Saturday, June 7, 2008

The time for salads!

Summer is absolutely the time for salads! You don't need to turn the oven on and your entire dinner can be fixed in minutes!! I have been craving salads nearly every night of the week in this already hot and humid weather.

Salads are light, cool, crisp, and refreshing on a warm summer evenings. They are also packed full of nutrition if you make sure to add lots of fresh vegetables! I made this particular layered salad several weeks ago for a picnic. Michael really enjoyed it, so it will be on our weekly menu rotation soon! My favorite part is the super easy homemade dressing. I was out of my standard packet of Hidden Valley ranch... so we had to make due! Simple and delicious! We'll be "making due" more often!!

What do you enjoy in your layered salads?

Carrie's Simple Strata Salad

4 cups -or- 1 small head green leaf lettuce, rinsed, patted dry and torn into pieces
1 package grape tomatoes, halved -or - 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced and cubed
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham -or- 1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup chopped red onion (optional -- very pretty!)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (the real stuff folks!!)
1/2 cup low fat sour cream or unflavored yogurt
1 teaspoon dill weed (or more to taste -- I always opt for MORE!)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules

Place rinsed and dried salad greens in the bottom of a large glass serving bowl. Layer quartered grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup cheese, peas, sliced eggs, sliced squash, ham, and lastly red onions, over the greens.

For the dressing: In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, dill weed, ground mustard, garlic granules, salt, and pepper. Mix until well blended. Spread evenly over salad. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour (preferably overnight). Right before serving sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Enjoy!!

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