Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil from motherrimmy.com

  • 4 small roasted beets, sliced
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
  • 5 leaves basil, thinly sliced (Chiffonade)
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sqeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a foil packet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 1 – 1 /12 hours until just tender. You don’t want mushy beets. When beets are cooled, peel off skin with your hands and slice.
  2. Layer beets, onion, basil and avocado on a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Mashed Potato Salad With Scallions and Herbs from Melissa Clark

  • 2 pound red potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more lemon juice for serving
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, more pen
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • Dash or two of hot sauce
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise, sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • ½ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil or dill
  1. Cook the potatoes in a pot of well-salted water until they are very tender but not mushy, 15 to 22 minutes. Drain well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, rosemary, salt, pepper and hot sauce. When the salt is dissolved, whisk in the olive oil, mayonnaise and mustard.
  3. Add potatoes to the bowl and mix them very well, until well coated with dressing. Then use the spoon to mash about a quarter of them. You want 1-inch (or so) chunks of potatoes coated in some mashed potatoes. Add scallions and parsley and toss well. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, hot sauce and olive oil, if needed. Scatter chopped basil or dill over dressed potatoes. Serve warm or at room temperature, but not cold.

Cauliflower Salad from ketoconnect.net

1 medium cauliflower head, chopped
3 large hard boiled eggs
4 strips cooked bacon (opt.)
2 stalks celery
1/4 medium Red Onion
3 tbsp chives
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Break the head of cauliflower up into chunks and cut into desired sized pieces.
  1. Add all the cauliflower to a microwave safe bowl and cover bowl with damp paper towels. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Re-dampen the paper towels and microwave for another 3 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender.
  2. Dice the bacon, hard boiled eggs, celery, red onion and chives and add it to the bowl of cauliflower.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the mayo, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper and then pour it over the cauliflower mixture.
  4. Combine the entire mixture thoroughly with a spoon and add any additional salt and pepper as you see necessary.
  5. Store in a sealed container in the fridge up to one week. Serve cold and enjoy!

Fresh and Easy Vietnamese Noodle Salad from foodiecrush.com

  • 12 ounces thin Asian vermicelli noodles such as rice stick or mung bean
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and shredded
  • 4 green onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups fresh bean sprouts
  • ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Lime
  1. Soften the vermicelli noodles in a large bowl by covering with boiling water and soaking for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water, drain, and add to a large bowl. Add the shredded carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and chopped cilantro to the noodles.
  2. In a glass jar fitted with a lid or a bowl, mix together the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic and crushed red pepper. Pour ¾ of the dressing over the noodles and toss to coat. Add more dressing if desired. Sprinkle with more cilantro and green onion and a squeeze of lime if desired. Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight, however if making ahead, add the cilantro just before serving.

Grilled Caesar Salad from thelittlekitchen.net

Caesar Dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 heart of romaine lettuce, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
salt & pepper
olive oil (optional)
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Add ingredients to Blendtec jar in order listed and secure lid. Select “Dressing” and serve. The dressing tastes best when you refrigerate it overnight in a sealed container – the ingredients are allowed to marry together.

How to Grill Salad

If using a gas grill, turn on the gas and turn the heat to high. Let the grill heat up for at least 10 minutes. If using a grill pan inside, heat grill pan on medium to medium high for 3 to 5 minutes.

Salt and pepper the insides of your romaine lettuce halves. Sprinkle olive oil on the halves, if you wish. Add to hot grill or grill pan and cook for about 1 to 3 minutes tops. Flip to grill the other side for 1 to 2 minutes and you’re done. Serve immediately with caesar dressing and parmesan cheese on top.

*Store the dressing in the refrigerator for about a week. If serving as a side salad, one whole heart can serve up to 4 or 5 people.

 

Greek Grain Salad from lideystable.com

 

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  • 1½ cups farro
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, ½-inch diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preaheat the oven to 425 degrees.Combine the farro with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the farro is just cooked. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot farro and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the red pepper slices on a half sheet pan and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Set the peppers aside to cool slightly.

Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, roasted peppers, parsley and olives to the bowl with the farro. Stir until combined, then gently fold in the feta. Serve at room temperature.

 

Tuna, Anchovy, Semi-Dried Tomato & Cannellini Bean Salad by Molly Brown

  • 1  (9 oz) tin tuna in olive oil, drained and roughly broken up
  • 2 (14 oz) tins cannellini (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
  •  (2 3/4 oz) semi-dried (sun-blushed) tomatoes
  • 16 anchovies packed in salt or olive oil, drained and chopped
  • about 50 black olives in olive oil, pitted and halved
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (6 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon

Put the tuna, beans, tomatoes, anchovies, onion, olives and parsley together in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. In a teacup, mix the olive oil, mustard and lemon juice together. Season and check to see whether your balance of lemon to oil is good – remember you are going to add this to something very starchy so it needs a bit of tang. Pour the dressing over the bean and tuna mixture, being careful not to squash the beans. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

 

italian tortellini salad from delightfulemade.com/

10 oz. small or medium cheese tortellini pasta (tri-color or regular)
1 c. cherry tomatoes (red and/or yellow), quartered
1 (3.8 oz.) can, black olives, drained
1/2 c. red onion, diced
1/2 c. jarred mild yellow banana peppers, chopped or peppers
1 c fresh mozz pearls
1 c. Italian salad dressing
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Let set to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the tomatoes, olives, red onion, and banana peppers. Toss with the cooled tortellini pasta. Add the dressing and cheese and toss all ingredients to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve chilled.
  3. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

 

Japanese Potato Salad With Cucumbers, Carrots, and Red Onion Recipe from seriouseats.com

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, about 3 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons homemade or store-bought Japanese mayonnaise, such as Kewpie
  • 1/2 teaspoon Japanese hot mustard
  • 1 small carrot, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, chopped
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Season generously with salt, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, place cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well, then let stand for 10 minutes. Drain any accumulated water, then gently squeeze cucumbers with paper towels to blot up any excess liquid.

    3. In a small bowl, stir together rice vinegar, mayonnaise, and hot mustard until well mixed.

    4.Mash potatoes with a masher or a large fork, allowing some small lumps to remain. Add cucumbers, carrots, onions, eggs, scallions, and mayonnaise mixture. Mix well and season with salt. Serve right away. The salad can be refrigerated up to 1 day.