CEiMB: Chunky Tomato Dressing

Those of you out there who are only cooking for one or two, like I am, can probably relate to a small problem I have. Leftovers. Lots and lots of leftovers. As in, something better be good because we’re going to be eating it for a few days regardless. Most recipes make 6-8 servings or more, and with only two people to feed, that means we’ll be seeing it again. For the most part, this really isn’t a problem. I mean, we generally like everything I make so we don’t mind eating it a second (or third) time. It makes convenient lunches! But, let’s be honest, sometimes leftovers are just…. unappealing. Sometimes you just do not want to eat the same thing again the next day, ya know? So I often find myself trying to come up with new ways to use the food in my fridge in a way that makes it seem like something new. This isn’t a new concept, in fact there are blogs and television shows devoted to this very concept, but I still feel like a rockstar in the kitchen every time I manage to turn yesterday’s leftovers into today’s new recipe. Yeah, I’m a dork, and I’m OK with it.

One of my goals over the winter break, particularly the week we were snowed in, was to get caught up on as many CEiMB recipes as possible, and when I realized that I could substitute the Chicken Chili I posted about yesterday in for the taco meat in the Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing, I was stoked. Two recipes for the work of only one plus a great way to use up leftovers. Win! Instead of following Ellie’s recipe for the meat, I just strained the broth off the chili and added about one cup (half a serving) of the chili to the salad. This meant that I all had to prep was the vegetables I wanted in my salad and the tomato dressing. Quick and easy!

While I used to eat my salads with just lettuce, like Ellie’s version of this taco salad, I have recently been trying to add more veggies. For this salad I added chopped cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, celery, and sprouts. The chili added beans and corn along with the ground chicken. Then I diced up some cherry tomatoes and combined them with the remaining dressing ingredients in a mason jar. I shook the jar a few times to help break down the tomatoes, and poured the dressing over the salad. I decided at this point to add cumin and cayenne pepper to give the dressing a bit more flavor. This combination was perfect and one I’ll definitely make again.

Thanks to Peggy at Pantry Revisited for such a great CEiMB pick!

Chunky Tomato Dressing

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Combine tomatoes (with their juices) all ingredients in a small bowl or sealable jar. Mix well. Dressing may be prepared up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

4 servings
Based on Ellie Krieger’s Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing from “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week”, p. 77

I did not calculate the nutritional information for the dressing on its own, but a rough estimate would be about 75 calories and 7g fat per serving depending on how much and what kind of oil you use.


January 26, 2011. recipes.


  1. Elina (Healthy and Sane) replied:

    I haven’t made an Ellie recipe in so long! I don’t even know how I used to keep up with it every Thursday. Times do change ;) This sounds delicious – great job on combining 2 in 1! I’m also very proud of myself when I am able to make something completely different out of leftovers. Btw, why don’t you cut the recipes in half? If it makes more than 4 servings, I always do (I’m cool with eating things twice but that’s my limit!).
    PPS- I’m hosting a giveaway for a healthy cookbook by Rocco Dispirito. Check it out if you’re interested! New cooking material :)

  2. Bri replied:

    That was genius, using the chili as the meat in the salad! I envy you; I somehow lack the ability to cleverly use up leftovers. My hubby’s really good at it, but I am sooo not. Your salad looks delicious.

  3. Kayte replied:

    This is good enough to make on its own even if you don’t have it left over. Next year I will have leftovers when Matt goes to college. This year I have an 18 year old nationally ranked swimmer who swims 5 hours a day 6 days a week and there are NO LEFTOVERS here, ever…lol!

  4. Chaya replied:

    I have improved with leftovers, over the years but I can’t eat anything more than twice and even then, I am not thrilled. I have been cutting everything down to avoid leftovers.

    This is a great recipe and the look of your salad is tempting.

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