Archive for the ‘101 Salads’ Category

It’s true – Iowa Girl Eats has moved to a new home:



Join me, won’t you? Simply update your readers, blogrolls and bookmarks – or subscribe now! Looking forward to chatting with you over at the new site! 😀



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Without further ado, the winner of the Food Should Taste Good Chip Giveaway is…

Emily: I joined the fan club! 😀

Congrats Emily – you’re going to love these chips! Email me at IowaGirlEats@hotmail.com with your mailing information. For everyone else, I highly recommend these products. If you see them in stores, definitely pick up a bag – and don’t forget to sign up for the fan club to receive a $1 off coupon!

Soooo, last night I smeared some almond butter on a slice of my chocolate banana bread, per Holly’s suggestion. Umm…are you joking with me? It was better than you can even imagine! I had to replicate it for breakfast this morning, so I smeared another slice with almond butter and served a nice, sliced apple on the side 🙂


I didn’t think this bread could get any better, but throw almond butter into the mix? Forget it, it’s over!



Apples go perfectly with chocolate and AB too – actually, this would make a STELLAR bowl of oats. Chocolate, banana, almond butter and apple…I’ll have to keep that combo in mind…


Today for lunch, I eliminated the bread from last night’s Sweet & Sour Tuna Salad Sandwich, and piled the whole mixture on top of some crunchy coleslaw.


Those diced apples held up well overnight – no browning at all!



I also packed a perfectly ripe peach. What gorgeous colors!



Today’s Greatest Running Tips

Today’s 101 Greatest Running Tips selections continue the “Basic Training” portion of the list. These three are good ones!

Tip #22. Reach for fast, low-fat fuel: “Energy bars are good portable food for runners. Look for bars with 4 grams of fat or fewer per 230 calories. Fat slows down digestion.” –Liz Applegate, Ph.D., sports nutritionist

– There are SO many bars & supplements out there so this is a really good tip to keep in mind when you’re trying to select a good product at the store!

Tip #23. Go for the goal: “I believe in using races as motivators. It’s hard to keep on an exercise program if you don’t have a significant goal in sight.” –Bob Greene, personal trainer of Oprah Winfrey

– I 100% believe in this way of thinking. It’s so much easier to exercise or run when you have a specific goal in mind, or are it least following a schedule. For me, if I’m not running for anything – be it training for a race, or to “check off” a day on an exercise calendar – it’s too easy to throw out an excuse NOT to exercise.

Tip #28. Toss out the clutter: “Throw away your 10-function chronometer, heart-rate monitor with the computer printout, training log, high-tech underwear, pace charts, and laboratory-rat-tested-air-injected-gel-lined-mo-tion-control-top-of-the-line footwear. Run with your own imagination.” –Lorraine Moller, 1992 Olympic marathon bronze medalist

– Now, I would LOVE a Garmin Forerunner – but currently, I don’t run with anything special. No heart rate monitor, iPod or special clothing. While the fancy stuff is awesome, you don’t need it to run – so don’t let that stand in your way of getting started or getting back out there!

I hope you guys are liking these tips. I’ve heard back from several people that they are helpful and I really do think that a lot of them are relevant to exercise as a whole and not just specifically running. Hopefully you are finding them useful!!


Well I am one tired Iowa Girl today. I woke up around 2:30am with a straight up allergy attack. It was so weird and awful, all at the same time. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – my allergies have been acting up in the worst way for the past couple of days. Any allergy sufferers out there? Are you getting hit worse than usual? Anyways, I’m really hoping today isn’t a struggle since I’m so tired. Wish me luck and have a wonderful day!


You know what day it is…Three Question Thursday! Today’s questions were inspired by last night’s episodes of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters.

For the elimination challenge on Top Chef, the chef’s had to prepare a dish that represented one of their vices. Drunken Chicken, Smokey Steak, Procrastination Salmon, Hot-Tempered Stuffed Peppers, etc.

For the final challenge on Top Chef Masters, the chefs had to prepare dishes that represented different periods of their lives. One for their earliest food memory, another based off of when they realized they wanted to become chefs, a third that reminded them of their first restaurant opening, and a final dish representing the culinary direction they were heading in. SO – here are my questions adapted for you!

1. What’s one of your vices?

2. What’s one dish you ate growing up that you have fond memories of?

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 My answers:

1. Stubbornness. I am as stubborn as a mule. Also, being a perfectionist. There’s nothing wrong with wanting everything to be “right,” but sometimes I need to just chill!

2. Definitely cinnamon-sugar toast. Perhaps this is where my love of cinnamon toast crunch comes from?! Also – bologna, lettuce & mustard sandwiches. They were SO good when I was little!!

3. I honestly don’t know the answer to this question. In 5 years I’ll be…31. THIRTY-ONE! That’s insane! I hope by that time I’ll maybe have lived in a different state, gone back to Japan, seen Greece, perhaps be driving a hybrid SUV (love SUVs, but refuse to drive anything that gets less than 20 mpg), expanded my cookie “business” and maybe – maybe – have a child. Maybe.

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I’m happy to report that today was a great exercise day for me. I escaped during lunch and went on a 40 minute walk – SO nice. After work I hit the trail for a 4 mile session. I did not run, I did not rog, I jogged that B – it was really hot out. Near the end I played a fun little game of sprinting through the completely shaded parts of the trail, rogging through the semi-shaded parts and jogging through the completely sunny spots. It made the run go a lot faster and definitely got my heart rate up. Nice! In the spirit of running tip #19, I am completely content with my daily activities!

After my run I consulted my 101 Simple Salad Challenge list and made a modified version of #60: Sweet & Sour Tuna Salad Sandwich.


I started with a pouch of chunk light tuna packed in water.


To the contents of the pouch, I added half a diced apple, about 10 quartered midnight grapes, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of EVOO, 1 tablespoon of Kraft Light Sicilian Roasted Garlic salad dressing, S&P and a dash of cumin.


Next, I toasted 2 slices of whole wheat toast and made a quick slaw for some CRUNCH in my sandwich. I just combined some coleslaw mix, chopped pickles and a squeeze of the roasted garlic dressing. Finally, it was assembly time!

1 slice of toast:


Crunchy, pickle slaw:


Tuna salad mixture:


Toast topper!


LOVED this! The sweetness of the apples & grapes went so well with the sour pickles, and savory dressing. Add the crunch of the slaw – and well, you’ve got yourself a pretty great sandwich!!


This is actually the FIRST tuna sandwich I have ever made. No lie. I always associate tuna salad sandwiches with that canned, “fishy”, tuna taste. This tuna pouch combined with all these great ingredients really made a super sandwich though! Win!


I bet you can’t guess what’s for dessert… It’s chocolate, it’s banana and some almond butter may find it’s way in the mix…muwahahaha! Have a great night!


Do you ever make “salad” sandwiches? Tuna, chicken, egg, etc.

I usually don’t, because of the reason above and because mayo kind of freaks me out – which is usually what I associate salad sandwiches with. The use of EVOO in this recipe by-passed that all for me though!

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Tonight I ate a grilled cheese sandwich…with a fork!


The 101 Simple Salad Challenge scored BIG tonight when BEN made (go husband!) #44: Tomato Basil Salad with Grilled Cheese Croutons. Let me say that again…grilled cheese croutons! 


First he smeared two slices of cottage bread with butter and sprinkled them with garlic powder. He then added a slice of cheddar cheese and cooked the whole thing over medium-low heat on a flat top skillet on the stove. Aka, he made a really crispy grilled cheese…


While the grilled cheese was getting toasty, he chopped up some tomatoes and julienned some fresh basil (from my adopted plant!!)


When everything was ready, he cubed up the grilled cheese, tossed it with some tomato chunks, sprinkled some basil over the top and added the secret weapon: Bisignano’s Italian Salad Dressing!

Uggggghhhh drooooooooooooooooool…yes, it needs that many O’s. This was fun, fast, flavorful and just plain FABULOUS! You’ve GOT to try this with your next grilled cheese sandwich! 101 Simple Salad author Mark Bittman got it right when he said “This you will do forever.” Amen!


The rest of my night involves these:



Oh! THANK YOU for your words of encouragement re: the Britney Spears concert! I think I’m going to go for it!

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Anyone need any spinach?


Seriously, Costco makes me smile so wide. I stopped by after work tonight and picked this bag up – which is bigger than my torso in case you were wondering – for $3.97!! A regular sized bag at my grocery store is $2.99! Who do they think they are?! I see copious amounts of salads, Green Monsters and general good health in my future. I love spinach! 

After my Costco run, I came home to start dinner. We’re back on the 101 Simple Salad Challenge, my friends! Tonight: #89: Asian Peanut & Mango Noodles.


The recipe calls for rice noodles, but fettuccini was $.99 at the store this weekend and you know my bargain warrior ways…


I cooked up some of the pasta and threw in some chopped up broccoli crowns when it had about 2 minutes left. Meanwhile, I chopped up some zesty toppings which included: Mango, Carrot Matchsticks, Green Onions & Peanuts.


After draining my pasta and broccoli, I drizzled on my sauce – which was made up of:

  • Juice from half a lime
  • Spoonful of almond butter (this was hard to part with)
  • Dash of rice vinegar
  • Spoonful of chili sauce
  • Dash of sesame oil

After tossing the pasta to coat, I added all of my glorious toppings…


Ohmylanta – the mixture of textures and flavors in this dish were spectacular! It came together so quickly and was SO satisfying. How on earth could it not be though? It’s got mango in it! Mango is culinary gold in my opinion 🙂 Asian Peanut & Mango Noodles gets two thumbs up from this girl!!


Oh you guys, check out these cookies I made last night: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – aka Puppy Chow Cookies!!


Trust me, they are every bit as delectable as they look!


It’s a peanut butter cookie, coated in a chocolate-peanut butter coating, then rolled in powdered sugar. Aka: naughty, coated in naughtier, rolled in naughtiest! Sinful…muwahahaha!


The recipe calls for a cookie mix – which the inner scratch-baker in me died a little after using – but I quickly got over it…these are amazing!!


Well, I’ve actually got MORE cookies in my future – I’m working on another cookie order tonight! Have a great night everyone!


Do you prefer cooking or baking?

I’ve mentioned before that I actually got into cooking after baking my brains out for several years, so baking definitely has a special place in my heart. But, I obviously love cooking too…mmmm too hard – not even going to answer my own question 🙂

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Wheee!! Run = accomplished 🙂

I came home from work tonight, hit the trail and rogged (run/jogged) a slow and steady 4 miles. I had originally set out to go 3.65 miles, but I completely blew past my turnaround point because I was thinking about olive oil. You know you’re a foodie when you run farther than you set out to, because you’re thinking about healthy fats… Anyways, I averaged 9.5 minute miles on my rog, which I’m completely happy with. Slowly but surely, I’m coming back from that running hiatus – BOO ya!

Continuing the 101 Simple Salad ChallengeI KNOW, but it’s the first week, and I’m excited! – I made an Iowa Girl Eats-ified version of #85: Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad for dinner.


Why’s it an IGE-ified version? Because I added sautéed chicken and toasted garlic chips into the mix!

Here are said garlic chips, which I browned the same way as last night – in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of EVOO, until they turned golden brown.

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After the garlic slices were golden, I removed them and the EVOO to a small bowl to hang out. In the same skillet, I sautéed some chicken breasts seasoned with lemon pepper seasoning and boiled some pasta in another pot.


When the pasta was done and draining in the sink, I added a handful of spinach to the empty pot, poured in the toasted garlic & EVOO, squeezed in the juice of half a lemon and generously seasoned the whole thing with S&P.


I added the pasta back into the pot with the spinach and garlic, added another tablespoon of EVOO and mixed. Finally, I dished out a serving of the pasta mix into a bowl, topped with a cooked chicken breast and sprinkled the whole dish with some parmesan cheese.


Look at the golden slices of garlic – sooo yummy! The garlic also infused the oil I cooked it in, so there was a light and perfumey taste of garlic running throughout the whole dish!


Vampires beware: I will kill you with my breath! Totally worth it though – this was AWESOME!


Dessert? Chocolate Brownie PURE Bar. I better be careful, or there won’t be any of this kind left to give to the Giveaway winners! 😀 Just kidding – I wouldn’t do that to you! Or would I… No, I wouldn’t 🙂



Ugh – like the most delicious, undercooked brownie you’ve ever had…


What’s your favorite citrus fruit? Oranges, Limes, Grapefruit, Lemons, Clementines, Tangerines, Blood Oranges…there’s so many to pick from!

I’m partial to the zipper skinned fruit – Clementines!


BTW – you have approximately THREE HOURS left to enter the Massive PURE Bar giveaway if you haven’t already! Winners will be announced tomorrow afternoon – eeeeeek!

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Hiiii!! Hey – I just heard via the Today Show that Paula Abdul is leaving American Idol! I don’t watch the show, but still…crazy! Who do you think should replace her? I say Britney. I say all Britney, all the time.

Anyways, last night I fell asleep on Ben’s chest right after I posted and stayed in the same spot until 9:00! I never nap – I mean NEVER, so this was a very rare event indeed. It absolutely did the trick though, because I am feeling so refreshed today! Sometimes our bodies just need rest. I tend to get sick if I overwork myself, so I’m glad I gave myself a chance to catch up.

So yesterday, commenter Devon told me one of her favorite ways to enjoy cottage cheese is with yogurt. Interesting, I thought to myself… I decided to give it a whirl this morning and made a Cottage Cheese, Yogurt & Fruit Parfait.


I layered a serving of Fat-Free AE Cottage Cheese with an AE Raspberry Cheesecake Yogurt (no, they’re not paying me to write this 😉 ) and topped it all off with a sliced banana and chopped up fresh peach.


Devon – you rock! The addition of cottage cheese totally extended the flavor and girth of my yogurt…or the addition of yogurt totally extended the flavor and girth of my cottage cheese – whichever you like!


The extra protein bump from the CC was awesome too – I was FULL after eating this!


I’ve mentioned before that bananas and yogurt are one of my favorite combos. Adding peaches and cottage cheese made the mix even better 🙂


You guys have got to try this – a winning breakfast for sure!

Now – let me just tell you that I was full with a capital F from dinner last night. That White Bean & Toasted Garlic Salad had some staying power! I credit the beans of course – they are just a delight 🙂 Today for lunch, I packed some of the bean salad, lettuce salad and cucumber & tomato salad to create a Triple Salad, Salad.


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There should be enough dressing on the cukes + tomatoes, combined with the mashed beans, to make this a creamy delight. Can’t wait!


Oh, ha. Last night I was cleaning up after dinner and realized that produce is overtaking my life. Even after three days of literally jamming produce into my meals, it is still all over my countertop. Check out the stash:

  • Globe tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Lemon
  • Peaches
  • Cantaloupe


In the fridge I’ve got:

  • Apples
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce

YEESH – I am set for days I tell you! ps What color is your kitchen? Mine is orange. Decided by the previous owner. To be honest I wasn’t thrilled when we moved in, but after a year and 4 months…it’s growing on me!


This is the last day to enter the PURE Bar Giveaway – you’ve got until 10pm central TONIGHT! There’s 7 prize packages to win and you can enter up to 2 times. Go for it!

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