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Sarah Adler wants to encourage home cooks to convert to a healthier lifestyle. The nutrition coach and food blogger is on a mission to advocate for healthy food choices, celebrating real food rather than packaged and processed items. This kind of transformation doesn’t have to happen overnight, Sarah explains, but it can be as simple as eschewing grocery store salad dressing for a homemade version.

Related Reading: How to Keep Yourself Calm, Well-Fed, and Healthy Right Now

“Most store-bought or conventional bottled dressings are full of sugar, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and oils that can cause inflammation in the body,” she says. “All of this on top of a healthy, nourishing salad? It defeats the point!”

Those who are looking for an easy, unintimidating way to convert to this kind of healthy lifestyle can look to Sarah’s cookbook, “Simply Real Eating.” The book brims with recipes that can be made every day, bound by real, good-for-you ingredients. Sarah channeled her background as a nutritionist to design real food-based recipes, aka, nothing processed or food that anyone can find, regardless of where they live. For the most part, the dishes are vegetable heavy—but balanced with protein and fiber—and all are gluten-free.    

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You’ll find the likes of three-ingredient tomato soup, roasted sheet pan chicken and vegetables, and butternut squash and sage risotto. There are plenty of desserts, too, like flourless brownies and salted dark chocolate peanut butter cups, daubed with flaky sea salt.

According to Sarah, once you’re armed with these feel-good recipes, the next best thing you can do to help change your health and mindsets around food is to examine ingredient labels, not nutrition facts.

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“Look at what the food is actually made of and with,” Sarah says. “They should be simple things to pronounce, food that you recognize, and overall, short to read. If you can pronounce what you’re eating, your body will be able to, too.”

Ahead, Sarah’s recipe for an upgraded Cobb salad. The illustrious salad is filled with hard-boiled eggs, sliced chicken breast, strips of turkey bacon, avocado, tomato, pea shoots, and blue cheese, then tossed with romaine lettuce and a mustard and vinegar dressing.

Excerpted from Simply Real Eating. Copyright 2020 by Sarah Adler. Photography by Carina Skrobecki Photography. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press. All rights reserved.

The Cobb Job Salad Recipe

These salad components can be made ahead of time for easy assembly of hearty lunches or a quick dinner. Just hold off on adding the avocado and dressing until you’re ready to eat. 

The Cobb Job Salad

Makes: 4-6 servings
  • 2 heads of bibb, butter or romaine lettuce
  • 6 strips nitrate-free turkey bacon, cooked
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 heirloom tomato or ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • Dressing: ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • Generous sprinkle sea salt and pepper
  1. Bring 4 cups of water each to boil in two separate saucepans. Drop in eggs to hard-boil for 9 minutes in one pot. When done, let cool before peeling and slicing in half. Add chicken breast to the other pot of hot water, and cook for 9-12 minutes until done. When chicken is done, discard water and shred meat with a fork. Season with sea salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Cook bacon if needed and whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or mug.
  3. Wash, tear and dry lettuce and add it to a large salad bowl. Add all ingredients over the lettuce, and toss with dressing to serve.

Header image by Carina Skrobecki Photography.

Amy Schulman is an associate editor at Chowhound. She is decidedly pro-chocolate.
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