Spinach and blackberry salad w/ toasted pine nuts, feta, caramelized onions and a honey/balsamic/olive oil vinaigrette

Caramelized Onions


2 large red onions, sliced

drizzle of olive oil

1 tbsp sugar


Slice red onions and place in a large heated sauté pan at medium heat.  Stir every 5 minutes until golden brown.  If onions look dry, add a drizzle of olive oil, otherwise proceed in adding 1 tbsp sugar.  Turn the heat down to medium low, stirring every 5-10 minutes.  In 25 minutes the onions should be a dark caramel color and sweet to the taste.


Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette


¼ cup fresh honey

¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

¼ cup of olive oil (high quality)


Place honey and vinegar in a saucepan at low to medium heat, stirring until liquid has melted together.  Let the honey and vinegar reduce by half, stirring frequently to prevent the substance from candying.  After 20 minutes, remove the liquid from direct heat and allow it to cool 5 minutes.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until thoroughly combined.  Pour atop salad and serve immediately.


Spinach Salad


4-6 cups of freshly washed spinach (I usually buy two bags of the pre-washed to serve 8)

2 red onions (caramelized)

1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts

1-1/2 cups freshly cubed feta (get the best feta you can find)

2 pints fresh blackberries


Place spinach in preferred salad bowl and add the caramelized onions, feta and toasted pine nuts.  Add the blackberries and dressing immediately before serving and garnish with freshly ground pepper.  Serve with soup for an easy, no fuss meal with fantastically rich flavors or serve at a dinner party to impress your loved ones!


Easy Greek Salad


Fill a large Tupperware bowl with your favorite chopped lettuce

Add a handful of:

Pitted kalamata olives

Cherry/grape tomatoes

Red/green peppers – chopped

Sliced cucumbers

Handful of feta

Pinch of pepper and favorite seasoning

Favorite dressing or easy balsamic vinaigrette (see below)


*This is a great work lunch that I like to pair with one of my favorite canned soups or for extra protein-I’ll add a can of drained tuna in water to the salad.  Also, bring dressing separately-in Ziploc bag or bottle.  I like to pair with either my own balsamic vinaigrette or my favorite store bought version.)


Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette


3 parts balsamic vinegar to one part olive oil

1 chopped clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in Ziploc bag. Seal bag and shake. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


Arugula, Pine Nut, Feta Dried Cherry Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette


This is my everyday salad.  The Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is refreshing and super simple and these ingredients make for the most delicious salad in minutes.  I often will pair this salad with a bowl of soup and have that be my meal on the weekdays after a long day at the office!


4-6 cups fresh arugula leaves

¼ cup of pine nuts (toasted)

½ cup of fresh feta (sheep or goat milk feta is the best) crumbled

¼ cup of dried cherries (or cranberries)

¼ cup of pitted Kalamata olives

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe below) to taste


Place first 5 ingredients in bowl, drizzle Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette atop just before serving and toss.  Yes, it’s that easy!


Simple Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette


2 lemons juiced

4 -5 tablespoons of high quality extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon or less of Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste


Combine the juice of 2 lemons; add Dijon mustard, Salt and Pepper (pinch).  Whisk in olive oil and taste.  Add additional seasonings as needed and serve with your favorite salad.  This is best when served immediately.


Veggie Packed Pasta Salad


2 cups of favorite dry pasta (rotini, shells, farfalle)

1 can of black olives roughly chopped

1 large handful of cherry/grape tomatoes sliced in halves

1 can of kidney beans or garbanzo beans-drained and washed

1 handful of chopped red and green bell peppers

6-8 baby carrots chopped

½ of red onion chopped

¼ cup of favorite shredded cheese (mozzarella and parmesan)

3-4 tbsp. of favorite lower cal Italian dressing


Boil water in large pot-add a dash of kosher salt.  Add dried pasta of choice cook for directed time. 


Meanwhile, place veggies and beans of choice in large Tupperware container.  Drain pasta and add to veggie filled Tupperware, adding additional salt, pepper and seasonings (rosemary and oregano are great here), lastly add cheeses, dressing and place lid on container.


Shake until well mixed and place in several different Tupperware bowls. 


*This can be lunch at work with a piece of fruit or can be paired with a piece of fish or chicken for a healthy meal.  Be less generous with the dressing which will allow ingredients to keep their crunch.  Pasta should last 3-4 days.