Friday, March 30, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - 7 Layer Salad

This is another favorite Summer salad.  It is so cool and refreshing.  It makes a better side dish than a main dish (for my family at least) but is nice to make since you have to make it ahead (it's done for dinner the next night).

7 Layer Salad

1 medium head lettuce, torn in pieces
2 - 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup green onion (tops and all)
1/2 cup green pepper
1 box frozen peas (cooked and drained)
1 cup mayonnaise plus 2 tablespoons sugar (mix together)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 pieces bacon, fried and crumbled

Layer each part, even mayonnaise. Let set in refrigerator overnight.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Salad in a Jar

The newest salad thing I have seen lately is Salad in a Jar.  The secret to the Salad in a Jar is not allowing your lettuce (or spinach) to come into contact with the salad dressing.  There is no "recipe" per say - you simply put your salad dressing in the bottom of a mason jar, then throw in whatever ingredients you have on hand or desire into the jar next making sure that the lettuce is on top.  Seal up the jar and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. They are great for those days when you just don't know what to eat and don't feel like making something or to take on the go to work, a picnic or a long day of shopping.  Here are some examples to get you thinking.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Taco Salad

Taco Salad is one of my favorite salads that reminds me of back when I lived at home.  I remember eating this salad growing up.  It's a good thing.

Taco Salad

1 head lettuce
1 small onion
2 tomatoes
Taco seasoning to taste
3/4 pound hamburger
1 (7 ounce) package nacho flavored Doritos
1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 small bottle Thousand Island Dressing

Brown meat; drain. Add taco seasoning to meat and mix well. Cool meat mixture before adding rest of ingredients. Chop lettuce, tomatoes and onion. Add to meat mixture. Add cheese. Crush chips in bag. Add chips and dressing. Eat while chips are crisp.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Croutons

Croutons are a necessity when it comes to salads. Just recently I read how bad the store bought croutons are for you. Croutons are very simple to make yourself but can be a bit intimidating. Here is my (rough) version of making your own croutons.


Couple pieces day(s) old bread

Butter both sides of the bread. Cut into small squares. Place on baking sheet. Move oven rack to highest level in your oven. Place croutons in the oven and broil. When they start to brown, remove from oven. *It won't be long so you need to stand there and watch them or they will burn (personal experience). Flip each crouton over and put back in oven. They will still seem soft even after they are done, but leave them on the counter for a bit and will harden up into awesome croutons.

Monday, March 26, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - BLT Salad

A healthy BLT Salad? What more is there to say?

BLT Salad

1 cup cubed whole wheat country bread
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, divided
3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced chives, or scallion greens
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 cups chopped hearts of romaine lettuce
3 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss bread with oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut 1 tomato in half. Working over a large bowl, shred both halves using the large holes on a box grater. Discard the skin. Add mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), vinegar, garlic powder and pepper; whisk to combine.

Chop the remaining 3 tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, romaine and croutons to the bowl with the dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon.

Recipe and picture from EatingWell, July/August 2007

Friday, March 23, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Olive Garden Salad Dressing {Copycat}

Olive Garden Salad Dressing {Copycat}

1 (8 ounce) bottle Paul Newman's Own vinegar and oil dressing
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar

Put ingredients into the bottle of dressing and shake well. Refrigerate 24 hours before serving.

Recipe from

Thursday, March 22, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Olive Garden Salad {Copycat}

Olive Garden may no longer hold a place in my heart for Italian food, but I do love their salad and breadsticks!  The perfect combination!

Olive Garden Salad {Copycat}

1 bag romaine lettuce (just use the hearts)
4 - 5 slices red onion
1 cup large whole black olives
2 - 4 Pepperoncini's (sweet Italian peppers)
1/2 cup croutons
1 or 2 tomatoes, quartered
Freshly grated Romano cheese

Combine salad ingredients and toss. Serve with Olive Garden Dressing.*

*Recipe coming tomorrow.

Recipe from / Picture from

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Caprese Salad on a Stick

Caprese Salad to me is like the sun in the Summertime. They go hand in hand. And things that are on a stick are so much fun! Of course this recipe spoke to my Summer food stick heart. Cannot wait to make it for guests this week!

Caprese Salad on a Stick

Fresh basil leaves
Grape tomatoes
Marinated mozzarella balls
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Feed the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella onto a skewer in a pattern. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Before serving, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a gentle boil and allow to reduce at least by half (maybe 10-15 minutes).  Stir frequently.
Drizzle over the top of the skewers.

Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Homemade Ranch Dressing

Just the other day as I was chopping up carrots for Elianna's lunch, the thought popped into my head that I should make some ranch dressing. I quickly dismissed the idea thinking there is no possible way. Then, lo and behold, what do I find but a recipe for homemade ranch dressing. Didn't get to make it, but believe me - it's on The List. 

In looking at different recipes, there are some that call for dill and some that don't. Since I personally like dill (and I have a ton of it in the fridge), I went with this recipe.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream, plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 large clove garlic (or two small), minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together and store in a glass jar or other sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*Note: makes 1 cup

Recipe from

Monday, March 19, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Guacamole Salad

 Does anyone else out there totally love avocados? I absolutely adore them! Raw, on my salad, made into guacamole - just about any way. Delicious! So when I saw this salad, I knew. I just knew it had to be shared. So here it is.

Guacamole Salad

8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/3 cup Italian dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
15 tortilla chips, broken into pieces

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix dressing and lime juice. Add to salad; toss to coat.

Top with chips.

*Add chopped fresh cilantro for extra flavor.

Recipe and picture from

Friday, March 16, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Caesar Salad Bites

This may not technically fall into the "salad" category, but is so ingenious for a party! You can still feel good about feeding your guests a "healthy" option and having it look awesome at the same time! Double whammy!

Caesar Salad Bites

2 romaine lettuce hearts
2/3 cup bottled creamy Ceasar dressing
1/2 English cucumber, chopped
1-1/4 cups small seasoned croutons
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Separate romaine hearts into 24 medium leaves, and arrange on a large platter.  Spoon dressing lightly down center of each leaf. Top with chopped cucumber and next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with pepper to taste.

Recipe and picture from Southern Living, December 2010

Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Green Goddess Salad Dressing

When we lived in New Jersey, we occasionally frequented Salad Works which is a make your own salad kind of place. My all time favorite dressing from there is the Green Goddess Salad Dressing. It tasted awesome on the salad but to dip your roll into it was heavenly. This recipe sounds very similar to SaladWorks Green Goddess.

PS - Don't be freaked out by the anchovies. You can't taste them. I promise. Seriously, I wouldn't devour that dressing like I did if they were tastable.
Green Goddess Salad Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 very fresh large egg yolks
1/2 cup flat parsley leaves
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
1 large scallion, chopped, about 1 tablespoon
3-4 anchovy fillets, soaked in milk for 10 minutes, then rinsed, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon finely grated zest
1/2 cup finely chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons buttermilk, as needed, to thin the dressing

Place the mayonnaise, sour cream, egg yolks, parsley, tarragon, scallion, anchovies, and lime juice in a mixing bowl just large enough to hold everything. Puree with an immersion blender until the parsley is finely minced, and the mixture is fairly smooth and pale green. Add the chives, pepper to taste, and enough buttermilk to thin the mixture so you can puree it a bit further. Buzz with the immersion blender until the chives are mixed in well. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Refrigerate, covered tightly, for at least an hour or refrigerate overnight.

Recipe from / Picture from

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Big Steak Salad (by The Pioneer Woman)

My Chris made The Pioneer Woman's Big Steak Salad for me once and oh it is delicious! Makes me hungry just thinking about it! Click on the link below to hop on over to her website, look at the step by step pictures and drool over this salad. Of course, it would be much better if you just made it and gobbled it up!  

 Picture from

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Sugared Pecans

There is nothing better than a salad with awesome toppings and what better topping than sugared pecans. If there is something I would suggest more than anything on top of a salad it is these sugared pecans.

Sugared Pecans

1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  In mixing bowl whip together egg white and water until frothy.

In a separate bowl mix sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Add pecans to egg whites - stir to coat evenly.  Toss coated pecans in sugar mix.  Spread onto baking sheet.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stir every 15 minutes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Strawberry Spinach Salad

This has to be my all time favorite salad! When I was looking for the recipe, I couldn't find it at first and literally started to panic. Thankfully, I found it!  It is oh so delicious and couldn't be easier to make!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 package fresh baby spinach leaves
1 pint strawberries, cut into pieces

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Mix dressing ingredients and pour over spinach leaves and strawberries.

Recipe from Sue Hanft

Friday, March 9, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Tossed Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Almonds

This is another one of those salads that I love - it tastes so fresh and healthy.

Tossed Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Almonds

2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 cups torn romaine lettuce
3 celery stalks, sliced
8 scallions, sliced
One 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid or in a small bowl, combine the parsley, vinegar, oil, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon water; cover and shake well or whisk until blended.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, celery and scallions. Add the dressing; toss to coat. Serve, topped with orange sections and almonds.

Recipe from Weight Watchers: Simply the Best / Picture from

Thursday, March 8, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Cilantro Caesar Salad

Back many many moons ago, I attended Weight Watchers meetings, ate their food and bought their recipe books. This is one recipe that I loved to make but had forgotten about until I decided to do March salads. I am so glad I re-found it!  Excited to make it (after I go to the store)!

Cilantro Caesar Salad

4 cups torn romaine lettuce
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fat-free Caesar salad dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cilantro and scallions. Add the dressing and lemon juice; toss to coat. Serve, sprinkled with the cheese.

Recipe from Weight Watchers: Simply the Best

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Asian Salad

Realizing that I said it would be the green leafy kind of salads this month, I am still going to post this salad I was recently introduced to by my friend Jenn. It is a definitely a different kind of salad, but goes well with, well obviously, fried rice or General's chicken. 

Asian Salad

1 bag of coleslaw
2 packs of chicken ramen
1/2 cup oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Options: Sunflower seeds or sliced almonds, chicken

Mix oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and seasonings from ramen. Toss other ingredients. Add dressing.

Recipe from Jenn Pollard / Picture from

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

Maple Syrup Vinaigrette

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Place all of the above ingredients in a small jar and shake, then drizzle over the salad.

Recipe and picture from

Monday, March 5, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Apple, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

This probably has to be one of my very favoritest salads. Ever. Try it with a Maple Syrup Vinaigrette (recipe coming tomorrow - actually today since I was late in posting this - to be super technical it would be yesterday but who's keeping track?  Run on sentence much?). 

I thought this salad was original with me since one night I simply threw these ingredients together because they sounded good.  Great minds think alike apparently.

Apple, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

Arugula lettuce greens
Blue cheese crumbles
Apple (I like Fuji or Gala)
Walnuts, chopped

Throw it all together and drizzle with Maple Syrup Vinaigrette!

Recipe and picture from

Friday, March 2, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Oregano Garlic Vinaigrette

Oregano Garlic Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/4 cups mild and fruity olive oil
Rub the oregano in your hands to warm it and release its oils.  Toast it in a dry skillet over low heat for a minute or two.
Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl.  If you have time, warm the dressing over low heat for a few minutes to intensify the flavors.

Recipe from “Mediterranean Fresh” by Joyce Goldstein

Thursday, March 1, 2012

'Tis the Season for Salad - Greek Country Salad

I’m not quite sure how it is March already since yesterday it was the beginning of January, but somehow my calendar says March. When I think of March, like most others, I think green. - St. Patrick’s Day - To honor my green Irish roots, and to be a bit healthier, we celebrate March with salad. The green leafy kind - not the jello, pasta, fruity kind. They are for another day - a not as healthy day.

Greek Country Salad

1/2 cup oregano garlic vinaigrette
4 ripe but firm tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 small green bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 cups torn or coarsely chopped salad greens, such as romaine or escarole
20 Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 pound feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

At least 1 hour before serving, make the vinaigrette.

Drain the tomatoes in a colander for 20 minutes. Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

Recipe from “Mediterranean Fresh” by Joyce Goldstein