THE Salad

I have a standing rule: no salads at my parties. This is the one exception. Cathy happily brings this always requested salad to complete the perfect menu. Seriously, this salad is so good…I like to call it the UN salad. We all know that salads are always best when someone else makes it. Her husband continues to brag on this salad after many years!

2 bags of fresh spinach
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/2 lb. of bacon, crumbled (best if not too crumbly)


Place the following ingredients in a blender and blend well:

1 medium onion chopped fine
2/3 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. celery seed
3 t. mustard
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. oil (canola or sunflower)

Assemble the salad, just prior to dinner. Add the dressing to the lettuce a little at a time until fully coated, but not drenched. Add the eggs and bacon. Sprinkle croutons on top.

Avocado Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette

This recipe comes from our mom, via her friend Reita. She serves with a tamale casserole she makes.

Avocado Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette
(yeilds 2 servings)

2 large Hass avacados, halfed, pitted & sliced into half-inch wedges
1/4 of one large red onion, very thinly sliced, one handful of cherry tomatoes, halfed

For the vinaigrette:

2 T olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 dashes of hot sauce
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine avacado, onion & tomatoes in a large bowl and stir gently, ….set aside.
In a cruet, combine olive oil and next five ingredients.  Shake vigorously to mix.  Pour over avacado mixture and toss gently to coat.  Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Serve on a bed of lettuce.

“I’ve Been Bad” Asian Salad

Do you ever have those times where you eat like crap for a few days and you feel like, well, crap? Then make this salad. For lemongrass, use the kind in the toothpaste-like container in produce. Load it up with veggies!

Thin Asian noodles
Asian-marinated steak or chicken (or tofu, if you’re feeling beyond virtuous)
Assortment of veggies, like sliced peppers, snow peas, carrots, green beans, etc.

Lemongrass vinaigrette
¾ c reduced sodium chicken broth
A couple squirts of  pureed lemongrass
3 T chopped shallot
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
2 t sugar
1 t hot chili oil
2 T chopped cilantro
2 T chopped mint

For the dressing, cook broth, lemongrass and 2 T shallot in small sauce pan. Cook about 10 min until reduced to about ¼ c. Let stand for 10 min, then strain into a small bowl. Add remaining shallot and all other ingredients except for mint and cilantro. Whisk. Will keep for 1-2 days prior. Just before serving stir in cilantro and mint!

Serve lettuce, topped with thin asian noodles and sliced beef, then veggies.

My Favorite Salad Dressing

This is from a cookbook called Simply Classic. I’ve made this salad dressing maybe more than anything else I’ve ever made. I don’t get to crazy with measuring, but the secret ingredient is the maple syrup. I toss it with bagged lettuce, then top each salad usually with a fruit (dried cranberries or other fruit, canned mandarin oranges, pears or apples, berries), a nut (sliced almonds, pecans – glazed or not, etc.) and a cheese (feta, goat, blue, parm, etc.) I also like hearts of palm and avocado. Oh and don’t forget to dip a lettuce leaf and taste it, primarily for salt and sweet, before you serve!

My Favorite Salad Dressing

1/2 cup vegetable oil (canola, olive, walnut, etc. work)

1/4 cup cider vinegar (could use balsamic, etc.)

2 T. shallot, minced (leave out if you don’t have)

2 T. lemon juice

1 T. (generous) maple syrup

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

Asian Chicken Salad

We swap recipes back and forth frequently, but this one came from Kendra.  I make it more than anything else and it the most requested recipe I have on file.  I  have test driven several Asian Chicken Salad recipes and this one stands alone in a class by itself.   Toasting the almonds does make a distinct difference.   If I serve this with BBQ or Orange Chicken,  we simply leave out the chicken.  If served as the main course, leave the chicken in and serve with fruit and crossiant rolls. 

Asian Chicken Salad  
  Rotisseriee Chicken-deboned
  2 packages (3 oz size) beef-flavored ramen noodle soup mix
  2 packages coleslaw mix (8.5 oz size)
  1 cup sliced almonds — toasted
  1 cup sunflower kernals
  1 bunch green onions — chopped
  1/2 cup sugar
  3/4 cup vegetable oil
  1/3 cup white vinegar
  Remove flavor packets from soup mix, and reserve for later
  use; crush noodles. Place noodles in bottom of a large bowl.
  Top with slaw mix; sprinkle with toasted almonds, sunflower
  kernels, and chopped green onions. 
  Whisk together contents from flavor packets, sugar, oil and
  vinegar. Pour over slaw. Cover and chill for 4-6 hours.
  Toss before serving.  This can  also be made the day before and
  it is great.  

   Serves/makes 8

Honey Dijon Salad Dressing

Jamye made this salad dressing at our supper club several years ago.  Forget the store bought salad dressing and impress your guests.  Delicious and easy.

Honey Dijon Salad Dressing

2 T Balsamic
1 T Honey
¼ C Olive Oil
1 t Dijon mustard

Mix the above ingredients together and toss with red leaf lettuce. Add a carton of crumbled Feta cheese, a handful of walnuts and your dinner club won’t be disappointed.


Fancy Chicken Salad

This recipe is a huge hit with Tracy’s tennis team.   Janice was a teammate for years…she has since moved to Lake Tahoe, but I think of her often when I make this recipe.

Fancy Chicken Salad

4 chicken breasts, cooked
2 jars/cans marinated artichokes
1/2 green onion, tops only
1 box of Chicken Rice-a-Roni
2 small cans of chopped ripe olives
1 cup of light mayonnaise

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Cook Rice-a-Roni according to directions.

Combine chicken, rice, add artichoke hearts with juice, and remaining ingredients. Chill.

This is great served with croissants and fruit.


Broccoli Salad with Bacon

Kendra first had this salad at a potluck in Seattle.  Tracy first had this at a baby shower in West Texas.  Two worlds apart, but an oldie but goodie that is timeless.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

1 bunch broccoli, uncooked, finely diced
1 small red onion or half a sweet one, finely chopped
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 C. golden raisins or currants (optional)
1 C. roasted sunflower seeds

1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sugar
2 T. cider vinegar

Mix the salad ingredients and the dressing ingredients separately, then combine.