chopped salad with spicy chipotle dressing ~vegan, gluten free~

This chopped salad with spicy chipotle dressing is spicy, and I mean spicy!  Like the kind of spicy that makes you sweat and eyes water!

I love the smokey flavor of chipotle and I use just about any type of food as a vehicle for this dressing!  I add it to salads, sandwiches, burrito bowls or use it as a dip for veggie sticks!

This salad is an easy way to “Eat The Rainbow” for a boost of antioxidants and phytonutrients!

Chopped Salad with Spicy Chipotle Dressing ~vegan, gluten free~ A flavorful way to eat the rainbow!!!

Chopped Salad with Spicy Chipotle Dressing ~vegan, gluten free~ A flavorful way to eat the rainbow!!!

chopped salad with spicy chipotle dressing
Makes 2 salads and ~1 cup of dressing
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
  • For the Chipotle Dressing:
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup vegenaise or mayo
  • 3-5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • For the salad:
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • ½ cup cooked black beans
  • 2-3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup corn (I used frozen organic corn)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  1. To make dressing:
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and puree until well combined and chipotle peppers are minced. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. *Start by adding 1 chipotle pepper at a time until desired spiciness is reached*
  3. To make salads:
  4. Arrange toppings on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce, add 1-2 tablespoons of dressing and enjoy!

~Start by adding 1 chipotle pepper at a time until desired spiciness is reached!~

Chopped Salad with Spicy Chipotle Dressing ~vegan, gluten free~ A flavorful way to eat the rainbow!!!

As a nutritionist, I am always encouraging clients to “eat the rainbow.”  Getting a broad spectrum of colorful foods in your diet will help bring your health and wellness to a whole new level!  Colorful foods are rich in antioxidants, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.  They also contribute to heart health, digestive health, increase energy, increased immunity, eye and skin  health and cell protection.

Each day aim for 2 servings from each color:

Red:  apples, beets, peppers, cherries, grapes, red onions, pomegranates, berries, tomatoes, watermelon

Orange:  cantaloupe, carrots, mangos, oranges, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, peppers

Yellow:  apples, bananas, corn, pears, pineapple, summer squash

Green:  apples, asparagus, avocados, honeydew melon, green leafy vegetables, brussles sprouts, broccoli, cucumbers, edamame, green beans, peas, pears, zucchini

Blue/Purple/Black:  berries, cabbage, eggplant, figs, grapes, olives, raisins, beans

White/Brown:  beans, cauliflower, coconut, garlic, legumes, chickpeas, nuts, mushrooms, pears, seeds (flax, hemp, sesame), whole grains (brown rice, barley, quinoa)

1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw or 1 medium piece of fruit

 Different combination of these foods also have varying synergistic effects, so mix it up!

Reference:  Institute of Functional Medicine

Chopped Salad with Spicy Chipotle Dressing ~vegan, gluten free~ A flavorful way to eat the rainbow!!!

cold soba noodle salad

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour.  Don’t be fooled by the name…buckwheat is not a grain product, it’s actually a seed from the buckwheat plant!  Most buckwheat noodles are gluten free however, some brands add wheat flour so check the label!  (Eden brand makes 100% buckwheat noodles)  They are a great pasta substitute for those who avoid wheat for dietary or allergy purposes.

Buckwheat has a earthy, nutty flavor and is commonly used in Asian fusion cuisine.  Buckwheat is a great source of magnesium, 1 cup contains 86 grams!  It also is considered a high quality protein as it provides 8 essential amino acids.  But, the biggest health benefit is due to its flavonoid content.  The two flavonoids found in buckwheat are quercitin and rutin, which are responsible for maintaining blood flow and preventing oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol.  Studies link diets high in buckwheat with lower rates of heart disease.


Cold Soba Noodle Salad

1 package soba noodles

1 zucchini, julienne sliced

1/2 cucumber, julienne sliced

1 cup edamame, shelled

1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

extra virgin olive oil


dulse flakes (optional)


4 tablespoons bragg’s amino acids or coconut amino acids, tamari

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes

cold soba noodle salad ~vegan, gluten free~

-Cook soba noodles according to package.  Drain and toss with a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil to prevent clumping.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.

-In the meantime, whisk together dressing ingredients.

-Once noodles are cooled, in a large bowl combine with zucchini, cucumber, edamame, cilantro and dressing.  Toss to coat.

-Garnish with cashews, dulse flakes, a few more cilantro leaves and an extra dash of red pepper flakes, enjoy!

cold soba noodle salad ~vegan, gluten-free~

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare.  It can be served alone or would go nicely as a side to pan seared tofu or shrimp.

Sunbutter Smoothie

We often think of sunflower seeds as something baseball players chew and spit out…gross!

Who knew they were a nutritional powerhouse???

Highly addictive due to their salty and slightly sweet flavor, they are a great “nut-free” choice of snack!.  And, they are cheap and easy to find!    When ground up, sunflower seeds make a tasty butter, which is a great substitute for nut-butters such as peanut butter.


Just a quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides half your daily recommendation of vitamin E!  Vitamin E keeps our hearts healthy, skin and hair radiant and combats free radicals which may lead to disease.  They also contain phytosterols which have been proven to lower elevated cholesterol levels by inhibiting the intestinal absorption of cholesterol.  Phytosterols have also been linked to decreased cancer risk.

For more information and links to scientific research, click here.

Leaving all research, biology and scientific data behind…sunflower seeds (especially sunbutter!) simply taste good!

Sunbutter provides protein and healthy fat, which gives this smoothie “staying power” to keep you full and to keep cravings at bay.

Sunbutter Smoothie ~raspberries, spinach, banana~ vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free~

Sunbutter Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

2 cups coconut water (or water, non-dairy milk, cow’s milk)

1 banana

1 cup frozen raspberries

2 heaping tablespoons sunbutter

2 dates, pitted

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional)

~blend and enjoy~

Weekend wrap up:  the weird New England weather has us running between rain drops…


We tried making it outside as much as possible because we’re going a little stir crazy these days!


But, it’s fun just being lazy too!