Pre-New Year’s Day Green Salad

Sometimes there are traditions that we become die-hard fans and follow so faithfully year after year. Mine is black-eyed peas (for luck) and rice, a green salad or “green” something for money, and of course the latest we have adopted is no laundry on New Year’s Day because it is bad luck. My year 2011 was an interesting and unexpected year with a huge loss and some life and career changes. I said I would not mention any resolutions for 2012 but I have that hopeful seed of anticipation. Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do. Happy New Year!

Pam’s Pre-New Year’s Green Salad
Created on 12/31/11

Click on image to see an enlarged photo

Salad Ingredients
Romaine lettuce enough for 1 or 2 servings
1 granny smith apple, cleaned, cored, and sliced thin
1 Avocado, seeded, and cubed
6 oz of smoked turkey or ham (you can omit this if vegan or vegetarian), chop into bite size pieces
2 celery stalks chopped
1 cucumber halved and diced (remove the seeds with a spoon)
½ cup of fresh parsley minced fine (adjust the herb to the way you like it)
¼ cup of green onions minced fine

1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of pepper
1 tsp of Stevia or honey
½ juice from fresh lemon
¼ cup of canola oil or a light oil

Prep all the ingredients for the salad, wash the lettuce and chop into bite size pieces. Slice granny smith apple into matchstick pieces and put into a bowl with cold water to prevent browning. Cut avocado in half and remove the seed. Then slice and cube the avocado. Cut cucumber in half and then remove the seeds with a spoon, then dice. Mince fresh parsley and green onion using white and green parts of the onion. Chop into bite size pieces 2 stalks of celery. Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl and add the apples after draining and pat dry.

Mix with a wire whisk the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small glass bowl well until foamy. Add the vinaigrette to the prepped salad ingredients and toss well. Serve with whole grain bread.

Click on image to see enlarged photo

Another time when I made this salad, I added toasted coarsely chopped Almonds. This gave the salad a different texture and flavor.



Green Salad with Blackberry Dressing

Thanks to a friend of mine for giving me this wonderful recipe for the Blackberry Dressing today when I called her on the videophone. My friend lives in Canada so it was great to see her on the phone and yack for a while. I love this time of the year when all the berries are in season and there is a more variety of fruits and vegetables. I have been eating more salads lately due to experiencing some health setbacks and thought I would share with you what I made for dinner tonight. Absolutely delicious – Enjoy!

Green Salad with Blackberry Dressing
created on 05/26/2010

Green Salad – feeds 3 people
3 cups of Romaine lettuce – equals about 3 to 4 handfuls
3 green onions chopped
1 dill cucumber chopped
¾ cup of Feta Cheese
1 Avocado – diced
1 pint of blackberries
Put all vegetables in a salad bowl – top with avocado, blackberries and drizzle with blackberry dressing

Blackberry Dressing
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons homemade blackberry jam
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
¼ cup Grape seed Oil
Mix all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well before pouring on green salad


Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Herbs

I am always looking for fresh salad recipes and this one caught my eye. The salad came from a cookbook that I had called Perfect Recipes for Having People Over. The flavors of fresh greens were refreshing and appealed to me. The lemony flavored dressing really enhances the herb and salad greens. I used romaine lettuce and baby spinach with different herbs I had on hand. I served this today at brunch and the salad was a hit.

Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Herbs
Created recipe on 03/13/2010

Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Herbs

Salad with fresh herbs
1 head of Romaine lettuce chopped into bite size pieces
3 cups of baby spinach
½ cup of green onions / scallions chopped
1 cup of freshly chopped parsley, dill, cilantro, basil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
–    Put all ingredients in a salad bowl and prepare the vinaigrette dressing

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together and add the olive oil slowly whisking the ingredients briskly. The dressing will thicken, pour over salad with herbs and toss well.


7 Layer Salad Squares

A friend asked me for some appetizer ideas for a family get-together for the New Year holiday. I used to be a Pampered Chef kitchen consultant so I thought I would check out some of the cookbooks and see what I could come up with. I found this recipe that I demonstrated at a kitchen show but really wanted to change the recipe to a more healthier version for my parties. Due to the travel time, there were some ingredients in the recipe that could become spoiled I had to figure out a way to make the recipe travel friendly.

7 Layer Salad Squares
Modified recipe from Pampered Chef on 01/02/2010

2 packages (8 ounces each) low-fat refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese
1 garlic clove minced
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled (put bacon on paper towel to drain grease)
1 cup thawed frozen baby petite peas
3 plum tomatoes or ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups thinly sliced Roman lettuce
½ cup (2 ounces) 2% milk fat shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup thinly sliced red onion

Salad Dressing (need ½ cup of this)
½ cup 2% Fago Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12×15 tray with a lip or a 12 x 15 stone with a lip. Unroll the crescent rolls with the longest side of the rolls to the shortest side of the tray.  Seams of the crescent roll need to be pressed together tightly using your fingers or a mini roller. Bake 12 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

In a bowl, combine the Neufchatel cheese, ½ cup of the homemade salad dressing, and garlic, mix until completely smooth. I found using a spoon first and then a whisk later helped gets rid of all the lumps. Add half of the crumbled bacon with half the peas in the salad dressing and spread mixture over the baked cooled crescent roll square.

Spread the seeded chopped tomatoes evenly over the salad dressing. Spread the thinly sliced lettuce over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the lettuce and the thinly sliced onion.  Cut the appetizer into 24 even squares.

Eat Healthy!

Cook’s Note
The Greek yogurt… I am just hooked on this. I am using the Greek yogurt for recipes that require mayonnaise and sometimes sour cream. It is a perfect match and much healthier for you with really no difference in texture or flavor.

Another Pam’s Tip
Always remember to remove the seeds from tomatoes when using it for appetizers because the seeds cause juice and it could make the recipe very soggy.


Colossal Chopped Salad

This is a recipe I receieved from my director in Pampered Chef. She made a few changs to suit her taste buds and then I made different changes to meet my tastes. Delicious and easy summer salad without any cooking! Enjoy!

Colossal Chopped Salad
Created on 12/10/09

1 package of whole wheat penne pasta (or any other pasta you prefer)
1 head of romaine lettuce cleaned and chopped up
2 stalks celery chopped
1 large carrot sliced thinly
1/2 medium sweet onion (I found the red-onion too much so I prefer Vidalia onion instead)
1 package grape tomatoes sliced in half
1/2 cup of sliced black olives
1 large cucumber seeded, halved and sliced thin
1 to 2 cups Feta Cheese crumbled
1 package of Lipton Garlic Savory Herb
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 to 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic minced

In a glass container with lid – add vinegar, water and package of garlic herb mix, add minced garlic and oil and shake well, set aside.

Cook pasta according to directions and drain well, put in a bowl/platter
Sprinkle on top lettuces, tomato, olives, cucumbers, celery, carrots, feta cheese. Pour dressing on top and toss well.

You could add leftover chicken if prefer but not necessary the salad is great as is.

Makes about 12 servings


Lori’s Taco Dip

This dip is my sister’s favorite thing to eat. Very easy to make and a huge hit at parties. My friend Lori gave this recipe to me years ago and we love it!

Lori’s Taco Dip, created on 06/30/2008

1 package 8 oz of cream cheese softened
1 16 oz container of sour cream
1 package of Taco Bell Seasoning Mix

Mix the cream cheese and sour cream together well and then add the taco seasoning mix.

1 head of chopped Romaine Lettuce
2 to 3 tomatoes seeded – removing the seeds help prevent the dip from becoming watery – or – 1 container of grape tomatoes halved and halved again
1 large can of black olives sliced
2 to 3 green onions chopped
1 package 16 oz of sharp cheddar cheese

Layer dip as follows:
Sour Cream mixture on the bottom of serving platter
Black olives
Green onions

Serve with Tostitos Scoops it is much easier to use the scoops than the flat tostitos


Lettuce Wraps


Lettuce Wraps
reated on 09/28/2007

2 ripe avocados
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
2 tbsp yellow onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced (use the Garlic Press from Pampered Chef)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
1 corn cob (cut kernels off) (organic)
2 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
6 – 8 large romaine lettuce leaves

In bowl, mash avocado using fork or potato masher, add remaining ingredients mix well. Spread 2 – 3 tablespoons of mixture onto lettuce leaves and wrap. Enjoy!


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