Summer is for salads! Baby spring mix, iceburg lettuce, romaine hearts; What’s your favorite? I recently discovered it’s not only the type of greens you use but the dressing that can make a salad into a gorgeous & fulfilling meal. I’m tired of the lettuce, tomato & onion plates they try to pass as side or house salads at restaurants.
I WANT A REAL SALAD PLEASE!!
I purchased some already cooked chicken tenders from the deli at my local super market and chopped them into bite size pieces. Also picked up a bag of baby spring mix (usually consists of baby spinach, arugula, frisee, raddichio, etc), walnuts, golden raisins, croutons, goat cheese and the Pièce de résistance… lemon poppy seed dressing! Combine the items to your liking (omit what you don’t like) and you’re left with a cool kitchen & a heck of a salad.
Some people still don’t think of salads as a meal only a side. I am here to say there are many salads out there that are full meals with protein and very little carbs! Great salad recipes have evolved because a salad is so much more than just lettuce with some dressing covering it. Salads can be cool or cold, warm or hot, and can be served as a side dish or the main meal. Different salads have uniquely different flavors and textures along with a wide array of ingredients. Here are a few of my online faves:
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
16 oz. uncooked bow ties, rotini, ziti or other shaped pasta
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen mixed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 C. Italian, creamy Italian or favorite dressing
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 C. pitted ripe olives, halved
Cook pasta and vegetables according to pkg. directions; drain. Mix together pasta and vegetables with remaining ingredients in lrg. bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. For variety, add sliced salami, cheese cubes, cooked chicken, turkey or cooked seafood to the salad
Ranch Tuna Macaroni Salad
2 (6 oz.) cans tuna
4 (12 oz.) C. dry macaroni
2 C. ranch dressing (your own or bottled)
1/2 C. diced red onions
1 C. diced celery
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
Cook the macaroni according to directions on pkg.. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill before servings.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and peeled or not peeled
- 2 large eggs, hard-cooked, peeled, and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion (scallions)
- 2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sour cream, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks and put in a medium saucepan. Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Drain and cool completely.
Put the potatoes in a large bowl with the chopped eggs, celery, red and green onion. Chill thoroughly.
Combine the mayonnaise, white vinegar, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Gently stir the mayonnaise mixture into the potato mixture until well blended.