Gluten Free Salads & Dressings

Over the years, I have created an arsenal of recipes that would indeed fool even the pickiest of the non-gluten-free eaters in the group. They are simple to prepare and completely kid-friendly.

Our biggest party successes have involved a “build-your-own” food bar so the kids can prepare their own plates. We have tried all types of these “build-your-own” parties – tacos, pizzas, panini sandwiches, sundaes, and cupcakes. The kids love being in control of picking whatever they want and I love that every child can find something to enjoy.

Build-Your-Own Taco Bar

Tacos are always kid-friendly and will serve a crowd. They please everyone: kids, adults, picky eaters, adventurous eaters, the health conscious, and the not-so-health-conscious.

Place the following ingredients in the order listed below in bowls on the table with serving utensils in each bowl:

Crispy taco shells
Soft corn tortillas
Tortilla chips
Chipotle Chicken (click here for recipe)
Lime & Cilantro Rice (click here for recipe)
Pineapple Salsa (recipe follows)
Cabbage, chopped
Prepared salsa
Cheese
Corn (such as frozen roasted corn, thawed and drained)
Black beans (canned; drained and rinsed)
Sour cream
Sliced jalapeños (for those who like a little spice)
Cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges

Gluten Free Pineapple Salsa Recipe

While not all kids may like a tomato-based salsa, I find that most enjoy this one. It is light on spice but has a sweet and tangy flavor. Even if they don’t want to add it to their tacos, they can eat it plain with tortilla chips.There is almost never any of this salsa left when I serve it at our parties.This is also wonderful served on top of grilled pork or chicke.

Ingredients

2 cups diced fresh pineapple
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
⅛ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt, or more to taste
½ medium avocado, diced

Directions

Add pineapple, cilantro, onion, and serrano pepper to a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. Add the zest and juice of the limes and the salt.Cover and chill until ready to use. Right before serving, add the diced avocado and toss to combine.

Servings:

Makes 8 gluten free pineapple salsa servings

Written by Kim Maes

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Now that winter has gone, and we’ve emerged from hibernation and put our down jackets and wool sweaters away, it’s also time that we set aside the winter comfort foods. Instead of filling our tables with sweet potatoes and winter squashes, let’s lighten things up and welcome spring and all its amazing produce.

I’m a firm believer in eating as seasonally as possible, which is partly why I love spring so much. With all that variety, I’m going to show you how to use the abundance of fresh produce in this gluten free caprese quinoa salad recipe. This salad is reminiscent of a classic Caprese in terms of flavor, but swaps the cheese for chickpeas to make it high protein and allergy-friendly.

Gluten Free Caprese Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients

For the salad:
2 cups cooked white quinoa, cooled
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup cooked chickpeas
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, tomatoes, chickpeas, and basil. Toss to combine.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients, reserving a bit of fresh cracked pepper to garnish, in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad and stir together until evenly coated.

Garnish with the reserved pepper.Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Servings:

Makes 2 gluten free caprese quinoa salad recipe servings

Written by Alyssa Rimmer

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Now that winter has gone, and we’ve emerged from hibernation and put our down jackets and wool sweaters away, it’s also time that we set aside the winter comfort foods. Instead of filling our tables with sweet potatoes and winter squashes, let’s lighten things up and welcome spring and all its amazing produce.

I’m a firm believer in eating as seasonally as possible, which is partly why I love spring so much. With all that variety, I’m going to show you how to use the abundance of fresh produce in this gluten free blueberry power salad recipe. Loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats, this truly is a power-packed salad! The dressing is also incredible; it’s bright, tangy, and the basil flavor pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.

Gluten Free Blueberry Power Salad Recipe

Ingredients

For the salad:
7-8 cups arugula
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup pecan halves
1 medium avocado
Microgreens (optional)

For the dressing:
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 small garlic clove
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon maple syrup
Pinch of kosher or fine sea salt
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Water, if needed

Directions

Separate all the salad ingredients evenly between four bowls.

Blend the dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Add a dash of water, if needed, to thin it out.

Pour the dressing over the salads and enjoy!

Servings:

Makes 4 gluten free blueberry power salad recipe servings.

Written by Alyssa Rimmer

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Now that winter has gone, and we’ve emerged from hibernation and put our down jackets and wool sweaters away, it’s also time that we set aside the winter comfort foods. Instead of filling our tables with sweet potatoes and winter squashes, let’s lighten things up and welcome spring and all its amazing produce.

I’m a firm believer in eating as seasonally as possible, which is partly why I love spring so much. With all that variety, I’m going to show you how to use the abundance of fresh produce in this gluten free squash & zucchini quinoa salad recipe. It’s quick to make, packed with flavor, and makes the perfect light dish. It also keeps well for leftovers, so you can serve it over greens and enjoy it for lunch the next day.

Gluten Free Squash & Zucchini Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups chopped yellow summer squash (about 1 medium)
2 cups chopped zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Directions

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the squash and zucchini in the olive oil until almost tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the quinoa to the skillet and cook for another minute or so, until everything is warm.

Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, dill, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Either transfer the squash/quinoa mixture to a bowl or leave in the skillet and add the dressing and pine nuts. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, as needed.

Serve warm or let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Servings:

Makes 2 gluten free squash & zucchini quinoa salad recipe servings

Written by Alyssa Rimmer

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I started creating my own salad dressings when I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and had to cut out the processed dressings that were loaded with sugars and fake ingredients that spiked my blood sugar. I felt lost and deprived until I started whipping up my own dressings and dips for my veggie bowls using avocado, hummus, and coconut milk. This recipe is just the thing you need for a weeknight meal or a weekend lunch; it’s filling, full of fiber and lots of protein and healthy fats to keep you satisfied and happy. Dig in!

Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Coconut Basil Dressing

Ingredients

4 medium sweet potatoes
2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon avocado oil
Kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the fridge
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
½ cup white quinoa
4 large button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 tablespoons raw walnuts
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork to create small holes. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Place the broccoli florets on a separate rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes and broccoli for 30-40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks.

In a small bowl, scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of the chilled can of coconut milk. Add 2 tablespoons of the coconut water remaining in the can and whisk together until smooth. Add more coconut water, if needed. Add apple cider vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper, to taste. Place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to the package directions.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, broccoli, quinoa, mushrooms, cilantro, and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the dressing from the refrigerator, whisk, and drizzle over the bowl. Add crushed red pepper, to taste, and serve.

Servings

Makes 4 gluten free servings

Written by Amie Valpone

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Cooking is all about creativity. Something I taught myself on my 10-year journey of chronic illness was to include creativity in my life – especially my food! While everyone else was out drinking beer and eating pizza (which I couldn’t do) I made my life extra special by using ingredients such as tahini, lemon juice, fresh herbs, brightly colored fruits and veggies to whip up extraordinary meals that made me happy and helped with my healing. We can eat all the kale in the world and still be unhealthy, which is why it’s so important to focus on the mind-body connection and have fun in your kitchen. This is just the recipe to get you started!

Green Bean Buddha Bowl with Tahini Drizzle

Ingredients

4 medium sweet potatoes
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
Kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 head curly kale or 2 cups baby spinach
1 cup shredded red cabbage
2 Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons warm tahini
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pierce the potatoes with a fork to create small holes. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Place the cauliflower florets on a separate rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes and cauliflower for 30-40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1-inch chunks.

Meanwhile, steam the green beans on the stove top.

In a large bowl, massage the kale with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until the leaves are tender and dark green.Add the potatoes, cauliflower, green beans, cabbage, and apples. Drizzle with the tahini and lemon juice. Garnish with the lemon zest and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Servings

Makes 4 gluten free servings

Written by Amie Valpone

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I serve this warm salad as a side for holiday dinner parties. It’s always a huge hit because most people assume they hate Brussels sprouts, but this convinces them otherwise. For additional protein or to up this to meal status, add cooked diced chicken, top with a maple glazed salmon fillet, or serve with apple pork loin.

Paleo Warm Pine Nut Brussels Sprouts Salad

Ingredients

1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 pound Brussels sprouts, shredded
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt, plus more to taste
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup sliced pine nuts
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (fat reserved)
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup shaved Pecorino Romano cheese, optional

Directions

Place onions in the pan of bacon fat and cook on low heat for a few minutes. Add shredded Brussels sprouts,salt, and garlic powder, and toss. Cover and cook on medium for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently until the sprouts have reached the desired consistency. Remove and place in a large bowl. Add pine nuts, cranberries, and bacon. Stir gently.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with cheese, if desired.

Serves 8 as sides or 4 as large salads

Written by AndreAnna McLean

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Oven-roasted root vegetables are one of my favorite parts of the season. This roasted root vegetable salad has complex carbs needed to fuel you through shoveling snow and winter sports. (Good luck with that, I’ll be in the lodge sipping my wine, not breaking a hip.) I’ve eaten this both hot and chilled and am happy either way. Then again, I’ve never met a squash I didn’t like.

Paleo Roasted Root Vegetable Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

For the salad:
1 pound beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large rounds
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
5-6 large kale leaves, torn into small pieces

For the dressing:
1 large or 2 small avocados
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
Kosher or fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine the root vegetables, cranberries, pecans, oil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and maple syrup. Toss to coat. Spread evenly on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast for about 45 minutes, tossing halfway through. Set aside.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor or blender. Add remaining dressing ingredients and mix well.

Place kale in bowls, stir in the warm root vegetables, and top with avocado dressing.

Makes 4-6 large paleo salads

Written by AndreAnna McLean

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This salad is served warm, allowing the spinach to wilt slightly, which I love. Loaded with vitamins so many of us are missing in winter, this salad packs a huge nutritional punch, including vitamins C, D, A, and omega-3s. I like to top this salad with feta cheese, but this is optional if you avoid dairy.

Paleo Warm Spinach & Maple Bacon Salmon Salad

Ingredients

For the salad:
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 (4-6 ounce) salmon fillets
8 slices thick-cut maple bacon, cooked (fat reserved)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons bacon fat
1 red onion, finely diced
8 ouncessliced mushrooms
8-10 ounces baby spinach

For the vinaigrette:
3-4 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey

Directions

In a small dish, mix maple syrup andmustard. Coat the salmon fillets with this mixture in a shallow dish and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hoursor overnight for best flavor.

Let the fillets come to room temperature. Chop the bacon small and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Let the pan get very hot for at least 2 minutes. Place the fillets in the pan gently and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until light pink throughout. Set side.

In a clean pan, add 1-2 teaspoons of bacon fat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook to desired consistency. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, place 3-4 tablespoons of bacon fat into a small saucepan. Whisk in themustard, vinegar, and honey over low heat until combined and slightly bubbling.

Assemble the individual salads by placing spinach into bowls and topping with desired amountsof bacon, mushrooms, onion, and a salmon fillet. Drizzle warm vinaigrette over top and serve.

Makes 4 large paleo salads

Written by AndreAnna McLean

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This salad recipe can be served as a stand-alone meal or as sides. It’s hearty and loaded with protein and good fats. You can serve this in lettuce boats or in chard/turnip green wraps. If you avoid legumes, omit the chickpeas and use almonds or pecans to keep that extra crunch.

Paleo Curried Chicken & Roasted Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
4 teaspoons yellow curry powder, divided
Kosher or fine sea salt
1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
3-4 celery stalks, finely diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup plain yogurt (or dairy-free yogurt)
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss chickpeas with oil, lime juice, 2 teaspoons curry powder, and a pinch of salt. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook until crispy and brown, around 35-40 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, apple, and onion. Stir in the mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, and remaining 2 teaspoons curry powder. Mix well. Add the roasted chickpeas and stir gently. Add extra mayonnaise, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 8-10 paleo (1-cup) servings

Written by AndreAnna McLean

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