Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Serious about Salads

In an effort to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diet, I recently spent some time thinking of and gathering the recipes (when necessary) for various kinds of salads. I'm keeping this list in my homemaking journal, hoping it will provide me with the inspiration to keep me out of the "salad rut" of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and salad dressing!

I have not yet tried the recipes for Caesar salad, Italian Salad dressing, Avocado-Jalapeno Salad Dressing, Red Bliss Potato Salad, or Cold Lemon-Ginger Asparagus. These all come recommended from various websites, magazines or friends and I intend to try all of them to see if I want them in my permanent repertoire. All the other recipes or types of salads are family favorites. You are welcome to try these yourself if you like...they represent my entire treasure trove of tried and true salad recipes! Or at the least, hopefully my list will inspire you to make your own list and more regularly incorporate creative salads into your daily diet!

House Salad:

Mixed greens, Tomato, Cucumber, Purple Onion, Colored Peppers, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Bacon Bits, Croutons, Shredded Cheese, Hard-boiled egg slices
Dressing: Ranch

Caesar Salad:

3 cloves garlic
3 flat anchovy fillets, drained and minced (try anchovy paste instead)
2 large egg yolks (try substitute)
1 T. white wine vinegar
2 t. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. salt
1 T. fresh lemon juice
3/4 c. olive oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into pieces, rinsed and spun dry
1/2 c. freshly-grated parmesan cheese
1 c. garlic-flavored croutons

Mince and mix the garlic with the anchovy paste. In a bowl, whisk together paste, yolks, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and lemon juice. Add oil in a stream, whisking, until it is emulsified.

Toss Romaine with Parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl; add dressing and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.

Croutons and Bacon Tips:
Try cubing and toasting any left over bread like sourdough, pumpernickle, italian - about 1 inch cubes. Put in the oven and toast on a cookie sheet. After frying bacon bits, reserve a tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pan and add another tablespoon or so of butter and a little seasoning salt. Toss the toasted bread cubes in the drippings in the same pan as the bacon was made in and let cool a bit before tossing on salad.

Italian Salad:

Mixed greens, Tomato, olives, cucumber, Shredded Parmesan, croutons, pepper
Dressing: Italian

Italian Salad Dressing (Recipe Zaar):
This is a delicious vinaigrette type dressing with lots of flavor. Makes 1 ½ c.

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove

Place first 7 ingredients in a bowl and very slowly whisk in olive oil. Add garlic and place dressing in a covered jar in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let flavors develop.

Italian Tricolore Salad:

This is the simplest of summer salads but so healthy for you and so easy to prepare. It gets its name from the three colors on the plate -- red, green and white.

For 2 servings -

1 ripe avocado
6-8 slices buffalo mozzarella
10-12 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Basil leaves
Fresh ground black pepper

Dice avocado, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and mix. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper to taste. From: RecipeZaar

Greek (Taverna Salad):

Dice the following: Cucumber, Tomato, Onion, Kalamata Olives

Add to taste: Feta cheese, Pepper, Oregano, Balsamic Vinegar, dash of olive oil (if desired)

Spinach Salad:

Baby or torn spinach, Strawberries, Dried cranberries, Avocado, Almonds, Sunflower seeds
Dressing: Raspberry Vinaigrette

Harvest Salad:

Mixed greens, Tart sliced apple, Dried cranberries, Blue cheese, Walnuts or Pecans, Sunflower seeds,
Dressing: Raspberry Vinaigrette or Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mandarin Avocado Toss:

½ c. each: sunflower seeds, slivered almonds
2 T. butter
½ c. vegetable oil
3 T. red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. sugar
½ t. each: salt and ground mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
4 c. torn leaf lettuce
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1-2 green onions, chopped

In a small skillet, sauté sunflower seeds and almonds in butter. Cool. Meanwhile, in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, mustard and garlic; shake well. In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuce, oranges, avocado, onions and sunflower seed mixture. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately. Yield: 6-8 servings. From: Taste of Home Annual Recipes 2001

Mexican Side Salad:

Avocado-Jalapeno Salad Dressing:

1/2 avocado, mashed
1/2 T. lemon or lime juice
1/4 c. sour cream or plain yogurt (4 ounces)
1/8 c. vegetable oil
1/4 t. sugar
1/4 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. chili powder
Jalapeno to taste
(Try adding cilantro)

Combine all ingredients and mix in blender until smooth.

Serve over green salad with tomato, remainder of avocado-cubed, olives, black or red kidney beans, yellow corn, green onions, shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar, and tortilla strips or crushed chips. Serves 6.

Couscous Salad:

4 c. cooked couscous
12 green onions, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 c. cucumber. Chopped
1 c. cooked garbanzo beans
2 c. parsley, chopped (or 1 cup parsley and 1 cup cilantro)

Mix all ingredients together and toss with the following salad dressing. Serves 12.

1 c. olive oil
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ t. Dijon mustard
1 ½ t. ground coriander
1 ½ t. salt
Freshly ground pepper

Great Coleslaw:

6 c. shredded cabbage
1 c. carrot, shredded
¼ c. green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c. celery, diced
1 c. mayonnaise (use part cream, sour cream or plain yogurt if desired)
2 T. each: sugar and white vinegar
1 t. each: prepared mustard and celery seeds
Cherry tomatoes (optional for garnish)

Combine cabbage, carrots, green pepper, onion and celery in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, mustard and celery seeds, mix thoroughly. Toss dressing lightly with vegetables. Cover and chill 2-3 hours before serving. Place cherry tomatoes around edge of serving bowl if desired. Makes 10-12 servings. From: Houston Chronicle-The Nine Seasons Cookbook by Pat Haley.

Lynda’s Confetti Pasta Salad:

Goes GREAT as a side to grilled chicken or hamburgers!

2 c. (oz) shell macaroni, uncooked
¾ c. bottled Italian dressing
¾ c. mayonnaise (try substituting plain yogurt for part of mayo.)
1 t. salt
1.4 t. pepper
1 – 1 ½ c. Cheddar cheese, cubed
1 c. chopped cauliflower
1 c. broccoli, chopped
¼ c. each: (finely chopped) celery, green pepper, red pepper
1 T. chopped parsley
¼ c. radishes, thinly sliced (optional)

Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well and cool. (Rinse with cold water to cool quickly; drain well). Combine Italian dressing, mayo, salt and pepper in bowl; blend well. Place macaroni, cheese, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, peppers, radishes and parsley in large bowl. Add pasta. Pour dressing over ingredients and toss lightly until pasta and veggies are evenly coated. Makes 8-10 servings. From: Aunt Lynda, Columbus Dispatch.

Broccoli Salad:

2 bunches broccoli
8 slices bacon (Try turkey bacon-cook crisp and crumble)
1 small green onion with stem
Walnuts, raisins and sunflower seeds to taste

1 c. slaw dressing (can used mixture of slaw dressing and plain yogurt)
¼ c. vinegar
¼ c. sugar
Pour dressing over broccoli, etc. just before serving. From: Grandma K

Family Potato Salad:

6 potatoes: boil, cook, skin and cube (or can leave skins on)
3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
2-3 T. pickle relish
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
1 ½ - 2 T. dried onion
celery seed to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Blendaise, enough to moisten
Sprinkle top with paprika (optional)

Mix together and chill. Family recipe.

Red Bliss Potato Salad:

2 lbs. Red potatoes
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2 med. celery stalks, finely chopped
½ c. mayo
1/3 c. sliced green onions (green parts only)
1 ½ t. salt
1/2 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Boil potatoes on high heat. Reduce to med-low heat, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes (16-18 min. if potatoes are large) or until fork-tender. Drain and cool slightly. Cube potatoes. Gently stir in vinegar. Let stand 30 minutes or until cool. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Cold Lemon-Ginger Asparagus:

1 ½ lb. Asparagus, tough ends snapped off.
2 T. fat-free chicken broth (highly flavored)
½ t. ginger root, freshly grated (or little less ground)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1 T. scallions, minced (or regular onion)
¼ t. table salt
¼ t. black pepper

Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a medium skillet. Place asparagus in skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until asparagus are crisp-tender (about 6-8 minutes). Drain well.

Place asparagus in a large glass bowl. Combine broth, ginger, lemon juice, scallion, salt and pepper together and pour over asparagus. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate. Chill.

Fresh Fruit Salad:

Slices apples, oranges, banana, grapes, peaches, strawberries, pecans or walnuts.
Dressing: Orange juice or sweetened yogurt


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