Posts tagged spring
Spring Chopped Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Spring is here! It's getting warmer, the grass is greener and the flowers are starting to pop up everywhere. All of these changes bring the return of one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus! I could eat it all day every day and not get tired of it's crunchy texture and sweet yet slightly bitter flavor. I added it into a chopped salad that contains bright and crunchy flavors that are perfect for spring. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, but I like the pairing of radish, cauliflower, broccoli and cucumber with the asparagus. 

When you purchase your asparagus for this recipe, look for asparagus with firm and crisp stalks and tight, fully closed budding tips. Don't buy asparagus that is wimpy or slimy, it will be bland and starchy.

To top off so many bright flavors, I made a creamy parmesan dressing to pull it all together. Made with Greek yogurt, it's a lighter way to bring some serious cheesy goodness to this salad. You could also use a light ranch dressing if you want to cut down on the prep time for this recipe. 


Spring Chopped Salad with Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped 
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets 
  • 1 cup broccoli florets 
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces 
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced thin 
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced 
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste     

For the dressing: Whisk together yogurt, vinegar and mustard. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk until thick. Stir in parmesan cheese. Set aside. 

For the salad: In a large bowl, toss together all of the veggies and romaine. Drizzle dressing over the top and serve.

Southwest Black Bean Burger


Before I was a chef, my only experience with black bean burgers was a disappointing one. I used to buy frozen patties at the grocery store that were bland, dry and flavorless. It felt more like a punishment to eat them than any kind of nourishment for my body! It wasn’t until I had a brilliant chef instructor in school reacquaint me with how delicious and amazing black bean burgers can be. I have tinkered with a couple of recipes, but this one is definitely a favorite. Spicy, bursting with flavor and the perfect dense texture, these burgers will leave you full and happy! As an added bonus, you can make the patties in big batches and freeze them for several months for fast dinners or lunches. 

The key to success with these burgers is to make sure they are frozen before you cook them and to make sure your burger mixture isn’t runny! Finally, toppings are what really compliment any meatless burger, so have fun adding any other toppings you think would be yummy on this burger!! 

Southwest Black Bean Burger
Makes 4 servings

1 (14.5oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
½  red bell pepper, cut into big chunks
½ green bell pepper, cut into big chunks
¼ cup shallot, chopped into big chunks
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
½ to 1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste  

Whole wheat hamburger buns
1 ripe avocado, cut into slices
½ cup arugula
3 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce
Pinch smoked paprika
For the burger,
dump beans into a large bowl and smash with spoon until creamy. In a food processor combine remaining ingredients except egg. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped and combined. Add egg and pulse until combined. Dump mixture into bowl with beans and stir until combined. At this point, if your mixture is runny, add more bread crumbs. If the mixture is dry and crumbly, add water one tablespoon at a time just until it is moist enough to shape patties.

Shape 4 patties by hand and place on a baking sheet, cover and place in freezer until patties are solid (about an hour). At this point, you can wrap up any patties you want to save in plastic wrap and place in airtight ziplocks for further use. To cook burgers, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Cook patties until a nice brown crust forms and center is hot. 

For the toppings, mix together mayo, hot sauce and paprika. Spread on hamburger bun. Place burger on bun and top with avocado and arugula. Enjoy!