Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

At least I have one good reason to get up this morning!

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!

And that’s to enjoy this uber-delicious Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts for lunch. After the morning I’m having, I’m going to need it!


Right at this moment I’m sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office having just guzzled down a disgustingly sweet “Gluco-Crush” (no joke, that’s what it was called) for my gestational diabetes test. I now have a cloying after-taste in my mouth and all I can think about is all of the REAL food I’m going to eat after my hour-long wait for a blood test is done. Oh, the joys of pregnancy!

Speaking of, I know I’ve kept it mostly food here on the blog throughout my pregnancy so far, but do you have any interest in me doing some posts on my pregnancy? I always think I need to just jump in an do it but then I get worried that y’all will hate me if you’re not pregnant and I’m not posting delicious food recipes all the time. Thoughts? Requests? I’m all ears!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect light summer meal.

I’m definitely thinking I’ll start to do some food prep recipe posts in the next couple of months, as I’m starting to think about having our freezer stocked full of delicious things for when the baby comes so we don’t have to worry so much about cooking and just enjoy the time with our new little one. If you have anything in particular you’d like me to make, or any suggestions of stuff YOU’VE made that was a lifesaver, I’m all ears!

Okay, but back to this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts. I hope you all are as obsessed with fresh figs as I am, because you can bet I’ll be using them in as many recipes as possible if/when I can find them. I was able to find these ones at our Farmer’s Market (there were just TWO vendors selling them!) but our Trader Joe’s had them for a hot second a month or so ago and then when I went back they had disappeared already. I’m hoping we’re just at the start of the season and they’ll become more widely available in the next month or so, otherwise I totally missed the boat on all the fig recipes I want to make!

So, I found my fresh figs and I even bought two different varieties because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted, but feel free to use any variety you like. Aside from the figs, all of the ingredients for this salad are pretty darn #basic, and TBH I even hesitate for a hot second about posting the recipe because it so like “duh” easy. But I brought it over to a friend’s house for dinner and it received such rave reviews that I knew I just had to post it.

Serve this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts at your next get-together and it's sure to be a huge hit!

The only other ingredients you’ll need besides fresh figs are arugula, burrata, hazelnuts, olive oil and a nice, thick balsamic vinegar (I really like the Balsamic Glaze from Trader Joe’s.) Oh, and a pinch of salt and pepper! It’s amazing how often we forego seasoning our salads with good ol’ S&P here in the US, whereas in Europe it’s a regular thing. It makes such a huge difference!

The other great thing about this recipe is there is absolutely no cooking involved. Which means it’s perfect for summer! Well, I do recommend that you toast the hazelnuts (toasting nuts adds a great dimension of flavor to any recipe) but that takes literally 5-10 minutes on the stovetop and you’re done. Nuts are also something you can batch-toast in advance and just keep on the ready in your pantry for whenever the mood for that extra pop of flavor in a recipe strikes.

I tossed together the arugula, sliced fresh figs, toasted hazelnuts and salt and pepper with a light coating of olive oil, then drizzled on the balsamic glaze and plopped that creamy, cheesy goodness that is burrata right on top. I kept the burrata whole for transporting to my friend’s house, then cut into it and let it ooze all over the individual portions as I served. I also brought along extra olive oil and balsamic just in case people wanted some extra dressing.

This fresh fig salad features toasted hazelnuts and is topped with creamy, delicious burrata cheese. The perfect summer meal!

That’s it! Pretty easy, right? The fact that it’s no-cook and showcases some of the season’s best produce makes this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts a real winner in my book, especially for this time of year.

Grab the recipe below and remember to send me any pregnancy or meal prep post requests if you have them! Xo

A big bowl of in-season Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts is the perfect summer meal or side dish!
Print
Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This summer-y salad features fresh figs, arugula and toasted hazelnuts, all topped with creamy burrata cheese and an easy olive oil and balsamic dressing.

Course: Main Course, Salad
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 7 ounces arugula
  • 14 ounces fresh figs, quartered (any variety)
  • 3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less depending on your personal taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  • 8 ounces burrata
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, fresh figs, hazelnuts and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  2. Drizzle on balsamic glaze and top with burrata. Cut into the burrata when you’re ready to serve!

Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts | CaliGirlCooking.com

Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad

I’m letting my pregnancy cravings guide the way…

A big dish of Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the perfect no-cook dish to serve in the summer heat.

I hope you don’t mind. Out of the many things this pregnancy has been good for, cravings for old, almost forgotten recipes has been one of my favorites. This Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is one such out-of-rotation recipe that I’m so glad I remembered I had in my back pocket.


Being the balanced foodie that I am, when I first found out I was pregnant, I wanted to be sure to keep my diet as in-check as possible (keeping the pregnancy weight gain in between a healthy 25-35 pounds) while still allowing myself to succumb to the nearly inevitable cravings whenever they hit. One of the best tips I received from my doctor was to be sure to get some sort of protein in with every little meal or snack I ate.

I’ve tried really hard to achieve this but, especially working from home, it’s pretty easy to run out of “healthy” protein-packed snacks over the course of a day. With cold cuts out of the question (in less I feel like microwaving them to make them “safe” and subsequently being forced to eat warm lunch meat if I need a snack ASAP), I found myself turning to cheese and peanut butter as my main sources of protein during the day.

After even getting sick of these things at times (which is quite the feat for a peanut butter and cheese lover like me!) I started racking my brain for other quick-and-easy protein-filled snacks that I could just grab out of the refrigerator at a moment’s notice. It was then that I remembered this Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad that I made ALL the time when I first moved back from Hawaii, and I knew it was just the thing I was looking for.

Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the perfect quick-and-healthy lunch for any day of the week.

If you’ve been following along with the blog for a while (or if you’ve just happened to view my most popular post on Pinterest for Spicy Poke Bowls), then you’ll know that I used to live in Hawaii. What you may not know is that, while I lived there, I actually worked as a Line Cook/Pastry Assistant in a cute little French bistro for a period of a few months. While working there, one of my primary jobs was to come up with snacks/dishes/baked goods that did not require any cooking that they could serve out of their deli case in the “grab-and-go” section.

You can probably guess where this is going. One of my go-to recipes for this deli case was a Chicken Waldorf Salad (which was a huge hit, I might add) and I made it more times than you can count on both hands in the few months I worked there. So much that the recipe became pretty second nature to me!

When I returned home, and was back to cooking for just myself and my loved ones, I did what I love to do with typically Mayonnaise-laden dishes like the Chicken Waldorf Salad, and made a “healthified” version that I could enjoy whenever I wanted, without the guilt.

Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad can be slathered on bread for a nutritious, filling lunch!

Just like my favorite Crunchy Pea Salad with Prosciutto, the secret to lightening this Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad up is subbing out the mayo for Greek yogurt. Sometimes (as with the Pea Salad) I like to keep in just a little bit of mayo for the creamy, savory flavor, but since most Chicken Waldorf Salad recipes call for lemon juice anyhow, I felt like the mayonnaise really wasn’t needed at all. And I was right! Adding the Greek yogurt also means that this salad is even MORE loaded with healthy protein, which is just what this hungry preggo mama needs.

Plus, the requisite chicken, walnuts, celery, apples and grapes are all full of healthy nutrients that are great for anyone, not just those of us who are expecting.

A bowl of Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad, ready to be devoured at a moment's notice.

Aside from the dressing substitute, the only other little touch that really makes this Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad stand out from the rest is a pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Don’t skip this! The spices round out the dish so nicely, it’s really a wonder why more people haven’t discovered it already.

Finally (says she sitting in her kitchen with her air conditioner blasting), as long as you have some cooked chicken breasts on hand (a must for any meal-prep situation) this is another no-cook recipe that will keep you away from the stove and enjoying the outdoors as much as possible in this sweltering summer heat.

A big dish of Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the perfect no-cook addition to any barbecue or picnic!

Let’s take this week by the horns with some Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad in hand!

3 from 1 vote
A big dish of Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad is the perfect no-cook dish to serve in the summer heat.
Print
Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

A typically mayonnaise-laden dish gets a healthy makeover with the substitution of Greek yogurt and delicious cinnamon and nutmeg. The perfect no-cook meal!

Course: Main Course, Salad, Snack
Servings: 5 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 15 ounces cooked chicken breast, diced (about 2-3 breasts)
  • 3/4 cup halved red grapes
  • 2/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. 

  2. Serve alone, with crackers, chips or spread onto sliced bread as a sandwich!

Protein-Packed Healthy Chicken Waldorf Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto

The most refreshing salad EVER!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!

Seriously, if you’re in need of some hydration in your life (and I know at least all us Californians do after this heat wave we’ve been having) then this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is going to be your saving grace right now.


Let me tell you, we are soooo lucky that our landlord was kind enough to install A/C for us about a year ago because, judging by all my CA friends’ social media posts, every store that sells fans is completely sold out and people are sweltering in the near 100-degree heat. This does not sound like one ounce of fun to me (especially being pregnant,) so this is my open invitation to all of my overheating friends to come over and enjoy some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto in our comfortably 75-degree little duplex!

But seriously, even if you’re not close enough to come over, you’ve GOT to get some of this salad in your life stat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a delicious classic caprese salad with that creamy mozzarella and alllll the fresh tomatoes and basil, but sometimes I just want to mix it up and swapping in the watermelon for the tomatoes is just the perfect little change (but not too much of a change) to really wow people the first time you serve it up.

A close-up shot of delicious Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect no-cook salad for summer!

And the prosciutto…Oh, the prosciutto! Okay, it’s no secret that I love the stuff, and it has that perfect saltiness (and extra protein) to really give this dish the ultimate flavor trifecta AND pass as a complete meal. I gave the prosciutto a quick spin in a saute pan to heat it up and therefore make it “pregnancy-safe,” but if you’re not expecting you can just throw it in as-is, straight from the package. Or, if you’re a vegetarian, simply omit the prosciutto and you’ll still be more than pleased with the taste. Pinky promise.

So how long will it be until you can get this Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto whipped up and ready to serve on your kitchen table? Approximately 10 minutes. No joke. There’s no cooking involved, so the most time-consuming thing about this recipe might just be chopping up the watermelon into bite-size chunks.

A single serving of Watermelon Caprese Salad with Crispy Prosciutto from CaliGirlCooking.com.

And, if you haven’t refrigerated your uncut watermelon ahead of time, you may want to give the salad a little bit of time to chill out before serving. It’s totally worth it for how much more refreshing it will make it!

I don’t know about you, but all this talking about my new favorite “salad” is making me want to whip up another batch this weekend. We’re hanging out in town again, and planning on fully enjoying the summer weather with some beach time and maybe a barbecue or two.

What are your plans for the first “official” weekend of summer?!? Making some Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto, I hope?

A bowl of this refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto is the perfect light meal for summer!

A big bowl of refreshing Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto. The perfect summer salad!
Print
Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

This fun take on the classic caprese salad is full of refreshing watermelon and bites of salty prosciutto. The perfect dish for warm weather entertaining!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 mini seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 12 ounces ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls)
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the balsamic glaze to a large bowl and toss to combine. 

  2. If watermelon was not pre-chilled before cutting, place salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

  3. Before serving, drizzle on balsamic glaze and garnish with whole basil leaves, if desired.

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Prosciutto | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese

The ultimate Dad food.

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.

But really, if you’re trying to sneak in any sort of salad/light-ish side dish for your Father’s Day cookout this weekend, these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese are the answer. I mean, whose Dad doesn’t like bacon?


And bacon isn’t all you get here. Prepare yourself for an explosion of garlic-laced balsamic flavor, meaty mushrooms and a sprinkling of tangy goat cheese. Serve it all over a bed of greens (I’m partial to something involving arugula) and the dish passes as a salad that the dudes will even be helping themselves to seconds of.

An overhead shot of a single serving of delicious Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, served over a bed of greens.

To start, I used the same marinade that I use for my Balsamic-Marinated Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms. I love marinating veggies because they only need 30 minutes MAX before they’re ready to go. No waiting hours (or worse, overnight!) for them to be ready for the grill.

While the mushrooms are marinating, you’ll partially cook the bacon in the oven. Because mushrooms don’t take too long to grill up, we need to give the bacon a little head start. The partially cooked bacon gets wrapped around our sufficiently marinated Portobello’s, then we fire up the grill!

Once we have the mushrooms on the grill, this dish will be ready in a flash. The ‘shrooms will only need about 5-6 minutes on each side to cook (hence, why we precooked the bacon,) then we let them cool slightly, lay them over the bed of greens and sprinkle with that crumbly goat cheese. That’s it! And because there’s so much flavor packed into the Portobello’s, you really don’t even need a separate dressing.

A tray of delicious Portobello mushrooms.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having some of these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese with all of the other delicious food we’ll be eating this weekend has me REAL excited for our trip up to our parents’.

In fact, I’m taking a tip from my gal Lee over at Fit Foodie Finds and hustling to get all my work done by end-of-day Thursday so I can take Friday off and spend it getting ready for our little road trip north later that afternoon. Anyone else here whose self-employed agree that every summer work week should only be four days?? Let’s start a movement! I’m hoping it helps me be more productive during the week if I have more strict guidelines of when I need to get things done by. The extra hours of sunlight don’t hurt either so I can get more photography done during the day!

Okay, but seriously, even if you’re not doing anything special this weekend, or if you want a quick, healthy meal to get you through the rest of this week, I highly recommend you get about making these Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese.

A large plate of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese, ready to be enjoyed on Father's Day!

Here’s to getting through the rest of the work week with delicious food on the horizon!!

A large serving platter of Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese over a bed of mixed greens.
Print
Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Marinated Portobello mushrooms wrapped in bacon and topped with crumbly goat cheese. A hearty, delicious salad that even the guys in your life will love!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed, cut into spears
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 pieces bacon
  • Goat cheese
  • Mixed greens, to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place the mushrooms in a resealable plastic bag with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Make sure the mushrooms are evenly coated with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

  2. While the mushrooms are marinating, partially cook the bacon. Lay the bacon out on a large jelly roll pan line with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (so you will not be preheating the oven, it will preheat while the bacon is already inside.) Set the timer for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool slightly, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. Remove the mushrooms from the refrigerator and wrap each one with a piece of the partially cooked bacon. 

  4. Heat your gas grill to medium, then put on the bacon-wrapped mushrooms spears. Cook for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until the bacon is sufficiently cooked. Be careful when working the grill as the grease from the bacon may cause flare-ups. 

  5. Place cooked mushrooms spears over a bed of mixed greens and sprinkle with goat cheese, to serve. 

Bacon-Wrapped Portobello Mushrooms with Goat Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Cherry Salsa

My cherry obsession is still going strong…

A bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa just waiting to be eaten with your favorite tortilla chips!

I honestly can’t get enough! Do you ever obsess about a certain produce item coming into season so much that your list of what to do with it is about a mile long? Hi, yea, looking at me right here. This Cherry Salsa is just another in the long list of recipe ideas I’ve been dreaming about since cherries went out of season last year, and I’m so excited about the way it turned out!


I know I’ve been inundating you with the cherry recipes lately, so I can only hope that you’re enjoying these Cherry Bourbon Breezes and this Herbed Cherry and Ricotta Crostini as much as I am. If so, I’m confident that you’ll be totally digging on this Cherry Salsa as well.

It’s an easy recipe, with no cooking involved, that can easily be served up on its own as an appetizer or snack, or as a topping for your favorite barbecued meat (I have some juicy grilled pork chops in mind.) Might I also mention it would be the perfect addition to your Father’s Day menu this weekend?

This Cherry Salsa is the perfect appetizer or snack for any barbecue or family get-together you're having this weekend!

Speaking of, what are your plans for celebrating Dad on Sunday? We’re so lucky that both of our dads live relatively close to each other, so we’re heading up to the Bay Area to spend some quality time with them, and of course to make them some delicious food!

I think some Cherry Salsa might definitely need to make an appearance alongside the tri tip, chicken and sausages we’re already planning on serving. Still need to think of some more sides and dessert though. Any fun suggestions?

As I mentioned above, this Cherry Salsa is a breeze to make, and you can have it ready to serve in under 20 minutes. It involves basically all of the same ingredients as a regular pico de gallo salsa, but subs in fresh, pitted cherries instead of  tomatoes. That’s it! So easy, right?

Fresh cherries, rinsed and ready to be made into delicious Cherry Salsa!

And if you’re looking for another, more traditional salsa to serve alongside (or instead) of this one, be sure to check out my Spicy Homemade Salsa. You could even go with a fancy selection and add this Mango Salsa to the mix! Clearly I’m a salsa-lover and I’m not ashamed to show it.

Even if you have no plans for Father’s Day, this Cherry Salsa needs to make an appearance in your household in the next week. Cherries are at the top of their game right now and you wouldn’t want to miss out on another great opportunity to use them.

An overhead shot of a big bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa.

Happy Monday and I hope your week is made even better with this delicious recipe!

A bowl of delicious Cherry Salsa just waiting to be eaten with your favorite tortilla chips!
Print
Cherry Salsa

A fun take on everyone's favorite Mexican condiment, this salsa uses the season's best fresh cherries in lieu of tomatoes - a delicious twist!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces fresh red cherries, pitted and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for a half hour or so for best results. Serve with tortilla chips!

Cherry Salsa | CaliGirlCooking.com