hearty and healthy {a salad story}

02 December 2014

Blah blah, recipes are boring. I know. But I promise I would never take the time to poorly photograph food and give you paltry direction unless said food was worth your time to make and eat. This salad qualified 110%, I promise. 

Did anyone else totally overdo it in the food department over Thanksgiving? Travel + the holiday excuse is lethal in Grace's book and I am feeling the effects of my gluttony this week. All I want to do is chug water and eat salad in reparation for my food sins. Okay, that's a bit much and not 100% true but I am wanting to get back on a decent track before the onslaught of Christmas party goodness proves too much for my feathery will in a few days.

Enter the Il Vicino salad.

If you live in a town where an Il Vicino resides ... I am SO jealous of you. There are a few in Albuquerque and two in Wichita and I miss the eating establishment almost daily. As fate would have it, the one St. Louis Il Vicino burned down shortly before we moved here (WHY?!) and it hasn't been rebuilt (again, WHY?!) so I had to take matters into my own hands last night and try to recreate their masterpiece.

This salad is great because it's easy to assemble and super filling and what other magical powers should a salad possess? It possesses them, I assure you. I'm normally a terrible homemade salad person but this was turned out just great and if I can manage not to screw it up ... you can TOO.

I'm always on the hunt for meals that I can throw together between the time that Simon lets me know he's off work and when he gets home because as much as I'd love to become one with the Crockpot and organized meal plans ... it just might have to be a future charism for me.

Anyway. How long can you ramble about a recipe before actually giving the recipe, Brevity Patton?

Don't test me.

But here we go.

(makes two dinner-sized salads)
~two cups of romaine lettuce (from a bag - if you're like me)
one roma tomato, chopped
four artichoke hearts, chopped (from a can or jar - none of this fresh business)
two hard boiled eggs
~1/4 cup crumbed Gorgonzola cheese (or blue or goat or feta - your choice)
~1/8 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
~3/4 cup roasted chicken, chopped (or any protein would work)
dressing of your choice (I went with balsamic but if I could ever get my hands on the chili infused oil they have ... I would be a happy lady. Jessica told me Trader Joe's used to carry something similar but - no more. Boo.)

On a bed of the romaine just line up your ingredients (that's how Il Vicino does it so ... I had to copy) and top with dressing and gobble up like a Goop.

And if you have any easy/delicious salads you want to leave the link to - I would be forever grateful.


  1. So glad you're back!!! Thanks for the recipe.....I love a good salad and stink at making them.

  2. YUM! Sadly I have no salad recipes to share because my brain is mush at the present, but -- have you tried Trader Joe's champagne vinaigrette?! It's like heaven's chorus... Get yo self some.

    Glad your back in blog-diggity action -- I mucho grande heart your honesty with four littles. Of which is precisely the number I want and precisely why I NEED him to get on board, stop sending me the national average cost to raise a child, read your blog and see allllll the humor sprinkled in with allll the shenanigans.

    Wish my uterus luck.

  3. Recently bought Braggs healthy vinaigrette in the healthier foods section at K roger and it is so good and nothing gross in it. It has been good on salads and other stuff too.

  4. http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/04/29/massaged-kale-caesar-salad/
    I subbed capers for the anchovies in the dressing and topped it with combos of : craisins, pistachios, soft boiled eggs, roasted butternut squash, avocado, etc. whatever you have. Super delicious and even 2.5 yr old J steals it off my plate.

  5. This looks so good, and so easy! I need to just purge all the butter out of my system and my arteries!

  6. My go to salad is easy and delicious, but not healthy, like, at all. I make a romaine, bacon bits, parmesan grated, Caesar crouton/dressing Caesar and it is my party/company fare, becasue it gets gobbled up fast. Once again, it is by no means healthy. I also love the copycat Olive Garden recipe and home dressing here. HealthER? ISH? Probably not really.

  7. I eat this almost every day for lunch since doing whole30 in June: lettuce/spinach mix, strawberries, and shredded chicken. Dressing: mix olive oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar. It's just so good and easy and healthy.

  8. We had an il vicino like 10 blocks and would ride our bikes there at Least once a week..their chocolate cake thing was to die for..and then it closed down this summer. I almost cried. I guess there is another one somewhere in Denver but I haven't found it yet. Here's one of my favorite salads- really easy Greek salad, I'm assuming the dressing would be whole30 friendly as well!


  9. Steamed broccoli and almonds + quinoa tossed in dressing of your choice (I like fresh lemon and olive oil). Guaranteed to amend a multitude of glutinous food sins.

  10. Glad you're back! This salad looks delightful.

  11. Glad you're back! This salad looks delightful.

  12. Sounds yummy. I don't know if the artichoke hearts would be eaten, so maybe I will substitute broccoli.

  13. That looks and sounds delicious!! Yay for healthy recipes during holiday season x

  14. Sounds delicious! I made this one awhile back. Not the heaaalthiest but for sure healthier than other options and it is very filling with the pasta! http://houslovedogblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/delicious-chopped-salad-with-ditalini.html?m=1

  15. Ugh, yes - I feel like I ate and drank so much yummy stuff, that I can't touch a single greasy or sugary piece of food until Christmas. (which should be super interesting, since I have to make Christmas cookies for a party this weekend. Heeellllooo temptations!) That salad looks DELIC. I've also found that adding quinoa to almost any sort of salad (but especially one that's more veggie rich, as opposed to salad based) makes for good eating.

  16. do you like honey mustard? I made some homemade honey mustard and it's soooo good on salads!

  17. Chili infused olive oil http://shop.ourbestbites.com/

  18. I so hear you my friend. Too much stuffing!! So good. So hard to resist. Here are a few easy, healthy, tasty recipes I have tried and loved. Bon Appetite!




  19. I'm so glad you're back!!! :)

  20. This looks good!

  21. I am currently making this oh about every day this week and probably next week because YUM and grain free whole 30 compliant it is! I used to make it with soy but switched to just the herb pastes and it's so much better I included both ways to make it in the post so you can do it how you like it or need it and well I've written too much http://www.heywhatsfordinnermom.com/2014/12/hot-egg-roll-salad.html

  22. Ohhhh Il Vicino!! I am from Santa Fe and miss it SO! (Live in Seattle now.). My fave salad: Any greens you like, crumbled goat cheese, roasted or poached salmon pulled into pieces, walnuts or almonds, and pears, with any tangy vinaigrette you like. Works with roasted chicken too but the salmon is fantastic, if you ask me :)

  23. I live in Albuquerque and we have several now and I loooove Il Vicino. In all honesty though have never tried that salad because...you know, paninis and pizza ;o)... but it looks amazing and I'll have to get it. One salad I love to dupe is Portillo's chopped salad: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2013/06/portillos-chopped-salad.html
    It's soooo good and yummy...I typically make it without the bacon though because bacon bits can be weird and I don't always want to make bacon for a salad...it's also good with or without grilled chicken. Yum!

    Erica @ www.offdeadline.com

  24. Our favorite salad is: Romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, dried cranberries, chopped apple, chopped hard boiled egg, shredded cheddar cheese, roasted chicken, and balsamic vinegarette. Or, you can leave out the cheese and balsamic and add bleu cheese dressing! It's amazing!

  25. I think I just found what I am making for dinner



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