Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Salads

Cheryl Tallman  

Including a salad on your Holiday dinner menu offers guests a pleasant balance to some of the more traditionally heavy side dishes.  Ensure your salad pairs nicely with the rest of the feast by including traditional holiday ingredients such as dried fruits, nuts, apples, and beets.

Salads and dressings can be made ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to serve. For maximum freshness, toss the dressing into the salad just before serving (unless the recipe specifically states otherwise). 

Waldorf Salad
In the 1890's, the famed Waldorf Salad was invented by the maître d'hôtel of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Our version includes carrots, apples and grapes making it kid-friendly. 
Salad Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups julienne or shredded carrots 
1 apple peeled, cored and diced 
2 tsp lemon juice 
10-12 seedless grapes, cut in half 
¼ cup chopped dates 
¼ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Directions: Toss apple and lemon juice in a medium sized salad bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and gently toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Waldorf Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise 
2 tsp. sugar 
1 Tbsp lime juice 
1 Tbsp olive oil
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Before Serving: Drizzle dressing over salad ingredients and toss gently. 


Broccoli Slaw
This recipe uses store-bought broccoli slaw mix and ramen noodles. It's simple and full of great flavor.
Salad Ingredients:
Directions: Crush ramen noodles.  In a skillet, heat butter, walnuts and ramen noodles over medium heat.  Stir constantly until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Drain on paper towel and cool. Set aside at room temperature until just before serving.

Salad Ingredients:
¼ cup butter 
1 cup chopped walnuts 
1 3-oz package of ramen noodles, chicken flavored 
1 16 oz. package shredded broccoli slaw mix 
¼ cup thin sliced sweet onion 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
2 Tbsp sugar 
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 
2 Tbsp soy sauce 
Chicken flavored seasoning packet from Ramen noodles
In saucepan, combine all ingredients over medium heat.  Stir constantly until sugar dissolves about 2 minutes.  Set aside at room temperature until just before serving.

Before Serving: Toss broccoli slaw mix and onions together in salad bowl. Toss nut mixture into salad mixture. Whisk the dressing and drizzle it over the salad ingredients and toss gently. 

Spinach & Beet Salad
This colorful salad is a more traditional tossed green salad with a holiday lift. 


9-12 oz baby spinach, washed and dried 
½ cup canned beets, drained, sliced or julienned 
½ cup mandarin oranges, drained 
¼ cup feta or blue cheese, crumbled 
¼ cup sunflower seeds 
¼ cup balsamic vinegar 
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 
1 Tbsp sugar 
1 Tbsp minced garlic 
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped 
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container, cover and shake. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Dressing can be made a day ahead). 

Before serving: Whisk salad dressing and toss with spinach leaves.  Spread spinach on a large platter or flat bowl.  Add beets and oranges on top of spinach. Sprinkle cheese and sunflower seeds.  Serve.

About the Author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food and the new book So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at for more delicious tips.

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