Take-out Tuesday, All Seasons Salad

Are you in a salad rut? Same old salad every time?

all season salad thepaintedapron.com

I have a formula that I use as a basis for just about every salad I make, even this Berry Salad with Monte Cristo Croutons

summer salad thepaintedapron.com

All Seasons Salad =

greens + seasonal fruit and/or vegetable + protein [nuts and/or meat]

+ cheese [optional] + croutons [optional]

With this formula, there are endless possibilities and ways to serve the combinations

AND, just add more protein to make it a main dish salad…my guys like leftover steak, BBQ pork or BBQ chicken.  My favorite is to pick up some Chick-fil-A nuggets to top a fresh salad for a fast weeknight meal

red white and blue salad thepaintedapron.com

This simply tossed Red White and Blue Salad =

lettuce, raw cauliflower +  blueberries + bacon bleu cheese

peach and prosciutto salad thepaintedapron.com

Stuffed Peach Salad with Balsamic Drizzle=

fresh spinach + fresh peaches+ pecans and prosciutto [no cheese]

Instead of a simple tossed salad, the nuts are stuffed into the peach cavities and the peaches are topped with prosciutto and then roasted

stacked tomato salad

In this Stacked Tomato Salad, you will find the same basic formula served in a stack version

Romaine + fresh tomato slices + bacon + bleu cheese in dressing form

bacon wrapped pear saladthepaintedapron.com

Maple Bacon Wrapped Pear Salad features elegant, bacon wrapped, roasted pear slices

Spinach + pears + bacon, pecans and walnuts + bleu cheese

sweet potato salad thepaintedapron.com

This Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Maple Bacon is a very similar salad, but the ingredients are just  diced and tossed together

magic blueberry salad thepaintedapron.com

Magic Blueberry Salad = romaine + apples, blueberries + pecans + bleu cheese makes it’s own dressing because you roast the blueberries and apples in the oven with the bleu cheese…


Holiday Salad is perhaps the best example of my All Seasons Salad formula.  I call it holiday salad because we love to have it at Christmastime to offset the heavier foods.

holiday salad thepaintedapron.com

Full of oranges, apples, cranberries and almonds, it is a treat anytime of year


Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves torn
  • 4 cups spring mix
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces
  • 8 fresh strawberries sliced [optional]
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups mandarin oranges or chopped fresh oranges
  • 2 granny smith apples peel on, diced
  • 1 cup buttery sugar almonds*


  • Put greens into a large salad bowl and see if it looks like the right amount for the number you are serving. Add the fruits and anything else you want to toss in there! Just before serving add the almonds and toss with your favorite vinaigrette or oil based dressing. 12 servings
  • *put almonds in a skillet with some butter and brown sugar and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until caramelized and just starting to brown. Add salt to taste. Remove to wax paper to cool. Store in a jar.
Keyword Christmas salad, easy salad, green salad, holiday salad, salad, salad for a crowd

I don’t like heavily dressed salads, I prefer to let the ingredients sing away...these light vinagrettes help marry the salad ingredients without overpowering them

Mustard Maple Vinaigrette


Fresh Orange Vinaigrette

orange marmalade vinaigrette thepaintedapron.com

Another favorite vinaigrette is  Wild Maine Blueberry Vinaigrette from Cindy’s Kitchen In my area it is carried by Whole Foods and Fresh Market.  Cindy’s Kitchen dressings are made from all natural ingredients and you can see the line of products here

If you like a heavier cream dressing, try using 1/2 creamy dressing and 1/2 vinaigrette for a refreshing change

Don’t forget to keep a batch of caramelized pecans, walnuts and almonds on hand for delicious crunchy additions to your salad creations

pecans thepaintedapron.com

Super Simple Caramelized Nuts

Prep Time 5 minutes
Course condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups


  • 2 cups pecan halves walnuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 T real butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • kosher salt to taste


  • Melt butter in olive oil over medium low heat.  Add nuts and brown sugar.  Cook and stir until nuts begin to brown and caramelize.  Season with salt to taste. Watch carefully to avoid burning nuts.  Turn nuts out onto wax paper to set.   Store cooled nuts in a jar in the pantry.
Keyword brown sugar nuts, caramelized nuts, nuts, nuts for garnishing

AND if you want to add something extra, you might want to try:


Monte Cristo Croutons

Fried Onion Straws

Homemade Garlic Croutons

Garlic Croutons


  • 1 slice bread per serving
  • 1 T butter for each slice
  • 1 garlic clove for every 2 slices
  • Olive oil


  • Remove crusts and cube bread.  Melt butter with OO in heavy skillet and saute garlic for several minutes and then remove.  Add bread cubes and saute over medium heat, watching carefully so bread doesn’t burn, adding more butter or OO if necessary.  Turn cubes to brown all sides. Cook in batches for best results.

Just because Summer’s over, Salad Season is year round~ Happy Munching!


I will be sharing with the fabulous parties and blogs on my side bar and

Posed Perfection

14 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, All Seasons Salad”
  1. Mary says:

    Salads never looked so good Jenna, especially your Berry Salad with Monte Cristo Croutons! I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken to top a salad during the week but Chick-fil-A nuggets sound even better 🙂 Thanks for the tip on Cindy’s Kitchen dressings!

  2. Oh how I love salad! These all look delish, Jenna!

  3. lulu says:

    We have salad almost every day, so it’s good to have some new ideas. Love the idea of sweet potatoes in a salad and the blueberry/apple combo…yum.

  4. Salads still sounding good to me right now, Texas still in the 90’s…sigh.

  5. Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I’d choose the peach salad tonight:@)

  6. Kim says:

    Wow, you outdid yourself here! I like the salad formula you use. Yes, I’m a salad rut girl. Must be why we don’t eat very many! The stacked tomato salad looks like one I should try, for sure. I enjoyed seeing so many salads in one post – choices. Thanks!

  7. Dee says:

    I love these salad suggestions. Pinning! 🙂

  8. Kitty says:

    I eat a salad everyday, Jenna, and all of yours look so tasty!!
    p.s. I posted the Club Sandwich Roll.

  9. Kitty says:

    I just saw your comment! Somehow all my comments are going to my spam box… so frustrating!!

  10. Jenna, I love all these salads! The formula idea is so clever! Such a great reminder of how to prepare a healthy and delicious meal. I don’t know which one to start with but I know for sure that I will be making several of these. Perhaps the first will be the Magic Blueberry Salad — bleu cheese and pecans with fruit sounds incredible! Thanks for the ideas! Linda

  11. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Jenna,
    What a great collection of awesome salads! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  1. […] love to add fruit to salads, see All Seasons Salad here, and warm grapes mixed with crispy lettuce, tasty cheese, and nuts, sounded like a perfect dinner […]

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