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Baked by Melissa, who invented the viral Green Goddess salad, shares 6 new dietitian-approved crunchy, veggie-packed salads

Baked by Melissa, who invented the viral Green Goddess salad, shares 6 new dietitian-approved crunchy, veggie-packed salads
Sesame chicken salad.
Coffee Shop Sesame Chicken Salad. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears
  • Melissa Ben-Ishay is known as the creator of the Baked by Melissa bakery and the Green Goddess salad.

  • She shared six salad recipes from her new cookbook.

  • A dietitian said they'll make healthy eating enjoyable and diverse.

Melissa Ben-Ishay, the creator of the viral Green Goddess salad, believes that meals should be both nutrient-dense and delicious.

In her new cookbook, "Come Hungry: Salads, Meals, and Sweets for People Who Live to Eat," the creator of Baked by Melissa, a New York City-based bite-sized cupcake bakery, hopes to encourage people to eat more vegetables by getting creative in the kitchen — regardless of their skills.

"The book is all about cooking outside of your comfort zone, exploring new colors and new produce, and going to the market to see what inspires you," Ben-Ishay told Business Insider.

Ben-Ishay has been posting salad and sweet treat recipes online for years, aligning with her philosophy that indulging in desserts is fine if you're eating nutritious meals.

And registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine agrees that her recipes perfectly fit that philosophy. She told BI the dishes sound delicious as a whole meal or as a base. "These recipes are a great example of how healthy eating and reaching your five a day can be both enjoyable and diverse."

Ben-Ishay shared salad recipes from her new cookbook with BI.

Green Goddess Ranch Dressing

Green salad.
Green Goddess Ranch Salad Dressing. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears

This dressing is inspired by ranch flavors but still contains the nutritional value of the original Green Goddess.

"Imagine the Green Goddess had a younger, tangier sister," Ben-Ishay wrote in the book.

Ludlam-Raine said that this salad is a great source of vitamins, including B12, from the nutritional yeast.

"Adding a lean protein like grilled chicken or tofu would enhance its nutritional value even further," she said.

Serves six

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil

  • ⅓ cup of lemon juice

  • 1 small shallot

  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves

  • 1 cup fresh spinach

  • 1 cup fresh chives

  • 1 cup fresh dill

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews

  • 1 scallion, trimmed

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce

Method:

1. Make the dressing by adding the olive and lemon juice to a large blender. Cover with the shallot, garlic, spinach, chives, dill, nutritional yeast, cashews, scallion, and salt. Pulse until smooth.

2. Chop the iceberg lettuce into small pieces and place in a large bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the iceberg in the bowl and mix well to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

Beets and Seeds

Beets and seeds salad.
Beets and Seeds. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears.

Beets are high in fiber and essential minerals and are associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and better exercise performance, Ludlam-Raine said.

"I love that this colorful salad has healthy fats from the olive oil and pumpkin seeds," she said.

Serves four to six

Ingredients:

2 beets, trimmed

⅓ cup of lemon juice

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp chopped garlic scapes (leave out if it's not scape season)

2 garlic cloves, grated

2 tbsp chopped, fresh chives

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Method:

1. Wash and peel the beets. Grate the beets with a box grater or a food processor and place in a large bowl.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the pumpkin seeds. Cook until they start to smell nutty and turn golden brown, five to seven minutes. Stir occasionally so they don't burn.

3. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, scapes if using, garlic, chives, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the beets. Toss until fully combined.

4. Top with the toasted pumpkin seeds and feta. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for three to five days.

Dilly Chicken Salad on Toast

Chicken salad on toast.
Dilly Chicken Salad on toast. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears

Ludlam-Raine called this recipe an ideal lunch, packed with veggies, protein, and carbs. She recommended opting for whole wheat sourdough for even more fiber and nutrients.

Serves four to six

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 lb grilled chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

2 scallions, trimmed, white and light green parts finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

3 small dill pickles or ½ large dill pickle, finely chopped

For the dressing:

⅓ cup of lemon juice

⅓ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 tbsp pickle juice

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp fine sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

For the toast:

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 to 6 slices of sourdough bread

Lettuce, to serve

Tomato slices, to serve

Fresh dill, chopped, for garnish

Method:

  1. Make the chicken salad: Shred the chicken with a stand mixer, hand mixer, or two forks.

  2. Mix in the celery, carrots, scallions, dill, and pickles.

  3. Make the dressing: Whisk together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, garlic, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

  4. Combine the dressing with the chicken mixture.

  5. Prepare the toast: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pan-fry the bread until golden brown, four to five minutes per side. Remove toast from the pan.

  6. Scoop the chicken salad onto the bread with the lettuce and tomato and serve open-faced. Garnish with fresh dill.

Little Gem Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Little gem salad.
Little Gem Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears.

Including a source of protein such as chickpeas or grilled fish could make this a well-rounded meal, Ludlam-Raine said.

Serves four to six

Ingredients:

2 small heads of little gem lettuce

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

For the shallot vinaigrette:

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp lemon juice

¼ tsp fine sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method:

  1. Cut the ends off the little gem lettuce. Combine the lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, and sliced shallot in a large bowl, reserving some veggies for the garnish.

  2. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, rice vinegar, and nutritional yeast until smooth.

  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. To serve, garnish with the reserved veggies.

Coffee Shop Sesame Chicken Salad

Sesame chicken salad.
Coffee Shop Sesame Chicken Salad. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears

The leafy greens in this salad provide fiber and magnesium, Ludlam-Raine said. There are also lots of healthy fats from the oils. "Overall, it sounds like a delicious, well-balanced meal," she said.

Serves four

Ingredients:

For the dressing:

3 garlic cloves

1-inch knob of ginger, peeled

¼ cup toasted sesame oil

¼ cup avocado oil or other neutral oil

2 tbsp white miso paste

2 tbsp rice vinegar

⅓ cup of lemon juice

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp fine sea salt

For the salad:

2 large bunches of bok choy, chopped

1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped

½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced then cut into 1-inch pieces

4 grilled chicken breasts, diced

Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Store-bought wonton strips, to garnish

Method:

1. Add the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, avocado oil, miso, rice vinegar, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt to a blender and process until smooth.

2. Combine the bok choy, spinach, and red pepper in a large bowl. Dice the grilled chicken and add it to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss gently until evenly coated.

3. Portion the salad out into bowls and garnish with sesame seeds and crunchy wonton strips.

Mediterranean Grain Salad

Chopped salad
Mediterranean Grain Salad. Reprinted from Come Hungry by arrangement with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2024, Melissa Ben-Ishay.Ashley Sears

Ben-Ishay's Mediterranean grain salad uses farro, a wholegrain wheat similar to barley.

"Grains such as farro provide energy-sustaining complex carbs," Ludlam-Raine said.

Serves four

Ingredients:

¼ tsp fine sea salt

½ cup uncooked farro

6 Persian cucumbers, cut into confetti-sized pieces

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1x 15oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2x 6.5oz jars of artichoke hearts marinated in oil, chopped

¼ cup of Kalamata olives, chopped

1 bunch of scallions, trimmed, light green and white parts cut into ¼-inch slices

¼ cup chopped fresh chives

For the dressing:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp white miso paste

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp fine sea salt

Method:

1. Bring a medium-sized pot with 1 ½ cups of water to the boil. Once boiling, season with salt and add the farro. Stir to combine and lower the heat so the water is simmering. Cook the farro, uncovered, until tender, for about 30 minutes. Drain any excess water and let cool.

2. While the farro cooks, combine the cucumbers, spinach, bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, olives, scallions, and chives in a large bowl.

3. Make the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, miso, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a small bowl.

4. Add the cooled farro to the salad and stir to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to evenly coat. Store any leftovers in the fridge for three to five days.

Read the original article on Business Insider