Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day Food: Salads

I love pasta salads for potlucks, family gatherings or weekend meals. I also like making up a salad and keeping it in the refrigerator for lunches instead of sandwiches. I always look for recipes that I can change the ingredients in, depending on what the sales are that week. The salads below use bottled dressings, but if you have a homemade version that would work just as well.

Bacon Spinach Salad

6 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
2 cups large Caesar or Italian style croutons
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

Combine the ingredients, tossing gently just before serving. On the side, to drizzle over the salad serve a Blue Cheese dressing, and a Poppy Seed dressing. Allow people to add their own dressing.

Italian Pasta Salad

8 oz. (1/2 lb) rotini or other pasta, cooked
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup Feta cheese
1 cup Italian dressing, any variety
Optional: Olives

Cook the pasta according to directions. Rinse with cold water, drain well and add to a large bowl. Add the vegetables, toss with the dressing and sprinkle the Feta cheese on top before serving.

Chicken Pasta Salad

8 ounces uncooked bow-tie pasta
2 cans (10 ounces) chunk breast of chicken, drained and flaked
2 cans (8 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup sliced green onion, trim off both ends first
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 cups poppy seed dressing, any brand

Cook the pasta according to directions. Rinse under cold water, and drain well. Combine all the ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Note: Leftover chopped chicken breast is wonderful in this recipe. I also like using tuna instead of the chicken.

On OFL we have some great macaroni salads to try:


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