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Do you like chopped salads? I do! I love that with a chopped salad, you get a little bit of everything in every bite.

When my kids were younger, a chopped salad was a sure way to get a variety of things in their dinner without turned-up noses and scowls. My oldest wouldn't eat eggs, but boiled, chopped and tossed in a salad, she would scarf them up. My youngest hated tomatoes, but finely chopped and tossed with lettuce, cukes and carrots? Suddenly they weren't so bad.

For some picky kids, the "mixed up food thing" simply will not work. For my kids, the appeal had a lot to do with topping the salad with a yummy homemade dressing. (Today's Creamy Dijon Dressing takes just 5 minutes from start to finish!)

Chopped salads aren't just kid stuff. Now that I'm just cooking for myself, I often throw all the salad ingredients on a big chopping block, give it a couple of whacks and toss everything lightly with my favorite dressing.

Today's recipe is a perfect chopped salad recipe, packed full of great lean protein and lots of veggies. You can substitute whatever veggies you prefer, but to my mind, the more, the merrier. For a perfect boiled egg every time, check out our method, plus several ingenious ideas from readers, at

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Serves 4


8 cups torn romaine lettuce, chopped

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

4 ounces cooked chicken breast, chopped (see note)

1 large ripe tomato, unpeeled and chopped

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/2 cup chopped Kirby cucumbers, unpeeled

1/2 cup chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 cup seasoned croutons

1/4 cup Creamy Dijon Dressing (recipe follows)


Note: Any type of chicken will work. We love roasted, poached, pan-fried and grilled.

Place all ingredients, except croutons and dressing, in a bowl. Chop croutons into smaller pieces and add. Drizzle with dressing.

Toss well and serve.

Approximate Values Per serving: 303 calories (32 percent from fat), 21g fat (3g saturated), 131mg cholesterol, 15g protein, 14g carbohydrates, 4g dietary fiber, 325mg sodium.

Start to finish: 5 minutes

Makes about 1/2 cup


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon mayonnaise (see note)

1 tablespoon wine vinegar, white or red

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Note: Choose a mayonnaise you enjoy and the fat level of choice.

Pour all ingredients into a 2-cup glass measure or an 8-ounce or larger jar that has a lid. Whisk or shake very well to combine. Use right away or refrigerate up to 2 weeks. (Shake well to recombine.)

Approximate values per tablespoon (analysis is based on full-fat mayonnaise.): 135 calories (99 percent from fat), 16g fat (2g saturated), 0.63mg cholesterol, trace protein, trace carbohydrates, trace dietary fiber, 130mg sodium.

Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross can be reached at Desperation Dinners, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or email