Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rip-OFF Restaurant Style Salad!

The Headlines:

This is the best chopped salad you may ever eat in your life.

It's kind of a "poor mans" rip off from an Arizona Classic.

But just as good (or better)!? 

When I first moved to Arizona... like 15 years ago... I kept hearing about a restaurant I must try.  So for my boyfriends's birthday (at the time - now husband) I took him to Cowboy Ciao in downtown Scottsdale.  I ordered, among other things, one of the best salad's I have ever consumed.  Tasty, innovative, crunchy, fresh, healthy... I could go on and on!  It's a salad that packs a powerful punch inside your mouth!  Plus, a total crowd pleaser. You could absolutely make this for a main course (or a 1st course) when friends come over.

They will be WOW-ed!  First reason... just look at the presentation!

Stunning.  Yes, weird that food can be stunning in your own home - but it can!

But back to the story: when my husband went to the restaurant about a month ago, he sweetly ordered me another one, it had been years since I treated myself!  As I ate I thought: this salad's so good I need to copy it.

So I did.  But I did it my own way...  the ingredients were easier to find (all of them were in my pantry) and it was just as good as the "real deal"!

For the record, here's the Real Cowboy Ciao recipe.  It's so popular... it's not a secret anymore!
        2oz Israeli or Pearl Cous Cous (a larger cous cous) cook, 2oz Arugula chopped, 2oz Roma tomatoes diced (balsamic marinated, 1.5oz Smoked Salmon, .5 oz Asiago Cheese, .5oz Pepitas (Shelled Pumpkin Seeds), .5oz Black Currants, 1oz Super Sweet Air Dried Corn, 2oz Pesto Buttermilk Dressing

Dressing: Pesto Buttermilk Dressing, .5 cups Pesto, 1 Shallot roughly chopped, 1 cup A├»oli (garlic mayonnaise), 1 cup Buttermilk, .5 teaspoons Coarse black pepper, Juice of half a Lemon, Salt and pepper to taste *Add first 3 ingredients to food processor and blend thoroughly. With motor running, add remaining ingredients to combine. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 24oz of dressing

Now here's mine:

Rip-Off Restaurant Style Salad:
Spinach (cut up), quinoa, dried blueberries (or whichever dried fruit you have in your pantry), tomatoes (cut very small), cold smoked salmon (lox style), sunflower seeds, grated parmesan.  

All you do... is line up the ingredients like I did and serve.  People think you're a stinking rock star!  

Next, add the dressing of choice. 

**I do my favorite combination of Ranch and Italian.  I call it a "Fake Make" dressing"... you can see what I use if you click HERE.

Then... mix and chow down.  Can life GET ANY EASIER?  Now that's what I call dinner... 
I'm hungry.

Watch my LIVE broadcast, saved to YOUTUBE, on Periscope to see how easy it is to make...

or click  HERE


  1. I love smoked salmon.. I have never thought to put it in a salad! I need to try this!

  2. Oh what a pretty salad! We love smoked salmon on our bagels, but this sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

    1. IT's GORGE and totally up your alley from what I've seen of you!

  3. I am obsessed with yummy restaurant salads because the ones I make at home are never as good... this looks a little above my level, though, so major props to you for achieving it at home!

  4. You're sucha rock star and make it sounds soooo easy...and you know what I think i can do this one!


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