Seriously Good Salads

Now is the perfect time to create some
healthy and delicious salads.

There are so many creative ways to create a healthy and delicious salad. While I love a salad of leafy greens, I’m also a fan of hearty options that are big on flavor such as my Italian Pasta Salad, Tuna Pasta Salad and Warm Corn Chowder Salad with Bacon and Cider Vinegar.

The great thing about these recipes is that they don’t require a lot of effort and all can easily feed a crowd.

My Italian grandmother told me that during the Depression, no food was ever wasted. When she made a hot pasta dish, if there was any left, she would rinse it off, add vegetables and toss with olive oil and vinegar to create a salad. When making a pasta salad, be sure to salt the water, don’t overcook it and dress it while the pasta is still warm, then redress just before serving.

When my children were in grade school, this delicious tuna salad was a staple in their lunchboxes. Now I make it for our professional fishing team.

I grew up in Illinois and on trips back there to visit relatives I always knew that when I saw all the cornfields that I was close to home. When you put corn, potatoes and bacon together, the combo makes for a warm and scrumptious salad. Make sure you use fresh kernels for this as you want them to be “milky” and juicy.

I hope you try one or all of these, after all it is almost back to school time, the end of summer, football tailgating time and Labor Day is just around the corner. So the next time someone asks you to bring a dish to an event, I’ve got you covered. OS

Warm Corn Chowder Salad with Bacon and Cider Vinegar

4 thick slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 pound baby bliss red potatoes, cut into quarters
2 red bell peppers, diced
8 ears of corn (cut off the kernels)
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cook the bacon over moderately low heat in a large skillet, stirring it a few times until it is crispy. > Use a slotted spoon and transfer the bacon onto paper towels to drain. > Leave about three tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. > Add the potatoes and cook over moderate heat until they start to brown. > Stir and cook for about two minutes longer, until they become almost tender. > Add the diced red peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for about five more minutes. > Add the corn kernels and cook for about three minutes, stirring often. > Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and stir in the onion, cider vinegar, crushed red pepper and bacon. > Season with salt before serving.

Italian Pasta Salad

16 ounces of your favorite pasta
1 cup Italian vinaigrette dressing
1 cup small mozzarella balls (also called pearls)
1 pint grape tomatoes halved
1 cup black olives
1 cup diced fresh green beans, blanched
1 zucchini, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ orange bell pepper, diced
⅓ cup red onion, thinly sliced
⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. > Rinse under cold water. > Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. > Toss to combine. > Refrigerate at least two hours before serving.

Tuna Pasta Salad

1 pound farfalle or conchiglie pasta
12 ounces canned tuna, drained
1 cup celery, diced
7 baby carrots, sliced
1 bag frozen baby peas, defrosted and drained


⅔ cup light mayo
⅓ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon dried dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside. > Cook pasta al dente according to directions. > Rinse under cold water. > Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. > Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Posted in Living, Table

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