Monday, June 30, 2008

Great Salad Recipes

We are having a little break between overnight guests, and I thought I would take this opportunity to post a couple of salad recipes that have proved winners here. As you know, I have been stressing (I am happy to say, mildly) over what to feed all our guests this week, but I am doing pretty well.  I still have my head, but it is only Monday, lol.

There was a day when I used to go all-out, cooking all day and making sure everything was just perfect, and collapsing in an exhausted heap at the end of the day. Since then I have either
become lazier or more sensible.  I'm not sure which, lol.  But I successfully fed the ten of us this weekend, and no one got sick (from the food) or went hungry. The meals might not have been exactly memorable, but they were good and satisfying.  I was rewarded by a request for the Napa salad recipe, and comments like, "Oh, this is good!" on the pasta salad, so the "cooking" was a success!

Napa Salad
- 1 medium head of Napa cabbage, sometimes called Chinese cabbage, chopped. (Look for a head with green outer leaves, not all pale-looking.)
- finely chopped veggies (broccoli, green onions, carrots)
- chopped Romaine lettuce for dark green color
- cooked chicken, steak, or pork, cut into bite-sized pieces, and chilled
- one package of Top Ramen,
uncooked, same flavor as the meat you are using
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/4 C water
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/4 t salt
dash of pepper

Mix the cabbage, lettuce, veggies, and meat in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients and set aside.  Crush the noodles. Just prior to serving, sprinkle the seasoning packet from the Ramen over the salad and mix well. Pour dressing over, using as much as you like (I don't like my lettuce swimming), then add the crushed noodles and toss.

Cucumber Pasta Salad (thanks, Daisy!)

12 oz macaroni pasta
2 cucumbers or 1 English cucumber (see note BEFORE starting)

2 boiled eggs


Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta al dente, drain, and run under cold water. Place in a bowl.
2. Hard boil 2 eggs. Cool & rough chop (I use one of those egg slicers). Add to pasta.
3. Shred the cucumber using a box grater. *You can shred it with or without the peel. The peel looks wonderful in the salad but I suggest using the English cucumber, if you go this route, since the peel is less bitter. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the grated cucumber and add to pasta.
4. Add a big spoonful of mustard.
5. Add mayo until it's to your liking. I don't like it super wet, but that's just me.
6. Salt and Pepper to taste.

I followed the above recipe, using a heaping teaspoon of mustard.  Next time I am going to chop the cucumber rather than grating it, and I am going to add just one grated baby carrot for color.  And maybe a touch of red onion?  This was very good.  I think I'll bring it to our 4th of July picnic.


  1. Ha, I've heard of a Swedish meatball before, but never heard of an English cucumber. What's the difference in looks? Is one more proper than the other? I suppose I'd have to go to Byerlys for something like that. Glad the salads worked out.

  2. Oh, I do hope you guys will get to whip up a batch of those brownies -- I promise you will not regret it... or maybe you will, but only because you'll want to eat the whole pan, LOL! :P

    I have a cucumber that needs to be used up, so I think I will give this salad recipe a try. Oh, and thanks for the idea of using a carrot in it, too. I don't have any red onion, but I might throw in some thinly sliced yellow onion anyway. And maybe use some sour cream instead of all mayo. We'll see. I'll try to let you know how it turns out! :~)


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