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Salad for Dinner… and Dessert!

Posted by jenskitchen on June 2, 2009

I was never a big fan of salads until I learned that people could make their own salad dressings. It’s a little sad that my only experiences with salad dressings when I was growing up were those bottles on the supermarket shelves – often loaded with preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and chemicals that defy pronunciation.

My first “homemade” salad dressing was just vinegar and oil – with a  variety of spices from the spice rack that I decided to toss in there – tasting as I went until I was pleased with the result. It was considerably better than purchasing dressing – and no where near as fresh tasting as the dressings I make now.

Tonight the sous chefs and I made salads. Yes – salads – two of them, in fact. We made a Build Your Own Taco Salad Bar for dinner – and then enjoyed a great fruit salad (in a pineapple boat) for dessert.

Make Your Own Taco Salad



We had a lot of fun with this salad. When we were done with all the components, we put them out on the counter so that each of us could build our own taco salads. Put out bowls of the following:

  • Chopped Lettuce
  • Grated Cheese
  • Your favorite taco meat
  • Sliced avocadoes
  • Chunky Salsa (Recipe follows)
  • Avocado Dressing (Recipe follows)

Let each diner create their own taco salads – the little sous chef certainly enjoyed making his own dinner!


Who says you can’t have a salad bar at home?


Chunky Salsa


  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lime
  • a handful of cilantro – torn

Chop the vegetables and put them (along with any juice from the tomatoes) into a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the vegetables, throw in the torn cilantro, and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Creamy Avocado Dressing


  • 1 avocado
  • lemon
  • mayonnaise
  • tomatillo sauce (optional)

In the food processor, combine avocado, the juice of the lemon, and enough mayo to make a creamy dressing. I added a Tablespoon of the tomatillo sauce we made this weekend for the chicken and gave it a whir in the food processor until all the ingredients were combined. Right now, this is my absolute favorite salad dressing!

Fruit Salad for Dessert

We had a lot of fun with this!



3 Responses to “Salad for Dinner… and Dessert!”

  1. whyguy said

    Jen, your sous chef is adorable. Thanks for the tips and recipes you have been posting. It really is nice to see a picture to go along with the recipes, sometimes the pic is a make it or break it deal for me since I’m visually oriented.

    Thanks again Jen, Terry

    • jenskitchen said

      Thanks! He is a cutie. I agree – I love having the pictures. I’ve gotten a little behind. I’ve been cooking and taking pictures, but had family in town and a lot going on… more Atkins friendly recipes on the way!


  2. buttoni said

    Man, your taco salad pic is making me hungry, Jen!

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