Low Carb Pesto Chicken Salad (THM S)

This chicken salad is easy to make, and tastes so fresh and elegant.

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Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

I started making this salad when my husband and I went vegan a few years ago, and all but forgot about it until recently.  It’s a summer favorite because it can be enjoyed warm or cold, and it requires minimal cooking.

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This salad is mostly raw/no-cook – the only component that requires cooking is the rice. You can use leftover brown rice, or you can cook it fresh. I prefer to cook the rice fresh, because I think the lime flavor soaks best into warm rice as opposed to chilled.

I start by chopping the peppers and onion, and placing it into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.

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I use about 1/3 of a red onion, because I find the flavor to be strong after a while. If you dig raw red onion, you can definitely put more in there.

I enjoy colors, so I use half a red bell and half an orange bell with 1 small finely diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs removed). The jalapeño  does not add a lot of heat – it’s very mild and my kids enjoyed this salad a number of times without being bothered by it.

Once your veggies are chopped, add them into your big bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans and black beans while the rice cooks. If you enjoy other types of beans (like pinto beans or white beans) you can sub those instead. It’s all about ease!

When the rice is cooked and cooled slightly (not piping hot, but not completely cool) add it right on top of the chopped veggies and squeeze the lime juice over the rice. The rice being warm helps it to absorb the lime flavor easily, and it slightly cooks the veggies. Give it a stir, then add the beans, a big handful  of chopped fresh cilantro, and a little extra S&P.

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And there you have it! A fresh, colorful salad packed with fiber and protein to go with any lean meat or fish.

I love this salad with some grilled chicken – shrimp, cod, or halibut would be fantastic mains as well.

This salad is fit for a big crowd, or as a make-ahead side to go with your E meals all week long.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Southwestern Rice & Bean Salad (THM E)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1/3 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs removed for a mild heat)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
  • 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15oz can kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 big handful of fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Begin cooking the brown rice.
  2. Add the peppers and onion to the bottom of a large mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. When the rice is cooked and warm, add it on top of the vegetables and squeeze the lime juice over top. Give it a big toss.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans, cilantro, and a little more S&P then toss again.
  5. Serve at room temperature or chilled alongside any lean protein. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

Summer is just around the corner, which means two things: 1) less cooking time (because your house it too hot already) and 2) lots of fresh, vibrant flavors. Enter, this beautiful quinoa salad.

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I did roast the shrimp in the oven, but you could also grill them for an even quicker meal.

To roast the shrimp, and stay in E mode, start by preheating your oven to 400. Place the shrimp onto a large baking sheet lined with foil, spray lightly with coconut oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Roast the shrimp at 400 for about 6 minutes – it may be more or less depending on the size and thickness of your shrimp. When they’re done, they will be firm to the touch, pink and opaque on the outside.

All that’s left is to assemble the salad!

Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl, and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, red onion, lemon juice, and feta.

For the cucumber, make sure that you take the time (2 seconds, really) to cut out the seeds of the cucumber – yes, even if it’s “seedless”. The seeds have more moisture and will cut the shelf life of your salad significantly. You don’t want the whole batch going bad over some cucumbers! That would just be silly.

To cut the seeds out of your cucumber, slice the cuke lengthwise into quarters and cut into it on an angle so the whole “log” of seeds comes out in one cut.

Give the salad a big toss, taste for seasoning, then add your shrimp and serve.

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The great thing about this salad is that it’s wonderful at room temp or cold from the fridge. In fact, as it sits in the fridge the flavor gets even better.

The lemon juice adds a fantastic  acidity to the salad, while the herbs add tons of fresh, green flavor. This salad just screams summer to me, and it couldn’t be easier to make!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Roasted Shrimp & Feta Quinoa (THM E)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1.5 – 2lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • about 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 c finely diced red onion
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 4 scallions, whites and green parts, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Spread shrimp onto a large baking sheet, spritz with coconut oil spray, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then roast at 400 for about 6 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with all other ingredients. Give it a big toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

Sweet & Spicy Paleo Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

You are going to love how quick, easy, and flavorful this barbecue sauce is!

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Growing up in the South, with family who knows their way around barbecue, I know barbecue sauce to be a little on the sweet side with a kick.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward, and it only takes about 30 minutes for this to cook down.

This sauce is perfect to throw together as your dinner cooks, or as a make-ahead, because this sauce only gets better with time.

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It’s perfectly dippable or spoonable, and has just the right amount of spice.

Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

  • Servings: Makes 1 pint of sauce
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and cook uncovered over medium heat until it reduces by about 2/3 and is slightly thickened.
  2. Serve warm or cool and store in an enclosed container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Low Carb Ranch Pasta Salad (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This pasta salad is a quick and easy side dish to make ahead for lunch or dinner – perfect for those busy weeknights!

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If you’ve ever been to a Ruby Tuesdays, you very likely know the pasta salad I’m talking about. Creamy, crunchy, and a little salty from the ham and Ranch.

Growing up in Woodstock, Georgia (which was very small then) Ruby Tuesdays was one of the only sit-down restaurants in our area. When my parents felt like treating us to a dinner out, we usually went there or our favorite Mexican food joint.

My mother loves to tell stories about what a veggie lover I’ve always been (apparently, I used to ask for a breakfast of carrots, celery, and ranch – who’d have guessed?!). So naturally I gravitated toward the salad bar and piled it high. The pasta salad became one of my favorites very quickly.

I haven’t been to Ruby Tuesdays in forever! The last memory I have of going there, I was pregnant with my daughter (which was 5 years ago). So, you can understand my excitement when I found this pasta salad EVEN BETTER than the one at the favored restaurant chain.

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It’s a fantastic use of leftover ham, veggies sitting in the fridge, or those last few Tablespoons of Ranch at the bottom of your jar.

My kids were digging this pasta salad too, even the veggies (that they normally shy away from).

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This salad is creamy, delightfully crunchy, and FRESH. Just look at all those flecks of fresh herbs from the homemade Ranch dressing – gorgeous!

Ranch Pasta Salad (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 8oz Dreamfields Pasta (any short cut variety, I used elbows), cooked (makes about 2 cups cooked pasta)
  • 1 1/2 c finely diced ham
  • 1/3 c frozen peas (don’t worry about thawing or cooking, they thaw very quickly)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2-3 heaping Tbsp Homemade Ranch Dressing
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, and add more mayo and/or ranch if the salad gets too dry.
  2. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Cinnamon Crunch Protein Coffee Cake (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This recipe made me so happy! Not only did it work on the first try, which can be rare for baking, it was easy to throw together before Sunday morning breakfast. This was my first gluten/sugar free coffee cake, and I could not be more pleased with the result.

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If you have all the ingredients, this cake is quick and simple to throw together. I liked using protein as a big part of the base here for 2 reasons: it makes the cake texture more like coffee cake (sturdy and slightly dry) and it adds more protein to the cake (making it a great snack or finishing complement to an S breakfast or lunch).

First, get your dry ingredients together in a small bowl: almond flour, whey protein isolate, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.

Next is your wet ingredients: eggs, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, melted coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract (yes, I like both because I like vanilla, however you can leave out the paste if you want.) Stir it up.

Then whisk the wet into the dry. The consistency is pretty wet, like runny pancake batter.

Get your pan ready, and make sure your oven is preheated to 350. I prepped my 8×8 baking dish with coconut oil spray and a square of parchment paper. I did it this way because I wanted to make certain the cake would slide right out of the dish. With the parchment in there, each piece came out perfectly, and the dish was easy to clean.

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Prepare your topping by combining softened butter, cinnamon, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and nuts. I chose to use sliced almonds but you could use pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, whatever you fancy. It’s going to look like a paste, that’s OK.

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Pour half of your cake batter into your prepared dish, dot it with half of the nut topping, then pour on the other half of cake batter and dot the top with the rest of the nut mixture.

If you want more of a streusel-like topping, you can add some coconut flour to the mix to dry it out and make it more crumbly but I do like how this turned out. The butter melts, making the cake moist and you still get the crunch of the nuts with the cinnamon sweetness.

Bake the cake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown delicious on top.

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All of that topping sits just under the golden brown surface.

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Gorgeous! Let it cool slightly before cutting.

Slice it into 9 pieces, and have you a piece, girl.

See? All that cinnamon, sweet goodness floating throughout the cake. The cake has flecks of vanilla bean and a crunch factor from the nuts. The cake is fluffy, sturdy, and slightly dry – making it the perfect partner with your coffee or tea.

This is a perfect make-ahead snack for the week. I’ve sent pieces with my husband to work, and heated it up as a snack. Just store the pieces in a large gallon zip-top bag in the fridge.

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Cinnamon Crunch Coffee Cake (THM S)

  • Servings: 9
  • Time: Prep, 10 minutes Bake, 30-35 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine dry cake ingredients in a small bowl: almond flour, protein, sweetener, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Combine wet cake ingredients in a separate bowl: eggs, milk, oil, vanilla paste and extract.
  4. Whisk wet and dry together.
  5. Combine all ingredients for the nut topping in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Prepare an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and coconut oil spray.
  7. Add half of the cake batter to the dish, dot with half of the nut mixture, pour on second half of cake, and finish with the second half of the nut mixture.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until completely set in the middle and golden throughout.
  9. NOTES: A few have experienced an “eggy” taste with this recipe. Baking with whey can have that taste. Make sure you add enough vanilla to your batter, even if you don’t have the paste. To further tone down the whey, add some almond extract as well (about 1/2 tsp of almond and 1 tsp vanilla). The final note is to TASTE the batter before you bake it. If the batter is good, the cake will be good. Happy baking!

Brownie Batter Overnight Oats (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

These Brownie Batter oats are so rich and chocolatey, you won’t believe they’re an E!

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I’m a chocoholic, I admit it. If I have a dessert choice, it will almost always include chocolate in some form. Honestly, chocolate is good any time – breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dessert. These oats are so decadent, you could enjoy them as a filling E dessert and not feel like you’re missing any richness.

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The prep for overnight oats could not be easier – combine the oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whey protein isolate, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, vanilla, Lily’s chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt in a wide mouth mason jar with a small spatula. Pop a lid on it, then set it in the fridge for at least one hour, or overnight. You could even make this up to 5 days in advance, if you’re looking for a grab-and-go snack, breakfast, or dessert. I prefer the wide mouth jars for these overnight oatmeals because it’s a little easier to get the ingredients into the jar and really get them combined, however you could use anything that will hold the ingredients and has a lid.

Once the oats have a chance to soak and become soft, the chocolate chips actually break down slightly and almost create this pudding-like thickness. I enjoyed these as an afternoon snack, and I really felt like I was eating a completely rich pudding or sinful chocolate dessert.

These oats are so versatile, they could pass for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a protein-packed E dessert. And, really, who doesn’t want a decadent chocolate grab-and-go meal?

Brownie Batter Overnight Oats (THM E)

  • Servings: Single
  • Time: Prep 5 minutes, Set 1hour+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a wide mouth mason jar with a small spatula. Cover with a lid and set in the fridge for at least one hour, or overnight.
  2. Enjoy straight from the fridge, or heat in the microwave to desired temperature.

Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oatmeal (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Another fresh, flavorful overnight oats recipe is coming your way!

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Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits to have in the morning. However, blueberries by themselves day after day can feel a little redundant. So, in my efforts to welcome Spring (back) to Georgia (because the weather this week has not been Spring-y, AT ALL) I combined my favored blueberries with fresh, zesty lemon.

The blueberry-lemon combo is incredibly refreshing and light – it’s almost like blueberries with a splash of sunshine. Just the thing to get you energized for the day ahead!

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The preparation is exceedingly quick and easy – assemble the oats, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, whey protein isolate, vanilla, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, salt, chia seeds, frozen blueberries, and the zest (plus a small squeeze of juice, if you like) of 1 small lemon in a wide mouth mason jar and stir it together with a small spatula. Pop a lid on it and place it in the fridge, then forget about it for at least an hour or overnight. You can even prep multiple versions of these using my other overnight oats recipes days in advance for your weekday mornings. With a full scoop of whey protein isolate, these oats are a meal unto themselves. However, if you need some help feeling full you could enjoy them with some egg whites or other E-friendly proteins.

I used chia seeds in this recipe because it had virtually zero fat (which is great for an E), and I wanted to add a superfood element. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3s, and get slightly gelatinous when they’re soaked. I used a scant Tablespoon in this recipe, which only added about 3-3.5g of fat. Of course, they aren’t vital, so you could leave them out if you don’t have them on hand. You could also add a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for a little creaminess.

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In the morning, you have these beautifully creamy oats with soft blueberries and a little pop of freshness from the lemon and chia seeds. If you need a recipe to get your rear in gear in the mornings, this is the one!

Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oats (THM E)

  • Servings: Single
  • Time: Prep 5 minutes, Set 1hr+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Assemble all ingredients in a wide mouth mason jar and stir together with a small spatula.
  2. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge for at least one hour, or up to 5 days in advance.
  3. Enjoy straight from the fridge or heat in the microwave to desired warmth.

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Chunky Monkey Overnight Oatmeal (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I am so excited to share these overnight oats recipes with you! They’re a fantastic (and EASY) make-ahead E breakfast. It’s perfect for those rushed mornings on-the-go.

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Chunky Monkey is my favorite ice cream flavor combination of all time. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s banana ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and walnut pieces. Can’t really have the walnut pieces with this, unless you want to make it a crossover, but with the help of Lily’s chocolate chips I can have the chocolate-banana combo. [Side note: I will make a low carb chunky monkey ice cream one day – count on it.] A serving size of Lily’s chocolate chips is about 60 chips, which I figured out (through counting tiny chips) is roughly 2 Tablespoons (and has only 4.5g of fat at the full serving, perfect for an E). I only used one Tablespoon in this recipe, and it was plenty chocolatey.

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These oats took me just 5 minutes to prep (and I prepped 4 at once!), and they use simple ingredients – nothing crazy here. The only prep involved is to place all of the ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar, or something similar, and stir until combined. I like the wide mouth jars for this, because it’s easier to get down into the jar with a small spatula to stir everything together. Of course, the jars all come with their own lids making storage a breeze.

The oats have to be in the fridge for at least an hour, but you can prep a few days worth at a time, up to about 5 days.

Place the oats into the jar, then follow with vanilla, salt, whey protein isolate, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, mashed banana, and Lily’s chocolate chips. Stir to combine, then set in the fridge for at least one hour.

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Then in the morning, you have these perfectly softened, creamy oats with chunks of banana and rich chocolate chips. These oats, coupled with a big cup of collagen green tea, were the perfect light, yet filling breakfast before heading off to the gym.

Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats (THM E)

  • Servings: Single
  • Time: Prep 5 minutes, Setting 1 hour+
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a wide mouth mason jar, cover, and set in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
  2. Enjoy straight from the fridge, or heat in the microwave before serving.

Salmon Niçoise Salad (THM Deep S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Here is a quick and easy rollover dinner or lunch for that fabulous leftover roasted salmon from my Salmon en Papillote.

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Niçoise salad is usually characterized by tuna, green beans, potatoes, olives, and boiled eggs.

I swapped tuna for my gorgeous leftover salmon. In order to keep this light, and THM approved, I removed the potatoes entirely. However, if you would like some light carb action, you can top it with up to 1/4 cup white beans. I would choose a great northern variety or cannelini, but it’s up to you. I also swapped the olives for capers, which I think go better with salmon (it almost reminds me of lox and bagels!).

Since you’re using leftovers for this salad, the only thing you need to cook is a couple of boiled eggs. And I have an awesome tip for you on how to get perfectly yellow boiled eggs every time!

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I was watching “Brunch at Bobby’s” on Food Network the other day, and he was making boiled eggs using a tip I had never heard before.

Lay the eggs into a pot of cold water, and set it over high heat uncovered on the stovetop. When the water is almost boiling (not rumbling, but almost there), turn the heat completely OFF, put a lid on, and leave the pot on the hot eye for 14 minutes.

After 14 minutes, drain the hot water and turn it into an ice bath by adding a few handfuls of ice cubes and running cold water over the top. Let them sit for about 8-10 minutes, then peel away! You’ll have perfectly yellow yolks in your boiled eggs every time.

After the eggs are cooked, simply combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and dress with your favorite vinaigrette. I used a simple vinaigrette of 1/2 lemon, juiced, about 1 1/2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Easy, fast, and fresh!

Balsamic vinaigrette would also be a good alternative to use here.

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That is one beautiful, fresh, and flavorful lunch or dinner! This meal would pack well for on-the-go, or as a make-ahead. It’s the perfect protein-packed lunch or dinner.

Salmon Niçoise Salad (THM Deep S)

  • Servings: Single
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover salmon filet from Salmon en Papillote
  • Mixed salad greens
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cucumbers, diced
  • frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp capers or chopped pitted olives
  • 1 small radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 boiled egg, sliced
  • 1/4 c white beans, any variety, optional
  • For the Dressing:
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 Tbsp EVOO
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the salad in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Serve immediately or store the dressing for later.