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 https://thisoldgal.com. 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!

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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.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

  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.

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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:

Mayonnaise

 

Ingredients:

¬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
 

Directions:

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

RECIPE

Shrimp Salad for Two

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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

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