Berry Delicious Potato Salad

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Hello friends! How’s life? Please tell me you’re out there enjoying the crap out of Summer. Can you believe we’re nearing the end of July?!

Today I have a special summer potato salad recipe for you. A couple of weeks ago I was contacted and given the opportunity to share a recipe developed by one of Canada’s foremost chefs for the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s 2014 Real Cream program.

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

There’s real whipping cream in this potato salad, folks. And it’s divine.

Allow me to be totally honest here – I’ve never been a huge fan of potato salad. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not something I typically fill my plate with. I take a small spoonful and carry on. In fact, I had never made potato salad before, or even really considered it. Typically potato salads are very mayonnaise-heavy, and I’m not a big mayo lover. I like a little smear on my sandwich, or a little spoonful in my tuna or egg salad, but that’s about it. When I read this recipe, I was really intrigued by the unique ingredients and flavours. The Dijon mustard, real whipping cream, and fresh lemon juice and mint really come through and help to downplay the mayonnaise in the dressing for the salad, and the fresh berries and arugula provide a fun twist. I ended up enjoying a bowl full of this potato salad once it was put together – and let me tell you, I ain’t never eaten more than a few bites of potato salad in one sitting before.

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

This potato salad would make a great addition to a summer picnic or BBQ, or even a regular ol’ weekday meal. I think it looks super pretty served in little tea cups. Don’t you think it would be fun to serve it this way at a bridal or baby shower? *idea alert!*

Even if adding sweet berries and whipping cream to a potato salad sounds bit wild, I really encourage you to give this recipe a try. What’s living if you don’t walk on the wild side from time to time?

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Berry Delicious Potato Salad (recipe by Chef Michael Allemeier from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology)

A classic summer yellow-fleshed potato salad, bound with a creamy hard-boiled egg dressing, elevated with the addition of assorted berries and arugula for an unexpected twist. Serves 8.

5 medium yellow-fleshed potatoes (about 2 lbs)

2 hardboiled eggs, peeled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup 35% whipping cream

1/4 cup sour cream

2 TBSP. Dijon mustard

1 TBSP. fresh lemon juice

4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts only)

1/4 cup loosely packed, thinly sliced fresh mint

Salt, to taste

2 cups mixed berries (such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)

1 cup firmly packed baby arugula leaves, stems removed

1 TBSP. balsamic vinegar

Scrub potatoes and dice into 3/4-inch (2 cm) pieces. Cook in large pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain well; let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash eggs with a fork. Whisk in mayonnaise, whipping cream, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, onions, and mint until creamy. Add warm potatoes to dressing; season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To serve: In a medium bowl toss the berries, arugula, and balsamic vinegar together; reserve some of the berries and arugula. Fold berry mixture into potato salad. Serve in a bowl or on a platter; garnish with reserved berries and arugula.

Chef Michael’s Tip: There are many varieties of yellow-fleshed potatoes. They have a wonderful flavour and texture, perfect for potato salad. Look for Yukon Golds, Agria, and Kennebec potatoes – all of these are perfect for this salad.

Berry Delicious Potato Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Disclaimer: I was generously provided with the ingredients (and some sweet Real Cream swag!) to make this recipe, but all opinions are my own.

Get Excited About Salad!

Get Excited About Salad! | Once Upon a Recipe

So I have this pet peeve. Something that really irks me. You wanna know what it is?

I’m going to tell you anyways. I mean, that’s why you’re here right? You allow me to talk incessantly about the crap that runs through my brain 18 hours per day and I reward you at the end of it all with a tasty recipe. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship we’ve got going on here. Capiche?

Back to the pet peeve. Restaurants that serve you a bowl of lettuce with a sprinkle of shredded carrots and call it a side salad. Dude, that’s not a salad. That’s lettuce with some shredded carrots on it.

Get Excited About Salad! | Once Upon a Recipe

In fact, I blame restaurants that make fake salads for turning people off of salads. Giving them a bad rep. Lettuce with shredded carrots on it isn’t exciting! It’s rabbit food!

But adding fun toppings like nuts, cheese, veggies, dried fruit, and a delicious dressing? Now that’s something to get excited about. Take the salad you see here, for instance. A bed of mixed greens is totally more exciting than plain ol’ lettuce. Toasted walnuts – yes. Dried cranberries – wicked. Creamy goat cheese – yes siree. Crumbled bacon – heck yeah. Top it off with a homemade vinaigrette and a hardboiled egg or two for some added protein and that right there is a complete and fantastic meal.

Get Excited About Salad! | Once Upon a Recipe

Dudes will like this salad too! (I credit the bacon for that one) I took this salad to a dinner party to serve as its own course (minus the hardboiled egg). It was a HUGE hit with the ladies and the dudes. The flavors work really well together and the whole thing is just so darn satisfying. I also included halved cherry tomatoes, but didn’t have any on hand when I made it again last weekend. I highly recommend that you add them as they provide a sweet little juicy pop.

Get Excited About Salad! | Once Upon a Recipe

Feel free to play around too! Think of this recipe as a guideline for creating a really well-balanced and flavorful salad. If you don’t like walnuts, try almonds or pecans. Not a fan of goat cheese? Try feta or parmesan cheese. Want to make this vegetarian? Omit the bacon. If you’re making a meal out of it, trying adding grilled chicken in place of the egg. Or grilled tofu! Tuna or salmon! The possibilities are endless. Get into it!

Get Excited About Salad! | Once Upon a Recipe

The Get Excited About Salad Salad (adapted from

The cherry tomatoes aren’t shown here, but please add them if you can. As mentioned, if you’re making this as a side salad or for a salad course, the hardboiled egg or added protein can be left out. But if you’re making this salad into a meal, definitely add your protein of choice to ensure hunger satisfaction. The dressing is wonderful and could really be used on any salad. It will make more than you need for this recipe, so store any leftovers in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge and use on other salads throughout the week.

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad (serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side):

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ounce of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 strips of thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 eggs, hardboiled (optional)

To toast the walnuts, spread them out onto a baking sheet and toast them in the oven at 350°F for about 8-10 minutes. Combine all of the dressing ingredients, minus the olive oil, in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly as you do so. Set aside.

Combine the mixed greens, toasted walnuts, cherry tomatoes, and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Add the dressing (to taste – you will not need all of it) and toss to coat. Split the salad onto 2 (or 4) plates and then evenly sprinkle with the goat cheese and bacon. Slice the hardboiled egg and add one egg to each salad. Enjoy!

PS. I totally just made this again for dinner last night and added a fried egg. It was mega!

PPS. What makes a salad great for you?

The Deadly Sins of Grocery Shopping | Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette

Can I tell you something that I’m really bad at? And by bad I mean that I don’t do it “right”.

Grocery shopping.

It seems a bit ironic, considering how much time I spend in the kitchen. One would think I would be very organized. But the truth is, I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to grocery shopping.

In fact, I tend to frequently commit several of the “deadly sins” of grocery shopping. [Dun dun duuunnn!] There, I said it. My name is Amanda and I stink at grocery shopping.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The good intentions are there. I start with a list, the first rule of smart grocery shopping. Nevermind the fact that I am usually scrawling my list down on a scrap of paper at my desk at work before leaving for the day. With little memory of what might already be lurking within my fridge and cupboards. “I think there’s sour cream somewhere in there…oh, whatever, I’ll grab some just in case.” (Which ultimately leads to the discovery of three containers of moldy sour cream taking up precious real estate in my fridge a month later). And nevermind that fact that I rarely have an actual meal plan at this point, other than the meal ideas floating around in my head. But I have a list.

Unfortunately, it all goes a bit downhill from there. First of all, I rarely go grocery shopping when I’m not hungry. In fact, I’m typically starving as I stalk the aisles for satisfying solutions. (This mad hunger typically results in me tearing open a box of cereal in the car and shoving handfuls of it in my mouth as I make the 5-minute drive home). But hungry grocery shopping can be so fun! The sense of adventure! The magnified desire to try totally unnecessary, typically expensive new things!

Secondly, coupons? What now? I know that I could supposedly cut my grocery bill in half by poring over the flyers that show up on my doorstep each week. But honestly, I don’t have the patience for it. Those flyers go straight from my mailbox into the recycle bin. I show them no mercy.

Thirdly, I spend way too much time in there. I saunter through the aisles, checking things out, and give myself way too much time to find completely unnecessary things. Completely. Unnecessary. Me and impulse buys are likethis. Which leads me to commit yet another sin: not sticking to my list.

Did I mention that sometimes I look up recipes while I’m strolling the aisles? Damn you iPhone, why do you make it so easy?!

Clearly, I’m far from perfect. But I totally pulled my act together last week when I came across this salad recipe in a cookbook lent to me by a coworker called Whitewater Cooks at Home. I am a big lover of goat cheese, so the thought of creamy goat cheese coated in bread crumbs and then fried until golden brown caught my attention, and everything else was just gravy. So I made myself a list, I went to the grocery store, and I came out only with what I needed. Success!

And then I went home and I made this salad. I ate nearly the entire thing because while I had planned well for the salad, I had not made any plans for what would accompany it. Small steps, right? Dinner was followed by watching Harry Potter and eating these cookies. Does that sound like a perfect evening or what?

Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Sweet Onion Vinaigrette (adapted from Whitewater Cooks at Home)

This salad does not have quite enough heft to be eaten as a meal, but makes for a wonderful side dish or starter salad. Or feel free to give it some oomph by adding a grilled chicken breast or another form of protein. 

For the salad:

8 cups of mixed greens

2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1 1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1 egg mixed with 1 TBSP. water

6 oz. soft goat cheese

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted

For the dressing: 

2 TBSP. olive oil

1/2 cup sweet white onion, diced finely

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

2 TBSP. maple syrup

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Mix together the breadcrumbs, dried basil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Put the egg mixture into another small bowl. Roll the goat cheese into small balls (about 1 TBSP. each), for a total of 12 balls of cheese. Dip the cheese balls into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs into the cheese to coat it. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (longer if possible).

Prepare the dressing by heating the 2 TBSP. of olive oil and sautéing the onion until softened and golden brown. Add in the white wine vinegar and maple syrup and reduce for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the 1/3 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. It’s important to get the oil hot here, so that you can quickly brown each cheese ball on all sides without melting the cheese! Go for it – you can do it! When done frying, place the balls on a plate lined with a paper towel while you assemble the rest of the salad.

To assemble the salad, toss the greens with the dressing (you may not need all of the dressing) and divide the greens between 4 plates. Place 3 balls of cheese on each plate and sprinkle with the dried cherries and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

PS. It is totally important to eat salads the week before you run a half marathon. At least, I’m pretty sure it is. I’m off to the mountains on Saturday to run mine (eek!) so I’ll let you know the final verdict next week! xoxo

PPS. Are you a “good” grocery shopper? Tell me your secrets!

Happy Labor Day | Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

Mother Nature delivered this weekend, just as predicted. The weather was beautiful – warm and sunny with a lovely little Fall breeze. Apparently Summer isn’t quite ready to leave us, and to be honest, I’m glad she stuck around. I spent most of my time outside, reading another good book and browning my skin a little bit more. I hung out with friends at a big BBQ, and strolled along Whyte Avenue in the wee hours of the morning in just a light sweater. I even went for a run yesterday, breaking in my legs for what I hope to be an Autumn filled with cool evenings, perfect for running. There is a 10km run at the end of the month, and it’s calling my name.
Isn’t it interesting how the weather affects appetite? What you want to eat and how you want to prepare it? Just a few days ago I was craving a scone filled with the flavors of Fall, and now all I want to eat is fresh summer fruit and barbequed goodness. Craziness. My uncle just returned from BC and brought with him an enormous amount of fresh peaches to share. What do you do when you’re given 5 dozen fresh peaches? You eat them at every opportunity – breakfast, lunch, and supper. And dessert of course.
This weekend, I made this salad twice. It was so simple, yet so delicious. Grilling the peaches does wild (and good) things to their flavor, and the goat cheese and balsamic reduction are the perfect accompaniment. I could eat this every day. And then I would eat peach pie for dessert. Summer love.

Grilled Peach Salad with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

4 cups of mixed greens
2 peaches, cut in half and pitted
4 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fire up your grill to medium high heat. Brush the peaches with 2 tsp. of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Grill the peaches, cut side down, for about 4-5 minutes, until lightly charred. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In the meantime, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow the balsamic vinegar to reduce, becoming slightly thick and syrupy. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Prepare the mixed greens by tossing with the remaining olive oil, and seasoning with salt and pepper. To plate the salad, fill each plate with about 1 cup of the mixed greens. Slice each peach half into 4, and place over the greens. Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese, and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Enjoy! Serves 4.

Summer Lovin’ | Warm Balsamic Vegetable Salad with Feta and Basil

Spring is here. I can feel it.

I can smell it.

I can taste it.

Vegetables and fruits are starting to taste the way they are supposed to. I’m starting to crave lighter meals rather than hearty stick-to-your-bones soups and stews that warm you to your core. And best of all, it is possible to BBQ again. Meaning: 1) My BBQ is not buried beneath 3 feet of snow, and 2) I’m not at risk for catching hypothermia while standing next to it.


Honey and I bought a BBQ off of Kijiji for $100 last summer. Most awesome purchase ever. Minus the fact that it didn’t work when we tried to use it for the first time. Honey is such a handyman, he fixed it and we were in BBQ Bliss shortly thereafter. I love the flavors that the BBQ brings out in food. Flavors that just can’t be replicated in an oven or on a ceramic stovetop. Grilling vegetables is one of my favorite things to do on the BBQ. Just a little olive oil, some salt and pepper, and the magic of an open flame. We often eat our veggies this way throughout the summer.

And then I discovered this salad.

Veggies are grilled on the BBQ, then cut up into bite size chunks, tossed with a little balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, and topped with feta cheese. Oh. My. Mouthwateringly delicious. Please try this at your next available opportunity. And if you don’t own a BBQ, roast your veggies in the oven or cook on your stovetop, or on a little countertop grill. But I’m telling you, the BBQ = Bliss. You heard it here first.

Warm Balsamic Vegetable Salad with Feta and Basil 

Serves 4.

1/2 pound of asparagus

1/2 red pepper, sliced into 4 parts

1/2 yellow pepper, sliced into 4 parts

1 zucchini, sliced in half, then lengthwise into quarters

6 big white mushrooms

A splash of olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

2 TBSP. balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Toss your prepared veggies in the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat your grill to medium high and throw the veggies on. Watch them closely, turning every couple of minutes until al dente. Grill marks = beauty. Turn your grilled veggies onto a cutting board and chop them into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, combine the chopped veggies with the basil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Chow down with still warm!

The beauty of this salad is that you can make as much or as little of it as you like. Just adjust the balsamic vinegar, basil, and feta accordingly. You can also change up the veggies if you prefer.

Less Is More | Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Herbs

Dear Life,

You have been almost unbearably stressful lately. What did I ever do to you? I try to show you a good time as often as possible – I play fun sports like frisbee and soccer, I rock out at super awesome concerts, I bake delicious things to eat. And you just throw stressful experiences back in my face! Clearly I’ve done something to upset you, but I’m not sure what it is. Can we call a truce and be friends again? I’ll cook and bake you lots more wonderful things if you’re nice to me again.



Sorry about that. I just had to have a little chat with life there for a moment. But I’m back to share a simple yet tongue-pleasing recipe with you. With Spring finally starting to show her face a little bit, I find myself craving lighter, fresh-tasting dishes. When I opened up this month’s Bon Appétit magazine and found this chickpea salad recipe, I immediately wanted to give it a try. You need just a handful of ingredients, most of which you might have sitting in your kitchen right now. The only thing I was missing was the fresh herbs, but I had the dried version of both, and considering the state of the fresh herbs around here at this time of year, dried was probably the best way to go. I can’t wait to make this again in a couple of months, when fresh basil is lush, fragrant, and easy to find. At least fresh parmesan is always in season.

Chickpea Salad with Lemon, Parmesan, and Herbs (from Bon Appétit magazine, April 2011)

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 TBSP. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)

2 TBSP. chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)

2 TBSP. fresh lemon juice

4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately, or make ahead and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to mingle and say hello to one another. This salad can be whipped up in no time. Happy eating!

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit | Black Bean and Corn Salad

 It is a miracle that I am able to post this recipe right now. That I can type these words to you on this laptop. You see, the sweet little puppy mentioned a couple of weeks ago continues to wreak havoc on my life. In fact, I think she came into my life to teach me how to be a more patient person. Unfortunately it is a rather difficult and damaging process. Damaging to my material possessions that is. For one thing, the carpet in our condo is going to need to be steam-cleaned about 40 times over in order to remove the invisible stains of approximately 2956 “accidents”. Shoes have been chewed, scarves and mittens have been ripped, tables and chairs have been munched on. Several books are missing parts of covers. My tea towels will never be the same. All of this, I have been able to take in stride. Quite easily I think.

However…there was an incident last night that almost put me over the edge. You see, my parents brought us back a bottle of delicious pineapple wine from a recent trip to Hawaii. Last night, honey and I decided to enjoy it with our dinner. We were feeling rather badass, so we decided to just drink the wine straight from the bottle. We were eating dinner in front of the TV (yes, we do that), and had left the bottle of wine sitting on the kitchen table. A certain little munchkin around here has a tendency to jump up on the coffee table if any food or beverages are within her sight. How tricky we were, leaving it on the kitchen table instead. And then there was a crash. I jumped up and ran the approximately 10 feet from the couch to the kitchen table to find that the aforementioned munchkin had jumped up onto the kitchen table and knocked the bottle of wine over, spilling it all over the table, floor, and…my laptop.

Now, I realize that it is dumb to leave your laptop sitting open on the kitchen table. But I do dumb things, rather often. Anyways, after one meltdown and many failed attempts at getting my laptop to start up again, honey advised me to shut it down, leave it overnight, and hope for the best. I’m happy to report that my laptop is working, although my keys are currently making a nice crunching noise with each keystroke, and my space bar wants to stick down every time I press on it. Small steps, I suppose. *sigh* The other miracle was that the wine bottle managed to stay half full following the catastrophe, as it landed on it’s side. Drinking the remainder of the wine was very helpful indeed. And now that I’ve wasted your time with this pointless story, I give you a delicious, fresh salad recipe, great for curing the winter blues. It has some fantastic colors going on, and is so simple and tasty. The original recipe comes from one of the Best of Bridge cookbooks. Happy eating!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can of corn, drained

1 red pepper, chopped small

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice and zest of two limes

1/4 cup olive oil

2 TBSP. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the black beans, corn, red pepper, and cilantro in a large bowl or container. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, and then pour over the black bean mixture. Toss well. Taste and add more salt or pepper if needed. This salad tastes great right away, but has even better flavor if you give it a couple of hours to mingle in the fridge.

Get Fresh | Broccoli Slaw Salad with Five-Spice Tofu

Honey and I decided to challenge our bodies and minds in 2009 and go the entire year without eating meat. A “vegetarian” diet. We continued to eat fish, but stayed away from chicken and red meat. It was a great challenge and really opened our eyes (and stomachs!) to different kinds of vegetables and legumes. We have since returned to our carnivorous ways, but continue to try to eat vegetarian a couple of times per week. I came across this recipe in the latest edition of Vegetarian Times magazine, and decided to give it a try. We made a meal out of it, but it would also go well as a side dish. Makes for great lunch leftovers as well! I would recommend making the salad the day before you eat it – only because I think the flavors really developed by sitting in the fridge overnight. I enjoyed it much more the second day than I did immediately after throwing it together. And for those of you out there who are afraid of tofu – give it a shot! Tofu takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in/with, so get creative! This recipe calls for pre-packaged five-spice tofu, but I’m not a fan of the pre-marinated tofu, and prefer to marinate it myself. Either way…happy eating!

Broccoli Slaw Salad with Five-Spice Tofu (adapted from Vegetarian Times, Nov./Dec. 2010)


2 TBSP. roasted sesame oil

2 TBSP. Chinese black vinegar (or 1 TBSP. rice vinegar plus 1 TBSP. balsamic vinegar)

1 tsp. sriracha or any chile-garlic sauce

1 tsp. sugar

To make the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients into a small bowl. Season with salt (and pepper), if desired.


1-lb. package broccoli slaw (I used half broccoli slaw/half broccoli florets)

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

7 ounces five-spice pressed tofu, sliced into matchsticks

1/2 chopped cilantro

2 green onions, chopped

4 TBSP. chopped roasted peanuts

To make salad: Toss together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Eat immediately, or put in the fridge overnight to let the flavors mingle.  *You may also use plain extra-firm tofu, and let in marinate in your own mixture (ie. 1 TBSP. sesame oil, 1 TBSP. soy sauce, 1 tsp. chinese five-spice) for at least 30 minutes. I also fried the tofu in a little bit of vegetable oil before adding it to the salad, just enough to brown it and add some crispness.

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