My Favorite Salad (and the Fro-yo Debate)

by Sara on July 25, 2012

Happy Wednesday!

Dark chocolate peanut butter cups are making me quite happy today.

And pictures of dark chocolate peanut butter cups are making for a fantastic I’m feeling lazy post introduction. πŸ˜‰

I’m feeling happy; I’m feeling lazy; and I’m feeling obligated to share the fact that I’m head over heels in love with these bites of bliss. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are addictingly delicious (addictingly is a word for the purposes of food conversation), aaaaand they’re organic! (Which means they’re healthy, right?).


I’ve had a wonderful first week in Boise! The sun has been shining every day, andΒ  I’ve been spending lots of time with three of my favorite sunny ladies:


The beautiful bride-to-be, Katie.

And of course, my lovely mother!

Mom dominated the above monster burger at Fork a few nights ago. Look at the size of that thing! Ittwas half the width of her chest! I snagged a few bites and think it might possibly be the second best restaurant hamburger I’ve ever tasted (In-N-Out holds #1 prize though). The chef smashed an entire avocado on top of the patty…an ENTIRE avocado.

The Parmesan fries that accompanied it were quite tasty too.

My salmon salad was nothing to write home about, but I did enjoy a perfectly grilled piece of salmon at Bardenay Saturday evening!

Let’s take a look.

The salmon was seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper, which is just how I like it. Thank you, chef, for not gettin’ allΒ saucy on me! πŸ˜‰ Don’t get my wrong, I love fancy fish too, but I truly enjoy it most when the real flavors shine.

It was the “skinny” cocktails, however, that captured my heart during both restaurant meals. Bardenay’s Skinny Mojito (fresh lime juice, white rum, mint and seltzer water), and Fork’s Mango Limeade (lime vodka, mango, fresh lime juice and seltzer water) were both light and refreshing—perfect for sweltering 100-degree evenings.

I especially loved that both drinks were sweetened with stevia instead of sugar.

I’ve noticed that restaurants are increasingly adding light drink options to their menus, which is fantastic. I think we can thank Bethenny Frankel for kicking off this trend.

And speaking of Bethenny Frankel’s cocktails, my mom is now officially hooked on the Skinny Girl White Cranberry Cosmo. We drank 2/3 of a bottle together last night!

But don’t you worry. We weren’t chugging. πŸ˜‰

Our delicious white cranberry cosmos were sipped slowly while we enjoyed an even more delicious summer salad.

This is hands down my all time favorite combination.

Raspberry Walnut Avocado Lemon-Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese.

And hands down the longest salad name as well? πŸ˜‰

Here’s went into was in the mix:

  • Mixed greens
  • Goat cheese
  • Walnuts
  • Avocado
  • Raspberries
  • Red onion

I topped everything with a fresh raspberry vinaigrette. I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of unhealthy oils from my diet (I’m looking at you, soybean!), so I took matters into my own hands and created a homemade dressing by adapting this recipe.


makes about 1 cup

1 1/3 cups fresh raspberries

1 T. apple cider vinegar

2 t. dijon mustard

2 t. olive oil

1 packet stevia

1/3 cup low sodium organic chicken broth (you could also substitute vegetable broth or water + salt)

1. Mix everything together in a blender or food processor until smooth and thick. Serve over salad greens.

I bet the vinaigrette would be fantastic made with strawberries or blackberries as well!



I was reading the Huffington Post the other day, and stumbled upon an article that caught my eye: 5 Foods This Dietitian Would Never Eat.Β  In the article, Kristin Kirkpatrick lists why the following five foods are nutritional nightmares:

1. Fat free or reduced fat foods (that come in a package)

2. Animal products with “unnatural” feed sources

3. Frozen yogurt from a self-serve establishment

4. Fiber bars (such as Fiber One)

5. Specialty Coffee Drinks

I actually agree with her reasoning on all five points. Kirkpatrick acknowledges that frozen yogurt is lower in calories than ice cream, but notes that it’s the bowl size that makes self-serve places so “dangerous.”

“The biggest problem with these establishments is the enormous bowl that is handed to you when you walk in the door.”

about 1 cup of frozen yogurt inside a HUGE bowl

Um, yeah. Point taken. πŸ˜‰ This bowl was larger than the palm of my hand! According to the attendant at Aspen Leaf, the “small” bowls hold 3 cups of yogurt!

BUT, I don’t think the bowl size alone should necessitate swearing off froyo forever! A few extra swirls of the creamy stuff every now and then can be good for the soul.

I’m an advocate of fro-yo in moderation. And froyo moderation in moderation too. πŸ˜‰


What’s your favorite salad combination?

The best hamburger you’ve ever eaten?

What do you think about the dietitian’s take on the 5 foods she’d never eat? Would you ever give up fro-yo? Do you prefer self serve places or places where an attendant serves you?

Pinkberry is my favorite place to get yogurt, so I guess I’ll go with the latter. But swirling my own takes me back to my days working behind the counter at TCBY!









  • Danielle @Clean Food…

    Pinkberry all the way!!! And PS I’m a nutritionist and I say frozen yogurt is okay! I think it is ridiculous to swear off a food you really enjoy! Pick a smaller serving size and enjoy! Once in a while it’s totally fine! Justin’s almond butter is my absolute favorite so now that they my peanut butter cups they are officially my all time favorite company!!! Love it! That salad looks amazing! You know how I love fruit in my salad! I will have to try that combination!

    • Sara Stewart

      I completely agree with you–people shouldn’thave to take an all-or-nothing approach to food! I feel like that’s the problem with our culture; it’s either excess or deprivation. Can’t we have a happy medium? Justin’s should make a dark chocolate ALMOND butter cup, don’t you think?! xo

  • Gothextramileblog

    YUM!!! I neeeed to try the dressing! I love froyo. Not sorry.

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, Yep, nobody should ever apologize for loving froyo…ever! Let me know if you try the dressing :)

  • Caroline

    That salad looks delicious! Also I think we are opposites when it comes to fish – must have tons of good sauce for Caroline to eat! You can’t blame the froyo places for trying to make people spend more money! I can’t wait until I’m in Houston where there are froyo places everywhere vs. the one we have in Manchester that’s in the mall.

    • Sara Stewart

      I think you should just move back to DC, where there are froyo shops on every corner! I can’t walk two blocks without passing one. It’s like temptation-land 24/7!

  • Jessie

    You and your mom look so much like! I cannot get over how enormous, but delicious her burger looks. It would take me @least 2 days to finish it. Your salad looks so good. I’m not one to put fruit in a salad, but after seeing yours.. it’s now a must try :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Yeah, we’re told we look like each other all the time! Our voices are identical too, so whenever I’m visiting and answer the phone, people will start talking to me as if I’m her! πŸ˜‰ I love raspberries in salad, especially with goat cheese! You should give it a try!

  • thehealthyapron

    Hey Sara! It’s been forever! Sorry I’ve been MIA, hope you’re doing well! Looks like you’re having a fabulous summer! As for me? I’m ready to deliever ha. I am also going to go read that dietitian article. I would have to say that just from glancing at the points I agree with her, especially on the self-serve fro-yo! Those containers ARE enormous and it’s too easy to over-fill…can we just bring our own bowls!? Like you said, moderation is key….but some people go there multiple times a week…not so moderate!

    • Sara Stewart

      Congratulations on being in the final stretch of pregnancy! When are you due?

      I completely agree with you about the fro-yo! I just don’t think people need to take an “all or nothing” approach. Let’s start a campaign for smaller bowls in fro-yo shops! πŸ˜‰

  • Ashley

    I have yet to get my hands on those Justin’s peanut butter cups!! That hamburger is pretty impressive – wowee! My favorite hamburgers are from Fuddruckers… Yum! And about the fro yo – I understand where she is coming from, but that won’t stop me from my beloved fro yo!

    P.S. I just realized that wasn’t it this past weekend you said you were going to be in Utah?? Did I miss you?!

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes, I WAS going to be in Utah, and I WAS going to email you! So sorry I never did! What happened was my friend Katie (the one who is getting married) ended up finding her wedding dress in Boise. We’d planned a trip to Salt Lake to dress shop, but now no need! :-( If I’m ever in town, I will BE SURE to let you know! xoxo

  • Christina

    That salad is fooooooooooo reaaaaaal beautiful. I want to make the vinaigrette!! I’ve never had a Justin’s PB cup. Am I crazy?

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes, you’re CARAAAZY. Get yo paws on a Justin’s PB cup now! And let me know if you try the vinaigrette. :)

  • Meg

    Ahhhhh yes yes πŸ˜‰ I see your walnut and goat cheese love now sis πŸ˜‰ Your salad dressing is so interesting too love! I would have never thought to add dijon! I love that idea :) You’re marvelous and so so creative πŸ˜‰

    So, you know those people you look at and think “wow they look awesome, they MUST workout” yeah – you are one of them chicky. HAHA. Seriously you look better and better and I couldn’t be more proud of my sister.

    I HATE saucy salmon or saucy anything, really. I have to be in the MOOD for sauce if you know what I mean πŸ˜‰ HAHA. I love just tasting the flavours as is :) mmmm always the best way, right!? :) YES!

    Love you so so much sis <3 Have a great Wednesday :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Aw, thanks sis! I think the same thing when I see pics of you killing it in the gym! It must be that fabulous trainer of ours. πŸ˜‰

      The dijon makes the dressing! Without it there’d be no zing; it would taste like jam or raspberry sauce. Haha! You should try it!

      I can’t wait to eat “simple” sauce-free fish with you soon! xoxo

  • Kristen RD

    I agree with that article for the size of the bowl at fro-yo factor. I know I eat way more cause I get this ginormous bowl!
    I am going to have to hunt out Justin’s peanut butter cups…they sound fantastic!
    I really want to try and recreate that skinny mojito! It looks so refreshing! And you can’t beat a low -cal cocktail! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      I’m going to try re-creating the skinny cocktails too! Let me know if you find a winning combination, and I’ll do the same! πŸ˜‰

  • julie!

    OMG HA! that burger is amazing! a whole avocado!? i need to go there haha! please tell me your mom ate the entire thing! she’s a tiny woman – i would be seriously impressed.

    goat cheese + chicken + raspberries = amazingess. that is all.

    and i LOVE the cranberry cosmo! i pretty much downed an entire bottle a few weekends ago — whoopsies! hahaha

    • Sara Stewart

      Yes, she demolished the ENTIRE thing, except for half the bun. Burger hero, no? πŸ˜‰ The cranberry cosmo is dangerous–so good! I hope I can share a bottle with YOU sometime! <3

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Haha well I could have told you that fro-yo wasn’t healthy πŸ˜‰ I have no problem with fro-yo, just as I have no problem with ice cream, pizza, burgers, etc IN MODERATION. I don’t like when people eat fro-yo all the time because it’s “healthy”. Just looking at the topinngs alone tell me it’s no different to ice cream! I prefer to have real Haagen Dasz than fake tasting fro yo covered in crap masquerading as a healthy option…..hahaha but I still haven’t had great fro-yo so I’m biased. Here and in Aus they let you pick your serving size, so I always pick the smallest cup because the rest are ridiculous!

    That burger looks insane! I would have demolished that whole thing haha xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, yeah, in the US all the self-serve shops have two bowl options: huge or ginormous. Like I said in my post, the “small” (huge) bowls usually hold 3 CUPS of yogurt. It’s insane! People need to know that fro-yo is nothing but sugar and treat it that way! Definitely not a health food, but a fun occasional treat. :)

  • StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    That salad sounds wonderful! I must be the only blogger, or person, who isn’t in love with fro-yo. I think the problem is some people legitimately do not know the difference between it and yogurt. And the signs all over those places telling you it’s full of live cultures don’t help, lol.

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    Omg that salad looks like the stuff that dreams are made of!! That is basically my perfect salad and I would only add artichoke hearts and hearts of palm to it- then we’d really be in business! And your dressing looks so delicious, I love that you made your own! I’ll have to give it a try! Your Mom is so cute- you guys look so much alike too! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time together! And I love skinny drinks at restaurants too but how awesome that those are sweetened with stevia- the only ones I’ve seen are sweetened with splenda :/ And I understand the Dietician’s point, but I think she’s forgetting that it is a healthier option than ice cream and a great indulgence. I love my fro yo, I could never give it up!

  • Min

    Looks like you’re having a great time in Boise! Yay!! And I love that you and your mom are so close! My mom makes a great drinking buddy ;). And it absolutely has to be margaritas..That woman is obsessed with frozen mango margaritas. And I kid you not! That 90 Ib frail woman can drink 2 of those larger than life glasses and be perfectly fine. I on the other hand…

    I agree with her on all 5 points! I used to eat fat-free everything until I started asking..well what’s in it then?!?!
    Whenever I visit Cali, Pinkberry is always my first stop. Why won’t it come to Austin?! Argh!! Not all fro-yo places are equal!!

  • Anne@LoveMintChocolateChip

    looks like you guys are having such a great time! i am jealous… i miss my mommy so so so much! speaking of my mom… she would LOVE that rasberry dressing. I am thinking i may have to make that when i get home!

  • Sally

    Your salad last night was the BEST ever!! I will be making the raspberry dressing again! I’m loving being your Skinny Girl drinking partner! :) We need to try a few more while you’re home!

  • Alexandra

    Oh man y’all look like you’re having such a blast up in Boise!! I love your pup too, she’s the cutest! :) And that salmon you ordered almost sent me into tastebud cardiac arrest–it looks SO dang delicious woman!!! I think I’ll need you to send me some leftovers heehee
    Have a great rest of your week!

  • Mary Legare Whaley

    I love the HuffPost. I browse it on and off all day at work. I read that same article myself. I think it’s a little extreme…I was expecting the foods to be things like hotdogs, Crisco products, or soda. I agree that all 5 of those are problematic for people who don’t understand nutrition. Like how “reduced fat” doesn’t mean “Eat the whole box– it’s totally fine!”. Though I don’t think it should be on this list, frozen yogurt still isn’t a free dessert (though you totally know that as an educated healthy individual). It’s a special treat, whether it’s a small or super large =). It’s definitely a healthier option than full fat ice cream, but it’s not a free ride, and I’m sure plenty of people think a ginormous cup of fro yo is the same as eating a bowl of fruit for dessert. I don’t eat frozen yogurt often, but that’s because I’m cheap and rarely eat out, not because I think it’s a scary food. That’s one crazy dietician, taking her job way too seriously! I don’t eat beef or pork, but not too long ago, I had a killer black bean burger at a local restaurant that was to DIE for! Topped with local tomatoes and avocado. So so good!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    Mmm that salad you made looks delicious! Avocado and goat cheese taste so good together! My favourite salad combo changes all the time, but lately it’s spinach, beets, sweet potato, toasted almonds, apple, smoked cheddar and chicken with a balsamic dressing. So good!

    And umm I don’t think I could NEVER eat fro yo from a self serve place. That is just wrong! πŸ˜‰ Eating it every once in a while is totally fine. Or heck, even getting it every day would probably be ok as long as the portion is small and you don’t go topping crazy! As you said, it’s all about moderation.

  • Mike @ Erectile Disorder

    Wow! Now you can eat a dark chocolate with a twist… it’s organic and it’s healthy indeed. It’s good to think that you have these pictures of healthy food. You’re like promoting a healthy lifestyle to people. I want to try the grilled piece salmon. There are really a lot of veggies there.

  • Lisa

    Those dark chocolate PB cups look divine. I am going to make my own version I think. Reese’s were my favourite candy ever as a kid! I remember trick-or-treating and stealing all the ones my parents bought for other kids and then going through my sisters candy bag and trading all the chocolates with nuts in them for reese’s…umm sorry went on a little story with that thought.
    And I love that those Justin’s ones are healthy. Much more so than the original.
    I’m so happy you are enjoying your time away!
    What beautiful friends you have and you and your mom look a lot alike!!
    Those skinny cocktails sound like my type of drink. That is so col they were made with stevia! Love it.
    I definitely appreciate the light drink menu at restaurants, especially if you are out with friends enjoying more than two:)
    Your salad looks fantastic!! Love all the ingredients and the dressing sounds magnificent! Yummy.
    I do agree with all the things nutritionists avoid, but I’d say you can enjoy them in moderation of course, nothing wrong with that! I happen to be the one person in the universe to not enjoy frozen yogurt…I’m a weird one haha.
    Love you lady!xoxo

  • Rach

    Oh my gracious, now that is my kinda burger!

  • Amber

    Oh my, that burger looks EPIC.
    I just grabbed a piece of raw chocolate slathered in nutbutter because of this post – ha!

  • Kris

    That salad looks absolutely amazing!

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