Chicken breast salad

Fabulous Slow Cooker Summer…Salads! Plus My Salsa Recipe

I have to admit it. Just the idea of a slow-cooked salad makes me queazy. Thankfully, that’s not exactly it.

It’s a little-known secret that your slow cooker has a hidden talent for making incredible salads. Let it slow-cook the main ingredients for a creative salad while you’re away. Then toss in a few fresh additions just before it’s time to serve. I know! What a great idea.

 

Orange Chicken Spinach Salad with Feta

Orange Chicken Spinach Salad with Feta

To make this you’ll need:

  • chicken breast
  • bone-in split chicken breasts
  • garlic
  • thyme, salt
  • orange juice
  • balsamic vinegar
  • baby spinach
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Kalamata olives
  • feta cheese
  • bottled vinaigrette salad dressing
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4.2 from 5 votes

Orange Chicken Spinach Salad with Feta

The tender, yummy, orange chicken is prepared in your slow cooker then assembled into an awesome summer salad (or any time of year!).
Prep Time30 mins
Slow cooker3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 459kcal
Author: Mary
Cost: $8

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds bone-in split chicken breasts
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, more or less
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 tablespoons cumbled Feta cheese, more or less
  • ½ cup bottled vinaigrette salad dressing
  • 1 10.5 ounces mandarin orange segments, drained

Instructions

  • Remove and discard skin from chicken and sprinkle with garlic, thyme, and salt. Place chicken in 3.5- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add juice and vinegar. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 3 to 3.5 hours.
  • Remove chicken from cooker; cover and keep warm. Discard cooking juices.
  • In a large salad bowl toss together the greens, tomatoes, olives, orange segments, and Feta cheese. Slice chicken from bones; discard bones Arrange sliced chicken on salad. Drizzle with dressing. Servings: 6.

Nutrition

Calories: 459kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 723mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4725IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg

Green Beans and Petite Reds with Albacore

To make this you’ll need:

  • fresh green beans
  • small red skin potaotes
  • onion
  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • milk
  • Dijon-style mustard
  • lemon juice
  • tarragon
  • salt, pepper
Patato salad
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5 from 2 votes

Green Beans and Petite Reds with Albacore

This unusual "salad" is bursting with flavor and nutrition. Makes the perfect entree or side dish at the end of a hot summer day!
Prep Time15 mins
Slow cooking2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Mary
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed t
  • 1 lb. tiny new red skn potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • ¼ tspn pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tblspn milk
  • 1 tblspn Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tblspn lemon juice
  • ½ tspn dried tarragon, crushed
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • 2 5 oz. cans solid white albacore, drained and flaked or any tuna
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  • Lightly coat 3.5- or 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. 
  • Combine the beans, potatoes, onion, water, salt and pepper in cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk mustard lemon juice tarragon and salt. Cover and chill until needed.
  • To assemble, using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl. Pour sauce over vegetables. Add albacore and spinach. Toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with additional black pepper and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 612mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1519IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

Quinoa Salad with Beets, Oranges and Fennel

To make this salad you’ll need:

  • fresh beets
  • olive oil
  • orange
  • honey
  • quinoa
  • canned mandarin oranges
  • fennel
  • green onion (optional)
  • salad greens (optional)

 

Salad
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4.34 from 3 votes

Quinoa Salad with Beets, Oranges, and Fennel

This superfood salad is far from a boring bowl of leafy greens. Tender slow-cooked beets and quinoa served up with oranges and fennel are great any time of year, but especially nice on a hot summer day.
Prep Time20 mins
slow cooking3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Servings: 6
Calories: 202kcal
Author: Mary
Cost: $7

Equipment

  • Slow cooker

Ingredients

  • lb. medium-size fresh beets
  • 3 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tblspn honey
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • tspn black pepper
  • cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 15 oz can mandarin orange sections, rinsed and drained
  • 1 fresh fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 green onion, sliced optional
  • salad greens optional

Instructions

  • Place each beet on a piece of foil. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over all of the beets. Wrap each beet tightly in the foil and place in a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until beets are fork-tender.
  • Remove beets from the slow cooker. When cool enough to handle, peel or slip the skin off each beet. Cut beets into thin wedges and place in a medium bowl.
  • For the dressing, remove 1 teaspoon zest and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from the orange. Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the orange zest, orange juice, honey salt, and pepper. Remove 1 tablespoon of the dressing and drizzle over beets; toss gently to coat.
  • In a bowl combine mandarin oranges and fennel, and drizzle with another 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add quinoa to the remaining dressing; toss to coat.
  • To serve, top quinoa mixture with beets and mandarin orange-fennel mixture. If desired, sprinkle with green onions and (optional) serve on a bed of salad greens of your choice. Servings: 6.

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

And now in follow-up to an earlier post, Compulsive Chopper. Many of you request my recipe for salsa that you see in the photos, made using my lovely Chop Wizard. Here you go …

 

Pico de gallo fresh made from the garden

Pico de Gallo

To make this you’ll need:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • cilantro
  • lime juice
  • fresh jalapeno
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • cumin powder (optional)
  • salt & pepper
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5 from 2 votes

Pico de Gallo

And now in follow-up to an earlier post, Compulsive Chopper. Many of you requested my recipe for salsa that you see in the photos, made using my lovely Chop Wizard. Here you go …
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 54kcal
Author: Mary
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 12 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, only the juice and zest
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded, chopped to taste
  • 1 pinch garlic powder optional
  • 1 pinch ground cumin optional
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Put all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • Serve. Repeat often. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1587IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

First published: 7-15-16; Revised & Updated with Recipe Cars 5-27-20

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8 replies
  1. Dottie B. says:

    5 stars
    Mary~ I have a request, not related to the chop Wizard. I believe you had a homemade recipe for “bug spray” and I used and loved it. My 70-year-old brain cannot recall the mixture. It was quite effective, as I recall. Could you repeat it? ‘Tis the season ! Thanx, Dottie B.

    Reply
  2. Pat says:

    I have five chop wizards: one in the RV, two in the kitchen, and two in reserve (they discontinued offering them for a while). One of my best kitchen tools.

    Reply
  3. Judy in Tucson, AZ says:

    I did purchase the Chop Wizard ob Mary’s recommendation but am a bit disappointed. I find it’s metal parts not sharp enough to slice through the onions unless they are trimmed to such a small size they are practically diced so why bother to get another kitchen item dirty. Anything with a thick or harder skin like peppers are the same problem. Tomatoes have to be pretty firm and cut into small pieces like the onion. I also find it difficult to clean completely…especially onion membrane is hard to get out.

    Last problem is that it doesn’t hold very much in the container so if you are making a larger quantity you need to keep emptying it into something else.

    Sorry Mary, I always trust the items you recommend and have purchased many but on this one I am not sold.

    Reply
    • Mary says:

      You are so right, Janet! Unintentional omission on my part. I’ve since added that, making it optional. Seems there are quite few folks (my hubs for one) who do not enjoy bell peppers. This Pico still turns out awesome without it. Just a matter of taste!

      Reply
  4. Anne Marie says:

    Reviews on the Chop Wizard say it’s difficult to clean. Have you found that, Mary? They also say it breaks easily because the hinge is plastic. Does it seem fragile?

    Reply
    • Mary says:

      I’ve had the same Chop Wizard for at least 10 years. I’m rough on it too! I’ve discovered an easy way to clean it. I disassemble it and whack the parts with the grids really hard on the edge of the sink. Really! Anything stuck in the grids pops out and down the disposal it all goes. I’m not suggesting you do this if you have a delicate sink. Mine is stainless steel. I lay a cloth or towel on the edge first, then go at it. Please use your common sense. If you have a sink that can’t handle a good strong whack (or 13), don’t do this! 🙂 It is an awesome way to clean Chop Wizard and so far without damage.

      Perhaps I need to make a video for how to do this … hmmmm? (I may be video shy)

      Reply
      • amanda richards says:

        I have the chop wizard and the little ‘hinges’ broke on mine but I’m still able to use it, just opposite the normal way. I line up the rounded end and chop back towards the flat end. I have had an issue with the grids, they can be sheared off into the food. I use mine mainly to matchstick radishes (I eat Keto and make radish hashbrowns) and I’ve noticed after 5 years that there are little white plastic pieces in my food. I’ve since started looking for a replacement with all metal parts, but for years, I have enjoyed your suggestion on the chop wizard! As far as cleaning out the grids, I use a butter knife and run it through the grids while under running water.

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