Food Porn Champion: The Ultimate Meat Salad

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Look at that. Would you call the above photo a salad or a giant pile of assorted meats and cheeses? Turns out, you’d be right either way.

This is the FeedTX Chef Salad (menu description: “chilled greens, cheeses, rotisserie meats, bay shrimp salad, hot smoked salmon, egg, avocado, tomato, cucumber”) at Liberty Kitchen, a popular Houston restaurant that recently opened another location in Austin. They feature all sorts of decadent meat and seafood dishes, and even a salad is not really a salad. I was disgustingly full after about half of this bad boy. I mean, “meats”… okay, there’s pork belly, turkey, chicken, bacon, and not to mention a giant hunk of smoked salmon AND shrimp salad. Talk about some protein.

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Savory Summertime Steak Salad

Summertime Steak Salad

This time of year, my favorite way to enjoy the long, warm summer nights is a leisurely grill & chill session. Glass of rosé in hand, lounging with friends, listening to Steely Dan (yup), and waiting for the grill to warm up. Turns out Calvin’s Dad was right.

Obviously steak is a classic grillin & chillin choice, and I’m a sucker for a big steak salad. This recipe is a great way to use a slab o’ grilled steak. Every good steak salad needs some blue cheese, so don’t skimp on this ingredient – get a nice, creamy, strong blue. Don’t skip grilling/caramelizing the onions, either. Raw onions are just not the same, although some very thinly sliced red onion pieces could work in a pinch.

Summertime Steak Salad with Worcestershire Dijon Dressing

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Spicy Garlic Shrimp Salad

Spicy Shrimp SaladShrimp! And white wine! When it comes to this combo, consider me a regular Beaver Boy. (And if you aren’t a Tim and Eric fan, that video might not make sense, but roll with it.)

Another thing that’s great together, besides shrimp and white wine, is shrimp and avocado. Also, shrimp and garlic. This salad mixes up all of these things! You sauté fresh shrimp in coconut oil, lemon, white wine, lemon, and of course lots of garlic and red chili flakes. Then It’s tossed with a delicate green salad full of fresh avocado, cherry tomatoes, and lots of fresh cracked black pepper. Since shrimp cooks so quickly, this entire salad takes about 10 minutes to throw together. You’re welcome.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Salad

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Spring Salad Season: Crunchy Thai Tofu Salad

Crunchy Chopped Thai Peanut Tofu Salad Vertical

Spring is here, the nights are warmer and longer, and I’m in full-on SALAD MODE. Watch out, world.

This Crunchy Thai Tofu Salad is somewhat similar to some of my other recipes for sure. I throw together slaws and salads like this a lot, but the one I made tonight turned out especially well if I do say so myself. (I’m not alone, Rob also thought it was a step above my usual big salads.) What’s different? There’s no quinoa or grains here, just ALL CRUNCH, utilizing as many fresh vegetables as possible. I’ve added tofu for some more protein and texture, and incorporated yet more delicious, fiber-filled vegetables. Plus the addition of curry paste to my dressing really amped things up.

Crunchy Thai Peanut Tofu Salad

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Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Peanut Salad

So as I recently mentioned, like every other overly indulgent American, I’m ramping up my resolutions and getting back on the healthy track after a gluttonous holiday season. This means lots of salads, but as we know, I LOVE salads so this isn’t really a punishment for me.

This salad features all the aspects of Thai food that we know and love – it incorporates sour, sweet, tangy, spicy. You have tons of vegetables, protein from the chicken and nuts, but also a nice addition of… papaya! Try to get green papaya if you can, I thought I bought a green one but when I peeled it, it was definitely ripe and orange inside. How can you tell when a papaya is green versus ripe? This is something I should look into.

Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

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Back on the Health Train: Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

Red Kale Quinoa Salad

Well, it’s time… all of us who overate and overdrank during the holidays (probably everyone reading this, right?) now turns toward the new year with dreams of doing better. Eating better. Being better. And you know what that means… salad. Lots and lots of salad. Luckily, if anyone knows how to make salad not totally depressing, it’s me. And famed Texas chef David Bull, apparently.

This is a recipe I enjoyed in the finishers village after the Fit Foodie 5K in Austin in September 2014. I liked it so much I asked the event organizer if I could share the recipe with all of you. They graciously agreed, so now we can all make this kale salad together and try to wash away those blurry eggnog memories.

Red Kale & Quinoa Salad

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Sweet & Salty Autumn Chopped Salad

Sweet Autumn Chopped Salad

Another fall evening, another delicious salad for us all to enjoy. This one has plenty of sweetness – cranberries, pears, pecans, slightly caramelized brussels – but the saltiness of the bacon evens everything back out. This salad works especially well as a chop, so don’t be afraid to dice everything pretty small!

Sweet & Salty Autumn Chopped Salad

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