Friday, March 2, 2012

Reader Recipes - Salads

In case you forgot, today is Friday. Which means it is Reader Recipe Day around here. Which means we set a theme, and you share your favorite recipe in that category. Today's theme is


Here is Merica's:

Cobb Salad With Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
(This is a hearty salad full of flavor. Perfect for those of us with a bottomless pit for a stomach. And feel free to trade something you don't like for something you do or add to it. But this is how I like it)

romaine, baby spinach, or mixed greens (your preference)
cut up ham or turkey
hard boiled egg chopped
(place fresh egg in small sauce pan and fill with water until egg is covered. Place on stove top and bring to boil. Once it hits a boil, keep it boiling for 8 minutes. And then you're done)
chopped up avocado
blue cheese
green or red onions - optional

Buttermilk Ranch (makes 1 quart)
(This is the recipe out of the book Country Beans. Instead of buttermilk, I measure 1 TBSP lemon juice per cup of milk, and fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Also, I add a little extra garlic, onion powder and salt to taste. So make it, taste it, and add what you think it needs. I would also half this recipe the first time you make it. It makes plenty. put the rest in the fridge and use it throughout the week.)

2 cups mayonnaise (Country Beans also has a mayonnaise recipe I haven't tried yet)
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried onion flakes
2 T parsley flakes
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder

Combine ingredients and whisk until smooth (I use a blender).

Got that? Yum. I am planning to make that one this weekend. I LOVE Cobb salad cause it doesn't really taste like salad - it tastes like a meal. And who doesn't adore ranch dressing (besides my youngest child)? 

My recipe for today is similar, in that it is a filling-meal salad, and you'll need to make Merica's ranch dressing recipe for it:

Crispy Ranch Chicken Salad
(adapted from a pampered chef recipe, I believe)

1/4 C. ranch dressing
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
3/4 C. dry bread crumbs (just make your own out of whole wheat bread - it's so simple: put some bread out on the counter overnight to get stale. Then bake in an even layer at 200 degrees for 1-2 hours. Grind up in a food processor. Freeze so you'll have them when you need them)
*you can add parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs if you have some

1 C. shredded cheddar
2 C. grape tomatoes
1/2 C. sliced olives
1/4 C. red onion, sliced thin
8 C. torn romaine lettuce
3/4 C. ranch dressing
*I like to add sliced hard-boiled eggs, and any other vegetables that sound good and are about to go bad if we don't hurry and use them.

Preheat oven to 425.
For salad: toss everything together except cheese.
For chicken: rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Brush chicken with ranch and coat with bread crumbs. Arrange evenly on a cookie sheet (or pizza stone). Bake 20-25 minutes or until it's no longer pink in the center. Cut crosswise into slices. Arrange over salad. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with ranch dressing.

The first time I made it, my kids and husband thought it was kind of weird to have the hot chicken on the cold salad, so I keep the chicken separate for them now, but I love the contrast of temperatures. I make extra chicken so I can chunk it and toss it in salads during the rest of the week. 

So, now we want you to link or share your favorite salad recipe in the comments.

Ready, Gesset, GO!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Grammy T., I (Andrea) am A. My cousin, Merica, is M. Is that what you were asking?

  2. Avocado Orange Salad:

    Large handful spring mix or whatever salad greens you like,
    1/2 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch chunks,
    1 orange, cut into 1/2 inch chunks,
    small handful of green olives - whatever kind you like but we use the garlic olives from the Whole Foods olive bar
    1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
    Italian Dressing

    This recipe gets green things inside my children faster than green smoothies do. And that, my friends, is just fast.

    1. this sounds SOOO good! I can't wait to try it

    2. Oops. Italian dressing is good on this, but I just re-read the rules and figured I should give my whole foods version of the dressing. Squeeze a half an orange or lime over the salad. Drizzle some olive oil on it and add a pinch of sea salt. Toss. Eat. Make another one. Eat it too. Feel proud of yourself for eating good things.

  3. I know it's not Friday anymore but I figured you would still want my 2 cents.
    I love me a strawberry salad with poppyseed dressing.
    -sliced avacado
    -sliced strawberries
    -poppyseed dressing
    So simple and so good.

    1. One of my fav's too. And now that I have Andrea's poppyseed dressing and california strawberries.. SOO GOOD