Salad Spectacular

The kids are almost out of school, the afternoons are warmer and sunnier, and appetites are rising all around!  Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and prepare something crisp and nutritional to eat.

Teach your kids that vegetables aren’t really bad guys after all, and impress your friends with your exquisite cuisine. These salads are perfect to accompany or serve as a meal.  Break out those salad bowls and get ready for summer!

Broccoli Salad

10 slices bacon

1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp white sugar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sunflower seedsPlace bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, onion, and raisins. In a small bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, and mayonnaise. Pour over broccoli mixture, and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for one hour. Just before serving, toss salad with crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds. Makes 6 servings.

Italian Artichoke Salad

1 package (.7 ounce) dry Italian-style salad dressing mix

1 cup low fat sour cream

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1/4 cup diced onion

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped In a small bowl, mix sour cream and Italian dressing mix. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, red pepper, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, and artichoke hearts. Top with dressing and toss until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 6 servings.

Cranberry Apple Salad

1 package (10 ounces) salad greens (about 10 cups)

2 medium apples, sliced

1 cup toasted walnut halves

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1/2 cup sliced green onions

3/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

Toss greens, apples, walnuts, cranberries, and onions in large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Greek Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried, and chopped

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 can (6 ounces) pitted black olives, drained

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, sliced

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 lemon, juiced ground black pepper to taste In a large salad bowl, combine romaine, onion, olives, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and cheese. Whisk together olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, and black pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Tomato Vinaigrette Salad

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, packed without oil (about 6)

1/2 cup boiling water

1 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

12 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup shredded carrot

Combine sundried tomatoes and boiling water in a bowl and let stand 30 minutes. Drain, reserving water, and chop sundried tomatoes. Mix sundried tomatoes, 1 cup chopped tomato, vinegar, and garlic in a blender until smooth. Add reserved tomato liquid, oil, salt, and pepper; mix until smooth. Toss greens, carrot, and vinaigrette. Makes 8 servings.

Hot Bacon Asparagus Salad

7 bacon strips, diced

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

1/3 cup vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp pepper

4 cups torn salad greens

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 hardboiled eggs, sliced

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 2–3 tablespoons of drippings. Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces and sauté in drippings until crisp-tender. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard, pepper, and bacon. Cook and stir for 1–2 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the salad greens and almonds. Add the asparagus mixture and toss gently. Top with eggs. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Ramen Chicken Salad

1 medium head cabbage chopped small (red makes for a colorful salad, but green works, too)

3 packages chicken flavor ramen noodles, broken up

1 bunch green onions

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 large package slivered almonds

1 bunch red grapes

1 can pineapple tidbits

4 apples sliced and chopped

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked, cooled, and cubed

Dressing:

1/4 cup sesame oil

2 packages ramen seasoning (discard one)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup olive oil

Toss salad ingredients in bowl, set aside. Mix dressing ingredients and toss with salad just before serving. Makes 10 servings.

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