I have always wanted an indoor herb garden. Every year I go a little nuts planning what herbs I will plant and then decide it would be too expensive and decide not to do it. Last year I decided to scale my plans down to a managable level and give it a try. I planted oregano, thyme, basil, and cilantro. The plants did pretty well until one of my animals disappeared for a total of 7 days. On the 3rd day after Callie disappeared, I woke up to the utter destruction of my herb pots. I couldn’t blame Callie for eating my herbs. She was literally starving.
The experiment did well enough before Callie got to the pots that I decided to try it again. This year, I found a pot that has thyme, rosemary and basil in it. You can see from the picture that they plants are already established and ready to use. I have been looking for ways to use up my bounty. It’s horribly hot here in North Dakota so I have been eating a lot of salads so I though salad dressings might be a good place to start. This is one of the first recipes I tried with my fresh herbs.
Before I started eliminating processed food from my diet, Suddenly Salad Bacon Ranch pasta salad appeared on my table almost weekly. It was quick, easy and, best of all, cheap. What more could you ask for? I was really disappointed that Suddenly Salads couldn’t be part of my diet anymore.
What I didn’t know then is that homemade Bacon Ranch pasta salad is just quick, easy and cheap as the boxed stuff and best of all, devoid of unnecessary chemicals the manufactures feel need to be there.
Last week I gave you a recipe for a homemade ranch dressing mix. You can use that here. You could also buy a package of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix or use already prepared ranch salad dressing mix here also. Also, feel free to add or eliminate any vegetables you want.
Bring water to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Add shell pasta and carrot; boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together, the peas, ranch mix, bacon bits, onion powder, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Add pasta and carrots. Stir together until everything is coated. Chill and serve.
It’s weird how the mind works. I love my mom’s shrimp salad but I can’t stand her potato salad. Why is that weird? It is weird because I absolutely love potatoes and my mom uses the exact same dressing for both salads. Maybe it is because I am not a fan of mayonnaise in general. I just don’t know. Does anyone else have any weird food quirks?
This ramen salad is one of my favorites. It is quick, easy and there is no mayonnaise is site. You can cook the other half of the ramen noodles for lunch if you want. Random ramen fact: A package of ramen noodles is two servings, according to the package. Could anyone really be satisfied with half a package of ramen as a meal?
8 oz shredded cabbage
2 green onions
1 package oriental ramen noodles, broken in half and crushed
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 ½ TBS sesame seeds
2 ½ TBS sunflower seeds
2 TBS sugar
2 TBS rice vinegar
6 TBS salad oil
½ pk of seasoning mix
Mix together cabbage and green onions. Toast the almonds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, if using. Crush half the ramen noodles. Add to the cabbage and seed mixture. Mix well. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients just before serving and mix well.
When I was a kid salads consisted of iceberg lettuce, a few cucumber slices, a celery stick, a carrot stick, a tomato wedge, and some shredded cheese which I promptly drowned in ranch dressing. I ate salads to loose weight or so I wouldn’t feel guilty about indulging in the things I love the most….. desserts. It never occurred to me until I was well into adulthood that salads were something that could be eaten for no other reason then they plain taste good.
This simple salad of spinach, strawberries, cheese, nuts and light drizzle of poppy seed dressing is currently one of my favorite salads. It can be used to a simple side to a heartier main dish salad with the addition of chicken.
2 TBS white vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 TBS sugar
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp paprika
5 oz baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced, fresh strawberries
2 oz crumbled cheese
1/4 cup toasted pecans
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, sugar, poppy seeds, onion, Worcestershire and paprika. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. On a plate arrange the spinach, strawberries, cheese and pecans. Drizzle with the poppy seed dressing and serve.