Archive for the ‘salad’ Category

This dressing had me shoveling salad in as fast as I could. Maybe that’s not a good thing.

At any rate, it lives up to its name. It’s better than homemade ranch, which is my usual go-to when it comes to creamy dressing. Very Good Salad Dressing

Adapted from Fix It and Enjoy It: Potluck Heaven

1 cup mayonnaise 

2 T sugar

2 t prepared mustard

Pinch salt

1/2 t celery seed

1 t parsley flakes

Dill pickle juice

Mix everything together using as much pickle juice as needed to make dressing the desired consistency. Refrigerate several hours to allow flavors to meld.

Yield: a generous cup 


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I meant for this to travel with us to the cabin for the next two days but it didn’t make it there. When I plated it for the photo, I had to take a bite. And then I ate the whole pile. 

If it WOULD have made it to Christmas, it would have been the perfect antidote to all that sugar I know I’ll consume. 

Kale Salad

Told to me by my mom 

Kale (4 c finely chopped ended up giving me a pint of salad)


Lemon juice 

Sliced almonds 



Grated sharp cheddar (or crumbled feta)


Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Black pepper

Remove the stems from the kale as well as the larger veins. Chop it very fine and place in a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt and a sprinkling of lemon juice.  Then comes the fun part. Get your hands in there and smash that kale all up. Really give it a good massage. You want it all to turn wet and dark green. 

Next toast your almonds. Use a skillet on the stove top or a pan in the oven. Whatever floats your boat. Than throw the hot nuts on top of the kale and give it a stir. Add remaining ingredients, but don’t overdue it on the balsamic. It’s a background flavor. And you don’t need much oil. Give it a stir and eat immediately or refrigerate up to a day or two. 

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Tomato Platter


This dish will forever remind me of grandma’s house in the summer time. One of my favorite food memories. Juicy summer tomatoes are difficult to beat, especially with a sprinkling of sugar!

Tomato Platter

Thickly sliced tomatoes

Minced celery

Minced onion


Cider vinegar

Arrange tomatoes on a platter or plate. Sprinkle with a smattering or celery and onion.

Mix sugar with enough vinegar to make it just so runny enough to drizzle. Drizzle over veggies. Serve.

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This morning I cooked three pounds of dried beans. Then we had to go away before I could get them frozen. 4 o’clock found me needing something quick for supper and what do you know, the beans were still sitting out so I hunted down a salad recipe. Vegetarian recipe books are good ones for the bean recipes so i checked in my Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook. Jackpot!

Cilantro is a relatively new herb for me. I did not grow up eating it and only really tried it when Brad requested that I make guacamole and the recipe I chose called for it. I ended up buying one of those sad grocery-store pots of the stuff. It made delicious guac so I bought an actual plant and, much to the children’s dismay, planted it. And the stuff readily reseeds itself so we will forever have cilantro. Sorry kids. 

The original recipe calls for half a bunch of parsley and half of cilantro. I cut way back since nobody is a fan of that many herbs around here. Nobody really likes bean salad either (except me) but sometimes I ask them deal with it. Sorry kids.   

(Other similar bean salads I’ve blogged: here, here, and a bean salsa here.) 

All that to say, this is quick, fresh, and delicious!  

Puerto Rican Bean Salad

Adapted from the aforementioned cookbook

4 cups cooked dry beans (I used black, kidney, and navy)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen)

1 rib celery, chopped

2 T fresh parsley

2 T fresh cilantro

Couple of T pineapple juice

1/2 t lime zest

Good drizzle of olive oil

Good drizzle of red wine vinegar 

1 t salt

Drizzle of honey

3/4 t chili powder

1/4 t oregano 

Mix everything together and chill several hours before serving. 

Yield: about 5 cups 

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Every now and then I have a (slightly) genius idea.  

This salad is one of them. The fresh asparagus is lightly steamed just enough to take away the raw edge. Then frozen peas (or fresh!) are cooked just enough to freshen them up a bit. Throw on the dressing and you have spring in a pretty bowl!  

Asparagus and Green Pea Salad

1 handful fresh asparagus, diced

a generous cup of peas

1 T fresh chives

a good drizzle of olive oil

a splash of red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steam asparagus and peas just enough to take off raw edge. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve room temp or chilled.

Yield: 2-3 cups? 

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I made this today for a quick lunch. It was refreshing on this muggy day. It would also make for a lovely light supper. I would love to try this salad with wheat berries or something similar in place of the pasta but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to get other family members to eat it so pasta it was! Switch up the green veggies if you don’t happen to have what I used.  Sesame and Spring Veggie Chicken Pasta Salad

Adapted from Simply in Season

1 1/2 cups (or a bit more) chicken stock

1 t soy sauce 1 t toasted sesame oil

3/4 cup small pasta, uncooked (orzo, ABCs, etc)

1 cup chopped asparagus

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen red pepper

1 cup cooked diced chicken

1 cup cooked white beans

3 T lemon juice

2 T soy sauce

1 T olive oil

1 T chopped chives

1/4 t fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

1 T toasted sesame seeds

Bring stock, sesame oil, and 1 t soy sauce to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost all of liquid is absorbed. Add asparagus and cook a few more minutes or until pasta is al dente and asaparagus is crisp tender. Add more stock if it’s getting too dry.  Put peas and peppers into a bowl. Dump the hot pasta over top and stir. Add chicken and beans.   Stir together the lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, chives, and black pepper. Pour over the salad and stir. Chill or serve room temperature, topping with almonds and sesame seeds just prior to serving.

Serves 3-4

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I had watercress for the first time last spring. My grandma served it to me on butter bread. A simple way to use some of the first spring greens! 

I also have spinach early this year thanks to my cold frame. We’ve been eating it in large salads (or sautéed with butter and salt) because we are almost out of green veggies in the freezer. Only two meals of beans left!

(But the asparagus is up! We shall soon feast on garden goodies every day.)

My current favorite spinach salad has toasted almonds, cheddar cheese, and raisins on top. I use this dressing or just a balsamic vinegar and walnut oil. 

So there you go. A simple spring lunch.   

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