Category Archives: Salads

Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

I love salads with fresh homemade dressing.  I’m not big on store-bought dressing, though I will occasionally buy the ones in the produce section because they taste a bit more like homemade.  I had no plans on making salad dressing, in fact I was just going to throw together a simple tomato, cucumber and onion salad with Italian dressing (the only one that I do buy at the grocer) when I noticed that my farmer’s market had their salad mix in stock.

Their salad mix is so delicious and it seems like it stays fresh forever.  I was a bit burnt out on our ranch dressing that I make, so I took to Pinterest to look for something new.  I landed on this yummy sounding Vidalia onion dressing, mostly because it called for primarily all things you would keep in your pantry.  Vidalia onions (they come from Georgia, not Louisiana, did you know that?) are sweet onions, if you were not aware.  I couldn’t find Vidalia’s at our grocery store so I just bought a sweet onion and it worked.  Boy did it work.  Now let me tell you, you’ll get it all blended and mixed up.  Don’t taste it yet.  Seriously, just don’t.  It’s nothing good.  Those flavors need to chill together overnight.  After it’s been in the fridge overnight, shake it up well before drizzling over a salad (lightly).  And sigh in pleasure.

Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing

Sweet Vidalia Onion Salad Dressing
Recipe from One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1/2 large Vidalia onion (I used 1 regular sweet onion)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 tbsp white vinegar
8 tbsp white granulated sugar (shhhh!)
1.5 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp celery seed (I used celery flakes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Method:

Slice off the ends of the onion on each side, pierce the onion skin with the knife several times all around it.  Place in a microwave-safe bowl with about a tablespoon water and microwave for 4 minutes.  Remove, drain the water and as soon as you are able (it will be hot!), remove the outer papery skin and discard it.  Roughly cut the softened onion into pieces that will fit into your food processor (mine is small), pulse until smooth.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and process until smooth and mixed through.  Pour into a jar or bottle and chill overnight.  Shake well before using.

 

Caesar Salad Dressing

In the MOM’s  Club I’m in, we do lots of potlucks.  It sometimes gets hard to think of something new to bring, often I just end up doing pigs in a blanket or something, things that the kids will eat too.  But frankly, the kids rarely eat anyway, they are too busy playing.  So when my friend Tiffani hosted the April potluck, I decided to bring one of her favorites, caesar salad!

This was really easy to make, though I did make some adaptations to the recipe I followed.  I added one egg yolk, a splash of milk and some parmesan cheese.  Just because it isn’t Caesar without it!  It came out really good.  I do have one piece of advice.  If you do use the anchovies, you will not use them all.  Just throw the rest away, do not try to make another batch of dressing days later.  Trust me.  ;)  But everyone seemed to really like it and asked if I would post the recipe, so here ya go, ladies!

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Dressing
Recipe adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely puree’d.  Pour into a tupperware and keep cold.  When making a salad, place romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons and some dressing in a ziploc bag and shake until  well mixed.  You can also add chicken to make it a meal.

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

This recipe is another recipe from the MOMS Club Biggest Loser Brunch potluck.  My friend Marci brought it and it was so unusual, but so delicious!  I saved a taste for my hubby and he loved it and said I needed to get that recipe.  Marci emailed the recipe and I made it that same night!

I actually had a lot of the ingredients on hand, so it ended up being a really inexpensive dish to make.  I only used a half pound of shrimp, cut in half and to compensate, I used the whole can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans.  Plus, I didn’t want to end up wasting half a can, what else was I going to do with it?  I’ve never been the greatest fan of whole wheat pasta, but I used it anyway, I bought the Ronzoni brand whole wheat, and it was actually very good.  The recipe below will be without my adaptations though.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Recipe from Marci G., originally from Cooking Light

Ingredients:
1 pkg whole wheat pasta, cooked per package directions
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1.5 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp capers

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the mustard, lemon juice and garlic, whisking to combine.  Slowly add the oil, whisking to incorporate, then add in the salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp and cook through.  Add in the spinach, beans, red onions and capers and toss, cooking until the spinach wilts.  Add the pasta and juice mixture, stirring to coat evenly.  Serve

4 servings, 487 calories each

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Normally for New Years Day we have black-eyed pea soup and egg rolls.  But this year our family Christmas get together was postponed to New Years Day, so I knew I wasn’t going to want to come home and start making egg rolls.  What goes better with soup than salad?  I remembered having a cabbage salad with ramen noodles in it and my husband LOVED it.  A quick Google search brought me to the recipe and it was a winner!

It was so quick and easy to make, I advise letting it sit on the counter for a little while to let the flavors blend together.  It was not as good refrigerated, the ramen kind of got soft.  If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d keep the ramen out until you’re ready to serve it.

Chinese Cabbage Salad
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cups cabbage coleslaw mix with shredded carrots in it
1 pkg ramen noodles, crushed (I used creamy chicken, the oriental would probably be good!)
slivered almonds

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and ramen seasoning packet.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cabbage slaw mix and crushed ramen noodles.  Toss with the dressing and coat well.  Top with the toasted sesame seeds and toss well.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  • Serve topped with slivered almonds, if desired.

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

We’re kind of salad snobs at our house.  We much prefer homemade croutons and dressing over the store-bought variety.  Store-bought croutons are gross, they are hard as rocks!  But this isn’t about croutons.
No.  It’s about dressing.  Creamy jalapeno ranch dressing, to be exact.  This stuff is excellent, it’s one of those things that you could probably put on anything and make it taste better!  It’s great on salads, with things like tacos or taquitos, or even just as a dip for some tortilla chips.  It only lasts a couple of days at our house, so if you’re wanting to try it you better make it yourself!

Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

 Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
Recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Ingredients:
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup sour cream
juice of half a lime
2 tbsp green onions
1 handful of cilantro
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and stems removed (use two if you want it extra-spicy)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 clove garlic
1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk (use less if using as a dip, more for a dressing)

Method:
Place all ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse until smooth and well mixed.  Pour into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator.

Salad with Creamy Jalapeno Ranch Dressing

 

Avocados with Warm Bacon Parsley Vinaigrette

A few posts ago I mentioned my tremendous love for avocados.  I really can’t say enough about this wonderful food and I think that people who don’t like them must be aliens visiting from another planet. ;-P  I had a few avocados left from the enchilada recipe (I bought a huge bag from Sams – theirs are always amazing) and I knew just what their fate would be.

A while back I spotted this recipe for avocados topped with a bacon dressing.  Come on.  Add bacon to ANYTHING and it’s going to be great, but avocados?  Super great.  This recipe didn’t disappoint.  I had a serving ready for my husband when he came home from work and he loved it.  I loved it.  You can’t not love it.  Try it.

Avocados with Warm Bacon Parsley Vinaigrette
Recipe from Elizabeth’s Edible, originally from Sunset, April 2009

Ingredients:
1/3 lb. thin sliced bacon
2 avocados, peeled, pitted and cut into quarters
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Method:
Fry the bacon in a pan over medium heat.  When crisp, set side.  Toss out all but 2 tbsp of the bacon grease, then add the garlic, lemon juice and sugar and let that cook for a minute or two, until garlic softens (stirring often).  Season with salt and pepper, add in the parsley and crumble in the bacon.  Mix well.

Divide the avocado slices on plates and drizzle bacon dressing over them.  Serve immediately.

Avocados with Warm Bacon Parsley Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese Medallions

We’ve been eating black-eyed pea soup for DAYS and were starting to get a little tired of it, but there was just a little left so I thought I’d make something to go with it.  Our wonderful friend Anthony dropped off some beautiful avocados at our house so I thought I’d make a salad.

While procrastinating to go to the supermarket, I was surfing the internet and saw this recipe for goat cheese medallions.  Goat cheese is one of my favorite things, in any form (you know I love it when it has its own tag int he categories!)!  I decided this would go great on my salad I was making and I was sure right!  The only thing I will do differently next time is use a flavored goat cheese, maybe a garlic and herb one.  Just something to give it more flavor.  But this was a WONDERFUL salad and so easy to do!

Spring Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese Medallions
Recipe from:  Good Thymes & Good Food

Ingredients:
1 log goat cheese
panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
oil for frying
Salad toppings:  I used spring salad mix with avocado, mushrooms, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Method:
Slice the goat cheese into little rounds.  Heat oil in a nonstick skillet, just enough to cover the bottom.  Set out one bowl of the beaten egg and one bowl of panko bread crumbs.  Dip the medallions into the egg then into the bread crumbs and fry about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping very gently.  Set aside on paper towels when done then place them in your salad with whatever other toppings you like!

Spring Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese Medallions