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Craisins Salad Recipe by Leah

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I learned how to cook from cookbooks.  My mom was a good cook, but when I was a teen she began to get sick and didn’t have much energy to devote to cooking, so our meals became very simple.  We’d typically have a meat and steamed veggies with an occasional Kraft Macaroni and Cheese™ or Hamburger Helper™ thrown in.  What can I say?  I’m a child of the 80’s.  🙂  Towards the end of high school my mom was really too ill to cook, so the responsibilities came to us, her children.  I would heat up the meat and steam the veggies just as she told me to, and then, in time, my interest began to grow.  I started looking in cookbooks and finding things that looked fun to prepare.  Through natural curiosity I began to introduce new foods and new ways of cooking to the family.  I have to be honest, they weren’t always well received, but learning a new skill can be a bumpy road and sometimes things just didn’t taste that good.

One thing I learned early on is that I LOVE salads.  It took some time but I slowly won my parents and siblings over to my “rabbit food”.  This salad is one from my early days of cookbook learning and it has stood the test of time with the dressing being one of my absolute favorites.

 

 

Craisins Salad

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 head red leaf lettuce

1 head green leaf lettuce

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 (8 oz) package shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 (8 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 (8 oz) package craisins

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup sugar

1/2 onion, chopped

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp mustard

1 cup canola oil

PREPARATION

Salad

Tear red and green leaf lettuce into pieces.  Shred iceberg lettuce.  Toss together with other ingredients just before serving.  Pass dressing over salad.

Dressing

In a blender mix all ingredients, except oil.  Add oil and blend again.

Cherry Apple Gorgonzola Salad Recipe by Leah

Cherry Apple Gorgonzola Salad

 

Though I’ve only been posting recipes here a short time you probably can tell that we are salad lovers.  They are my go to lunch and my go to veggie side with a meal.  Obviously with a salad you need fresh and tasty greens but that’s only part of it.  The greens provide the most nutrients but they’re also just the base.  To make a salad truly delicious they need to be topped with all kinds of goodies: something savory, something sweet, something crunchy, and don’t forget the cheese!  This is a salad with a combination of all those things and a mild and sweet dressing to boot.

 

Cherry Apple Gorgonzola Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

salad

6 oz bag of spring mix salad

romaine head, chopped

4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup dried cherries

large granny smith apple, chopped

1/2 cup candied pecans

5 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles

sweet balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp ground mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

 

PREPARATION

sweet balsamic vinaigrette

Whisk or blend all dressing ingredients together until the oil and sugar are blended.

salad

In your serving bowl toss together spring mix, romaine, and some of the dressing.  Top with remaining ingredients and pass the dressing along with the salad.

 

 

 

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Fresh Grape Salsa and Chips Recipe by Leah

Grape Salsa

 

Grape salsa.  I found this recipe on a bag of grapes I brought home from the grocery store several years ago.  I love when sellers give you the best way to showcase their product!  This salsa is both sweet and savory with a hint of spice.  The best part is that it’s totally healthy.  We eat it with tortilla chips, but it would also be good with cooked fish or chicken, on roast beef sandwiches, or on salads of orange slices.

 

Fresh Grape Salsa and Chips

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup each red and green seedless grapes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lime juice

2 tsp jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp bottled hot sauce (I use Tapatio for this recipe)

tortilla or bagel chips

 

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients except chips; mix well.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.  Drain well before serving with chips.

 

 

 

 

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Salad with Bacon, Pear and Berries

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Chicken Mustard Cream Sauce & Bacon Pear Berry Sa

 

Does this look familiar?  You may recognize this picture from when I shared my recipe for Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce.  Today I’m sharing the salad I served with it.  It’s a simple recipe, not really a recipe at all, but it’s SO good. 

 

Salad with Bacon, Pear and Berries

Yield: 4 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

8 cups salad greens (I usually serve spring greens and spinach)

6 bacon strips 

1 pear, sliced

2/3 cups blueberries

4 Tbsp sliced almonds

balsamic dressing (my favorite store-bought is Ken’s Balsamic Vinaigrette)

 

PREPARATION

  1. Cook your bacon until crispy and crumble.
  2. Spread your almonds on a baking sheet and bake in a 350F oven for about 8 minutes or until toasted.

     3. Toss your salad greens with your dressing.  Top with pear, bacon, blueberries, and              almonds. 

 

 

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