Big Mac Salad with Healthier Special Sauce Dressing

 A Big Mac Salad is a salad based off the famous burger. It it is a healthier version of the burger. With a homemade dressing, and loads of salad options, you can really put a healthier spin on this delicious favorite!

We are trying to eat healthier. More salads and less fast food are a must. But we can still enjoy the taste of our favorite fast food, if we find ways to make it healthier. This Big Mac Salad is the perfect thing. We make it often and play around with the salad indredients, from a traditional iceberg based salad, to leafy spring mixes with shredded brussell sprouts and shredded broccoli mixed in. From lean beef burger, to turkey burger or even Soy burger substitute (TVP) there are so many options to lighten up the fat from the meat. and making the dressing below will lighten up the special sauce dressing.

Let's get cooking:


Big Mac Salad:

Makes 1 Salad



  • A head of iceberg lettuce (or substitute lettuce mix of your choice)

  • 1 cup seasoned ground beef (I use garlic, salt,pepper, & dry minced onion to season) 

  • 5-10 dill pickle chips

  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese

  • ⅛ red onion (optional)

  • ½ cup special sauce

Special Sauce dressing: 

  • 1 cup Mayonnaise (Olive Oil Mayo preferred)

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt 

  • ½ cup chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish

  • 3 Tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 teaspoons apple cide vinegar (can substitute any other type vinegar)

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon onion powder 

  • Sweeten to taste if desired with stevia or honey. 


Cut Iceberg lettuce into wedges or chop into small pieces. (Or mix together lettuce mix chopped as needed)

Pour desired amount into bowl.

Top with cooked ground beef, pickles, cheese, and onion 

Top with special sauce.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberries

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries, with a Maple Glaze just screams fall. It also just screams Holiday Side Dish! Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes

It can be a challenge to find something new and exciting to serve that everyone loves and you feel good about serving. This dish is one of those dishes that is not only pretty to serve, with it's vibrant colors of green, orange and red, it also has a lovely fresh taste.

Thanksgiving Side dish Ideas

This is one of my favorite dishes. I first discovered it the recipe here, and knew instantly that I would be making this and loving it. I was right. the roasted veggies lightly tossed in a maple glaze, and mixed with a the crunch of toasted Pecans, and the sweetness of dried cranberries. It's just the perfect blend!
Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas

Let's get cooking!

Yield: 6

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberrries

prep time: 20 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 40 mins
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries, with a Maple Glaze just screams fall. It also just screams Holiday Side Dish! Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!


Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
  • 1 1/2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded) and Brussels sprouts ,2 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and toss to mix.
  3. Spread mixture onto baking sheet into single layer. Bake 20-25 minutes till tender, turning once halfway thru. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, pecans, and cranberries.  mix to combine. 
  5. If you'd like more sweetness, add 2 or 4 tablespoons of maple syrup, if desired – a tablespoon at a time to desired taste, mixing as you add add it. 
  6. Serve warm
Created using The Recipes Generator

Take a look at all the fabulous Holiday Dish Recipes:


Chocolate Orange Drop Cookies

 These Chocolate Orange Drop Cookies are just what you want in a cookie for the holidays, pillowy soft, light hints of  orange rounded out with bites of chocolate.

My Dad & Stepmom were downsizing to an RV, selling their home and traveling between the 8 kids & vacation spots while they still have time to live their best life. So in asking what of their possessions each of us would like to have, I mentioned I would love any of her recipes. She sent me her recipe box and what a treasure trove that is!

I pulled a handful of cookie recipes that I want to try out this season and see what our family thinks, so I am starting off my cookie testing now, so I know what to add into our holiday baking in few weeks. These Chocolate Orange Drops are my first test, and boy I am in LOVE!  Definately a keeper!

Jan's Tips:

1) Cream Cheese: original recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups of softened cream cheese, that is just a bit short of 2 packages, I just  used the whole 2 packages and it seemed to work out beautifully for me.

2) Shortening Vs. Butter: calls for shortening, and I did use shortening, but I would bet butter would be fine. If you use salted butter, I would cut out the salt in the recipe. 

3) Vanilla Vs. Orange flavor: I happened to have Orange baking emulsion flavor (Lorann's brand) and substituted that for the vanilla. I did also add the fresh orange zest/ peel. It still turned out to be a light orange flavor,, but you can for sure taste it. if you want a stronger flavor, I suggest playing wtih how much extra to add, but we like it as is.

4) Don't over bake! Check them at 10 minutes you want just  a hint of brown starting to show at bottom of cookie. Pull them then, and let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes (they are so soft!) then move to cooling rack. They remain soft like a pillowy cloud.. so good!

Ready to bake? 

Click here for Printable (or save) Recipe

Chocolate Orange Drops

Makes approximately 6 dozen. 


2 cups shortening ( or butter)

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese softened 

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

4 eggs

1 Tablespoon orange peel

1 Tablespoon vanilla ( Jan used orange flavoring)

4 cups flour 

5 teaspoons baking powder 

2 teaspoons salt

4 cups chocolate chips 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together shortening, cheese, & sugars.

Add eggs, orange peel, and vanilla ( or orange ) flavor ; beat well. 

Mix in baking powder, salt & flour. Add in Chocolate chips, mix well.

Drop by Large Tablespoons or cookie scoop 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes, do not over bake. 

Let cool 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. 


Strawberry, Peaches & Cream Popsicles with Gingersnap Crumbles

Homemade Popsicles

With summer comes popsicles, and homemade ones are the best of all! My grandchildren are coming out for a visit so I wanted to make sure to stock up on some cool treats, that were full of wholesome ingredients, yet still have a fun twist too!

Homemade Popsicles
Fresh peaches and strawberries, real cream, and yogurt, and just a touch of honey.. that's it folks! You'll never miss all the added sugar, if you choose your yogurt wisely!

I did fill some of the mix into zipsicle pouches, for my toddler grandchildren. They are reusable, and are so easy to use! I buy mine from amazon.

For a grownup touch.. I filled the bottom of some of the popsicle molds with crumbled gingersnaps.. and oh what a special treat! You must not leave this part out! What a nice way to "start nibbling" on your popsicle!
Homeamade Popsicles

Let's get you started mixing up those popsicles!

print recipe

Strawberry Peaches & Cream Popsicles with Gingersnap Crumbles
  • 3-4 Peaches, peeled, quartered & pitted (or canned, drained)
  • 10 strawberries hulled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt (or vanilla)
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 4-5 Gingersnap cookies roughly chopped
In blender, blend together the peaches, strawberries, cream and yogurt in a blender until smooth.Place about a tablespoon of the chopped cookies into each well of the popsicle molds.Divide the strawberry-peach mixture between the wells of the popsicle mold.Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for about 5 hours until solid.


Blue Ribbon Zucchini Bread

Family Recipes are what makes life the best! and this Zucchini bread recipe has filled our families summers with sweet deliciousness for generations.

With fresh zucchini in abundance from our gardens, there was always a batch of this bread on hand in the kitchen. Our favorite way as child to eat it was lightly toasted with a schmear of peanut butter! I grew up with my dad having the recipe, but I've tracked the recipe back to his mother, and now I've passed it along to my children so it just keeps the memories alive for more generations.

Why am I calling it Blue Ribbon Zucchini bread? I was involved in 4-H when I was growing up. It is a wonderful organization to teach youth so many skills and be involved in community! I always submitted this recipe to our county fair competition every year, and it always came out the winner, every time. Well, except one year.  My grandmother had come down to help us out one summer, and had accidentally filled our "sugar" bowl" with salt. so when i went to make the bread, I measured out what I thought was sugar, and apparently it wasn't. The judge knew something must have gone wrong, and noticing my despair , said I could make another batch that night and bring it back in the morning and they'd judge it again for me. phew.. wasn't that wonderful? 2nd chances?  My grandmother and I ended up laughing about it later and always had a special bond!

Printable Copy

Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 eggs
2 cups zucchini grated (no need to peel)
1 cup  vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 Cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Optional: chopped nuts, raisins or chocolate chips 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 2 (9x5x3 inch ) loaf pans with non stick cooking spray.
  • In mixing bowl, beat eggs till light & foamy.  Add oil, sugar & vanilla, mixing well,
  • Stir in zucchini mix lightly but well. Add in flour, salt soda, cinnamon,  & baking powder to wet ingredients and mix well.  Add optional ingredients.
  • Pour batter evenly between prepared pans. 
  • Bake 1 hour or until tests done in the center with a toothpick.

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