Flavorful Lemon Dressed Salads

I’m making an effort to eat more veggies and so am trying to eat salad for lunch a couple times a week. But, I want salads that keep me satisfied through the day. The salads featured today were inspired by salads I had regularly in chile and contain flavorful proteins and greens topped with lemon juice, ground black pepper and some of my new favorite veggies including avocado and cabbage! With a tangy* lemon dressing and other unsual flavors and textures, you won’t feel like you’re eating the same old salad every day for lunch.

*If you feel just lemon juice is too tangy for you, most of these salads taste great with some vegetable oil sprinkled along side the lemon or lime juice. I prefer just lemon juice, but I tend to love the taste of citris at full potentcy–especially on salads.

Fiesta Ranch Tuna Salad

Fiesta Ranch Tuna Salad with sliced avocado


  • 1/2 Avocado (slice it over the salad for easier eating)
  • 1/4 tomato
  • 1/2 lemon or lime’s juice or to taste (I like mine pretty potent)
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1 C. romain lettuce or enough to fill a cereal bowl
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Fiesta Fajita Seasoning
  • 1 can solid albacore tuna (you can use the chunk tuna, but it’s just not as tasty!)
  • About a Tablespoon Ranch dressing

Cut up the veggies and lettuce into bite sized pieces and put them in a bowl. Cut an avocado in half and place a halve  on top of the salad. Sprinkle the entire salad including the avocado with the lemon juice from 1/2 of a lemon or lime, salt, pepper, and fajita seasoning. Now mix 1 can of albacore tuna with just enough Ranch that the tuna sticks together. Put 1/2 of the tuna mixture inside of the avocado atop the salad you just made. Sprinkle the scoop of tuna with more fajita seasoning. Enjoy!

Seafood Salad-


  • 1/2 package Imitation Crab- High in protein and low in fat
  • 1 T. Miracle whip
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice + Lemon Juice desired to spread over the salad (1/2 lemon’s juice)
  • 1 green onion
  • A sprinkle of onion salt
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Spinach- Super high in Vitamin A and a good source of iron
  • Romain Lettuce
  • Purple Cabbage- High in fiber and potassium!
  • 1 teaspoon seafood cocktail sauce (optional)

Cut the green onions with kitchen shears. Shred the imitation crab with your fingers an combine it with the miracle whip, lemon juice, green onions, and a shake of onion salt. Cut up enough spinach and romaine lettuce to fill a cereal bowl. Squeeze 1/2 lemon or desired amount of lemon over the lettuce and sprinkle salt and pepper over it. Add your desired amount of Seafood salad on the top. Add a teaspoon of seafood cocktail sauce to your salad if desired. Enjoy!

Avocado and Egg Salad:

Avocado Egg Salad with bacon pieces

I first tried this salad in Chile and fell in love with the simplicity and flavor.


  • Romain lettuce roughly chopped
  • egg salad: Mine containes miracle whip, mustard, onion salt, and season all
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 Lemon’s Juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Bac’n pieces or real bacon pieces
  • baby carrots (optional)

Chop your lettuce roughly and then squeeze 1/2 of lemon over it and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Now remove the avocado pit from your avocado half and stuff it with a large scoop of egg-sald. You may sprinkle more salt and pepper over the egg if you’d like or bacon pieces as desired. Add carrots to the salad if desired.  Makes 1 large bowl of salad or 2 servings.

Avocado Egg Salad with bacon pieces


Bacon Pieces- Add flavor without adding a ton of sodium or calories!

Celery Salad or Cucumber


  • 2 Celery stalks (It tastes great with cucumbers too)
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
  • veggie oil (if desired for more flavor)
  • salt
  • pepper

Slice your celery into long thin, bite-sized pieces until you’ve filled a cereal bowl. Cover the pieces with lemon juice and a sprinkle of veggie oil if desired. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the celery. I generally eat this one as a side since it it not quite as filling on it’s own.


Celery Salad with lemon juice and salt and pepper

Got Extra Veggies? Make Veggie Chicken Soup

Veggie Chicken Soup

  • Cost per serving: .70¢
  • Cost per batch: $7.09
  • Servings: 10 servings


  • 1/4 C purple onion diced
  • 1 t minced garlic or 2 cloves of fresh diced garlic
  •  2 T. olive olive oil
  •  2 cubes Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon (or 1 cube for every cup of water if you are using traditional bouillon cubes)
  • 5  C water
  • 3 medium sized red potatoes (peels on)
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 medium sized zuchini (peels on)
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach (optional)
  • Any other veggies, celery, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers, etc.
  • 1 frozen chicken breast
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep Time: aprox. 30 minutes


  1. Saute your onions until transparent (2-3 minutes). I reccomend doing this in your instant pot or in the soup pan you’ll be putting the rest of your ingredients into. If you have celery to put into your soup, saute it with your onions.
  2. Add the garlic to the onion and saute for 1 minute then turn the Instant Pot to the warming mode or if using a stove turn off your burner.
  3. Put in your 2 bouillon cubes and 5 cups of water.
  4.  Turn your Instant Pot back onto saute or the burner on your stove to medium and let the broth heat up while you gather and chop your veggies.
  5. Add all veggies listed above and more if you’d like–except the spinach!
  6. Add your frozen chicken breast into the soup to boil. I like to do this to avoid needlessly creating extra dirty dishes–especially since we don’t have a ton of cookware here in our hotel. But you could thaw and then cook the chicken however you like before adding it to the soup.
  7. Let your soup boil for about 10-15 minutes depending on how cruchy you like your veggies.
  8. Fish out the chicken breast with tongs or a large spoon and dice it or shred it with a fork and then put it back into the soup.
  9. Throw in the two handfuls of spinach right before you are about to serve the soup.
  10.  Add salt and pepper as needed.
  11. Switch the instant pot setting back to hold warm.

I can’t say enough about minced garlic! You can buy it in small jars in the store and it lasts forever. Or you can buy it fresh and mince it. It adds a ton of flavor to food and lasts for a long time in the fridge. It was one of a few ingredients  I bought to cook with in our hotel over the two months we’ve been here. I use it with meat, veggies, and in fresh salsa all of the time. I use the brand shown above and have seen it at almost every grocery store I’ve been too. Consider picking some up.

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Four Ingredient Instant Pot Pumpkin Cornbread

It’s time for some fall flavor and since I don’t have access to an oven I wanted to experiment with making cornbread in my Instant Pot, but not just any cornbread, pumpkin cornbread. But I am living in a hotel, so I didn’t especially want to invest in more spices which I would wastefully not be able to finish before the end of our stay, so pumkin pie filling came to my rescue. I picked it up by mistake, thinking it was just pumkin, but I’m so glad I did! This filling has all the pumpkin pie seasonings already mixed in making this recipe simpler than ever!

Four Ingredient Instant Pot Pumpkin Cornbread Recipe:

  • 1 package Jiffy Cornbread Mix

  • 1/3 C almond or cow’s milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 C + 2 T Pumpkin Pie Filling

jiffy cornbread mix box

  • Combine ingredients listed above
  • Mix well
  • Pour into greased 7″ cheesecake pan
  • Make a tin foil sling like the one shown below. This sling makes it easy to pull your cornbread from the pot after it’s done


  • Put your metal trivet into the steel inner pot
  • Pour in 1 cup of water and use your sling to lower your cornbread into the pot and onto your metal trivet
  • Leave the sling in the pot and fold it down to ensure it won’t get in the way of your seal when you close the lid.
  • Close the lid and turn the pressure release handle (on the top of your pot) to “sealing
  • Press the “Manual” button on front of the Instant Pot
  • Adjust the cook time using the +/- buttons on the front and set it to 15 minutes

It takes aproximately 10 minutes to pressurize, then your 15 minute cook time will begin. The Instant Pot will beep when the cook time is complete.

  • Allow the cake to rest in the pot for 10 minutes while the steam slowly escapes. This is called a Natural Pressure Release (NPR).
  • After 10 minutes, do a quick pressure release (QPR) by switching the presssure release valve to venting, letting the steam pour out until the grey float valve drops, letting you know the lid is safe to open


pumkin cornbread
moist and dense pumkin cornbread

I based this recipe on two great recipes I found online. Check them out:

  1. Jiffy Pumkin Cornbread
  2. Perfect Semi-homemade Cornbread


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