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Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad (mayo-free; made with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing)

Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad (mayo-free; made with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing)

I’m beginning to think each summer is hotter than the last in Florida. I wish the picture below was a joke, but it’s not.

It was about 93 degrees Fahrenheit in St. Pete last week, but the humidity made it feel like a whopping 112 degrees. In other words, youre drowning in sweat with one step out the door.

When it’s painfully hot, I don’t feel like cooking at all, which is why I eat a TON of salads and smoothies during the summer.

Photos by Brianna Kolota

Recipes clockwise starting with the top left corner: Apple Cheddar Grape Salad, Berry Cheesecake Smoothie, Chocolate PB & J Smoothie, Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie

Speaking of salads, you’ve probably heard me mention Bolthouse Farms on Hungry Gator Gal if you’re a longtime reader. I’ve been topping my salads with the brand’s wide selection of yogurt dressings since I started the blog.

Although I’ve tried almost every kind, my family and I LOVE the Salsa Ranch flavor. We use a whole bottle EVERY week.

@BolthouseFarms Salsa Ranch yogurt dressing

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Given the humidity, I decided to make a tuna salad with the Salsa Ranch Yogurt Dressing. I knew the cold, creamy yogurt dressing would hit the spot. Not to mentinon, it’s only 45 calories and three grams of fat for 2 tablespoons.

To make the salad, I chopped some veggies and put them in a large bowl with  the dressing, ground flax seed, Dijon mustard and some spices.

Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad on Hungry Gator Gal (mayo-free; made with @BolthouseFarms yogurt dressing)

Photo by Brianna Kolota

Then, I added some tuna. . .

Bumble Bee Chunk Lite Tuna

Photo by Brianna Kolota

. . . and stirred away until I had a light but filling salad.

Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad (mayo-free; made with @BolthouseFarms yogurt dressing)

Photo by Brianna Kolota

The salad makes about eight 1/2-cup servings, which will feed six to eight people or one extremely hungry teenage boy for two days (a.k.a. my brother). You could also make this recipe and have enough lunches for a week.

Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad on Hungry Gator Gal (mayo-free; made with @BolthouseFarms yogurt dressing)

Photo by Brianna Kolota

You can serve the tuna salad as an open-faced sandwich with cheese like I did here. I used Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread and placed Havarti on one half and Swiss on the other.

You could also eat the tuna as a salad with some lettuce, veggies and additional Salsa Ranch Yogurt Dressing. Maybe even some lettuce wraps? I would imagine this tuna also tastes good with Triscuits or some other cracker-turned-dipping-device.

Did I mention this recipe only takes 10 minutes to make? 🙂

P.S. You can find cooking tips, recipes that Bolthouse Farms products and more on the Bolthouse Farms blog. I thought the grilled fruit recipe and trending food article were pretty interesting.

Salsa Ranch Tuna Salad (mayo-free; made with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing)

Makes about eight 1/2-cup servings

Difficulty: Easy

Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 20 ounces canned tuna (drain the water)
  • 3/4 cup Bolthouse Farms Salsa Ranch Yogurt Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh; if canned, drain juice)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  1. Chop veggies.
  2. Add veggies and all other ingredients to a large bowl. I recommend making the salad in a large bowl with a lid so you can easily store leftovers.
  3. Eat on a bed of lettuce, as a sandwich, with crackers or all by itself.

Let me know if you try the recipe. I’d love to know what you think! 🙂

Note: I was not compensated for writing this post or creating this recipe. However, Bolthouse Farms did send me four coupons for one free Bolthouse Farms product after I sent an email saying how much I loved the company’s dressings. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Salad Recipe Roundup (5 healthy recipes)

Salad Recipe Roundup (5 healthy recipes)

Does anyone else crave salads during the summer?

Seriously. I eat them year round, but something about heat and humidity makes me want crisp greens topped with fruit or veggies EVERY. single. day.

And I can’t just have a small salad. It has to be the size of my head for me to feel satisfied, which is why I try not to go to Panera Bread all the time. I end up spending $10 on a salad I could make at home for $2.

Anyhoo, I rounded up five of my favorite salad recipes from Hungry Gator Gal (HGG) to share with you today. You only need a few minutes to put one together, and you probably have many of the ingredients already.

If you’re in a lunch rut, give one of these salads a try. They can be made the night before and packed in the fridge for work or school the next day.

Healthy salad recipes from

In other words, you can make a ginormous artisanal salad at home and not pay an arm and a leg for an overpriced, small bowl of lettuce with five tomatoes, a cucumber and the smallest squirt of dressing you’ve ever seen.


If you’re a regular reader, I bet you forgot about some of these salads. I know I did, and I’m the one who created the recipes! If you’re new to my blog, here’s a taste of what you’ve been missing.

Click on the titles to see the recipes in their original posts, and be sure to check out more salads on my “recipes” page. Search for “salad” or feel free to browse. 🙂

Basil Pesto Sprouts Salad

Basil Pesto Sprouts Salad from Hungry Gator Gal (no lettuce required!)

Fruit Explosion Garbage Bowl Salad

 Fruit Explosion Garbage Bowl Salad from Hungry Gator Gal

Apple Cheddar Grape Salad

Apple Cheddar Grape Salad from Hungry Gator Gal

Apple Cheddar Grape Salad from Hungry Gator Gal

Avocado Taco Salad

Balsamic Strawberry Salad

Balsamic Strawberry Salad from Hungry Gator Gal

Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try. I’d love to hear what you think! 🙂


  1. What foods or meals do you crave in the summer?
  2. What do you usually put in your salads? Fruit? Veggies? Both?
Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos Dip

Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos Dip

This next recipe is “na-cho” average dip.

Hungry Gator Gal Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos Dip

Sorry. I couldn’t resist the pun. 🙂

But seriously. This dip is a dead ringer for the taste of Nacho Cheese Doritos. I basically grew up on those chips along with Funyuns, Double Stuf Oreos, cheese dogs, and fluffernutter sandwiches. Yeah . . . not the healthiest diet ever.

A few years ago, I realized junk foods make you feel like junk, literally, so I stopped eating them regularly. I still indulge from time to time, but I don’t live on those foods.

I never really crave junk foods because I’ve been eating pretty healthy for a while. If you don’t think you’d be able to give up junk foods or soda, I promise you can. Your body gets used to healthier foods and begins to crave them instead. I wake up some mornings with a crazy craving for some V8 juice and not in bloody Mary form.

Luckily, I’ve found ways to enjoy the taste of my favorite childhood junk foods in healthier ways. This dip is a great example.

Hungry Gator Gal Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos Dip
Use raw veggies, tortilla chips or Triscuits as dipping devices. Spread it on a sandwich for a spicy kick. Slather it on some steamed veggies. Or just eat it plain by the spoonful and enjoy the healthy fats from sunflower seeds and cashews. 
I’ve eaten this dip in all of the aforementioned ways and have yet to find something that doesn’t taste good with it. Well, maybe a waffle or chocolate wouldn’t taste good, but I didn’t think you’d try that anyway.  Do whatever floats your boat.
Enjoy. 🙂
Hungry Gator Gal Spicy Nacho Cheese Doritos Dip

Recipe slightly adapted from Averie Cooks

Makes about 2 cups of dip

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2/3 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup lightly salted cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (I buy mine on Amazon, but it’s available in health food stores and Publix in the organic section.)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips or diced (makes it easier for your blender)
  • 8 tablespoons lemon juice  
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste) 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (add more to taste if desired) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more to taste if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or powerful blender. Blend and pulse until no chunks remain and a uniform consistency forms.
  2. Serve with chips, veggies or spread on sandwiches or veggies.
  3. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.


  1. What was your favorite childhood junk food?

Related HGG Posts:

Super Simple Sour Cream Salsa Dressing

Homemade Fire-Roasted Salsa

Chili Lime Chicken Burger Salad

The World’s Best (and Easiest) Chicken

The World’s Best (and Easiest) Chicken

Chicken can get a bad rap. Most people who aren’t a fan of this lean meat say it’s plain, bland, boring or tasteless.

However, this recipe is different. Seriously, this meal will make any chicken hater do the chicken dance.

The World’s Best (and Easiest) Chicken 

from Rachel Schultz

First, the chicken is downright delicious. Just look at the baked-on mixture of simple spices, Dijon mustard and maple syrup below.

Second, the recipe is super easy to follow. If you can put chicken in a plastic bag and shake it around with some sauce, you’re good-to-go. The chicken takes all of five minutes to prepare and about 30 minutes to cook.

Gourmet-tasting food on a weeknight? I think yes . . .

Pair this main dish with a side, such as Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, and you’ve got quite a tasty meal on your hands.

Cook up a batch for your family, significant other or just yourself. Then, pat yourself on the back as you bite into the most flavorful chicken you’ve ever eaten.

P.S. Thanks to Rachel Schultz for sharing this recipe!


  1. What’s the best chicken dish you’ve ever eaten?

Related HGG Posts:



Football Food: Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Football Food: Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Today is the first day of UF’s 2013 football season, and it may as well be a national holiday. As usual, people are going nuts.

If you’ve been to a Gator game or any college football game, you know what I’m talking about. Fans camp out on every square inch of grass in sight. Some of the more elaborate tailgating parties I’ve seen actually look more like living rooms due to the couches, jumbo flat-screen televisions and mini bars.

Drinks, games and an obnoxious display of team colors can be found at any tailgate party. However, Gator fans go the extra mile. And by go the extra mile, I mean they make incredibly tasty food to enjoy before, during and after the game. I’m talking about pulled pork and full buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner on game day.

In the spirit of college football season, I thought I’d share a super tasty slow cooker recipe with you today that is sure to please a crowd of hungry college football fans. The following recipe can easily be made whether you’re cooking outside or in the comfort of your home.

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches from Confessions of a (Not-So) Domesticated Newlywed

As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, this recipe is almost too good to be true. All you do is heat chicken thighs in water in a crock-pot for a few hours. I’ve used chicken breast, but thighs provide more flavor in my opinion.

After shredding the chicken, you add Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese, and let the mixture heat on high for 30 additional minutes.

I also mentioned on Wednesday that you must use Brianna’s Asiago Caesar salad dressing. The dressing shares my name, so I might be a tiny bit biased. However, I’ve made the chicken with a yogurt-based dressing, and it simply doesn’t compare to the Brianna’s brand in terms of flavor.

Did I mention how this chicken tastes even better as leftovers? I like eating it hot out of the pot on day one, but the dressing and chicken mixture makes for an incredibly tasty cold sandwich or salad topping the next day.

Feel free to eat the sandwich on your favorite bread or roll. I opted for a toasted open-faced sandwich on sprouted grain bread the first time I ate the chicken. I also suggest adding toppings, such as sliced olives, shredded romaine lettuce and sliced tomato.

Thanks to Kristen from The (Not-So) Domesticated Newlywed for the recipe!


  1. What is your favorite tailgating food or dish?
  2. What’s your favorite college football team?

Related HGG Posts:

Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos and Spicy Cilantro Salsa

Grilled Chicken Pita Pizzas

Southwest Chicken Chili