Jul 22, 2011

Secret Weapons to a GREAT Salad!

GREAT SALAD 
SECRET WEAPONS 
REVEALED HERE!

If there is only one thing I'm famous for, I'd have to say it's my salads. 
I *LOVE* a great salad!
And apparently so does everyone else.


I've always loved salad bars because you can pile your salad with everything you love!

(I do not like iceberg lettuce.  It has no personality, no flavor, no nutritional value.  What's the point?  I know God doesn't make mistakes, but he must have been kidding around when he created iceberg lettuce.  Now, I have tried a few recipes with iceberg in it that I did enjoy, but overall, it's never in my shopping cart.)

Now let's talk about what I *DO* like on my salad!
This salad is inspired by the fresh fruits of summer.
Strawberries
Blueberries
Raspberries
Mango

YUMMMMMM!

Canned fruits are a great addition too.  
I especially love pineapple & mandarin oranges.
.
(sorry for the large space above....I could not make it disappear)

I use two cans of each because I have a large family.  Normal people can use one each.

(Get ready for Secret Weapon #1.....it's almost here, but not quite yet!  
You must be patient when reading blogs that tease.)

I also wanted it to be a regular tossed green salad that included broccoli.
(we need our fresh greens any way we can get em!)
   


.


 SECRET WEAPON #1
CHOP UP EVERYTHING PRETTY SMALL!

There's a reason restaurant chopped salads are so popular!
You get more variety of your ingredients in every bite when you can fit more of them on your fork!!!
Just imagine strawberry, mango, pineapple & broccoli all on your fork AT THE SAME TIME!
And you never have those awkward moments where you're trying to stuff a 
someone-forgot-to-cut-up-this-quarter-of-the-lettuce-head into your face.


SECRET WEAPON #2
TOASTED ALMONDS...
OR BETTER YET,
 CANDIED TOASTED ALMONDS
This is highly scientific.
Throw a handful of sliced almonds into your pan
NO OIL!
Cook them on medium heat until they are as toasted as you want them.

If you are taking this salad to a party or you have special company coming over, 
you may want the extra-special-we're-not-counting-calories-today version,
which is also throwing in a handful of sugar at the same time as the almonds.  
Watch your almonds/sugar closely so as not to burn.  
In a few minutes the sugar will melt and coat your almonds.  
Again, when they are nicely toasted to a lovely brown, they are ready.

Quickly put them onto a sprayed plate to cool.  
Once they are cooled and the rest of your salad is ready, 
you can break them up easily like brittle and sprinkle them into your salad.
These are good on ANY kind of salad!  Not even kidding a little bit here!
Pasta Salad
Fruit Salad
Any tossed salad
Cabbage salad
If the recipe says 'SALAD', try these almonds.  
You'll thank me later, and you'll be more popular at the dinner table because of it.


Here is my final bit of advice:
SECRET WEAPON #3
THE SALAD DRESSING 
MUST BE AMAZING!

I mean, why on earth would you spend all that time and money on your creation and then 
put a bottle of store-bought dressing on top of it?
Ummmm, I dunno.
Granted, there have been a COUPLE of store-boughts that I liked, 
but mostly they TASTE LIKE YOU BOUGHT 'EM OFF A SHELF.

Here is my family's very favorite homemade dressing that is quick to make.
(thanks to my friend Kanani, who gave this recipe to me years ago)

POPPY SEED DRESSING
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1 TB poppy seeds
1 TB fresh onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Blend it all together until well-mixed.



(I *heart* my Magic Bullet)
Also, I like it better when the dressing is premixed into the salad.  
Believe it or not, I think you use less dressing that way.



Now you know my 
SALAD SECRET WEAPONS!
Beautiful, delicious & so nutritional!

Now go kill your eaters!   ;)
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