Category Archives: Salads

Hasty Tasty Potato Salad

NOTE: I recently revised my method after trying This Old Gal’s method. If you aren’t familiar with This Old Gal, check out her blog at The author Jill Selkowitz calls herself an old gal, but she is younger than I, incidentally. ūüėČ ¬†Although my recipe differs, I’ve adopted her method of cooking potatoes and eggs simultaneously. It’s a real game changer in making potato salad. Thanks, Jill!


My mother-in-law Rachel taught me how to make tasty potato salad. The only changes I’ve made is in using a pressure cooker for the potatoes and eggs. ¬†Here are the step-by-step instructions for her recipe. Try it for your next potluck dinner or picnic.


Hasty Tasty Potato Salad


  • 6 large potatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 onion, chopped (sweet onion is best)
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • ¬Ĺ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Pepper to taste
  • Paprika for garnish (optional)


  1. Cut potatoes into quarters or 2″ sections. No need to peel. Place in a steaming basket or trivet over 1 cup water in a pressure cooker. Place the 4 eggs on top the potatoes.
  2. Secure lid to pressure cooker and cook for 5 minutes stovetop or 6 minutes electric.* Allow pressure to drop on its own for 5 minutes before releasing.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare dressing in a large bowl by whisking together mayonnaise, mustard, salt, sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Dice the celery and onions.
  5. Carefully release remaining pressure and open pressure cooker.
  6. Remove eggs from pot and place in cold water.
  7. Carefully remove cooked potatoes from the pot and remove peels (they’ll slip off easily). Cube potatoes and add them to the dressing. Gently toss.
  8. Peel and chop or slice eggs. Gently toss with the potatoes, onions, and celery.
  9. Sprinkle with pepper and paprika, cover, and refrigerate. (Flavors are best if potato salad is made a day ahead)

*Electric pressure cookers do not reach the pressure levels of stovetop pressure cookers, so you need to adjust the time for many recipes.

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Filed under eggs, potatoes, Salads

Tossed and Well Dressed

As warm weather returns, so do the salads. A delicious salad topped with protein (boiled egg, grilled chicken meat, cheese) makes a filling meal that doesn’t heat up the kitchen. But salads are time consuming to make. Here are my shortcuts for hasty tasty salads.

  1. Chop, wash, and spin a big bowl of your greens. I usually buy Romaine because it keeps longer than other varieties of lettuce, but buy what you like.
  2. Make carrot ribbons from 2 carrots using a spiral vegetable slicer or a peeler. Toss with the greens.
  3. Chop 3 ribs of celery and mix with the lettuce and carrot ribbons. Seal and refrigerate.
  4. Boil 5-6 eggs, peel, and refrigerate.
  5. Cook 2-3 chicken breasts (I use the pressure cooker, but use whatever method works for you), chop, and store in a sealed container. Refrigerate. Or keep deli meats handy in the refrigerator.Your choice.
  6. Make a cruet of your favorite homemade dressing. I prefer a simple vinaigrette, but even mixing up a Good Seasons mix is better than buying a bottled brand because you choose your ingredients. Refrigerate.
  7. Grate a wedge of your favorite hard cheese (I like Parmesan) and store in the fridge.Already shredded cheese is fine, but freshly grated has better flavor.
  8. Wash several tomatoes and store in a basket in a cool, dry place in your kitchen. Do not refrigerate unless tomatoes get too ripe.
  9. Congratulations! You now have the makings of at least 5 chef salads you can pull together within minutes.


This is my salad, but you may use any variety of ingredients in yours. The secret to hasty tasty salad meals is advance preparation. Assembling the prepped ingredients into a tasty salad takes mere minutes. Enjoy!100_1354

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Filed under chicken, eggs, Healthful Eating, Salads, tomatoes

Your Garden-Variety Dinner

Some of my fondest memories of my father are of our runs together. One day, a couple of years before he died, we stopped near the end of our run at a neighborhood produce stand. Dad bought an assortment of fresh vegetables grown right there in the man’s backyard. I promised to cook whatever he bought. He spent about six bucks, total, and my family sat and ate as if it was Thanksgiving dinner.

We love vegetables, especially locally grown, fresh produce. Our favorite summer dinner is a fresh-from-the-garden vegetable plate. If you haven’t taken advantage of the produce grown in your area, now is the time to indulge.

Don’t restrict your menu. Plan your meals around what looks good and fresh, even if you have two or three green veggies. Corn on the cob, Squash, potatoes, beans, broccoli, tomatoes…it’s all better when fresh-picked. Steam, grill, roast, saut√©, or all the above. It’s healthy, tasty, and good for the local economy.

Green beans, roasted potatoes, and vegetable medley, served with a whole wheat roll.

Green beans, roasted potatoes, and vegetable medley with a whole wheat roll.

KITCHEN TIP: Add a little bit of butter for flavor. A tiny amount goes a long way. I freeze butter and use a hand grater to add it to cooked vegetables. Isn’t that a grate idea? ūüėČ

Grate cold butter for easier seasoning.

Grate cold butter for easier seasoning.


Filed under cooking, corn on the cob, Green Beans, Healthful Eating, onions, Quesadillas, Roasted Vegetables, Salads, spinach, tomatoes, Vegetables

Shrimp Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise

I’ve been studying food labels carefully and don’t like many of the additives, so I’ve embarked on a journey to eat more natural foods. I make my own juices, granola, bread, and BBQ sauce. Now I’ve conquered mayonnaise.

With the Vitamix, it’s easy and takes mere minutes. Here’s how:




¬ĺ cup egg substitute
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 cups safflower or canola oil


Add first four ingredients to the Vitamix container. Secure lid but remove plug.
Turn Vitamix to Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then high.
Pour the oil in a steady stream through the opening in the lid.
Run Vitamix just until mixture thickens.
Turn off Vitamix, pour the mayonnaise into a quart jar, and put a tight-fitting lid (or canning ring and lid) on the jar. Refrigerate. Keeps up to 10 days.

Yield: 1 quart

I use 1/2 cup of my mayonnaise to make shrimp salad.

Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad for Two


Shrimp Salad for Two


  • 1 cup¬†salad-size shrimp
  • 1 hard boiled egg, chopped
  • 2¬†Tbsp.¬†minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • ¬ľ cup chopped celery
  • ¬Ĺ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon leaves
  • salt and pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to develop flavors.
  3. Serve on whole-wheat rolls for sandwiches or stuff in a large, ripe tomato. 

Yield: 2 servings


Filed under condiments, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Salads, Shrimp

Fiesta Salad

This dish has many names from Nacho Salad or Taco Salad to Frito¬ģ Pie. I call mine Fiesta Salad and have made it many times. It’s a crowd pleaser, and my version is a bit healthier than the original.

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Fiesta Salad


  • 2 lbs. lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tbsp. chili seasoning or taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • (optional) 1 jalepe√Īo pepper, thinly sliced and/or diced
  • 1¬Ĺ cups skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • ¬Ĺ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 bag Tostitos baked tortilla corn chips


  1. Brown ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat, separating often to avoid clumping.
  2. While turkey cooks, heat the milk in a second skillet or 2-quart pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Sprinkle chili seasonings over the ground turkey, stir, then cover to keep warm.
  4. In the bottom of each of four large soup bowls, crumble a serving (approx. 24 chips) tortilla chips.
  5. Top each bowl of chips with approximately 1/2 pound (or 1/4) the cooked ground turkey.
  6. Cover the ground turkey with 1/4 the shredded lettuce.
  7. Top lettuce with 1/4 the chopped onions, tomatoes, and sliced (optional) jalape√Īo pepper.
  8. To the heated milk, stir in each of the shredded cheeses until blended.
  9. Pour a fourth (about 1/2 cup) of the cheese sauce over each fiesta salad.
  10. Serve immediately. Makes four servings

Variation: Make the cheese sauce in the Vitamix. Heat milk and add to the container. Secure lid. Begin on Variable Speed 1 and slowly increase speed to 10 then High. Remove the plug from the Vitamix lid and gradually add the grated cheeses. When cheese sauce is ready, turn off the Vitamix and pour sauce over the Fiesta Salads directly from the container.

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Filed under Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, Salads, tomatoes, Turkey Recipes

What in the world is a MUFA?

Happy Spring! I enjoy slow-cooking chili and baking muffins in the winter
months, but I miss the lighter fare. Here in Florida, warm weather has returned
to the Hasty Tasty Kitchen. It’s time to leave behind heavy stews and get back
to salads.


What in the world are MUFAs?

I avoid fad diets, or any diet for that matter, but I pay attention to advice
for healthful eating. The latest information on reducing belly fat (too much of
a spare tire is an indicator of increased risk for heart disease) concerns
eating fats. That’s right. We need to add fat–the right kind of fat–to our
diets. PREVENTION magazine recommends eating four meals a day, with each meal
including a serving of a MUFA-rich food. MUFA=MonoUnsaturated FAts.

What foods should we include in our diets to obtain MUFAs? Olives, nuts and
seeds, avocados, fish, oils (safflower oil is highest, but olive and canola oil
are good), and dark chocolate. Chocolate! Don’t you love it? Of course, this
information is meant to augment, not replace the other advice for healthful
eating. You still need your 5 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit
per day, and you need to eliminate saturated and trans fats as much as you can.
If you’re trying to lose weight, watch your calories and keep each of your four
daily meals around 400 calories for women/ 500-600 for men.

For more information on how to enrich your diet with MUFAs, see the February
2008 issue of PREVENTION, or read the FLAT BELLY DIET by Liz Vaccariello with
Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. Or visit


Sauté vegetables, fish, or chicken by rubbing a MUFA on the food rather than
coating a skillet to reduce the amount of fat. Although you want a MUFA with
each meal, you still should exercise portion control. Fat is high-calorie.
Another way to get a MUFA in your meal is to drizzle a Tablespoon of flaxseed
oil over your salad (You can’t cook with flaxseed oil). Experiment with herbs
to jazz up the flavor. Eat a serving (¬Ĺ cup) brown rice cooked with toasted
nuts. Or add an avocado slice to your chicken breast along with a sprig of
fresh cilantro or basil.


Bean Salsa Salad
Take this one to your next picnic! It’s high fiber, healthful, and contains a
serving of a MUFA!

1-16oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
1-16oz can navy beans rinsed and drained
2-11oz. cans Mexi-corn drained
2-4oz. cans chopped green chiles drained
1-small can jalepenos (optional)
1-red bell pepper chopped
1 cup cilantro finely chopped
combine all in a non-metallic bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 2/3 c apple cider vinegar, 1/3 c safflower
oil, and a pinch of cumin to taste. Add mixture to the bean salsa, toss well, then chill. Best if
made a day ahead. Enjoy!


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Filed under cooking, Healthful Eating, Recipes, Salads