Warm Bacon Dressing and Spinach Salad

I have never liked spinach until this recipe. Of course everything is great with Bacon.

I made this after Joe and I were first married, loved it, lost it and found it again 20 yrs later. I still love it.

8 ounces young spinach
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced
2 large eggs – Hard Boiled
6 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1/2 C Bean Sprouts *Optional

3 T Bacon Grease
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Boil eggs, cool, remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 8 pieces and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Season with pepper, as desired. (add Bean Sprouts*.) Serve immediately.

Waldorf Salad

This salad is an old fashion favorite, sweet crunchy and a whole lot of country. For a lower calorie version you can substitute yogurt for the mayo, but live a little the mayo rocks.
2 Lrg Apples (Red delicious for the flavor and color)
2 rib Celery
1/2 C Nuts – Walnuts or pecans
1/2 Mayo (can substitute Yogurt
1 T Milk
1 tsp Sugar
** Optional
1/2 Seeded Grapes – split in half, add to apples

Wash, quarter and core apples, dice into bite size pieces. Dice celery, chop nuts and add to apples.
Mix dressing of mayo, milk and sugar, blend well. Pour dressing on apple mixture, mix well and chill before serving.

Serve in lettuce boats

Cranberry Salad

Give Thanksgiving some color, can’t remember one without this on the table.

2 cans Cranberry sauce
2 C boiling water
1 C Nuts – chopped
1 C Crushed Pineapple
2 3 oz pkgs Cherry or Cranberry Jello
1 C Celery – fine chopped
2 C applies – fine chopped

Dissolve jello in water. Add remaining ingredients, stir. Place in 9 X 13 pan and chill until set.

Watermelon Cucumber Gazpacho

1 3-pound Seedless Watermelon, diced (about 5 cups), divided
1 small Cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 medium-size Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded, diced (about 1 cup)
1 small Jalapeño Chile, seeded, minced
3 pale green inner Celery stalks, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 small Red Onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Mint (can use Basil)
3 tablespoons fresh Lime Juice
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

1/2 cup CrèmeFraîche or Sour Cream

Puree 4 cups watermelon in blender until smooth. Transfer puree to large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup diced watermelon and next 10 ingredients; stir to combine. Cover gazpacho and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Divide gazpacho among bowls; top with dollop of crème fraîche and herb or mint garnish.

Ethopian Tomato FitFit Salad

2 cups ripe Tomatoes, seeded & diced or 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 cups Cucumbers, diced
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
1 Jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
4 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Red Wine Vinegar or 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Sugar
1/4 tsp Chili Flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Toss together all ingredients except olive oil. Sprinkle with olive oil.

Salmon Soup

This is a chowder style soup using milk base. You can adjust this recipe to fit you taste. But use this base and then add corn, cooked diced potatoes, or a savory herb.

1 can Canned Salmon (clean and deboned)
1/4 C Celery (1 rib) – fine chop
1/4 C Onion – fine chop
1/4 C Green Bell Pepper – fine chop
1/8 C Carrot – Shredded
1/4 tsp Garlic – grated
4 C Milk
2 T cornstarch for thicken (if needed)

Saute vegetable, salt, pepper in a small amount of oil in sauce pan until onion are beginning to look clear.
Add milk and salmon, bring to gentle boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. If you prefer a thicker soup, mix cornstarch with small amount of water and add to soup until desired thickness.

Grilled Potato Salad

For those who do not like mayo this is a great alternative to traditional potato salads. This can be adjusted for a no cheese version.

16 small New Red Potatoes (do not peel)
Olive Oil, for brushing potato slices
Kosher Salt
freshly ground Black Pepper
6 oz Watercress, coarsely chopped
2 Scallions, thinly sliced for the vinaigrette:
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp Honey
1 small Shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C crumbled Blue Cheese

In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until just cooked through. Do not let them get too soft and overcooked. This should take about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Test for doneness by piercing a potato with a thin skewer or fork. If it meets some resistance, but can slide all the way through, they’re done. Drain the potatoes immediately. Let cool. This step can be done a few hours in advance. Just set them on the counter. Do not refrigerate.

Now make the blue cheese vinaigrette. Whisk the vinegar, honey, shallot, mustard, olive oil, and blue cheese together. The vinaigrette can be made a few hours in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated. **For those who DO NOT like blue cheese now is the time to just omit it. It is just as yummy.

Heat your grill to medium-high. Liberally oil the grill grates.

Cut the potatoes into 1/4″-thick slices. This next part gets a bit tedious. Here’s how I prefer to do it. Lay the slices out on a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. It’s really not that bad. Just keep reminding yourself of the end result you get to indulge in.

Lay all those potato slices out on your grill grate. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes total. They’re beautiful!

Arrange the watercress on a platter. Top with the potatoes. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top, while your potatoes are still warm so they will absorb the vinaigrette better. Sprinkle with the scallions. Serve immediately.

Fresh Cranberry Salad – Relish

You’ll need a food grinder, processor or blender to use this one. I usually use my grinder.
Great accompaniment to turkey or pork

1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
2 large oranges
1 C white Sugar

Rinse and drain cranberries, cut oranges into usable pieces.
Grind, blend or process berries and oranges. Add sugar 1/2 C at a time – taste add more sugar if needed. The sweetness will vary depending on the tartness of the berries.

Green Papaya Salad

4 C Green Papaya (julienned, shredded) or large Zucchini (julienned or waffle cut)
4 cloves Garlic – pressed
Hot peppers to taste – (julienned if using fresh jalapeno peppers)
1/4 C freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 T Sugar
4 T Fish sauce
1 T minced garlin
1 T hot chili sauce, (Sriracha)
1/2 C Chopped peanuts

Mix all ingredients except papaya or zucchini
Mix dressing with papaya or zucchini and lightly pound (if using waffle cut do not pound)
Top with peanuts to serve

Variation: 1/4 C shredded carrots, blanched green beans or cherry tomatoes can be added