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Sunday, July 11, 2010

{super salads}

Salads are the perfect summer food. I never feel like cooking, or turning on an oven when the weather is so hot and muggy (where we live), so they are such a great solution--yummy and refreshing. I thought I would share a few of my favorites!

Spinach Penne Toss
This is most definitely in my top three...maybe even the top two. I love it. It combines so many of my favorite things--it's just plain delicious!

8 oz. penne pasta (or farfalle)
Feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 package baby spinach

DRESSING:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. vinegar
salt and pepper

Place rinsed and drained spinach in a large bowl. Saute onion and red pepper in a skillet while pasta is cooking. Drain pasta well, then add both the pasta and vegetables to the spinach while they are still hot. Add bacon, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes and toss well.
Serve warm or cold.

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Chicken Pasta Salad

Everyone has a favorite chicken salad, and this is just one of mine. It takes a little more time to make, but definitely worth the effort.

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts, marinated overnight in:

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. thyme

Grill the chicken, then cut up into 1/2 inch cubes.

Salad:

20 oz. multi-colored corkscrew pasta
1 c. broccoli, cut into small pieces
1/2 c. purple onion, diced
1/2 c. green pepper, chopped
1/2 c. red pepper, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
1/4 c. + 1 T. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Grilled, marinated chicken

Dressing:

1/2 c. olive oil
4 T. lemon juice
1/2 c. mayo
2/3 c. sour cream

Combine salad ingredients, toss with dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Hawaiian Chicken Salad

Talk about refreshing!

3-4 cooked chicken, cubed
3 c. cooked rice
1 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 c. slivered and toasted almonds
1 1/2 c. red grapes, halves

Dressing:
2 T. orange juice
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise

Mix dressing together and pour over chicken. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well, and chill at least 2 hours.

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Peanut Thai Noodle Salad

1/4 c. lime juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. unsalted peanuts

Place in blender; blend until smooth.

2 carrots
1 c. pea pods
1 small red pepper

Cut into matchsticks.

8 oz. fusilli pasta

Cook pasta according to package directions, add vegetables to water during last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain water from pasta and veggies, then toss with sauce. Sprinkle peanuts on top to serve.

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Frog Eye Salad

I have loved this salad since I was a child, despite its name. :)

1 1/3 c. (8 oz.) Acini Pepi pasta, uncooked
1-20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve 1/4 c. juice)
1 3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
1-3.4 oz. package instant vanilla pudding
1-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
2-11 oz. cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 c. Cool Whip, thawed
3 c. mini marshmallows (optional)
1/2 c. flaked coconut

Cook pasta 11 minutes. Rinse with cold water, drain well. In a large bowl, beat reserved pineapple juice, milk, sugar, and pudding 2 minutes. Gently stir in pasta and remaining ingredients; cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours. Makes 12 servings.

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Have a great weekend!

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9 Comments:

Blogger ellie g said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you so much! I adore summer salads. And doesn't it seem like EVERY get together is "bring a salad to share?" I end up getting stuck in a rut....and bringing the same ones. They're good. But sometimes I just need to mix it up. I think I want to try that Thai one. I've never blended peanuts. It sounds kind of scary, and delightful all at the same time! Thanks again!

July 11, 2010 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

oohh that Thai salad sounds especially yummy..

July 11, 2010 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Sherrie said...

I love summer salads. TFS all the recipes!

July 11, 2010 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

TFS all of those recipes! I am totally trying some of these this week!

July 11, 2010 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger Kelly Tillotson said...

well i know what ill be making for next weeks menu! yum!
i was at michaels the other day and came across their school/teacher section and they had every color polka dot bulletin board trim. My craft room is a fun teal color with red and yellow accents so I grabbed a couple packages and actually trimmed the whole room in it--it made me think of you because i think you are the only other person {that i dont know but blog stalk} that uses polkadots as much as i do!! thanks for the recipes!

July 11, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

These sound so yummy! Thanks for posting the recipes. Hope you have a great week!

July 11, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Delia said...

Yum! I love frog eyed salad. That peanut thai noodle sounds delicious too! I am going to have to try that!

July 11, 2010 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

I love having salad when it is too hot to cook. Thanks for sharing these great recipes.

July 11, 2010 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Molly @ The Creative Maven said...

I'm so hungry!

July 12, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

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