Hunger Action Month: Fiesta Corn Salad


Happy Tuesday, kiddos! Hope you are having a good week.

This is the last full week of Hunger Action Month, which means this is the final food pantry-friendly recipe that I am sharing with all of you ( 😦 ) . While you can alter ingredients in the two soup recipes I shared earlier this month, this salad is truly versatile. It can be served as a hearty side to grilled meats or can be transformed into a complete meal when it is spooned over rice. Versatility is always a good thing (and makes leftovers seem a bit more imagined!).

What makes this salad so great is that it is a true open-dump-mix kind of recipe. Crack open the cans, dump them into a bowl, and you’re ready to eat. A quick meal that can be on the table in ten minutes but is still packed with good nutrition (music to this RD’s ears).

This Fiesta Corn Salad begins with beans.


I chose to use a combination of black beans and dark red kidney beans, but if you like a particular bean better, it’s totally cool to use that (pinto beans, anyone?). Just make sure that you drain the beans and rinse them very well to remove the salty packing liquid.

Then you need to dump in some corn kernels.


Again, make sure they are drained and rinsed well – studies have shown that draining and rinsing canned vegetables and beans reduces the amount of sodium they contain (!). So not only are you removing the gloopy “sauce” the veggies are canned with, you are also removing some of the sodium! Because who needs extra sodium in their diets (no one!).

The final canned good in this recipe is canned diced tomatoes with chilies.


I cracked open a can and poured it over the corn and beans – this time I did not drain the liquid off… this helps create the “sauce” for the bean salad.


Look at those big chunks of chilies! The basic canned chopped tomato with chilies is fairly mild but you can always buy a brand labeled “hot” if you want your salad to have a little bit of a kick.

All that’s left is to squeeze over some fresh lime juice.


It adds some acidity to the salad that makes all the flavors brighten.

Then it’s time to serve it up and dig in!


I hope you enjoy this food pantry-friendly recipe and share it with your family, friends, and community! If you try this recipe or donate its ingredients to your local food pantry, let me know using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together, we can end hunger.



Fiesta Corn Salad

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1-15oz can corn kernels, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-150z can diced tomatoes with chilies

1 lime



In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, and tomatoes (juice and all!). Squeeze the juice of the lime over the salad. Stir gently to combine.


Nutrition Information (1 serving):

Calories: 184 kcal Carbohydrates: 33gm Protein: 10.5gm Fat: 0.3gm Dietary Fiber: 9gm Sodium: 775mg

Cost per recipe: $4.76

Cost per serving: $0.79

Thai Cabbage Salad


Sometimes as I gaze into my huge (sometimes cluttered) fridge looking for something to eat, I ask myself questions to jump-start my brain to help me figure out what I am going to make to feed my constantly rumbling tummy (anyone else suffer from Stomachus Rumblingous Constantous? Okay, good!).

My internal dialogue usually goes like this…

Hmmm, cabbage… do you like cabbage? (yes)

Do you feel like turning on the stove? (no)

So, you like to eat cabbage raw? (yep!)

What tastes good with raw cabbage? (carrots and cucumber!)

Do you love Thai food? (yes)

Do you have all the fixin’s for Thai peanut sauce? (ummmm, is that even a question?)

How about you make Thai Cabbage Salad? (*lightbulb moment*)


So that is how I came about making this Thai Cabbage Salad over the weekend!


Thai Cabbage Salad starts with… cabbage. I found this beautiful red cabbage at the farmer’s market and had to buy it, but green cabbage or a mix of both can be used too! It’s all about your preferences – but if you think that both colors of cabbage taste the same (like me), I would suggest buying the red cabbage… it adds a big oomph of color in the final product.


Also note that I cut the cabbage into big strips, which make this more like a “salad”. If you want to shred your cabbage, it’ll be more like a “slaw” (which isn’t a bad thing at all!).

On top of the cabbage, I piled lots of other veggies in different colors and textures.


Crunchy carrots cut into match sticks (if you are going the “shred” route with the cabbage, I suggest you shred the carrots too!), yellow bell pepper sliced into thin strips, finely chopped cucumber half-moons, and some thawed shelled edamame (fresh soybeans – probably my favorite addition). The edamame provide a good amount of protein (a half cup of edamame provides 8gm of protein!), so this is a great dish for vegetarians and vegans.

Then all that’s left is to add in the delicious peanut dressing.


If you have a mini-food processor or a good blender, it comes together in a minute. Peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar, honey, lime juice, and siracha come together and provide a deliciously light dressing that enhances the flavor of the veggies. Yummy!

All that’s left is to toss it together.


And serve it alongside your favorite grilled meats (like this Thai-marinated grilled chicken).


I hope you enjoy this easy salad, kiddos!

Your cabbage obsessed friend,


Thai Cabbage Slaw

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the salad:

½ a medium head of red cabbage, sliced thinly (or shredded)

2 medium-sized carrots, cut into thin match-sticks (or shredded)

1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips

¼ large seedless (English) cucumber, halved and sliced into thin half-moons

1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon grated ginger

½ teaspoon of siracha – can add more or less depending on how spicy you like things

Juice of one medium-sized lime




  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, and edamame.
  2. In a mini-food processor or in a strong blender, combine all the dressing ingredients except for the water. Blend to combine. Add in the water (between 1-2 tablespoons) to reach the consistency you want (I like my dressing a little on the thin side, but you can make it as thick as you want!).
  3. Pour half of the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine. Add more dressing if the salad seems too dry.

Serve immediately with your summertime grilled favorites – Enjoy!


Note: You can double the dressing recipe and reduce the amount of water you use if you like a thicker “coleslaw-style” dressing coating on your salad.


Nutritional Information (1 serving):

112 calories Ÿ• 15gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 4gm fiber Ÿ• 6gm protein Ÿ• 4gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 192mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 2mg iron •Ÿ 64mg calcium

Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad


I love a good easy summertime side.

Because sometimes you just don’t want to deal with mayo/sour cream, long cooking times, or having the oven or stove on for long periods of time in the middle of August.

That’s why I am a big fan of marinated salads.

They are vinegar-based, which means low food-borne illness risk (yay food safety!) and they are made and served cold, which means no hot surfaces are needed (because who wants to be chained to the stove on a beautiful day?).

Marinated salads are late summer supper saviors (say that three times fast!).

And this is my favorite – Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad. All the color and beauty of summertime in fast salad form. (plus it’s really delicious!)

It starts with really good tomatoes.


I got these babies from the local farmer’s market – I just love their bright red color and their sweet flavor this time of year. But if your grocery store has some good lookin’ tomatoes, buy them and make this salad!

Next, grab yourself a cucumber – an English, or seedless, cucumber to be exact.


Then chop it into big chunks! I use a seedless cucumber because I personally find it a little less bitter than a traditional cucumber and also because I am lazy – the seeds are so tiny and tender in this type of cucumber that you don’t even have to seed it (which means we can eat quicker!). I also leave on the skin for added color and a bit of extra fiber.


Finally, add in some finely sliced scallions for an onion-y kick and some freshness.


All that’s left to do is dress the salad with your favorite vinaigrette. This is my homemade stand-by that is always in a mason jar in the fridge – olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, oregano. If you don’t have the homemade stuff, any good basic vinaigrette works here.


All that’s left is to toss and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This allows the veggies to marinate and lets the flavors come together and meld… AKA it takes the salad from delicious to divine!


Then all you need to do is serve it alongside your favorite summer dishes, like grilled chicken, steaks, or hearty pasta dishes. It is a fresh, easy (and healthy) side dish that will definitely please your guests at your next gathering.

Enjoy, everyone!

Your marinated salad obsessed friend,


Quick Marinated Tomato-Cucumber Salad

  • Servings: 4 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


2 medium-to-large tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 large seedless cucumber, quartered and cut into chunks

1-2 medium scallions, finely sliced

½ cup vinaigrette, homemade or store-bought


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, and scallion. Drizzle over the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine – you can adjust the amount of dressing based on your personal preferences. Set the bowl aside for about 15 minutes to allow the favors to come together. Serve alongside your favorite grilled meats or pasta dishes.


Nutritional Information (1 serving):

108 calories Ÿ• 8gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 1gm protein Ÿ• 9gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 492mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 24mg calcium


Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: ⅛ cup - one person
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano


Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutritional Information (⅛ cups):

130 calories Ÿ• 2gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 1gm fiber •Ÿ 0gm protein Ÿ• 14gm fat Ÿ• 2gm saturated fat Ÿ• 800mg sodium •Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 1mg iron Ÿ• 26mg calcium

French Potato Salad


We are officially five days away until the official start of summer, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been jumping the gun a little and pretending that it’s actually summer/making all our favorite cook-out foods!

Memorial Day is the official start of the summer anyway, right?

What I love about summertime eating is that it’s simple food that has big flavor and big appeal with family and friends. Hamburgers, hot dogs, big tossed salads, watermelon wedges, and various cold salads.

As a foodie, I love big outdoor spreads that allow me to visit with friends and family and the ability to graze for hours.

As a RD2Be, all I can think about is that the mayo-based potato salad has been sitting out in the sun for a while and it’s starting to worry me…

But fear not! Your park picnics and backyard soirees don’t have to be potato salad-free – just swap your traditional potato salad with an equally delicious (and much more picnic-stable) French Potato Salad.

And it’s just as easy to make. This is my adaptation of Martha Stewart’s Potato Salad Vinaigrette from her “The Martha Stewart Cookbook”.

It starts with some small new potatoes that have been boiled until fork tender and drained well.


I’m using red new potatoes, but white new potatoes work too. Or, if you can find them, the tri-colored new potatoes (with awesome purple potatoes) are a fun twist.

While the potatoes are still piping hot, carefully slice them in half (or in quarters if they are especially large).


And then drizzle the hot potatoes with some good white wine. If you don’t like wine or want to serve this dish to the kiddos, you can totally leave this out!

Then all that’s left is to whip up the dressing.


In a container with a tight-fitting lid, add in olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, finely minced shallot, finely minced dill, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously to combine.


And pour over the potatoes. Toss everything together.


And voila! Perfect French Potato Salad for your next picnic or backyard get-together. Long-live summertime eats!


So, what’s your favorite outdoor dish? Let me know!

Your potato salad makin’ friend,


French Potato Salad

  • Servings: 4-6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1½ pounds new potatoes, scrubbed well

3 tablespoons good white wine

4 tablespoons olive oil

1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 medium-sized shallot, minced finely

2 tablespoons chopped dill

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper



  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until they become fork tender but don’t start to break apart, about 8-10 minutes. Drain potatoes.
  2. Cut potatoes in half (or into quarters if they are larger) and place into a bowl. Drizzle potatoes with wine and toss gently to coat. Set aside.
  3. In a container with a tight fitting lid, combine olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot, dill, salt, and pepper. Shake vigorously to combine. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt/pepper as needed.

Serve immediately or pop into the fridge and serve later (tastes great warm or cold!).



Recipe lightly adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook by Martha Stewart.

Nutrition Information (½ cup of salad):

143 calories Ÿ• 17gm carbohydrates Ÿ• 2gm fiber •Ÿ 2gm protein Ÿ• 7gm fat Ÿ• 1gm saturated fat Ÿ• 288mg sodium Ÿ 0mg cholesterol Ÿ• 2mg iron •Ÿ 24 calcium

Salad Nicoise

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope everyone is having a good week.


My week has been crazy, tiring, and enlightening all at once. The ICU has been an eye-opening learning experience and I have seen and done so much!

But after two weeks of go, go, go, my brain said no, no, no to any more work last night. So I decided that a little dinner in front of the TV would be the perfect break!

I seem to be on a salad kick lately, so I decided that I was going to make the French classic with a simplified twist!

I first had Salad Nicoise at the Rodin Museum in Paris, France. It was the perfect combination of oil-packed tuna fish, crisp haricot vert (French green beans), olives, and hard-boiled egg. It was the perfect combination of flavors and textures and it has become one of my favorite go-to salads on busy nights.

My spin on a salad nicoise starts with a base of arugula.


I know the traditional salad is only green beans as the base, but I like the fresh, peppery bite that the arugula gives to the salad.

But that doesn’t mean that I totally ditched the green beans! My mom found frozen haricot vert at a local supermarket and I toss them frozen into a skillet and sauté them in a little olive oil until they are nice and crispy.


Then I place the green beans on the arugula. A pretty burst of spring green on a cold winter night!

Which I follow with some diced up leftover potatoes.


Roasted, lemon potatoes… yummy!

I layer the tuna fish next.


It’s starting to look so pretty! I love pretty food, don’t you?

The final row is the hard-boiled egg.


Sprinkled with a little extra salt, they are the perfect end to this salad.


Did I mention that I love pretty food?

The final touch is a drizzle of salad dressing.


I am super particular about dressing this salad (salad dressing on the eggs… no thank you!), so I use a spoon to drizzle it over the salad. But if you are not persnickety like me, go ahead and pour on salad dressing (it’s so much faster!).

Then dig in!


It is the perfect busy night supper (especially in front of a cheesy Christmas movie!).


Enjoy, kiddos!

Your salad makin’ friend,


Grilled Salmon Panzanella Salad

My second foray into using up the leftover grilled salmon was also a salad.

But it was a special salad.


It was a special salad because, in place of the lettuce, you use cubes of bread. A bread salad. Brought to you by an RD2Be. Every food fits, people!

I first had this salad in Italy, where it is called panzanella (not bread salad). It is a salad of leftovers – stale bread, veggies that might be on their last legs, a bit of meat or cheese. Since I had been to the farmer’s market and bought all the fixins’ (unintentionally) for panzanella, I decided that it was the perfect way to finally finish the last of the leftover grilled salmon.

Hooray for panzanella!


And it all starts with stale bread… which I didn’t have. What I did have was some great whole wheat sourdough from the farmer’s market.


I made it “stale” by popping it onto a medium-high grill for a few minutes per side.


But make sure to thoroughly coat each side with olive oil…


…before popping it onto the grill. Then it gets nice and golden brown and crispy.


When it comes off the grill, it looks beautiful.

And takes all your willpower to not eat it. Especially after you rub each side with a clove of garlic.


This allows the bread to have the wonderful garlicky taste without the unpleasant sensation of biting into a huge chunk of raw garlic. Then cube the bread and let it sit while you get the toppings for the salad.


Like these beautiful Juliet tomatoes (large grape tomatoes), thinly sliced red onion, and some arugula. Sweet, spicy, and pepper-y… the perfect accompaniment to the warm, crusty bread.


Toss in the bread cubes.


And add some of your favorite oil-and-vinegar-based dressing. I used the one that I talked about yesterday.


Mix the salad well, making sure the bread has a chance to soak up all the dressing.


I wanted to add a little freshness to the salad, so I added some sliced basil.

All that’s left is to plate it up.


Spoon some panzanella onto a plate and top with a piece of leftover salmon.

So colorful, delicious, nutritious, and a perfect way to use up leftovers.


I hope you all enjoy this Italian dish that is a blast from my culinary travels past! So, kiddos, what’s your favorite way to use up leftovers? I would love to hear your ideas!

Your bread salad lovin’, Italy missin’ friend,


Grilled Salmon Panzanella

  • Servings: two people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 slices of whole-wheat sourdough bread

1 clove of garlic

10 large grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved

½ a red onion, sliced thin

1½ cup arugula

2-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette dressing, bottled or homemade

2-6oz leftover grilled salmon fillets



  1. Preheat your grill over medium-high heat.
  2. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of olive oil over both sides of each bread slice. Place the bread on the grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove from the grill and rub both sides of the bread slices with a garlic clove. Cut into large cubes and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, and arugula. Add in the bread cubes and half of the vinaigrette. Toss together and gauge the moisture level – if it looks too dry, add more dressing.
  4. Place some of the panzanella salad on a plate and top with one of the leftover grilled salmon fillets. Serve immediately!

Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon


It is now (un)officially fall, which means that I can unapologetically consume every pumpkin, apple, spice, and cranberry product within arms reach without anyone questioning my sanity (and season identifying skills).

My parents left me (and The Cat) home alone this weekend with a plethora of leftover grilled salmon, which we took upon ourselves to finish…

So, in honor of the new season, I decided to make a fall salad and top it with some of the grilled salmon.

And it was the perfect answer to all of my life’s dreams and goals.


It starts with the “fall” components of the salad.


Dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and some sliced green onion. Sweetness, crunch, and zip.

The lettuce I used was some arugula that was hanging out in my fridge, but you can use any type of lettuce you like.


Confession… the lighting was wonderful on/around my stove, so I took all my pictures on the range top. Please don’t judge me (but how awesome do the pictures look though!).


Place a piece of salmon on top of the arugula.


Sprinkle on the dried cranberries.


The sliced almonds.


And the green onions.


Then some red wine vinaigrette dressing.

This is how you make it (super easy and so yummy)!


In a container with a tight sealing lid, pour in some olive oil.


Then add some red wine vinegar.


And a good amount of mustard, salt, pepper, and dried oregano.


Put on the lid and shake vigorously!


Then you have a perfect vinaigrette that you can use on everything.


Like Fall Salad with Grilled Salmon!


Enjoy, kiddos!

Your salad makin’ friend,


Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: one person
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano



Combine all ingredients into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Close the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.