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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:34 PM
Original message
What do you put in your tossed salad?
What makes a really good tossed salad? (since it's summer)

:)
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tester2010 Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. 100-dollar bills.
100-dollar bills.
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
2. It depends on the dressing
For a basic salad with something like Italian or Ranch or French dressings, I like:

iceberg lettuce
tomatoes
cucumbers
carrots
red bell peppers

Those are the basics. After that, I don't mind adding things like celery, radishes and green onion, but they're not critical.
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Dr Morbius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Romaine lettuce.
Thin cucumber slices.
Diced firm tomatoes.
Diced green onions. Just a little. Very thinly sliced radish; even less.
Shredded cheese; cheddar is good, muenster, better. Asadero, better still.
Walnut & raspberry vinaigrette.
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ornotna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. meat donuts
And tomatoes of course.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. fresh bean sprouts, some kind of nuts or sunflower seeds
and a few raisins.

Here's a great fresh spinach salad, and one that men really go for when ever I make it for a party:

Fresh spinach, thinly sliced red onion, chopped apples (peels on and dip in a bit of lemon juice) tossed. Dress with a fat free Italian with 2 tbsp OJ concentrate (undiluted) then sprinkle on bacon bits.

It's lovely.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. 25% Romaine, 75% spinach blend. Red onion.
Chopped portabella mushrooms, cherry/grape/roma tomato, pickles, croutons, cut up chunks of faux chicken. Top with a bit of shredded Daiya cheese, and I'm all set.

Homemade thousand island dressing for me, thanks.
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mix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. fresh blueberries are nice in summer salads nt
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femmocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. Fresh lettuce from the garden.
Yummm!

I made it tonight with green onion, radish, cukes, crumbled bacon and toasted almonds.
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Lot of stuff.
Edited on Fri Jun-18-10 09:07 PM by hippywife
Leaf lettuces, spinach, tomatoes, cukes, onion, carrots, celery, olives, apple or pear, berries, grapes, clementine segments, sliced almonds. Whatever I happen to have on hand, I throw it in there. Sometimes I roast turnips and beets in small wedges the day before and chill them in the fridge to add to a salad, too. They are so good chilled in a salad.

Then I make a balsamic vinaigrette with olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, basil. I grew up eating only vinegar and oil on salads so for me it is the best dressing there is, plus it doesn't weigh down the salad or drown out the tastes of the other ingredients.

I get many requests to bring salads to gatherings and lots of compliments when I do.

Chilling the bowls with the salad in it for about fifteen or twenty minutes also makes for a really refreshing salad.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
10. Chopped romaine, homemade dressing, smidge of crumbled bacon, a spoonful of any kind of blue cheese,
and croutons. Nom nom nom.

OR chopped romaine, a smidge of garlic dressing, smoked salmon, boursin cheese, chopped onions.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. a handful of flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
I LUV parsley in green salad.

Other than that, it's usually romaine, English cucumber with peel left on, diced bell pepper, minced red onion, avocado if it looks good, fresh rosemary croutons and either a caesar or vinaigrette dressing. Top with shaved parm and cracked pepper.

That would be the usual.

I also like a crunchy iceberg salad with carrots, red cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli florets, and ranch dressing.

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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. I also like a crunchy salad.

So as a base:
lettuce (iceburg or romaine)
cucumber not too thin but each circle/slice halved or quartered.
carrots
celery
lots of black olives
tomato

Then add whatever looks good when you go shopping:
red cabbage is always good chopped up fairly small (a small head will last for a week's worth of salads)
cauliflower is good but cut most of the stems away so it breaks into small pieces
green pepper if you like it (I only like a very small amount)
radishes are nice in summer
scallions or red onion (are good once in a while, I don't want them every day)

Sometimes I add the very small can(4-6oz) of chick peas (rinsed)
Kidney beans are good sometimes but I rarely see small cans (definitely rinse these well when used in salads)
Artichoke hearts either type marinated or the canned in lemon brine perk up a salad.

I like Ranch or Balsamic Vinaigrette.

You can also try chopping your lettuce and then chopping everything else small for something a little different. I prefer a vinaigrette or Italian type dressing on this type salad. Creamy dressings can make the lettuce a little soggy.

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leeroysphitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. .
Edited on Fri Jun-18-10 09:52 PM by leeroysphitz
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
14. LOTS of tomatoes...mushrooms...3 kinds of Lettuce, onion, small pieces of ..
...sharp cheese, some ham...and more tomatoes. :)
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. rat-tails.
Had the first of the season from my garden this week. (photo from motherearthnews)

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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
22. what are those? green beans?
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. radish pods.
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 12:18 AM by noamnety
They are my favorite accidental discovery from my garden of neglect. If you don't pull the radishes for the roots, they will make small purple or white flowers, then a pod will form (just like with peas or beans). Well, not "a pod." More like thousands of them all summer. Here's how they look on the radish plant:

They have a slight peppery bite like radish root, but they don't have the bitterness. You can eat them raw in salads, or pickle them, or the best thing is to make Moongre ki Subzi - a radish pod and potato curry: http://madteaparty.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/moongre-ki-... /

Apologies for anyone who's heard me ramble about them elsewhere - I am like a radish pod messiah, this is such an underappreciated and unknown easy quick dependable crop.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. interesting
I have some odd things that come up underneath where Watson the Macaw eats, and I am pretty sure the yellow flowered things that kind of look like those are rape seed (is it a cruciform?) but this year a purple flowered something came up - will have to taste the pods!
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
69. Just regular red radishes? This is interesting.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-22-10 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #69
79. Any regular radish, yes.
The ones I had last year were from some generic radish mix that came free with an order of seeds. One of my friends clued me in that the leaves are also edible, I've been cooking those like spinach this year.

This year I splurged and got the "rat-tail radishes" that are intended for the pods, but I'm not sure there's much difference except these ones get longer before they start to fatten.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. I love all sorts of salads, but recently I've been into simplicity
And the most delicious and simple salad to me is baby arugula tossed in a vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, a bit of dijon mustard, finely diced shallots, and salt and pepper. That's it. Soooo good. (I'm not just saying that because of my DU name, either). :P
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
17. lately? Mangos!


I've been making a chicken, spinach, and mango salad with strawberries and red onion this summer. It's yummy and good when it's hot out.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
18. Whatever hasn't wilted or grown mold.
Lettuce, apples, cucumbers, raisins, walnuts, celery, fresh beets, carrots, topped with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice shaken--not stirred. Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar for the dressing, if I have any that's decent.

I add tomatoes only if I could find any that looked good when I was shopping last. I'm a tomato snob.
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zabet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-10 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
19. Had this salad for supper..
All the veggies were out of my garden...black seeded simpson leaf lettuce, romaine, onion, cucumber, tomato, pinapple chunks, shredded mexican cheese, and home fried bacon bits. I like ranch dressing on this combo.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
20. basics
lettuce - Romaine is my fave, maybe some other greens, bit of cabbage just for the color and texture, tomatoes, cukes, cauliflower, lots of sweet onion, maybe some radish, bell pepper and/or carrot. Tomatillos are kind of interesting to put in a green salad too.

Either an Italian/vinaigrette or homemade ranch. Make it into a main course by adding grilled beef, chicken, shrimp...yum!
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
21. My cellmate...
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...who prefers surup.
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amyrose2712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #21
63. HAHAHA....I didn't have the cajones.
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Mopar151 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #21
72. If you wonder what the veiled references are about
Chris Rock's take on reality TV...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ5HijcicZs
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Captain Boomerang Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
24. Marinated Artichoke Hearts
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
26. I like it without any dressing at all. I like the taste of lettuce.
Also includes kalamatas, tomatoes, green onion, slashed carrots, sliced cukes, a generous portion of cilantro stems, and a sprinkle of marinated pine nuts. You won't really enjoy having your salad tossed if my nuts aren't involved.
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
27. "mixed field greens", walnuts and gorgonzola with a vinaigrette
love, love, LOVE this salad. To me it's the perfect mix of flavors.

But I also like any other mix of greens, and I'll add garbanzos, corn, celery, sunflower seeds, whatever sounds good.
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Sisaruus Donating Member (703 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
28. seasonal fruit and berries
Right now, berries are plentiful. Today's salad of baby mixed field greens will have lots of raspberries (they are growing wild in my unweeded flower beds), native strawberries and blueberries. Some goat cheese and some nuts (I like sliced almonds). Maybe some homemade croutons. (If my sister reads this, she'll show up on my doorstep any minute.)

I do keep dried cranberries and a small can of mandarin oranges on hand in case I don't have time to get the fresh fruit and berries.

I always have a bottle of Newman's Own oil and vinegar salad dressing on hand for my lazy moments. I don't like cold salad dressing and his oil and vinegar dressing (but only the oil and vinegar variety) doesn't have to be refrigerated after opening. If I'm not lazy, I have the ingredients to make a lime dressing.

I'm also boiling some baby potatoes right at the moment - a mix of purple, red and yellow ones. I'll toss some with some blue cheese dressing for today and the rest will be tosesed with the above-mentioned Newman's Own for tomorrow.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
29. Whatever's growing at the time.
tomatoes & cucumbers, here we come
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Cash U Nutt Donating Member (9 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
30. As little lettuce as possible
with mostly tomatoes, cukes, red onion, mushrooms, radishes, peppers, garnished with grated cheese and olives. Damn now I am getting hungery.
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
31. Anyone have a recipe for House dressing?
There used to be something called House dressing at many restaurants. Usually a Ranch type dressing. I went to a little French bistro last month and they had a delicious dressing. Very simple. White cream dressing with just a fresh herb taste. Probably only one actual herb than a complicated mix. The dressing was lighter and thinner than a store bought ranch. I'm thinking a buttermilk base and something else were the main flavors.

Does anyone have any ideas for a simple white dressing? Has anyone used the HiddenValley dry packets recently?

Thanks!
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. I'm also interested in dressings.
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 10:15 AM by woo me with science
People in this house aren't crazy about vinegar, which always leaves me stymied.

I'd be interested to hear anyone's excellent dressings that don't have a strong vinegar component.

For both pasta AND veggie salads...
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. This restaurant has a delicious salad.
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 10:51 AM by gvstn
Very simple yet refreshing. They don't serve it in a large size so I have to have to order soft-shells to pad out my meal. Life is tough sometimes. ;)



Didn't realize my picture would embed. Here is the seafood house http://www.finsrawbar.com/
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. As far as I know
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 12:17 PM by hippywife
there is no specific dressing called House dressing. It's usually whatever dressing the restaurant refers to as their preferred dressing, so it could be anything. You have to ask what kind it is unless they tell you on the menu. But it's usually referred to as "our house dressing" and is sometimes made in-house but not always, especially when it's a chain.
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Yes
I realize that there is no specific dressing called House. But usually the House dressings are very similar either a creamy Ranch type or a oil/vinegar type. I'm thinking the Ranch types are usually lighter/thinner than a bottled ranch and am looking for any recipes for this type of dressing.

I'm just hoping that someone on this thread might make up something like that regularly and has some ideas. :)
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. Sometimes
it's a creamy peppercorn parmesan. Just depends where you go. :shrug:

Whatever it is I usually don't order it because I prefer vinegar and oil. Not fond creamy dressings at all really, except a rare occasion where I'll eat a good bleu cheese dressing where available.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
34. spinach (never lettuce), 'maters, chick peas, croutons, red onions, shredded cheeses,
dice boiled egg, mrs dash seasonings. sometimes just plain mayo for a dressing.
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
35. Lettuce, ham, bacon, cheese, croutons, thousand island
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. I forgot boiled eggs
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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
40. whipped cream? honey?
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
41. Romaine, spinach, red onions, strawberries, with homemade poppy seed dressing. The YUM!!!!!
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #41
54. Strawberries in salad, with nuts, feta, red onions and a fresh vinaigrette.
I get this salad from a deli near work. It's quite delicious.

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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
42. Blue Cheese!
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lillypaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. absolutely, blue cheese!
spinach, arugula, Campari tomatoes, a good balsamic vinaigrette, grilled chicken, and a crisp bagel chip along with it.
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Flying Dream Blues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
44. Lots of good ones here! Mine tends to be
baby mixed lettuce or romaine, grape tomatoes, avocado, green onion, goat cheese if I have it.
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name not needed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
45. Some people use syrup. I prefer jelly.
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Beaverhausen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
46. mixed greens, garbanzo beans, candied pecans, small tomatoes, and dried cranberries or cherries
my new fav dressing is sweet poppyseed from Trader Joe's.
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pink-o Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
47. Spinach, cuke, tomato, avocado, radish, broc, red pepper..
tofu, edamame, mushrooms, red kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Then top it off with a good Italian or Dijon dressing. I eat this most every night for dinner, so I am a professional! :hi:. Here's the finished project:



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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. My kind of salad..looks delicious!
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
48. I don't use lettuce for salads anymore
I use fresh spinach instead. Whatever I have around, I add but most often it's just parmesan cheese and a nice vinaigrette.
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #48
55. Just a reminder with spinach salads, always put in a source of vitamin C...
helps your body with the absorbtion of the iron in the spinach. Onions, oranges, and tomatoes, for instance. mmmmm. :)
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Tomatoes
I forgot how much I love them. I used to eat them like apples. But no, little miss blogslut jr. hated tomatoes so that was 18 years without my yummy red yummies. Now she's all growed up and moved off. I can eat tomatoes again!

Thanks for reminding me. :hi:
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
49. This should be the tossed salad thread that never dies!!!
:D
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
50. Spring greens or spinach, sliced sweet onion and...
Edited on Sat Jun-19-10 07:59 PM by GoCubsGo
Whatever happens to be in season/on sale--any of the following...

Tomatoes
cucumbers
black or Greek olives
artichoke hearts (thawed frozen or marinated)
hearts of palm
thawed green peas
asparagus
mushrooms
avocado
red/yellow/orange bell pepper


And, some sort of protein:

Beans, frequently chick peas
grilled salmon
chicken
tuna
hard boiled egg
feta, blue or gorgonzola cheese
Morningstar Farms Tomato Basil Pizza Burger
sunflower seeds
nuts

The dressing varies. Vinegar and oil with garlic works just fine on most days.
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
51. Despite two valiant efforts, I'm surprised this thread made it to 50 without being locked
Weird... :shrug:

However, my answer is pretty basic: spinach, carrots, green onion, bell pepper (red, yellow, and/or green), tomato, feta cheese. Other things get tossed in if they happen to be on hand.
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-10 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. Well, as long as the ingredients remain fresh and tasty, there shouldn't be a lock.
:D
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Seneca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
57. Scrambled eggs
They're calling again...
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begin_within Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
58. Scatter tiny pieces of spearmint leaves, and
a light sprinkling of seasoning salt, and only a light drizzle of dressing. Too many salads are ruined by too much dressing.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 02:47 AM
Response to Original message
59. I'm still fighting to break away from my mother's version of salad
Iceburg lettuce wedges with and basic oil and vinegar dressing. Sometimes tomatoes, but since she was allergic, not very often.

Hubby has gotten me to eat other kinds of lettuce but I still just cannot get into the arugula and other semi-bitter greens in my salads, much less a lot of other stuff. Maybe some shredded carrot, a few radish slices, tomatoes, but really not much else. He does have me eating leaf lettuces, radichio, a little spinach. I'm OK if there is still some iceburg in the mix.
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 06:20 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. I had my first iceburg lettuce wedge salad
a few years ago at a Steak and Ale restaurant. Crisp lettuce on a chilled plate. Fresh Blue Cheese Dressing. It was delicious.

I now order them from time to time if I see them on the menu even though I'm not a fan of Bleu Cheese. Funny, how what is old becomes new again.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. But if that is all you have ever had as a salad, moving to other lettuces
Is intimidating and just does not taste 'right'. When money was tight Mom's salad dressing was vegetable oil, cider vinegar and seasoned salt - cheap, but it sure did not add anything to that iceburg lettuce wedge. Mr. csziggy introduced me to leaf lettuces, romaine and other vegetables in a tossed salad. I'd had bleu cheese dressing rarely when eating out, but Mr. csziggy varied my palate with thousand island, vinegrettes and other dressings.

I still like a good, crisp iceburg salad sometimes - especially with bleu cheese dressing (my sinful favorite) - but I won't go back to Mom's cheap salad dressing for tossed salads. I do like avocados best with just lemon juice or cider vinegar and seasoned salt - guacamole is not in my list of preferred foods. ;)
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #64
66. I'm a firm believer in
Edited on Sun Jun-20-10 09:14 AM by gvstn
"You have to try it but if you don't like it you don't have to eat it."

I still prefer iceburg or romaine in my salads. Eating out mixed greens is just about your only choice which is fine for a change. But you will never catch me searching out the Arugula in the produce section of my supermarket. ;)

However, if someone else makes the salad with arugula I will be the first to compliment them on the delicious BITTER fresh taste.

On Edit: I've been thinking and the rule I believe in is "you have to try everything except octopus...". No one should have to try octopus. Maybe a small piece of calamari at some point in their lifetime but definitely not octopus.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #66
67. I've got to agree with you on the arugula
Last year I was in a CSA (community supported agriculture) deal. Each week we got a bag of whatever the organic farmer had produced that week. We got a lot of greens - turnip, collard, mustard, etc. - as well as some of the salad greens like arugula and other exotics you just do not see in the regular stores. We tried really hard to use all the vegetables we got, but it got really hard to come up with recipes for the greens that neither of us liked. The many bitter salad greens just were too much - while I might like a few leaves of arugula to add some "spice" or variation to the normal lettuces, entire salads of them were just overload for us both.

I dropped the CSA membership last fall - the original deal was that we traded horse manure for the vegetables, but that did not work out. The cost was more than we usually spend for all our vegetables and we just did not get enough of the ones that we could/would eat. It did kick me out of my habit of only buying vegies from the supermarket, but I may never eat Southern style cooked greens again, or any of them cooked any other way.

I've tried octopus. It was not good enough to want to have it again.
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #67
70. I worked in a supermarket
and after seeing a whole octopus in the fish counter and picking it up I thought to myself I don't care how good a restaurant or how good a chef I'm not ordering that off the menu. I realize crabs and lobsters, which I enjoy, look fairly horrific if you really study them but something about the "ink" of the octopus really turned me off. No thanks.

Good for you on trying new things. After seeing Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution where an entire classroom of kids didn't recognize a potato I feel down right cosmopolitan for being able to say I at least am willing to try new things before passing judgment on them. I'm not all that familiar with Southern greens except Broccoli Rabe which I find very tasty just boiled but for far less time than standard southern recipes.

Celery to me is the ideal vegetable. Flavor but not too bitter and not too sweet. Lots of water and little sugar. Even my grandmother who was a very careful cook always said, "you can never use too much celery". It is my staple to freshen up the flavor of everything from salad to canned soups.

I live in the outer-Philadelphia area but am appalled at the quality of produce in the supermarkets. Everything is well past its prime by the time it arrives. I wish I had a true farmer's market where I could get fresh vegetables by which I mean within a week of picking. (Not really asking that much) Even in summer fresh corn is hard to come by. Things like Lima Beans, not a favorite, but cracked out of the pod fresh they are delicious--off the shelf in the produce department they are starchy and blah. I know I could eat a larger variety of vegetables on a daily basis but I really want them fresh. Not circling the country for 3 weeks or more before I get them.

I can eat just about any vegetable raw in a salad but I want it fresh, fresh, fresh.
Especially REAL tomatoes. I long for the old days when a plate full of delicious sliced tomatoes was a common summer breakfast side dish--not a "bucket list" dream.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #70
77. I've always liked trying different things
And like cooking with fresh stuff more than boxed.

Southern style greens have never been one of my favorite veggies. I like the green best when sauteed - sautee onion and garlic until soft (or even caramelized), throw in the greens (I preferred cutting them into strips), and just braise them. You can add in various seasonings - seed spices, such as mustard seed are best put in the pan first, and cooked until toasted. Balsamic vinegar is good added at the end, as is lemon zest and juice. One of the variations I tried had a sweet and sour sort of BBQ sauce mixed in.

I never really developed a single recipe - I would read lots of recipes, then adapt them to what I had on hand. But after six months of this, I never wanted to look at greens again. Maybe in a few years.

I'm lucky - I live in the South, so we get a wide variety of fruits and veggies very fresh, many locally grown. And since I am in the north part of the state, local farmers can even grow some tropical stuff. The main supermarket around here started down in Central Florida close to a lot of the produce farmers. They can buy produce and distribute it to their stores in less than 24 hours. As long as I stick to their Florida or Southeastern produce, the quality is great and the stuff is very fresh - but not as good as from the little local organic gardeners right here in town.

I wish I could put in a garden myself - we have acreage enough, but I physically cannot do it. Besides, the deer, bunnies, raccoons, possums and birds would fight me for anything edible.

I had to give up on pansies in the flower bed along the front porch since the deer and bunnies were snacking on them. Since we now have an over population of deer, I am thinking of letting a family I know take a doe or two this fall - the herd will be healthier and my flowers will thank me. I have only had venison once, so I can experiment a bit with it.

My next step is to stop buying factory farmed meat and go to the locally grown, free range chicken or grass fed beef that has become very popular around here among farmers. Since we're eating much less meat than we used to, it will not be as big a budget hit as it might have been.

Try searching here: http://www.localharvest.org / - maybe there are some farmer's markets close to you that you have not found.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #64
73. I really enjoy using all the different greens that are available, but I still like to use Iceburg
lettuce as the base for my salads. I just love the crunch. Mixing something new with something familiar is an easy way to introduce yourself to a new taste and texture.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
60. Hot dogs, boiled eggs, sauysaes, sliced steak and lots of mayo and olive oil...on 1 Romaine leaf.
(joke)

mark
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cleveramerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
61. BACON
there is no food that bacon does not improve
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #61
65. One of the best salads I ever had was spinach with a hot bacon dressing
That just wilted the spinach. Amazing flavor. The hostess graciously gave me her recipe, but I've never made it because just that one dish would take me half a day and use up 50% of my calories and 100% of my fat levels for the day. So if served it, I will enjoy it, but probably never make it, even for guests.
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Po_d Mainiac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-10 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
68. The dog tossed a salad last night
There was some green stuff. There was a little bit of yellow stuff. There was some brown stuff.
:hide:
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 03:52 AM
Response to Original message
71. This thread reminds me to ask about the value of salad spinners?
Edited on Mon Jun-21-10 03:53 AM by gvstn
I eat a salad about 4 days a week. I like crisp lettuce. For some reason I haven't purchased a salad spinner.

Well, the reason is the minimum $25-$30 dollar price tag and limited storage space.

I see them regularly on cooking shows but would like to hear if they are really indispensable. I tried one, maybe 20 years ago, and didn't see the value. Does anyone here love their salad spinner?
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. I love mine....
Bought it at a thrift store for a couple of bucks twenty years ago, I think. It's so old the plastic is yellowing a bit, but it's indestructible. I use it for lots of things-- washing and drying salad greens, of course, but also for washing lots of other veggies and greens without spinning, resting and rehydrating greens and such, and so on. It works MUCH better for washing dirty greens, for example, than a colander alone since you can fill it with water and agitate the dirty veggies in standing water. Avoids having to use serial washes in a big bowl and a separate colander to drain. Likewise, when I make green salads I like to leave the greens soaking in cold water in the spinner for 15 or 20 minutes before final drying-- it crisps them up nicely.

Of course, you can do all that with a big bowl and a colander, but the salad spinner has a colander that exactly fits the bowl, AND it'll dry produce too!
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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #71
75. Target.
Target usually has one or another for about $10-$15.

I'm not sure it's necessary unless you're buying greens from a farmer's market or organic produce market; bag lettuce is pretty clean for the most part. If you are using fresh greens though, then Yes you MUST own a salad spinner unless you really like soggy greens from being washed or dirt and sand in your salad from dirty greens.
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gvstn Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-10 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #71
76. Thanks for your advice...
Edited on Mon Jun-21-10 01:33 PM by gvstn
I usually buy Romain lettuce. Either hearts (3 to a bag) or head depending on what looks good. When I lived alone I would was each leaf of each head, drain them and store them in a closed container with a paper towel in the bottom to absorb excess moisture in the fridge. I was good for a week with this system and had crisp lettuce. Now I use at least a head a day and just rinsing it and wrapping in paper towels does little to crisp it.

I'm wondering if getting a salad spinner and washing a head of Romaine and then spinning it and letting it "crisp" for a few hours would work better for me? I know Romaine can crisp in the right conditions but I need it to do it in a few hours.

I would just buy one and try it but my kitchen space is so limited and my basement so full of unused kitchen stuff that I want to hear someone say they should really work in my scenario.

Thanks again for your opinion. (Yes, I really do want to try one out and just need a little positive reinforcement :; )

******************************************************************

On EDIT:

Mike said:
When I make green salads I like to leave the greens soaking in cold water in the spinner for 15 or 20 minutes before final drying-- it crisps them up nicely.


Mike, this is my idea of how to crisp. Is a salad spinner my best bet for Romaine? Thanks again!

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cordelia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-22-10 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
78. Different things.
Tonight was simply mixed greens, a chopped pear, and bleu cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Light and refreshing in this oppressive heat.


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