Grilled Figs & Eggplant Salad with Blackberry Fig Dressing

Grilled Figs and Eggplant Salad with Blackberry and Fig Dressing

This isn’t an ordinary every day salad. The grilled flavors of the lightly charred eggplant helps to highlight the sweetness of the black figs.

Add the grilled fruit to some mixed greens and dress it all with a homemade mildly sweet and tart balsamic dressing made with blackberries and figs.

Fresh blackberries foster a succulent, soft, and deliciously yummy juicy taste and that’s why you’ll love making Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade

Grilled Figs & Eggplant Salad with Blackberry Fig Dressing

6 black figs, stemmed, cut in half

1 small eggplant, sliced

1 cup fresh blackberries

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

4 cups mix tender leafy greens

1/2 cup goat cheese

1/3 cup pecan pieces

Homemade Blackberry Fig Dressing

Make The Dressing

1 pint fresh blackberries

3 figs, ripe, skin removed

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon raw honey

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the blackberries, figs and 1/2 cup of the balsamic vinegar until the fruit has broken down completely (about 15 minutes).

Stir often and use the back of your spoon to mash the berries and figs as they cook down. Set aside to cool.

Pour the fruit mixture, remaining balsamic vinegar, mustard, and honey into the bowl of a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a smooth, thick puree.

Drizzle in the olive oil as the food processor is running. Add oil until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.

Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Chill dressing in the refrigerator until ready to serve (makes about 1 1/2 cup dressing)

Assembling The Salad

The eggplant used in this recipe is a long narrow purple and white Asian eggplant.

Sliced Asian eggplant and figs
Sliced Asian Eggplant & Black Figs

Slice the eggplant into 1 inch slices, and cut the figs into two.

In a large mixing bowl, add the oil, salt, and slice produce and toss until coated.

Grilling Eggplant & Figs

Next place a piece of tin foil on to a BBQ grill, and heat grill until hot.

Place figs and eggplant on to hot grill, and turn after 2 minuets.

After turning you should hear the figs make a pop noise (skins are bursting slightly), about 1 minute, then remove from grill and set aside.

Next, plate two hand fulls of leafy greens. Top with grilled eggplant, figs and blackberries.

Grilled Figs and Eggplant Salad with Blackberry and Fig Dressing

Next sprinkle on goat cheese and pecans. Splash 3 to 5 tablespoons of the Blackberry and Fig dressing (about 1/4 cup or 2 ounce).

If you love figs, then you love the deliciously yummy flavors of Roasted Sweet Potatoes And Figs.

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Purple Sweet Potato Kale Cashew & Chicken Salad

Tossing the warm roasted purple sweet potatoes with fresh baby kale, gently wilts and tenderizes the greens.

This salad is versatile. In place of sweet potatoes, you can use butternut squash, rutabaga, carrots, or parsnips. This heart-healthy salad also pairs well with chicken, fish or beef.

Omit the chicken and try this Oven-Baked Pecan Crusted Salmon or this Cheesy Ground Beef Pasta Skillet – Gluten-freeTo pair with your purple sweet potato salad.

The four main types of purple sweet potatoes consumed in the U.S. are Stokes, Okinawan, Murasaki and Charleston sweet potatoes.

The variety of sweet potato used in this recipe is the Stokes. It has a cream colored center and the skin is deep purple.

Available from late August through late spring, the Stokes have a drier, denser texture, and better-balanced sweetness than their orange counterparts.

Try This Orange Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Purple Sweet Potato Kale Cashew & Chicken Salad

2 purple sweet potatoes, peeled, diced about 1.5 inch chunks

1 pound (about 3 breasts) chicken breast, boneless, skinless

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cups baby kale, chopped

3/4 cup whole cashews

1/2 cup Blackberry Fig Balsamic dressing (or your favorite balsamic dressing)

Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Toss prepared potatoes in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread chopped potatoes evenly on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes or until potato chunks are tender, but not mushy.

While potatoes are roasting, cut chicken breasts into 1.5 inch chunks.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once heated, add chicken chunks and slow cook, 4-5 minutes, turning meat occasionally, just lightly brown meat, do not over cook.

When chicken and roasted vegetables are done, set aside.

In a large serving bowl add dressing first. Next add roasted vegetables, chicken and cashews. Toss to coat.

Add salt and pepper to taste, is optional.

Plate and serve.

Find more Kale recipes here: Kale For Salads Soups & Side Dish – recipes included.

Find more Sweet Potato recipes here: Sweet Potatoes Powerhouse Of Nutrition – includes recipes.

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Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with a Apple Maple Vinaigrette

Sweet Potato Salad

This golden roasted sweet potato salad with arugula, pecans, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and a wonderfully delicious Apple Maple Vinaigrette makes for a great accompaniment to just about any meal.

Cooks Notes

Goat cheese can be purchased plain or with added flavors. Like Basil, Rosemary and even Honey.

This recipe is using goat cheese with honey. Though you can opt for other flavors or just plan goat cheese.

True to their name, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor, which is further enhanced through cooking methods like roasting.

Kathleen Goodwin, RD of the Diet Channel says that sweet potatoes come in 2nd on a list of the top 10 most nutritious super foods.

As for the leafy green in this salad called rocket, another name for arugula, it has a distinctive peppery crunch and is a great addition to any salad that has vegetables or fruit.

Try These Deliciously Yummy Salads Made With Arugula

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with a Apple Maple Vinaigrette

For the Salad

3 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 packed cups arugula

1/2 cup pecan halves

1/2 cup dried cranberries

4 ounces goat cheese

For the Dressing

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Add olive oil, salt, and black pepper, and toss to combine. Spread out into a single layer.

Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Spoon roasted sweet potato into a large salad bowl, cover and place the bowl in refrigerator.

Meanwhile, make the dressing.

Place apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

While whisking gradually add olive oil in a steady stream and whisk until the dressing is combined and emulsified.

Remove salad bowl from fridge and add the arugula, pecan halves, dried cranberries, and crumbled goat cheese into the bowl.

Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

Plate and eat alone or with your favorite protein.

Looking for Instant Pot recipes – Type “Instant Pot” into the search box and click Search.

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Corn Salad with Queso Fresco

Queso fresco is Spanish for “Fresh Cheese.”

Fresh Cheese is a traditional Mexican cheese which is a common ingredient in a wide range of dishes.

The cheese can be described as white, very soft, moist, and mild or a bit tangy in flavor.

It is also crumbly, making it ideal for crumbling over dishes like enchiladas or tostadas, filling for chili rellenos, or mixed into salads.

Queso fresco is a fresh cheese that’s best enjoyed within 3-6 days of buying it.

No need to grate. Just open the package and crumble the cheese.

A classic example of what fresh cheese should be: simple and delicious.

Try it now mixed in with this fresh Corn Salad.

Corn Salad with Queso Fresco

8 ears sweet corn or 4 cups frozen whole kernel corn

2 cups crumbled queso fresco (8 ounces)

1 cup finely chopped orange sweet pepper (1 large)

½ cup finely chopped white onion (1 medium)

1 fresh Jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lime juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cut corn from cobs, if using. In a large saucepan bring about 1/2 inch water to boiling. Place a steamer insert in the saucepan so bottom doesn’t touch the water.

Add corn to steamer insert. Cover and steam for 2 to 4 minutes or until corn is crisp-tender.

In a large bowl combine corn, queso fresco, sweet pepper, white onion, and chile pepper.

For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and black pepper. Cover and shake well to combine.

Add dressing to corn mixture; toss gently to combine. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Serve as a side dish or plate and enjoy the sweet corn and mild flavor of queso fresco alone.

Give Theses Corn Salads A Try

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Strawberry Arugula Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

This large strawberry salad is colorful and deliciously yummy.

It’s prepared with leafy green arugula, sweet strawberries, sharp Cheddar cheese, roasted sunflower seeds and a honey balsamic vinaigrette.

Arugula is a leafy green cruciferous vegetable that has a fresh, peppery taste.

Arugula’s profile is similar to broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts. It is high in fiber, contains folate, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Arugula is frequently served raw in salads. The peppery flavor pairs nicely with other strong flavors like tangy cheeses and acidic fruits like strawberries.

Try Our Fresh Basil Raspberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Strawberry Arugula Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

For the Salad

5 ounces arugula

½ cup chopped fresh basil

1 pound strawberries, thinly sliced

¾ cup finely chopped red onion

4 ounces Sharp Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch squares

½ cup roasted sunflower seeds

½ cup radishes, halved and thinly sliced

For the Vinaigrette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of Himalayan salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

On a large serving platter or in a large serving bowl, layer the ingredients as listed.

In a measuring cup combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until fully blended.

Taste, and add more salt or pepper if needed.

The dressing should be nice and tangy, but you can add more honey for balance if desired.

Add vinaigrette to the bottom of a large salad bowl.

Next add prepare salad ingredients and toss to combine.

Plate and serve with your main meal. Or we suggest with a Bourbon Pulled Pork sandwich – Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork.

Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork

Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork

The easiest pulled pork ever. So flavorful, smoky and juicy. As you grab the cooked meat to remove it from pot, it starts to fall apart.

And the Bourbon bbq sauce, oh so finger licking good.

Oh, and did we say the pulled pork sandwiches are SO SO DELICIOUSLY YUMMY.

Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 teaspoons Himalayan salt

1 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 (4-pound) boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed and cut into 3-inch chunks

1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 cup chicken stock

4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups favorite bbq sauce

2-3 tablespoons bourbon

Set a 6-qt Instant Pot® to the high saute setting.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin and pepper. Season pork with brown sugar mixture.

Heat avocado oil; working in two batches, add pork and cook until evenly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in chicken stock and 4 tablespoons vinegar, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Select manual setting. Adjust pressure to high, and set time for 40 minutes.

When finished cooking, quick-release pressure according to manufacturer’s directions.

Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork

Remove pork from the Instant Pot® and shred the meat using two forks.

Add 1 tablespoon of bourbon to the bbq sauce at a time till you heat the right consistency, making sure not to over power the bbq sauce with bourbon flavor.

Next add 1/4 cup of Bourbon BBQ sauce at a time, mixing in until you get the right consistency of meat to sauce.

Serve pulled pork as sandwiches. Use Hawaiian Hamburger buns.

Instant Pot Bourbon Pulled Pork

Spoon on meat to bottom half of bun. Top with your favorite coleslaw.

With the top half of the bun, smother on some bourbon bbq sauce and top bun to make a sandwich.

Serve with sweet potato fries, or any side of your choice.

Try these sandwich favorites:

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Homemade Chicken Soup

If your deboning you’re chicken legs, thighs or breasts for a recipe that requires it, don’t throw the bones out.

Save them and make some homemade chicken soup.

Wha You Need To Know About How To Successfully De-Bone Chicken Thighs

The Facts About Chicken Soup

Chicken soup can be found in the Mediterranean diet – though it is more elaborate in flavor and ingredients than a typical American made chicken soup.

Chicken soup is actually good for your health and can help with common cold symptoms. Though chicken soup is not a 100% cure.

One way chicken soup aides in keeping us healthy is by improving the function of cilia, the tiny little hairs located on the inside of our nose, which repel contagions from entering the body.

Chicken soup also clears up runny noses, reducing the amount of time that viruses spend in contact with the lining of our nasal passageways, and decreasing the likelihood of infection.

Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami tested chicken soup against water, dividing a group of volunteers into three categories:

1/3 of the group drank of cold water

1/3 of the group drank hot water

1/3 of the group drank chicken soup

Those drinking chicken soup experienced the most improvement in congestion (Source).

The article also reports that chicken soup contains an amino acid similar to a drug used to treat some respiratory infections.

In 2000 the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, found that chicken soup reduced nasal inflammation by preventing the movement of neutrophils, immune system cells that contribute to the body’s inflammatory response (Source).

What’s Inside That Soup

This recipe calls for Herbs de Providence. This mix of herbs are:

  • Thyme
  • Savory
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Parsley
  • Lavender (for some commercial producers this ingredient is usually optional)

This herb mix adds wonderful flavor for a chicken soup.

This homemade chicken soup recipe has no rice nor noodles, but rather a pasta called Ditalini.

The name Ditalini means “little thimbles.”The classic use for this pasta is for Pasta E Fagioli, a pasta and bean soup.

Ditalini makes for a good addition to soups and salads that call for pasta.

It cooks fast, therefore when making soup, add it to the last 10 minutes or so.

Homemade Chicken Soup

5-7 chicken bones, uncooked,

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1-2 teaspoons Herbs de Providence

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, optional

Add chicken bones to a medium pot with 2 cups of clean water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and simmer until bones and meat have no pink to them, about 40-60 minutes.

Remove bones, allow to cool, remove any meat and other eatable parts. Add to chicken broth. Discard cooked bones.

Next add celery, carrots, minced garlic, and herbs. Stir in and cook on low heat with lid on for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Next add pasta and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.

Add cilantro (optional) and stir in. Ladle into bowls and serve.

More Deliciously Yummy chicken soup recipes to try.

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Creamy Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

A rich and flavorful creamy roasted broccoli and cheddar soup with a hint of cayenne.

Roasting vegetables helps to concentrate their flavor. And roasting the broccoli with a sprinkle of cayenne makes for a deliciously yummy – Creamy Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup.

White & Orange Cheddar – What’s The Difference

Josh Windsor of Murray’s Cheese says cheesemakers use annatto, a food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree, to give orange cheddar a rich orange hue.

The small amounts needed to create an orange color have very little effect on the cheese’s taste or nutritional value.

Both cheddar cheese can be used in this recipe. Though with an orange cheddar, the soup will have a yellow hue to it.

Do You Know The Top Nine Varieties Of Cheese’s Enjoyed By Food Lovers

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup

4 tbsp flour

2 tbsp butter

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup cold milk

1 cup cold heavy cream

2/3 cup (about 10 oz.) roasted broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

Olive oil for brushing

Cayenne pepper, for sprinkling

Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup white sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3/4 tsp Himalayan or Sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a backing sheet. Position broccoli florets over foil. Brush olive oil over florets.

Roasted Broccoli Florets with Cayenne Pepper

Next sprinkle salt and black pepper to taste. Next sprinkle cayenne pepper over florets.

Place broccoli in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven let cool about 5 minutes than chop broccoli into small pieces. Set aside.

Add butter to a medium soup pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Next add flour and whisk continuously. Gradually add milk and heavy cream while whisking.

Next add chicken broth and broccoli florets, salt, sugar and pepper. Cover pot with lid and simmer medium low heat for 5 minutes.

Next place a hand blender (or pour soup into a blender or food processor) into soup pot, and carefully blend soup contents until broccoli is puréed.

Next add cheddar cheese and stir until well combined.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with more cheese and croutons if desired.

Learn more here about The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food.

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Chicken Potato Leek Soup

Chicken has long been a staple of diets around the globe. In fact, it is the world’s leading source of animal protein and has been a healthy alternative to red meat.

Nutritional Content of Chicken Quarters

This recipe uses chicken quarters, which are a whole chicken leg that consists of a thigh and a drumstick connected by connective tissues.

Most of the time when we’re eating, we don’t ponder over the nutritional value of what we’re chewing.

But it’s good to know. So here is the nutritional value of a chicken quarter.

100 grams or roughly ¼ pound of chicken quarters with skin has:

Calcium    880 mg

Phosphorus   500 mg

Potassium    210 mg

Sodium    8.0 mg

Zinc 0.2 mg

Now that’s good to know.

Chicken Potato Leek Soup

3 pounds (about 4 quarters) chicken leg quarters, skinless, if desired

2 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

3 cups potato leek soup

1 tablespoon curry powder

zest of 1/2 a lemon, grated

8 ounces green beans, trimmed and blanched

Place chicken quarters into a 4 quart or bigger slow cooker.


Next add water and chicken broth to crockpot until chicken is barely covered.

Next add soup and curry powder. After each addition, mix thoroughly.

adding curry powder to Chicken Curry Soup

Place lid on slow cooker and turn on to high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

The beans are added to the slow cooker 1 hour before the meat is cooked.

blanched green beans for Chicken Curry Soup

Trim the fresh green beans and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes only.

Remove from water and drop beans into some ice cold water for 3 minutes, to stop them from cooking.

Remove from cold water, and add to slow cooker, and mix in well.

Chicken Curry Soup in slow cooker ready to plate

Next add zest from 1/2 a lemon, and mix in well. Cover slow cooker with lid, and continue cooking one hour more.

Plate and serve the Chicken Potato Leek Soup with a side of rice. You can also top with more lemon zest.

Chicken Curry Soup with a side of white rice

If you have any questions about the use of a slow cooker, such as are they safe to cook with, view our article: Slow Cooking, is it Safe?

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Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

An Asian Chopped Salad is a crispy healthy meal. It is crispy and healthy because only fresh ingredients are used.

It is also a bit savory and sweet, with a whole lot of color and crunch.

Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

This very easy to prepare Asian salad is fresh and made to be a delicious side dish.

It is full of healthy vegetables and tossed in a deliciously yummy sesame ginger dressing.

This chopped salad beats anything you can buy pre-made or prepackaged at your local supermarket.

Sure it takes a little extra time to prepare an Asian salad in your kitchen, but it’s worth it. As a salad kit is washed 3 times in a chlorine solution and is premeasured.

And any toppings that come with it is only a small amount that every serving may not get.

With a homemade chopped salad you can add as much ingredients as you like, and all the vegetables used are fresh chopped.

Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

2 medium rainbow carrots (one purple – one yellow), grated

1 red pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

¼ medium red onion, diced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup roasted cashews

The Dressing

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 small garlic clove, grated

pinch of sea salt

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. 

Add the prepared produce to a medium-sized bowl. Pour dressing and toss to coat.

Asian Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing