Taffy Apple Salad

Since Christmas is almost here I should probably backtrack to Thanksgiving and share with you what my contribution was to one of the Thanksgiving celebrations that we attended this year. I love the combo of apples and chocolate.

Taffy Apple Salad
Source: Illinois Farm Bureau Cookbook

6-8 large apples, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
6 snickers bars, chopped
1 container of Cool Whip
1 box (3.4 oz) of instant vanilla pudding
2 cups milk

Chop the apples and candy bars and place in a large bowl. Prepare the instant pudding with the milk then fold the cool whip into the pudding. Pour that over the apples and candy. Stir to coat. Chill until ready to serve.
Best if eaten within 24 hours.

Christmas Salad

Tim’s cousin made this salad for a family function a few months ago and I tried to recreate it at home not long ago.   I kick myself for not getting the exact recipe from her because I know there is something different about the way she made it.  I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is though.  For one thing, I know she soaked dry chickpeas, but I went ahead and used canned.  In any case, it is still delicious.   I’ll caution that you start small on the amount of onion that you use.  I have found that a little bit of raw onion goes a very long way.

Instead of a salad, I could see this used like a relish for grilled or roasted meat such as pork tenderloin.  And I could also see it used as a salsa.  With the addition of chopped tomato it would be fantastic scooped up with tortilla chips.

Named for the red and green colors, it is a beautiful salad any time of year that pomegranates are in season.  Not just at Christmas time.

Christmas Salad

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

seeds from one large pomegranate

1/2 of a small red onion, very finely chopped {or less}

bunch of cilantro, chopped {about 1/4 cup}

juice of one lime

s & p to taste

1 tsp cumin or to taste

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil {about 2-3 tablespoons)

Directions:

Combine everything in a large bowl and allow flavors to meld for 1 hour before serving.

Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

As I mentioned previously, I am in love with making my own salad dressings.  This one is my current favorite.

Honey Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

Source:  adapted from Woman’s Day Magazine, September 15 2009

Ingredients

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp poppy seeds

Whisk all of the above in a small bowl or shake up in a jar.  Enjoy over salad greens or fruit.

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

I’m all about making my own salad dressings this summer!  This is the one that I’m hooked on right now.   I love the honey flavor!

I’m going to experiment with omitting the ground red pepper though.  I can’t believe I’m going to omit heat in a recipe, but it almost detracted from the other flavors and I could feel a little sting on my lips from it.  This is weird because I have never said anything was too hot for me before!  So, I’ll probably leave it out next time and just add a tiny pinch of cracked black pepper instead.

{Haha, that pitcher looks huge!}

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

Source:  Jenny Craig Cookbook

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons orange juice

1 {heaping} Tablespoon honey

2 tsp vegetable oil

1/8 tsp onion powder

scant 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper – optional?

Whisk all ingredients together and serve over chilled greens.  Makes 1/4 cup.

Chopped Summer Salad

We love side salads with our dinners or sometimes just as our dinner.  And I take a nice big salad to work for my lunch several times a week, so I’m mixing them up quite a bit.

I start with green leaf lettuce or mixed greens from our garden, then I mix and match from the following toppings:

chopped celery

chopped carrots

chopped bell pepper – any color

sliced green onions

sliced cucumber

broccoli

sunflower seeds

nuts – walnuts, sliced almonds, peanuts, or cashews

bacon bits

shredded cheese – any kind! {I’m diggin’ bleu cheese right now, but Tim is NOT}

croutons

chow mein noodles

golden raisins

Asian Cabbage Salad

Next to my broccoli salad, this is probably my second signature salad.  I’ve been making it for at least 4 years and people always ask me for the recipe.  It is so bright and refreshing.  The vinegar in the dressing is sharp and perfectly balanced with the sugar.  And the black pepper may seem like an insignificant thing, but it really comes through in the aftertaste.  Total perfection!

I’ve found that it is best to make this right before serving.  Or at the very least, keep the dressing separate until just before serving.  A lot of times I will just keep the dressing on the side for people to add their own.  That way, if there are any leftovers they won’t get soggy.  The dressing will separate as it sits, so shake or stir before serving.

Add cooked chicken or shrimp for a complete meal.  Enjoy!

Asian Cabbage Salad

{source:  Healthy Recipes cookbook from State Farm Insurance Agents}

Ingredients

1 large head of Napa Cabbage, shredded {I’ve substituted lettuce before}

4-5 carrots, shredded {I almost always skip these}

3-6 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted

1/4 cup sesame seeds or to taste, toasted

2 packages dry ramen noodles, broken up and seasoning pack discarded {I’ve gotten by using just one package before.}

Dressing:

1 cup salad oil {light olive, canola, etc}

4 T. sugar

4 T. seasoned rice vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp salt

Directions:

Chop up the cabbage so that it resembles ribbons and throw it in a large serving bowl.  Slice the onions and shred the carrots (if using) and add them to the bowl.  Crush up the ramen and add to the bowl {remember to discard the seasoning pack or save it for another use}.  Add the almonds and seeds too and then toss it all together.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a container that can be shaken.  Test the seasoning and sweetness of the dressing on a leaf of cabbage before serving and adjust as needed.

Taco Salad

Can one of my 3 readers let me know if you can see the picture? I can’t see it from home, but see it at work ?! Thank you!

Even though summer has drawn to a close, I still wanted to post this taco salad recipe since we made it so often this year.   It is certainly one of our favorite summertime meals.  It is super easy to throw together with fresh vegetables from the garden or farmer’s market.

DSC01459

Taco Salad

leafy green lettuce, torn or chopped

shredded cheese {we like pepper jack}

seasoned taco meat {beef, turkey or chicken}

onion, chopped

peppers, chopped {bell or jalapeno}

salsa

crushed taco or tortilla chips

fresh dressing {or ranch}

sour cream

cilantro

additional topping options:  chopped red onion, black beans, quacamole

Directions:

Cook meat with chopped onion and peppers.  Drain.  Season as you like for tacos.

Create a bed of lettuce in a bowl or on a plate.  Top lettuce with cheese, then meat.  Then layer on a handfull of crushed chips.  Drizzle with salsa and french or ranch dressing.

Top off with sour cream and cilantro leaves {or other toppings of your choice}.

Enjoy!

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