We are not a family that often eats out. I’d much rather make “copy-cat” restaurant favorites at home. Then, I can tailor the recipe to please the whole family ( for far less money). However, there are times when we are out and about and find ourselves in need of a meal.
A couple of years ago, we went to a new restaurant for a birthday celebration. My daughter ordered a salad that looked quite interesting. She was attracted to the notion that the salad included a few of her favorite foods…noodles, romaine lettuce, and Parmesan cheese. She was quite pleased with her choice and was not disappointed with her meal. As I looked at the salad, I realized that we were paying $9 or so for a Caesar salad with noodles in it. Shortly thereafter, I duplicated the salad in my kitchen and it has since become the only way I prepare Caesar salad for my family. Adding grilled chicken makes this tasty main-dish salad a hearty meal.
Crazy Mixed-Up Caesar Salad
3 small heads of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup bottled Caesar salad dressing (I use Marzetti’s brand)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (I use Kraft or Sargento Brand)
1/4 cup water
1 16 oz box of noodles, fully cooked and cooled ( I use Ronzoni Smart Taste Brand)
Pepper to taste
In a large serving bowl, mix romaine lettuce with fully cooked and cooled noodles. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 cup of dressing with 1/2 cup water to dilute the dressing, mix to combine. Pour dressing mixture over the lettuce and noodles. Toss to coat all of the ingredients. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the salad and gently toss. Add croutons and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
My husband’s Aunt Eileen used to make this salad for all of the family gatherings. She would use a restaurant style, stainless steel mixing bowl to prepare this magnificent tasting salad. If my memory serves me correctly, she used to put sliced radishes in her recipe. Oh, it was a special treat when Aunt Eileen arrived with this huge bowl of deliciousness.
She has since passed away but her memory lives on in all of us. Yesterday, I made this salad for a family gathering. As my daughters and I prepared the vegetables, I thought of Aunt Eileen and the cherished memories that I will forever hold in my heart.
Sensational Seven Layer Salad
1 head of lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tsp sugar or Splenda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled or 1 (3 oz) bag real bacon bits
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a glass serving bowl, layer lettuce, mushrooms, broccoli, and peas. In a separate mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar or Splenda, salt, garlic powder and marjoram. Pour this dressing mixture over salad mix. Top salad with the green onions, cheese, and bacon bits. Chill until ready to serve. Toss salad thoroughly just before serving.
Growing up in a large family, our meals were always quite simple. My mother wasn’t one to prepare complicated recipes. Opening a bag of frozen peas, boiling potatoes, and throwing meat in the oven, was about as complicated as she would get when preparing dinner. I first tasted potato salad at my in-law’s house and quickly realized that it was one of my husband’s favorite side dishes. After trying several recipes, this one has become a family favorite. Boiling the potatoes and eggs can take a bit of time, but this basic recipe is pretty simple to assemble in no time at all.
Perfect Potato Salad
5 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes; drain. Place eggs in a small saucepan; cover with cold water. Cover saucepan and bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute; remove from heat, and let eggs stand in boiled water for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain water, peel and chop eggs.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, relish. Mix together mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour over potato mixture to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to pull out all of the delicious salad recipes that have been tucked away all winter long. Today’s recipe is packed with lots of A,C, and B vitamins, calcium, fiber, and protein. Broccoli is known as a “super food” because it is rich in so many vitamins and minerals and has a bushel full of health benefits. Packaged slaw makes this salad a snap to mix together. If you’re so inclined, throw in a handful of raisins for a burst of flavor and added texture. This is a very affordable and clever way to get your kids to eat their veggies!
Crunchy Broccoli Slaw Salad
1 (16 oz) package broccoli slaw mix
1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles, broken into small pieces
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup peanuts (optional)
½ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup cider vinegar
1 package chicken flavored ramen noodles seasoning
Mix the sugar, oil, and vinegar in a large bowl. Add seasoning packet from ramen noodles; mix thoroughly. Pour broccoli slaw, noodles, seeds (optional peanuts) into the dressing mixture and toss to completely coat all salad ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
Several years ago, we attended a funeral luncheon where this salad was served to the guests. I asked all of my children to, at least, take a few bites of the salad as the host family had paid for the meal and I didn’t want the food to go to waste. Each of us tried the salad and after the first bite, we were hooked. I have made this salad several times over the years. I have included the recipe for the dressing but you can certainly purchase a great quality blue cheese dressing at the market and use it with success. This is a great summer salad that goes well with my recipe for marinated skirt steak and baked potatoes.
1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges
1 medium tomato, diced
1 package (any brand) real bacon pieces
1/2 lb. blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Chill until ready to serve.
To assemble the salad, place wedges on 8 individual plates. Pour desired amount of dressing over each wedge. Sprinkle wedges with tomatoes, bacon bits, and blue cheese. Serve immediately.