Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Dinner: Salads & Side Dishes

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Whether you have turkey, ham or beef, every dinner needs a good salad and side dishes. It's easy to load up on the starches. Who doesn't love potatoes and rolls? Try to add one or two dishes that are a little healthier. You don't have to sacrifice taste, and you don't have to use cream soups. I have a few dishes to pick from today.

Cranberry Waldorf Salad

3 apples, cored and chopped
3/4 cup celery
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/3 cup mayonnaise, regular or light
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger

Combine the apples, celery, cranberries and nuts in a large bowl. In a small bowl
combine the mayonnaise and spices. Fold into the apple mixture. Cover and chill
until serving time. Makes 6 servings.

Ginger Fruit Salad

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 peaches, sliced
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

In a large bowl toss the fruit. Combine the yogurt and ginger, then
fold into the fruit. Serves 8.

Mediterranean Style Corn

5 tsp. olive oil
1 clove peeled, minced garlic
4 cups frozen corn, cooked in microwave and drained
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed thyme
Ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine the oil and garlic in a large skillet and heat over low heat just enough
to heat the two together until they start to sizzle. Do not brown garlic. Add
the corn and stir to heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Add the thyme, pepper
and salt to taste. Serve warm.

Notes: You can use this same recipe but substitute in whole green beans, or peas-- it's really good with all three.

Spinach Salad

1 (5 ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup roughly slivered almonds
Dressing: Italian or other vinaigrette

In a large bowl combine the ingredients. Serve with a couple kinds of dressings.

Notes: this would also be good served with a bag of mixed greens instead of spinach.

Pear and Pecan Salad

1 (10 ounce) bag mixed salad greens
1 ripe firm pear, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup Italian-style salad dressing

Toss the ingredients in a bowl, and serve with the dressing on the side.

Do you need more side dish recipes? Try these:


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