Mama's Flying Solo Salad

Mama’s Flying Solo Salad

mamas flying solo salad-0587On very rare occasions, I find myself alone at dinner time.  What’s a girl to do?
When I was younger, a brownie sundae with whipped cream and cherries (covering the chocolate, dairy and fruit food groups ) was the meal of choice.   Now that I’ve grown wider – I mean, ahem, wiser – I know that a healthier entrée is a smart choice because it leaves plenty of room for an adult beverage and dessert too.

So, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get out your cutting board.  It is the closest thing to a pot that you’ll wash tonight.

My Mama’s Flying Solo Salad isn’t just a girly collection of vegetables that will leave you hungry in an hour.  With protein and fiber rich toppings like garbanzo beans and pecans, this dish has some good-for-you substance.  A delicious salad dressing (used judiciously) and a sprinkle of creamy goat cheese ensures that you’ll have a very healthy meal without sacrificing any flavor.

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A few words about the greens and the dressing before we get started….  

Pick some greens that you like.  Suggesting you wash a head of kale and throw it in a bowl solely because it is good for you will likely mean you’ll eat a quarter of the salad, get tired of chewing it, and just have a big dessert instead.  And that would be defeating the purpose of this whole thing.  Personally, I like a mixture of baby kale, spinach and chard (Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix puts all of these together in one convenient pre-washed bag).   My mother will eat a salad made solely of arugula.  Mike prefers more spinach and less of whatever else I’ve got mixed in with it.  Know which leafy things your tastebuds like and go from there.

Select a dressing specifically for you to put on your salad.  Salad dressing makes or breaks the salad, in my humble opinion.  And the phrase “less is more” definitely applies here.  I like a dressing that is flavorful enough that I don’t need to drown my carefully selected greenery in it.  And I don’t want the sodium and preservatives in the dressing to obliterate the nutritional value of everything else.  So, I started looking for a dressing made simply; one with big taste and a small list of ingredients.  I found Stonewall Kitchen’s Balsamic Fig Dressing and fell in love.  A little of this stuff goes a long way and the flavor is smooth and has the perfect hint of sweetness.   If you are going to have this evening to yourself, don’t just take whatever dressing happens to be on the fridge door that the kids didn’t use up on their chicken nuggets.  Pick one that you are excited to use.

Now, without further delay, here is my favorite Mama’s Flying Solo Salad.


Mama’s Flying Solo Salad

Mama’s Flying Solo Salad


  • 3 cups greens (spinach, kale, arugula, or your favorite mixture)
  • 1/2 c garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 apple, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped avocado
  • 2 T goat cheese
  • 2 T coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1 T craisins or golden raisins
  • 2 T salad dressing (I like Stonewall Kitchen's Balsamic Fig)


  1. Start off by chopping the pecans. I used to get out the chopper for a job like this but for a handful of nuts like this I don't think it is worth taking it all apart and washing it. So, I use my hands and break the pecan halves into two or three pieces. Gives you nice sized pieces, nothing to wash and the added bonus of a little release of frustration!
  2. Then, put them in the toaster. Toast them until you can just smell them right next to the toaster.
  3. Chop up your apple and avocado.
  4. Put your greens in a bowl. Top with garbanzos, apple, avocado, craisins/raisins and goat cheese.
  5. Drizzle on dressing and then sprinkle on toasted pecans.
  6. Take yourself and your salad to your favorite spot on the couch, turn on whatever you want to watch and savor your uninterrupted solitude.
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One Response to Mama’s Flying Solo Salad

  1. Kathy laShier October 27, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Deliteful commentary. Ver practical and healthy!!

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