Fall in Love with Grapes: Fall Salad with California Grapes and Gruyere Cheese

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Table Grape Commission and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Fall Salad with California Grapes and Gruyere Cheese

Sure you enjoy California grapes straight off  the vine.  It’s my favorite way to eat them! But have you considered using grapes to add a colorfull twist and nutritional boost to some of your favorite fall snacks and recipes? You should know that grapes of all colors- red, black and green -are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. One serving of grapes (3/4 cup) contains only 90 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, and virtually no sodium and also provide potassium and are a good source of vitamin K. Because they are now at their peak (available every season May – January) it’s the perfect time to ‘fall in love with grapes’.  I am thrilled this sweet, satisfying fruit I have enjoyed all summer can also be part of my fall and winter healthy eating habits!

Those of you who follow my blog know I am a salad fan. Today I am posting my latest side salad creation that is simple, made with fresh ingredients and finished with a light vinaigrette.  Add chicken and you’ve got a meal.  After preparing this for the first time, I though, why has it taken me sooo long to realize California Grapes are an outstanding salad ingredient?! This is now one of my favorite salads to make for lunch or dinner. However, there is one caveat: make sure you buy enough grapes so there are plenty for eating off the vine and still some left for your salad. Enjoy! Please see the links at the bottom of this post to discover new ways you can make everything better this fall with  California Grapes!

Do you have a snack or recipe you make better with grapes?


Fall Salad with California Grapes and Gruyere Cheese

 by Diane Boyd


    for the roasted peppers

    • 2 whole yellow bell peppers

    for the salad

    • 1 head romaine lettuce
    • 1/2 head red leaf lettuce
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 2 roasted yellow bell peppers, cut into strips
    • 1 1/2 cups red California table grapes
    • 2 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded

    for the vinaigrette

    • 3 Tablespoons canola or olive oil
    • 2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • fresh cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste


    for the roasted peppers

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange peppers on a foil covered cookie sheet and place in oven. Roast peppers, turning occasionally for about 30 minutes, or until skins puff up and they are almost blackened. Remove from oven and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to sweat for about 5 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and deseed them.

    for the vinaigrette

    Combine all ingredients from oil to sugar and mix well with a fork or mini whisk.

    for the salad

    In a large bowl combine both types of lettuce, romaine and red leaf. Add roasted peppers, red onion, and grapes. Season with cracked salt and black pepper, as desired. Add vinaigrette and toss well. Top with grated cheese. Serve immediately. (serves 4-6)

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    Care Package for Coeds

    My pumpkin is now living in a dorm. She and her roommate have taken lots of  pride in the room they decorated by themselves and now call their own. Just this week she agreed I could come on campus for a visit and tour. So I did what Moms all across the country do for their college kids… make a care package! Today’s post is about what I put in my care package for Sydney and Emily. Fortunately for me, campus is only 3 miles away so I can don’t have to worry about mailing perishables.  I just focused on some healthy foods the girls could snack on in their room or eat on the run.   Here is a picture of my basket and a brief description of what I  included.

    Care Package for Coeds

    Refrigerator Pickles: If you read my blog regularly you’ll recall I  just posted the recipe for these on my last Recipe Redux! They are sweet, crisp and crunchy and make a great light snack when you’re craving something sweet.

    Fruit: Yea, it’s a no brainer.  I have included bananas and green apples because they are both easy to store and easy to grab on the way out to class. They offer a  healthy contribution of nutrients,  are around 100 calories each  and are a great source of antioxidants including vitamin A and C.

    Protein Powder: If  your college student has a a choice between sleep and breakfast what will he/she choose? Yep, unfortunately the choice of sleep leaves many skipping breakfast. A scoop of protein powder can easily be mixed into a beverage including coffee (hot or iced) and gulped up on  the way to class. Spreading protein intake throughout the day (vs loading up at one meal) is important in allowing the body to effectively build muscle and other proteins. It’s also helpful to your student who is  aiming to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Protein increases satiety and including about 20 grams in the morning possibly reduces caloric intake for the rest of the day. I prefer biPro whey protein because it is unflavored (you can pick the flavor) it is sugar free, carbohydrate free and lactose free. It is also NSF certified for sport. Very important for NCAA athletes.

    Greek Yogurt: I wish this was around when I was in college! Back in the day, on the campus of the University of Delaware, I ate many  containers of regular yogurt. Both styles of yogurt have health benefits including  live bacteria cultures (good for your gut), protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, phosphorous and potassium. But a container of Greek yogurt packs in twice the protein for the same size container of regular yogurt, making it a smart choice in between classes when you don’t have time for a meal. I’ve tucked two of my daughter’s favorites for snacking in this basket: Chobani bites (mint with dark chocolate chips), and the Chobani champions that don’t even require a spoon!

    After you stock your kids dorm, stash a few of these healthy snacks in your own pantry and refrigerator for the busy and sleep deprived undergrad in all of us! Have a terrific week!

    How do you( or your kids) stock a dorm room? 

    Disclosure: Chobani and biPro both sent me complimentary samples of their  products. I was not expected to post a review, nor am I  being compensated for doing so. Opinions are honest and my own.

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