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Category Archives: Salads/Dressings

Spicy Orange and Sweet Potato Salad

I took a gamble and stepped out of the box on Spicy Orange and Sweet Potato Salad.  I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes.  I prefer them any day to a regular white potato.

I tested this salad out at the birthday party for the kids.  Every summer event there is the same old  variation of potato salad which I do love but  I can’t help but mix things up.  This salad was a big hit and turned out great.  Thank you Rachel Ray, this recipe was published in the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine June 2013 issue.

I doubled the recipe for the large crowd but probably could have kept it the same.  I guess not everyone has the love I have for sweet potatoes.  Or maybe I just always over-estimate how much a crowd will eat, but I suppose that is better than underestimating.  When hosting I always fear I will run out of food.

Spicy Orange and Sweet Potato Salad

Spicy Orange and Sweet Potato Salad:

  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs. boiled sweet potatoes, cooked until tender and cubed
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbs chipotle in adobe sauce, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • more cilantro for sprinkling

Peel and cube cooked potatoes and place in a large bowl.

Whisk together zest and juice of orange, chipotle pepper, and cumin.  Pour over potatoes and toss to coat, allow to sit for about five minutes.

Meanwhile stir together mayo and cilantro.  Now combine it all and season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with a bit more cilantro.  Yummy!

Spicy Orange and Sweet Potato Salad

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Mad Hatter Salad

Mad Hatter Salad

I am renaming this salad to stuff your face, only because you can’t stop eating more.  My mother brought Mad Hatter Salad Recipe – Allrecipes.com to a family gathering and I am hooked.  The only problem is that it makes a ton, so you have to make it for larger gatherings.

Lucky for me we are hosting a birthday and I get to make a bunch of my favorite food.  I did let the kids pick out their favorites as well, it is their birthdays after all.  Many people went up for seconds at the party.  Even though the leftovers were soggy I ate them all up the next day for breakfast.

I have changed the original only slightly, but in a healthier direction.  I did not notice a taste difference, I just reduced the butter amount and changed-up the directions a bit.

Mad Hatter Salad:

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, cut up
  • 8 green onions, chopped

Crunchy Mix:

  • 2 packages of chicken or oriental top ramen
  • 1 cup slivered almond, optional or served on the side
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil (grape seed, canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Combine cabbage, broccoli, and green onions in a  large bowl.

Meanwhile melt butter in a pan and toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, and ramen noodles with one package on seasoning.  If you are keeping the almonds separate I just leave them in a bowl at the side and skip toasting them.

While in a jar combine the dressing ingredients and the other package of seasoning mix, and shake what your mama gave you.

Keep the greens, the crunchy mix, and the dressing separate until just before serving.  Then just toss until coated to serve.Mad Hatter Salad

Zesty Grilled Chicken Salad

I got this recipe out of one of my favorite cookbooks from a local author Frances A. Gillette.  Although all of her cookbooks are wonderful, Zesty Grilled Chicken Salad came out of Romancing the West.

This salad is great on a summer night, and is really a one dish meal.  You have protein and lots of greens, so please enjoy.

Zesty Grilled Chicken Salad

Zesty Grilled Chicken Salad:

 

Salad:

  • 1-2 grilled chicken breast
  • 2 Romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 3/4 cup of black olives, cut in halves
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 3 Tbs plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 4-6 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

 

The original directions say to use grilled chicken breasts.  We have found, we love roasted red pepper salad dressing to marinate chicken for about 1-4 hours.  We then use the BBQ or indoor grill to grill it until done.  Always allow chicken to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Using a blender or immersion blender, blend 1/2 cup of feta cheese and remaining dressing ingredients until smooth.  Stir in onion and allow to sit in the fridge.  I blend it all in a wide mouth jar, add my onion, throw a lid on it.

Toss all salad ingredients with dressing.

Chunky Chicken Salad

Chunky Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is a great change to the regular weekday sandwich.  Not to mention once you put it together, it keeps all week and you can have a sandwich in 30 seconds.  Mr.Picky is a huge fan of chicken salad, and it travels well out-of-town.

Enjoy this recipe, and feel free to add in walnuts or almonds which would both taste great.  Serve with crackers, as a sandwich, or with tortilla chips.

Chunky Chicken Salad:

  • About 4-5 cups of cooked chicken, shredded or diced (I used a rotisserie chicken, skin removed)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup dried cranberries

Whisk together mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.

Once dressing is combined and tastes good, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Allow to chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop.

Sweet Restaurant Slaw

My mother makes great coleslaw, always off the top of her head.  Mr.Picky like with most things is picky about his coleslaw.  He always wants store-bought dressing, which I refuse to buy.  I set out to try a recipe I thought would fit into his bottled dressing.  I think I found it, and even our daughter decided she now loves coleslaw.

Thanks to Sweet Restaurant Slaw on Allrecipes, this is the recipe I made.

Sweet Restaurant ColeslawSweet Restaurant Slaw:

  • 16 oz. cabbage mix or half a large head of cabbage shredded
  • 2 Tbs onions, diced finely

Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined.  Toss dressing, cabbage, and onion together until well coated.

Allow to chill for at least 2 hours, this is very important.

Four Bean Salad

It feels like every summer night for dinner at Grandma’s house this salad was on the table.  I know Grandma loves it and so do I.  Mr.Picky will eat it, but I am pretty sure he doesn’t count beans as vegetables.  The kids will eat it, sometimes leaving behind this or that.

In fact a few weeks ago I was in the grocery store and watched someone buy this salad premade.  This was a crazy idea, not only is it not cost-effective but it can’t and doesn’t taste as good.  You can adjust the amount of sugar for a more tangy salad, but I suggest you make it according to the recipe at least the first time.

Four Bean SaladFour Bean Salad:

  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can wax beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • ½ cup chopped sweet onion
  • chopped green pepper
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup oil (canola or grape seed)
  • ½ tsp pepper

Drain and rinse all the beans, combine with the onion and pepper in a large bowl.

Whisk together the sugar and vinegar first, this will allow the sugar to dissolve fully.  Add in oil and pepper and whisk until well combined.  Pour over bean salad and stir to combine.

If possible make this salad the night before, with a minimum of 4 hours to chill.  The longer it sits the better the flavor.

 

7 Layer Salad

7 Layer Salad

This recipe is very familiar to me, we ate it growing up for dinner in the summer time.  Mr. Picky loves this salad, he often requests it.  It is probably the easiest way to get him to eat his vegetables and go back for seconds and thirds.  Okay so the vegetables are covered with mayonnaise, cheese, and bacon but who am I to judge.

The best part of this salad is that it tastes best if made 4-24 hours ahead of time.  Which makes it perfect for summer or to take along to a potluck.  Make it the night before a busy day and come home to dinner done.  I have seen the ingredients vary from recipe to recipe but this is how I make it.

7 Layer Salad:

  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce(not the same if you substitute, you really need this to make the salad have it’s crunch)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion (either red or green onions 3-4 stocks), chopped
  • Frozen Peas (16 oz.), thawed and rinsed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded), I only had a blend on hand this day
  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs powdered parmesan cheese (what I call “fake” parmesan out of a can)

Wash, chop, and dry your lettuce.  You want to have nice bite size pieces of lettuce.

Whisk together mayo, sugar, pepper and powdered parmesan cheese.  Set aside, this will be your dressing layer.

In a large glass bowl you are going to layer your salad in the following order.  A clear glass trifle bowl works great so you can see all the layers.  I don’t have one  but will be on the look out the perfect one to add to my collection of bowls.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Helping hands making 7 layer salad.

Layering: Lettuce, green pepper, onions, peas, mayo dressing, shredded cheese, and then bacon.

Cover and refrigerate for  4 to 24 hours.  The salad really needs to chill for at least 4 hours or it will not taste the same.  When serving be sure to scoop all the way down through your layers.

Even though we are a small family of four this salad lasts in our fridge for a few days just dishing it out as we want.

Individual 7 Layer SaladsAfter making this the other night for dinner Mr.Picky decided he wanted bowls of it packed for his dinners for the week.  So away I went making generous Tupperware filled with 7 Layer Salad.  No complaints from me, he is eating vegetables and I only had to make one thing for three dinners.

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