes and grilled pesto chicken. I used homemade Basil Pesto for the pesto chicken, but store-bought works also!
This salad is bursting with flavor! It can be served with the chicken hot or cold, as an entree or side dish. You can easily toss the salad together while meal prepping and divide it up for lunches throughout the week.
No boring salads here! This salad will become your new favorite. And the great thing is, it’s quick and easy to make in just 29 minutes!
Next week will mark the fifth annual “Thanksgiving Week” on the blog. A week dedicated to delicious new twists on classic Thanksgiving recipes!
I’m so excited for what’s to come next week, with everything from Salted Caramel Pecan Baked Brie and Butternut Squash Gratin, to Roasted Turkey with Maple Apple Sauce and Apple Crumble, but first I wanted to share some of the most popular Thanksgiving recipes from the past 7 years of blogging!
I rounded up the Top 15 Thanksgiving Recipes by page views, and with everything from turkey to gravy, and stuffing to sangria, you’ll be able to plan your entire Thanksgiving menu on just this page!
Grilled romaine topped with fresh, juicy tomatoes, black beans, grilled corn and peppers, creamy avocado, crispy tortillas and a delicious honey lime dressing creates the most flavorful chopped salad, that’s also vegetarian & gluten free!
If it’s wrong to put all of the things on a salad, then I don’t want to be right! I seriously can’t get enough of these seriously topped salads, like this Spinach Kale Salad topped with dates, quinoa, pistachios and roasted butternut squash, this Spinach Arugula Salad topped with strawberries, crispy goat cheese, avocados and almonds, this Cobb Salad topped with Cajun Turkey, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, onions and avocado, or this Israeli Couscous Salad topped with avocado, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese.
See, I was totally serious about all of the things on top of my salads! And this Grilled Romaine Salad is no exception to the rule, it’s actually the most topped salad of them all, piled high with juicy tomatoes, grilled corn, crispy tortilla strips, creamy goat cheese, fresh avocado, protein rich black beans and roasted bell peppers and jalapenos.
Quinoa Corn Salad is the perfect side dish for summer! Fresh grilled corn, nutty quinoa and juicy cherry tomatoes are tossed with a creamy avocado dressing for a vegetarian & gluten free salad full of flavor and nutrition!
Serve this brussels sprout salad warm or cold as the perfect fall side dish! It’s easy enough for weeknight dinners, but elegant enough for Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s officially Thanksgiving Week on the blog! One of my favorite weeks of the year because I get to share several new recipes to add to your Thanksgiving feast, while reminiscing about some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving week recipes!
I can’t believe that I’ve celebrated 7 years of Thanksgivings on the blog!
Throughout the years, I’ve posted dozens of recipes perfect for your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving celebration, but last year I rounded up my Top 15 Thanksgiving Recipes into one blog post to make planning your Thanksgiving dinner super easy!
Today’s post was sponsored by ALDI. Thanks for supporting all of the WhitneyBond.com partners like ALDI!
Within just a few months of starting my food blog, my brother was diagnosed with celiac disease. Ever since then, I’ve made it my mission to create and share delicious gluten free recipes with the world!
When I partnered up with ALDI to share four tasty recipes from their Test Kitchen and Bon Appétit, I was so excited to see that they were all gluten free! I couldn’t wait to try their liveGfree® gluten free baking and cupcake mixes, and sample their fresh meat and produce!
Now I know you’re all dying to hear what we’re cooking up today, so without further ado, here’s the ALDI Gluten Free Menu:
Boiled, then baked garlic, parsley smashed potatoes are tossed in basil pesto with arugula & green onions for a delicious twist on traditional potato salad!
Growing up, I was never a fan of potato salad. To be fair, I wasn’t a fan of a lot of foods. Blasphemy, I know! The food blogger that was a picky eater growing up, say it ain’t so, oh, but it is!
A few years after moving to California for college, I started trying new foods and recipes, and realized what I had been missing all of these years! Ahem, guacamole, the green stuff, freaking delicious! Fish, sushi, yes, please! But one thing I can say I’ve never really taken a liking to is potato salad. I’m guessing my aversion to mayonnaise might have a little something to do with that!
So today I’m making a potato salad that’s colorful, flavorful, sans mayonnaise and filled with tons of green goodness!
I know what you’re thinking, yes, my Dad is on Snapchat, and yes, my Mom is on Snapchat, and yes, they’re 60 years old!
This is the direct influence of having a daughter that’s a social media enthusiast and professional food blogger. Every time my parents come to visit, I give them tutorials on the latest social media channel. They get on it and suddenly I’m getting snaps from food truck festivals, football games and road trips with Snapchat filters. The moral of this story is, my parents are not normal parents, they’re cool parents! (Mean Girls reference, anyone?!)
Black beans, tomatoes, jalapeños & avocados are combined in this healthy, vegan & gluten free Mexican Quinoa Salad recipe!
Two of my favorite salads I’ve ever made are this Quinoa Caprese Salad and this Greek Quinoa Salad. I decided to put the healthy and popular grain to use once again in this Mexican Quinoa Salad. It’s gluten free and vegan, yet packed with protein!
Roasted tomatoes & blueberries add bright, delicious flavors to this gluten free & vegetarian summer quinoa salad recipe!
As a food blogger, whenever a holiday rolls around, you have one goal in mind, come up with something that’s festive, delicious and hasn’t already been done. And for me, something that doesn’t just involve throwing food dye in everything to make it color coordinate to the holiday.
Last week I shared my recipe for Gluten Free Dessert Cups that are naturally red, white and blue, and perfect for the 4th of July, but I still kept the holiday in the back of my mind over the last week to see if any more brilliant ideas would hit me.
This Spiralized Jicama & Avocado Salad is a unique and healthy recipe that is gluten free & vegetarian. It’s great for lunch or served as a side dish!
When I first purchased my Spiralizer, I went to the grocery store, perusing the produce section for anything and everything I could potentially spiralizer. One of the items that I found was jicama.
Jicama, also known as a “Mexican Yam” is a vegetable traditionally from Mexico and Central America. It’s a slightly sweet, starchy vegetable that resembles the consistency of a pear or apple. It’s high in dietary fiber and Vitamin C making it a healthy addition to your diet!
This Healthy Cobb Salad Recipe swaps out cheese for creamy avocado and bacon with crispy baked apples, giving a slight sweetness to the famous salad!
I figured if I was going to be on the news on Labor Day, I might as well make the segment fun and useful to those at home on the couch, possibly nursing the almighty hangover from the previous nights festivities!
That is why I decided to make “At Home Hangover Remedies” with my friends at San Diego 6 News! First up was the Tropical Hangover Juice, then came this delicious Healthy “Hangover” Cobb Salad!
Begin by trimming the ends off the green beans, chopping them into 1 inch pieces and adding them to a large mixing bowl.
Add the tomatoes, bell peppers and garlic cloves to the bowl then drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and top with the black pepper.
Toss together then place onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
Top with the fresh basil and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the vegetables from the oven.
Add the roasted vegetables to a large mixing bowl.
My recommendation: grab the sides of the parchment paper or foil (like this ↓) and simply slide it into the bowl so you make sure to get all the roasted vegetables and the delicious balsamic juices into the bowl.
Next, add the pesto to the roasted vegetables.
Toss well. Place into a serving bowl and top with the toasted walnuts.
My intern Erin and I ate this for lunch last week, but it would also be a great side dish for dinners, BBQs or holidays!
This Strawberry Ricotta Salad combines spinach, fresh fruit, pecans & ricotta cheese with homemade lemon vinaigrette for the perfect summer salad recipe!
This salad is the first of 3 new low-sodium recipes I’ll be adding to the blog in the next 24 hours!
Why the surge of new low sodium dishes you ask? Because I’ve been asked to host a low sodium cooking segment on San Diego 6 News tomorrow morning!
This will be my first live cooking segment and I could not be more excited! If you’re in San Diego, tune in at 8:20 AM. If you’re elsewhere in the world, look for a link to the video on my Facebook page tomorrow afternoon!
You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter for live updates leading up to the segment tomorrow morning!
Now on to this delicious salad recipe!
In addition to being low sodium, the news station asked that the dishes I prepare be easy to make, consist of only a few ingredients and require no cooking.
My mind immediately went to a fresh, summer salad!
Most of the sodium in a salad comes from the cheese and the salad dressing. The first step in creating a salad low in sodium is making your own salad dressing.
The dressing I created for this recipe contains only 5 mg of sodium per cup. Compare that to a light Italian dressing purchased in the bottle which is 380 mg for 2 tablespoons and you’re saving some serious sodium intake!
Ricotta cheese, as well as mozzarella cheese are the lowest in sodium of all cheeses, so I sprinkled that on top to give the salad a little creaminess.
The entire salad contains only 140 mg of sodium, making it a delicious low sodium choice for a scrumptious lunch or fantastic side dish at summer BBQ’s!
Strawberry Ricotta Salad Ingredients
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup strawberries (stems removed and sliced)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup ricotta cheese (crumbled)
Lemon Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Ingredients
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lemon (zested and juiced)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, zest, and black pepper together. Add the olive oil while whisking well to combine.
Add the spinach to a large bowl, then add the strawberries, blueberries and pecans. Top with the crumbled ricotta cheese.
Serve with 1/4 cup of the salad dressing and reserve the rest. This salad dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This roasted butternut squash and mozzarella salad is drizzled in a balsamic vinegar reduction for a sweet, delicious, gluten free and vegetarian salad made in under 45 minutes!
Today’s lunch was inspired by a lovely salad I had at the fabulous La Piazza Ristorante Italiano at The Grove.
The salad is sweet, salty and Italian, so pretty much a combination of all of my favorite things!
12 oz butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 oz mozzarella cheese balls
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F, then prepare the butternut squash.
I am fortunate enough to live within walking distance to Trader Joes (which is pretty apparent in all of my ingredient shots!) so I purchased pre-cut ready-to-go butternut squash cubes.
If you aren’t so fortunate to live near a Trader Joes, just buy a couple of medium size squash and cube them yourself.
Place the butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet (I like to line with foil bc I HATE to do dishes and it prevents them from sticking to the baking sheet so easier clean up!)
Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
Then on to my favorite part… BROWN SUGAR! I feel that everything in life would be better if it had a little brown sugar involved!
Now the squash is ready to go in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Toss them about half way through.
While the squash is roasting prepare the balsamic reduction for drizzling over all of this yummy salad!
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat then add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to the skillet, followed by 2 crushed garlic cloves. Bring it to a boil then lower the temperature and allow it to reduce by half.
Next, toast the walnuts.
Once again, I bought already chopped walnut pieces from Trader Joes, but if you have whole walnuts just give them a nice chop and you’re ready to go!
Throw these on some foil on a baking sheet and in to the oven for 3-4 minutes, these little babies toast up quick in the 400 degree oven!
Once the squash and walnuts are out of the oven and the balsamic is reduced it’s time to put it all together. Use tongs to move the squash on to a plate in a nice little pile, then top each pile of squash with 4-5 mozzarella balls, next sprinkle a few toasted walnuts on top, then it’s time for that yummy, syrup-y, balsamic reduction goodness to get drizzled all on top! Your plate should end up looking something like this ↓
But are those two plates I see?!??!
Yes those are two plates of deliciousness you see! So if you are thinking back to yesterdays blog and thought “didn’t she say she experimented with cooking at lunch because she was only cooking for herself” why yes, yes I did say that so now I guess I’m a liar, but all in good reason!!
Time to introduce my best friend Erin, she’s the kind of girl who will drink a case of bud light with you and enjoy an enormous burrito all while wearing 5-inch heels and approximately 68 pieces of jewelry, needless to say she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Well I had the fortune of feeding her lunch today after she arrived home early from a work trip and had the day off! Watch as she intently stares at her food, raising her fork in anticipation of that first magical bite:
And here she goes… time to dig in!
Mmm delicious! Definitely recommend this dish for a great appetizer or lunch salad, or I was thinking I might skewer a ball of mozzarella between two pieces of the roasted butternut squash and drizzle with the balsamic reduction for cocktail parties! Who wants to come to my next cocktail party now? 🙂