Simple Chopped Salad

by on February 15, 2014
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Simple Chopped Salad

A minor miracle occurred at my house on Thursday night when my teenager went back for a third helping of salad. And not just any salad–a salad that contained radishes, which she “hates.” We were having the salad with two of her favorites dishes, mac and cheese and roasted asparagus, and it was no surprise that she helped herself to repeat servings of the pasta, but I had to stifle a little cheer when she loaded up on the salad lest I draw her attention to the fact that she was doing something I approved of. Making a big deal out of it would have just ensured that she never ate salad again. “Never make a fuss over something positive” is first thing you learn in Teenager 101.

During dinner, a second miracle occurred. We agreed on a name for The Kitten. We went through all the suggestions we received both here and on Facebook, and we finally found one that seemed right:

The Many Faces of Loki


Loki is a trickster and a shape shifter in Norse mythology, and our little Loki can shift from being a purring lap kitten one minute to a destroyer of house plants the next. Thank you to Kimberton and others who suggested the name and to my daughter’s 9th grade English teacher for introducing her to Norse mythology.

Now, back to the Miracle Salad. It was really just a basic chopped salad, meaning all of the ingredients are chopped to about the same half-inch size. It doesn’t sound so miraculous, but each bite has multiple flavors and somehow the whole thing doesn’t need as much dressing as a regular salad. I used a touch of my own homemade mayo to give it a little creaminess along with a fat-free balsamic vinaigrette for flavor. I think the big reason daughter E loved it was the addition of kalamata olives; just a few pieces deliver a lot of flavor, so include them if you can.

Simple Chopped Salad

Chopped Salad

Simple Chopped Salad

You can use any vegetable you like raw instead of these–broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, etc. would all be good. Just chop them all about the same size. You can prepare the veggies in advance, but keep the lettuce separate from any watery ones, such as tomatoes, and assemble the salad just before serving.
Course Salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 127 kcal
Author Susan Voisin


  • 1 heart of romaine
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup diced radishes
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow or red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup diced cucumber (about 1/2 large cucumber)
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives optional
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic-Raisin Vinaigrette (or other fat-free vinaigrette) or more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Tofu-Cashew Mayo (or other vegan mayo)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts optional


  1. Leaving the base attached, cut the romaine heart lengthwise three times; rotate it a quarter of a turn and make two or three more cuts. Then slice it from top to the base so that you have small, bite-sized pieces. Wash it in a strainer or salad spinner and then spin well to dry.
  2. Place the romaine into a large bowl and add other vegetables, chickpeas, and olives. Add the vinaigrette and mayo to taste, being careful not to add too much, as well as a generous grating of black pepper, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Recipe Notes

If omitting olives, deduct 12 calories and 1.2g fat; if omitting walnuts, deduct 12 calories and 1.22g fat per serving.

Nutrition Facts
Simple Chopped Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 127 Calories from Fat 11
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1.2g 2%
Sodium 129.8mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 20.2g 7%
Dietary Fiber 7.4g 30%
Sugars 6.8g
Protein 5.5g 11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Do you like chopped salads? What are your favorite ingredients? Please leave your suggestions in the comments.



This post contains an Amazon affiliate link to the salad spinner I use. When you buy something through my link, I receive a commission that helps support this site. Thanks for your purchase!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren Vaught February 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

I made your hot skillet salad last night and we LOVED it! I think it’s become my new favorite. I added a few red pepper pieces, but the bok choy is so flavorful in this recipe.

I ate the leftovers cold today, with a few sunflower seeds on top, and it was just as good!


2 Susan Voisin February 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

I’m so glad you liked it, Lauren! The red pepper sounds like a great addition, and I’ll have to try that and the sunflower seeds. Thanks for letting me know!


3 moonwatcher February 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

HI Susan,

What a great salad–all those flavors, colors and textures together and all that crunchiness! My kind of salad! I bet a few kalamata olives add a nice dimension too. And Loki!! How purr-fect!! Those pictures of him are also fanatastic and capture his spirit so well. Congrats on a 2 for 1!!




4 Marilyn Dubord February 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I simply don’t like salads, but this one looks wonderful, I’m going to try it.

Loki is a beautiful kitten, thanks for sharing !


5 Mrs. Doodlepunk February 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

All the above, plus a little bit of onion! I am going to try this soon. Going to look up your hot skillet salad that Lauren mentioned too!


6 Anne F February 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm

Oh my goodness, this looks/sounds delicious. In these last days of winter, I have to work hard to keep eating enough veggies. This should do the trick!


7 Danielle February 15, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I love chopped salads! I tend not to like beans in mine, so I would instead add a vegetable which adds that creamy element. Heart of palm or avocado would both be good choices for that. I also like some chopped shallot in mine. Yum, now I want a chopped salad immediately!


8 Chessie February 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

This sounds like a good salad, and thank you for the Romaine chopping tip!

Congratulations on little Loki. The name seems right, based on just looking at him. I hope you all enjoy many, many happy years together.


9 Dina February 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

… Hi Susan … congratulations on naming Loki Loki … i wonder how you’re able to focus on your work with that unbelievably ccute ccute rascal around … i … would simply forget all & every one & spend all the time with him … i’m weak … very weak … in front of animals … that’s why i’m vegan today … Loki must’ve done some great Karmas in his past lives to have you in his life today … love & peace to all … God Bless you Susan … : )


10 Helyn February 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Awww, what a sweet kitten! And a great name too! I know what you mean about your teen eating healthy… my son (18) just became vegan — that you, Forks Over Knives!– and I am so happy about it EVERY day. Great looking salad, too, Susan!


11 Helyn February 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Oops. typo.. should be THANK YOU Forks Over Knives. Great documentary!!!


12 Ouiser February 16, 2014 at 2:07 am

Thanks for the lovely recipe! LOKI is such a beautiful kitten!!! I wouldn’t mind adding a 14th cat to our gang… One of them – AMY (named after Amy Winehouse 🙂 is absolutely NUTS about tomatoes and she’ll eat them with the highest feline delight. She also loves green beans, avocado and kale which she’ll try to steal from our plates… I know this site is about recipes actually but I’m a cat NUT and I’d better get off now…


13 Penny Sharp February 16, 2014 at 4:21 am

Hi Susan,

This salad looks and sounds scrumptious, I am not a fan of radishes, but am keen to ‘grow’ to like them… Hence I have planted some in my veggie garden as a companion for my cucumbers and carrots ( it is nearly end of summer here in southern hemisphere).
Some of my favourite salad ingredients are baby beets, zucchini corn and cherry tomatoes… Apple cider vinegar, lemon and a touch of Dijon mustard combine well to make a zesty dressing.
Cheers, Penny Sharp


14 Michele February 16, 2014 at 4:30 am

Aw, the kitty is such a cutie pie! Great name, we have a dog named Loki. 🙂

Oh, yeah, the salad looks delicious, too!


15 willeke February 16, 2014 at 6:01 am

Sounds great but no bell peppers, raw/cooked/grilled, for me..I don’t tolerate them very well.. (Like the rest of my family). I like to have something crunchie like croutons or seeds/nuts. I lived in greece for a while during winter they eat a salad which is made with shredded carrots, cabbage, oregano and some oil. Simpel but delicious and cheap.


16 Susan lybarger February 16, 2014 at 8:24 am

And, when you are done chopping the romaine, stick the base in a small jar with water and sit back and watch it grow! I saw that on Pinterest, tried it, and it works!! Adds a nice promise of spring…


17 Ricksy February 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Chopped raw vegetables with a bit of salt, something tangy and perhaps some spice, are definitely addictive. It has to be well-flavoured though, as I expect yours is with the balsamic, olives and mayo. I remember really bland salads of chopped vegetables and sprouts from my childhood. My mother makes a great chopped salad now though with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green bell pepper, green chillies, sometimes radish, dressed with lemon juice, sumac, black pepper and coriander. I seem to remember you have an aversion to coriander so if you ever tried it could be made with parsley. Curiously my mother has a very similar aversion to parsley. Perhaps it is due to the same instincts described in the article you had linked to some time ago since she had never tasted parsley until she was an adult and came abroad from India.


18 Helen February 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

Loki is way toooo cute!


19 Terry February 17, 2014 at 11:49 am

All my salads are chopped salads, not sure why but thats the way then end up. Quite often I cube a cold baked potato and add it to the salad, a nice contrast to the crunchy ingredients.


20 Perrin February 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I come here for the recipes, and never post. But I just had to today, to say what a CUTIE Loki is! And what a PERFECT name! Many healthy returns to you, your family and Loki. 🙂


21 Lisa February 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm

Hi Susan…love that salad!! We also have a kitten named Loki. He lives up to his name as the god of mischief!!


22 Mary February 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

Loki sounds like a great name for this kitten!! He is absolutely adorable!!


23 Elena February 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

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Happy blogging.


24 Carol M February 18, 2014 at 10:00 pm

I just want to say I love your blog. I just started eating ETL several weeks ago, and I’m loving it. Your recipes are the best, and I know they will help me stick with this for the long haul, because they are so delicious. And I love your dry humor. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this.


25 Alice Phillips February 19, 2014 at 2:26 am

Ever have those days when all you want is a good fresh salad and no meat or starch? I do so this is going to be a treat. I have these weird moments a couple times a month where I eat nothing but fresh veg (usually raw) and salads like crazy. Is this normal? lol! Oh and LOVE the new name for The Kitten. Loki is perfect and looks like it suits him well. He has an adorably naughty face. 🙂


26 Liz February 19, 2014 at 8:29 am

Things I love in chopped salads:
Blanched asparagus
Baby spinach
Sunburst tomatoes (the little yellow ones)
Bean sprouts
Raw sunflower seeds

Thanks for another wonderful post! The kitten, Loki, is ADORABLE!


27 Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today February 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

I like simple meals.


28 Aqiyl Aniys February 21, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Awesome salad, and I love the variety. The chick peas put it over the top for me. I love chick peas!


29 wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) February 24, 2014 at 10:43 am

I just opened this post and my god! That looks like our cat (when she was a kitten of course)! Mazel tov on the new member of the family. If her personality is anything like our Baby Kitty’s (yes, the cat’s name is Baby Kitty because that’s what our 3 year old at the time named her), you are blessed with the most loving and fun of cats.


30 Sarah February 27, 2014 at 12:46 am

Simple & delicious! Always a wonderful combination. I had a similar chopped salad tonight for dinner (a humongous one, I might add!). I personally love the texture of adding broccoli (especially the young tender broccoli) and avocado…crunchy and creamy – yum!


31 Em February 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

oh I can only imagine what that chair? leg is going to look like in a few weeks/days…most likely like one side of our couch :-). I am SO happy that Loki has a loving and happy home.
What I really like about your salad recipes is for one thing to eat them! Also your dressings are wonderful! There is not a single one that I have not liked.


32 Everett West March 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

My wife plans things for a free cooking school with an emphasis on high fiber (30-40 grams a day.) I saw your site and decided to print out a recipe for her to look at .


33 NK June 10, 2014 at 12:49 pm

i stopped eating salads since last 5-6 months out of frustration and decided to start again with this salad today for lunch. so simple and yum!! could have never thought mayo + vinaigrette combo would taste so good.
thanks for sharing it!!


34 Jill July 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

I made this last night with the Italian Dressing recipe from your other website. It got rave reviews! And my friend visiting from New York is taking a container of it with him on the plane trip home later today. Your food is airborne! 🙂


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