LOADED BUFFALO BAKED POTATO SALAD

This is SERIOUSLY not your grandma’s boring potato salad! This one has a rich and hearty flavor with a kick of spice mixed in! Top with the bacon and NO ONE can resist it AND they will be back for more! I made this for the potluck at our family reunion last Saturday and everyone loved it!

LOADED BAKED POTATO SALAD

5 pounds Russet baking potatoes
3/4 cup sour cream
½ cup mayo
1/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Wash and poke holes in each potato.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1½ hours or until tender. Place in refrigerator to cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, mayo, hot sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Once the potatoes are cooled, cut them into bite-sized pieces and add them to the mixture, tossing to coat.
  • Reserve about ¼ each of the cheese, bacon, and chives for topping and mix the rest in with the potatoes.
  • Spoon salad into serving bowl.
  • Top with the remaining cheese, bacon, and chives.
  • Cover and keep refrigerated until serving.

NOTE:

  • I make the potatoes 2 days before I want to serve it and then cool them overnight before assembling the salad the day before I want to serve it. The flavors are best if you make it at least a day in advance so the flavors can meld together.
  • I forgot to buy the sour cream and because we were at the camp out and not near a store I used Laura Scudder’s toasted onion dip and it was really GREAT.

TERIYAKI SESAME CHICKEN SALAD

This is the perfect spring salad full of sweet and tangy fruit and asian blended flavors.

TERIYAKI SESAME CHICKEN SALAD
16 ounces fusilli pasta, prepared per package directions and WELL drained
1/2 cup avocado oil
2/3 cup champagne vinegar
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup sugar
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans mandarin oranges, WELL DRAINED
2 small cans water chestnuts, WELL DRAINED
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups honey roasted peanuts or cashews
2 cups torn baby spinach leaves or romaine lettuce
5 ounces dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 large bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • Add prepared pasta and chicken pieces to a large salad bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the avocado oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, sugar and pepper.
  • Pour over pasta and chicken, tossing to coat well.
  • Top with mandarin oranges, water chestnuts, cranberries and green onions.
  • Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Just before serving add cashews, tossing well to mix.

PORKY PIG FARMER’S MARKET SALAD

This light and bright salad is oomphed up by FRESH basil, FRESH parsley and FRESH lemon juice to make this a spring favorite!

PORKY PIG FARMER’S MARKET SALAD
8 ounces pasta, bowtie or campagnelle
1 cup FRESH chopped green beans
2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
2 cups chopped seeded cucumber
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 cups chopped ham steak
1 1/2 cups mozzarella balls
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup FRESH chopped basil
1/2 cup FRESH chopped parsley
1/2 cup Avocado oil
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds

  • In a large saucepan bring salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
  • At 10 minutes add green beans and bell pepper cooking for 2 more minutes.
  • Drain and rinse WELL with cold water.
  • Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Stir in tomatoes, cucumbers, ham, red onions and mozzarella balls.
  • In a small bowl combine lemon juice, sugar, lemon zest, shallot, salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • In a small food processor add the lemon juice mixture, champagne vinegar, basil, parsley and oil, pulsing until well blended.
  • Pour over pasta mixture.  Toss to coat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add pasta mixture to the veggie mixture, sprinkle with seeds and toss to mix.
  • Refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE

SPINACH SALAD with PEACH VINAIGRETTE serves 6-8 adapted from Alli Kelley from Longourn Farms

SALAD
4 cups baby spinach or favorite lettuce mix
4 cups coleslaw mix
+/- 1 cup Craisins
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 large peach, peeled and sliced
Peach vinaigrette dressing (recipe below)

  • Toss together the spinach and coleslaw in a large salad bowl.
  • Sprinkle in the raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss together.
  • Drizzle dressing over, tossing periodically until desired amount is reached.

PEACH VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup diced peaches (with skin removed)
2 tablespoons celery seeds

  • Blend all the ingredients except the celery seeds in a food processor until smooth.
  • Stir in celery seeds.

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD with POPPY SEED DRESSING

SALAD
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and spun
2 cups torn romaine hearts, washed and spun
1 quart strawberries, hulled and large chopped
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped candied walnuts

DRESSING
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk together the vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour half of the vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and microwave 1 minute.
  • Add onion, toss to combine and let sit 30 minutes.

 

  • While onions marinade, toast the poppy seeds in a non-stick skillet until fragrant and darkened.

 

  • Whisk oil into remaining vinegar mixture.
  • Add FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste.

 

  • In a large salad bowl combine spinach leaves, romaine pieces, strawberry pieces and candied walnuts.
  • Remove onion from vinegar mixture and add to salad bowl, gently tossing to disperse.
  • Whisk onion marinade back into the vinegar mixture.
  • Drizzle over salad,
  • Plate salad and top with more walnuts if desired.
  • Enjoy!

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD

Gazpacho is Spanish in tradition, but with the addition of the Feta cheese I feel like it is more of a Greek and Spanish fusion. Hubby loves the Mediterranean flavors while I pass on it every time, but it’s a GREAT recipe for a BBQ or picnic.

GREEK GAZPACHO PASTA SALAD
1 pound rotini, prepared al dente and rinsed in cold water and drained

SAUCE
14 1/2 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup FRESH basil leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup avocado oil (or olive if you prefer)

  • Process tomatoes, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes and red wine vinegar with a pinch of salt until smooth.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and gently fold in.

VEGGIES
1 cucumber, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 red pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 yellow pepper, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, small diced
3/4 pound grape tomatoes, halved

ASSEMBLY

  • In a large mixing bowl gently toss veggies together.
  • Drizzle with sauce mixture and fold again.
  • Cover and let marinade for 15-30 minutes.

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup (or more) pitted black olives, sliced
3 green onions sliced thin
FRESH minced parsley for garnish

  • JUST before serving fold in olives, cheese and green onions.
  • Season to taste.
  • Garnish with parsley.

BRUSCHETTA AVOCADOS

BRUSCHETTA AVOCADOS – Luscious tomatoes, FRESH basil and red onion are tossed in a balsamic vinegar with a touch of garlic and avocado oil and then gently stuffed into avocado halves for a incredible summer dinner with no oven or stove to heat up the house. Adapted from Cafe Delites

2 ripe Roma tomatoes,finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
scant tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 ripe avocados – peeled, seeded and halved
2 tablespoons balsamic REDUCTION – store bought or see recipe below
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Toss well to evenly meld all of the flavors.
  • Arrange prepared avocado halves onto a plate.
  • Spoon the  filling into each avocado halve and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  • Top with chopped FRESH basil and Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

BALSAMIC REDUCTION (homemade)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon PACKED light brown sugar (OPTIONAL)

  • Combine brown sugar sugar with vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze.

NOTE: If not using sugar, allow plain balsamic vinegar to reduce for 12-15 minutes on low heat.

 

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled to perfection and sliced 😀
1 large peach, washed and sliced
1 large RIPE avocado, sliced
1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, sliced thin
4 strips bacon, diced, browned andcrisp
3 cups torn romaine or watercress lettuce

  • Arrange ingredients on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.

HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
Pinch FRESH ground sea salt

  • Add ingredients into a glass container or jar with a lid.
  • Shake jar vigorously until completely combined.
  • Serve on your favorite salad.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

NOTES: When using cold from the refrigerator make sure you shake it up REALLY well to re-blend the ingredients. I usually run my jar under warm water before giving it a good shake and if that doesn’t mix it enough a few seconds in the microwave should thin it enough to make mixable!

THE SUMMER OF SALADS – WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with PEAR LEMON VINAIGRETTE

I’m officially declaring this the summer of Salads.  This extreme heat has left me wanting more, MORE salads that is! 😀

WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 cups torn lettuce pieces
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup candied walnut pieces
1/3 cup craisins

  • Toss together.
  • Plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • ENJOY!

LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE
1 RIPE pear, pureed
Juice of 1 large lemon
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together.
  • Chill.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE

We’re still under a serious EXTREME heat warning so I am NOT cooking, but focusing on salads this week.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 cups torn lettuce

  • Whisk together the lemon juices, avocado oil, vinegar and honey.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss lettuce, onions and apple together.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss again.
  • ENJOY!

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

Another PERFECT salad for a warm summer’s eve. The assortment of the chilled cheeses, meats and quick pickled veggies is quite satisfying especially after you add the vinaigrette for a tangy bite.

ANTIPASTO SALAD with CREAMY ITALIAN VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH oregano
1 red onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
8 ounces marinated artichokes, WELL drained and chopped
1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 romaine hearts, chopped or shredded
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 thick slices provolone cheese, cut into matchsticks
3 thick slices hard salami, cut into matchsticks
FRESH basil, cut into chiffonades
olives, optional

  • Bring artichokes with their juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and oregano to a SLOW boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add onions, reduce heat and simmer 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and pepperoni slices.
  • Transfer to a bowl and chill until cool.
  • Drain marinated veggies in a mesh strainer, but save to store any extra veggies in.
  • Toss drained veggies with torn lettuce, tomatoes, pepperoni, cheese and salami pieces.
  • Add olives if using.
  • Drizzle with dressing
  • Enjoy.

VINAIGRETTE
12 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped oregano
1 tablespoon FRESH finely chopped Italian parsley
PINCH sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese

  • Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, oil, garlic and sugar.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Fold in parsley, oregano and cheese.
  • Chill.

TACO SALAD

One of the things we love in the summer is salads. I’m always looking for new recipes, but often I end up with 3 or 4 similar recipes. I always seem to combine the best parts of each recipe together to make a new and improved recipe. 😀

TACO SALAD serves 4
MEAT
1 pound ground chuck
1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon PACKED brown sugar

  • Heat oil in a large skillet until shimmering.
  • Add onion and cook until softened.
  • Stir in chili powder and garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  • Add beef, cooking and breaking it apart until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar and brown sugar, simmering until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste.

TACO SHELL BOWLS
4 – 10 inch flour tortillas
Non stick cooking spray

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Adjust oven racks to middle.
  • Place 4 oven safe soup bowls or balls of aluminum foil on a baking sheet.
  • Heat tortillas in microwave a few seconds to make them warm and pliable.
  • Generously spray both sides of tortillas with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Drape tortillas over bowls or balls of foil.
  • Press bottoms flat and loosely pinch sides into pleats to form bowls.
  • Bake until tortillas are crispy and golden, about 10-15 minutes.
  • COOL COMPLETELY before turning over or filling.

SALAD
2 romaine hearts, shredded
1/3 cup bean dip
1/2 cup black beans
1 can white shoe peg corn, drained well
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
3/4 cup shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses
1/4 cup chopped cilantro + a bit more for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges.

  • Toss together the lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, corn, green onions and cilantro.
  • Generously season salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle with lime juice and toss again.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place tortilla bowls on plates.
  • Divide salad amongst tortilla bowls.
  • Top with a spoonful of bean dip.
  • Top with a spoonful of meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with cheese.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and remaining cilantro.