Easy – But Yummy – Pasta Salad

When I start making this pasta salad, I know that summer has arrived.  Everyone has their own variation, this is mine.

Summer in a bowl

Ingredients

1 bag – pasta of choice. Hardier pastas work best.  I’ve used Rotini, Fusilli, Farfale (bowtie), and Scoobi-Do is a favourite.  It’s a nice change from  the traditional elbow.

1 jar – Miracle Whip

2 cans – flakes of ham – some people like tuna, I prefer the taste and saltiness of ham

4 eggs – hard boiled

mustard – a healthy squirt

dried dill – a healthy shake

curry powder – to taste

salt and pepper – to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta in salted water to al dente.  Strain and run under cold water until completely cooled.

In a large bowl, break up flakes of ham and cut up hard boiled eggs.  Leave both in fairly large chunks as they will break down more when you stir it all together.

Dump the pasta on top, and add Miracle Whip and combine, to get desired creaminess.  Add mustard, dill and curry, along with salt and pepper, all to taste, testing along the way of course! 😉

That’s it.  It’s best served chilled, though if you plan on storing it in the fridge for a while, the pasta will absorb the dressing, so before serving add a bit more and give it a stir.

I prefer mine very simple, but there are literally hundreds of things you could add to this salad – bell peppers, green onions, spanish onion.  You could add fresh peas if you had some from the garden or market.  That’s what’s nice about it, add what you like to make it your own and suit your tastes.

Serve with a burger or hot dog or whatever summer treat you’ve got off the grill, and enjoy!

Tomato Salad

This is a quick and easy one.  So simple, and it goes over great during the summer at barbecues and potlucks.  We tease my Mom because once we were having a conversation about what food we’ll be remembered for when we’re gone.  She was concerned that there wouldn’t be a “special dish” that would inspire us all to think about her when we ate it.  My husband said to her, “don’t worry Cathie, you’ll always be remembered for your tomato salad!”

Don’t blink or you’ll miss this one – it’s that quick to throw together.

Ingredients

2-3 tomatoes or more – depending on size

1/2 large or 1-2  small onions (red onions or really sweet onions are best)

1 bottle vinaigrette salad dressing (I most prefer Kraft Sundried Tomato and Oregano for this)

Directions

Slice tomatoes and onions.  Layer in a casserole (like French White) with a lid.

Pour entire bottle of dressing over the tomatoes and onions.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1-2 hours.

 

That’s it!  The longer this stuff sits, the better it is.  It’s even better the next day, so if you can make it the morning of, or even the night before, it’s best.

If you’re having burgers, some of us like to put this salad directly on our burgers for extra zing.

Enjoy!

Taco Salad

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the many milestones that occur this year in my husbands’ family.  Several birthdays, my in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary, etc.  There was quite a bit of food, and my sister-in-law Jennifer’s friend Sarah brought this delicious taco salad.  I made sure to get the recipe from her so I could try it myself.

I had never been much of a taco salad person.  I think I ordered it once in a restaurant when I was younger.  But this is a great recipe, though I imagine not much different than the other recipes floating around out there.

I made it this weekend, and it was so good.  If you’ve never tried it, you should definitely take a stab at it.  I guarantee the bowl will be empty before you know it!

Makes 1 very large bowl.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 head lettuce – I used romaine – chopped and washed

1/2 green pepper, finely diced

2 green onions, sliced

1-2 tomatoes, diced

1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag of corn chips, or tortillas – I like the scoop kind for some reason

1 bottle Thousand Island dressing

Directions:

In a skillet, brown ground beef, and add taco seasoning, according to package instructions.  Set aside to cool, refrigerate until completely chilled.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, green pepper, green onions, tomatoes, cheese and hamburger.  Crumble chips into large chunks, and add to salad.

Add bottle of dressing, and combine completely.  Store covered in fridge until ready to serve.

This is great even the next day, you can throw some fresh chips in for crunch and a bit more dressing.

I have a friend that uses Catalina dressing instead, that would be good too.

If you wanted, you could fancy it up slightly by plating each serving separately, and line the outside of each serving with large restaurant style chips, garnishing with fresh tomato, green onions and cheese, making it a main course.

This is great as a side, to take to a potluck or barbeque, or really, it can be a meal in itself.

Enjoy!