You may know Melissa Ben-Ishay for her bite-size cupcake empire Baked by Melissa, but these days she’s been spending less time baking and more time making and sharing the recipes that she relies on to feed her family. The result is her new cookbook, Come Hungry, at the heart of which are hearty and flavorful salads that can sit at the center of any table. “The recipes I’ve included in this book are delicious, and they make you feel great,” promises Ben-Ishay. “They’re packed with flavor, are fast to make, and allow vibrant, nourishing produce to shine.” Try one of these satisfying salads for supper tonight!

Dilly Chicken on Toast

(Serves 4)

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
3 small dill pickles, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 ⁄3 cup mayonnaise
1 ⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. pickle juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 ⁄2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 ⁄4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
4 slices sourdough bread
Lettuce and tomato slices, to serve


1. In a bowl, mix first 6 ingredients.
2. In another bowl, whisk next 8 ingredients. Combine with the chicken mixture.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high. Pan-fry bread 4 to 5 minutes. per side.
4. Serve chicken salad on bread with lettuce and tomato.

PER SERVING: 482 calories, 23 grams protein, 76 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 10 grams fat.

Roasted Veggies and Freekeh

(Serves 4)

1 cup uncooked cracked freekeh
1 head cauliflower, chopped into 2″ florets
1 ⁄4 cup avocado oil
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 ⁄2 tsp. pepper 1 head broccoli, chopped into 2″ florets
3 tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, grated


1. Cook freekeh according to package instructions. Heat oven to 420°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss cauliflower with 2 tbsp. avocado oil in a bowl. Season with 1 ⁄2 tsp. salt and 1 ⁄4 tsp. pepper. Lay in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
3. Toss broccoli with remaining avocado oil. Season with remaining salt and pepper.
4. Remove cauliflower from oven and add broccoli to pan. Roast together 30 minutes.
5. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Season to taste.
6. Toss broccoli and cauliflower in dressing. Serve over the freekeh and drizzle with tahini, if desired.

PER SERVING: 381 calories, 10 grams protein, 32 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber, 4 grams sugar, 26 grams fat.

Sesame Chicken Salad

(Serves 4)

2 tbsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 ⁄4 tsp. pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 bunches bok choy, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 ⁄2 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
Toasted sesame seeds and wonton strips

1. Whisk first 6 ingredients. Place chicken in a dish and cover with marinade.
2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Cook chicken 5 minutes. per side. Let rest for several minutes before dicing.
3. Combine bok choy, spinach, red pepper and chicken in a large bowl. Toss with miso ginger vinaigrette*.
4. Serve salad topped with sesame seeds and wonton strips.

*For vinaigrette:
Blend 3 garlic cloves, a 1″-piece fresh ginger, 1 ⁄4 cup each toasted sesame oil, avocado oil and nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp. white miso paste, 2 tbsp. rice vinegar, juice of 2 lemons and 1 tsp. salt until smooth.

PER SERVING: 540 calories, 40 grams protein, 14 grams carbs, 6 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 37 grams fat.