Category Archives: Salads/Greens

Pappardelle with Beef Ragu & Arugula Salad


Sorry for the delay in posting. When you have a mini human that can’t wipe their own ass and are sprouting teeth in random places, your schedule gets a little f*cked. My tiny human has decided to go on a hunger strike and drink exclusively whole milk and dog water, so that’s been a fun 48 hours. Anyone want to babysit? I’ll pay you in meaty noodles.

Ok, so if you don’t know the skinnytaste name, you need to. She just had a new cookbook come out that is made for legit people with normal ingredients that you can find in a regular grocery store. Her newest cookbook, Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes is the and I recommend running out and buying it asap. I usually use cookbooks for recipe inspiration/experimentation, and this one is perfect for that. If you aren’t comfortable making changes, don’t—but I used her ingredients as a starting point, and added a few others.  I added some shallots, more garlic and some basil to this recipe, and it was The first night I had it, I ate it over noodles. While that was good, I recommend doing spaghetti squash, which I’ll post the recipe for at the end. I’ll also add in the arugula salad with heirloom and burrata with balsamic glaze at the bottom too! Serves 6


10 cloves garlic

1 shallot, chopped

1 tbs. olive oil

1.5 lbs flank steak (cut up in to 4 pieces) seasoned with salt and pepper

4 sprigs of thyme

4 large basil leaves, chopped (save a bit for garnish)

2 dried bay leaves

1 large can (28oz) San Marzano crushed tomatoes

½ C. low sodium beef broth

½ C. chopped carrot

1 package of pappardelle pasta, or any kind of pasta you prefer.

Salt and pepper

Ricotta cheese for serving

Parmesan cheese for serving


Heat olive oil in a small skillet and add in shallot and garlic. Smash the garlic to release the flavor before you put it in the oil, but no need to chop that. Sautee for 4 minutes, until garlic starts to turn golden. Remove from heat. Then, literally put all the other ingredients except the cheeses,  including garlic and shallots with the oil into your slow cooker on low for 8.5 hours. The flank steak will shred easily with a fork as soon as it is finished. Serve with the pasta (or spaghetti squash, recipe listed next) topped with some fresh chopped basil and ricotta cheese and a light sprinkling of parmesan.


Spaghetti Squash


1 medium spaghetti squash

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. butter

2 cloves minced garlic


salt and pepper

Poke the squash with a fork about 10 times all around (the same way you’d pierce a potato). Microwave for 6 minutes, flip it, then microwave for another 6 minutes. If the skin isn’t soft after that, add another 2 minutes. Take it out of the microwave with hot pads and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes. Slice it open lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Let it rest another few minutes so that it can be easily handled. While you’re waiting, heat a skillet with the butter and olive oil and saute the garlic in the mixture. Once you can handle the squash, scrape out the filling and add it to the saute pan. Cook for 5 minutes and season with salt, pepper and parm. A medium sized squash can make 6 small servings, or 4 substantial servings.


Arugula, Heirloom and Burrata Salad


1 package arugula

1 large heirloom tomato

1 container burrata (usaully comes with 2 balls)

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. balsamic glaze

squeeze of lemon

Chop the tomato in desired size and put on top of the arugula with the burrata, split into 8 pieces. The cheese will ooze out, which is legit. Drizzle with the oil and balsamic and a little squeeze of lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

four legged peeps love it too

four legged peeps love it too

things to eat when you’re trying to be less fat: kale salad edition


Now that I’m 5+ weeks post baby, I’m running out of excuses to eat burgers and ice cream for every meal, so I am slowly phasing in things that are green. My mom stayed with us for a bit right after the baby was born, and she made kale salad every night because she knows I love it, and making your own salad sometimes is the worst. By the time you chop everything up, you don’t really want the salad anymore, and would rather just eat pizza. Really, I would just rather eat pizza all day, morning-noon-and night, which is totally do-able thanks to the genius creator of Bagel Bites. Also, just FYI—you know how people have those lists of the 5 Celebrities that are hall-passes and their spouse can’t get mad? Stanley Garczynski (genius behind BBites) is most certainly on my list, alongside Jamie Foxx and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Knowledge is power.  But I digress…

You can chop up the greens for this salad and keep them in a shallow container with a paper towel at the top right before the lid and take them out all week—that way you don’t have to chop all that sh*t up every night.  A good dressing really is key, and don’t use a pre-made dressing. Unless you are using Goodwell & Co Asian Vinaigrette, make your own dressing always. The only reason I use their pre-made one is that I don’t always have fresh carrots and ginger on hand, and theirs tastes better than any homemade carrot/gingery dressing I can make. With salad dressings, you always use 1 part vinegar to three parts oil, so I always start out with that basic combo and add in extras. I blend mine in my little magic bullet, but you can use a regular blender, or just shake it in a dressing bottle. If you blend them, you don’t have to chop the ingredients first. In the kale salad pictured, its chopped kale with the stems removed, chopped radicchio, shaved parmesan and Marcona almonds. I always like to have something crunchy in my salads, and since I’m trying to be less of a fatass, I am opting for almonds over croutons. If the only crunchy thing you have in your pantry is a bag of goldfish, throw those in there—remember, I don’t judge. And also, I once put Flamin’ Hot Funyuns on my salad as croutons and ended up eating only the funyuns and tossing the salad. Back to the dressings….below are two of my faves, one with pesto, and one just regular old vinaigrette.

this baby will love gluten and dairy.

this baby will love gluten and dairy.

Pesto-Dijon Vinaigrette—makes a few servings, so keep in fridge

  • 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. pesto (I usually have pesto frozen, but you can use store bought)
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients together. It is SO easy.

Basic Red Wine Vinaigrette—this lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge, so up the amounts if you want to make a bunch.

  • 1 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Also, since males seem to hate kale salad, you can’t really serve them just that and think they will still love you. Which is where Naan pizzas come in. Naan is just a fancy term for flatbread, and it is something good to keep in your fridge or freezer. We always seem to have an open jar of some sort of tomato sauce in there too, so I whipped up some naan pizzas last night. Just put tomato sauce on the naan, fresh mozzarella (or whatever cheese peasants keep in their fridge if you don’t regularly keep balls of fresh mozz in there) and fresh chopped basil. Bake in the oven at 400 until the cheese is bubbly (about 10 minutes). If you live somewhere where there is a Zoe’s Kitchen, buy their “Spice of Life” seasoning and sprinkle on top…and then mail me a thing of it. Thanks.

because babies+food=life

because babies+food=life

Chopped Salads for the Win


When you don’t feel like making anything fancy, just grab anything in your fridge that you can chop up and grab it. I didn’t feel like more Mexi, but Craw did, so I made two different choppers. The star was the fat free jalapeno ranch, which I tried to make taste as close to Chuy’s as possible. Chuy’s jap ranch is the shiz, but most likely has mayo in it and it full of calories, so here is a less fatass version for you to enjoy.

Literally just blend it all together. If you want a thinner dressing, add a bit more water and blend until you get the right consistency. Here are the salad ingredents…

Mexicanish Chopped Salad

  • 2 cups chopped iceberg
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1/2 c. sauteed corn
  • 1/2 c. chopped chicken
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • however much dressing you want

Toasted Quinoa spinach salad

  • 1/2 c. toasted quinoa (take cooked, cooled quinoa and saute in skillet with 1 tsp basil oil until crunchy)
  • 2 cups spinach, here’s best way to chop–I put a handful of spinach inside butter lettuce and chiffonade, like so
  • 1/4 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbs. low sugar craisins
  • 1 tbs. chopped candied pecans
  • 1 tbs. aged balsamic
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

**I use more of the balsamic because thick, aged balsamic is the bomb. The above salad is great with any protein, but filling on its own.


Oh, and I forgot to rant about Rosa’s in the previous post…. All my West Texas peeps will understand.

Dear Rosa’s,

I understand that the point of a restaurant is to turn a profit, but cutting corners in the queso fillage department is NOT the way. When I spend $40 on an order (for one…), I expect to have enough queso in the “bowl” of queso to have leftovers. When you make me finish off an entire bowl alone, it angers me. And also, wrap your tortillas in foil, not paper. It’s just common sense. And when I order 15 things and only 1 drink, I can hear the judgement in your tone when you repeat my order. I’m already judging myself on Fat Sunday (yes, capitalized the F in Fat, it makes sense), and I don’t need you to do it for me. I have mirrors and family for that. That being said, you da bestest, see you Sunday.

Yours today and Always,

Chubby Caroline