How I Rock The Salad

salad of awesomeness at

The Happy Baby has a suuuuuuuper sensitive stomach.

Several months ago, a few friends suggested that I go dairy and gluten free to see if it might help with his tummy troubles.

I was a bit bummed at first – I’d go to the grocery store and then leave upset because it felt like there was nothing I could eat!  But after some time, I figured out a new normal of eating and the Happy Baby (and myself, for that matter) is better for it.

One of the things I have grown to love is The Salad.

I’ve gotten so good at making salads that my in-laws, whenever they are hosting a family gathering, call on me to bring the greens.

It doesn’t take rocket science to make a good salad, just a little bit of time and patience for all that chopping.  The recipe in this post is the one I make myself almost every night for dinner.  It keeps me on track with the gluten and dairy free lifestyle and gives me that warm I-just-ate-something-healthy feeling when I put down my fork.

salad 1The supporting actors and actresses:

Spinach leaves

Baby carrots, chopped

Grape tomatoes

Cucumber, peeled and chopped

Green pepper, chopped

salad 2The stars of the show:

Apple Chips


Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic Salad Dressing (I find this dressing in the refrigerated produce section of our grocery store)

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love those dried apple chips (also found in the produce section of our grocery store).  I am a big cruncher, so these delicious snacks are the perfect addition to satisfy my need to munch.  I always buy like 10 bags at a time so that I am never without.

Note – I also like to add slivered almonds or walnuts but I didn’t have any on hand at the moment.  Nuts are a bit more expensive than apple chips! :-)

salad 4Mix everything together in a big bowl and you’ve got something to really wow your digestive system!

For protein, I usually throw some rotisserie chicken on top.  Fast, easy, and yummy.

salad 3

Now, if only I had the self-control to not reward myself with something sweet before bed after making such a healthy dinner choice.

Ah!  C’est la vie.

How do you like your salads?

Happy Salad Rock-ing! :-)

*Love salads?  Check out my most popular recipes for Broccoli Salad of Wonder HERE or my Sweetheart Strawberry Salad HERE.*

14 thoughts on “How I Rock The Salad

  1. I had a question about you diet because I’ve personally been having some with the gluten and dairy stuff. Are you breastfeeding? And does this diet help you produce enough? I know this is personally but I’m a breastfeeding mom and would love to try this diet myself. Thanks!

    • Hey Francis! I am pumping exclusively for our baby right now… I have not had any supply issues while eating this way. I’ve been told that to help with supply just make sure you drink a ton of water and eat some carbs like quinoa and oatmeal. I eat a lot of gluten free granola (love the Bear Naked Fruit and Nut kind). I hear oats are good for supply and they are GF. I hope it works for you! Eating this way really helped my digestive system feel better. :-) Let me know how it goes!! xoxo

  2. Luv your salad. Been doing the same with the craisins and chicken for a while. Never thought to do the apple chips. As i don’t do nuts, i throw sunflower seeds on ours. Though not dairy free, sometimes shredded cheese gets thrown on top also. Usually we skip any dressing as the salad is so yummy as it is!

  3. Mmmmm! That looks so yummy! I’m also gluten and dairy free. In the beginning you do feel like there is nothing you can eat, but after awhile you figure out lots of things – even desserts! I love me some salad too. I’m not a big fan of GF breads because I just haven’t found one that’s as good as the wheat varieties. So, when I get a craving for a sandwich I just make it in a bowl of salad. I have two favorites. One is a BLT salad – bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt and pepper. The other is a hamburger salad. For the burger salad I brown my ground meat in a skillet then drain it and set it aside. Then, I use the same skillet to saute onion and chopped pickles. After they are warmed and getting soft, I add them to my bowl of meat. Now I make my dressing in the same pan- just heat mayo, mustard and a shot of ketchup. I then make a big salad bowl full of burger toppings like lettuce and tomatoes and put my meat and dressing on top. So delish and it tastes just like a burger!

    Wanted to add that if you are serious about the gluten thing- double check your rotisserie chicken, a lot of them are seasoned with a mix that contains gluten. I know you are a Costco shopper and theirs are gluten free- it says so right on the label.

  4. Great job, Fairy! I made the switch myself recently. It’s done wonders for my inflammation issues. I also like those teeny raisins, currants, for variety, and chick peas or other canned beans (I went meat free, too). Freeze dried raspberriess (just like the apple crsips) are SO yummy on salad. And crazy as it sounds, like sections of pink grapfruit rock a salad (leave out tomatoes on that one, though).

  5. I use the spring mix 50-50 that has spinach in it. I also add a little of the shredded broccoli that comes already prepared in a bag — it’s like a slaw. For salad dressing I mix a little fat free ranch with BBQ sauce — I know it sounds yucky, but it tastes really yum. — I also use the chicken, but sometimes we will buy the boneless, skinless chicken thigns at BJ’s (they are flattened out just like a chicken breast). My hubby will grill them, and then we will freeze them and take them out to add to salads. Really yummy.

  6. Sounds yummy! Here’s my rockin’-est salad: broccoli slaw, spinach, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, plus other salad veggies/chicken if you want, then top it off with Newman ‘s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing. Crunchy and awesome!

  7. Thanks for the ideas everyone..I have been GF and DF for years but HATE salads….it is horrible! BUT you have inspired me to try the old salad again to add variety to my diet and help the weight loss…they actually sound yum!!!

  8. Pingback: Recipe – The Best. Salad. Ever. | Happy Home Fairy

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