I love throwing Halloween parties. Mostly because I get to make delicious food and give it disgusting names. Here’s a round-up of all the deliciousness I made this year and the nastiness I called it. Most of these items are easy to make (and can be done ahead of time) so you won’t be slaving away in the kitchen while your guests are having a goulishly good time! My hot hubby and I dressed up as Johnny and June Cash this year. We had a blast!
Full of bright colors, tang and texture, this bean salad is sure to be a hit at your next get-together. This salad requires a little time to hang out at the vinegar dressing dance party (aka: in your fridge), but if you know your way around a can opener, you throw the salad together in about 5 minutes. Why on earth would you buy the giant jug of this stuff at the store when making it yourself is so incredibly easy and delicious! Bonus, you won’t be eating a bowl of something that’s been salted and pickled beyond recognition.
The trickiest part of this salad is finding the wax beans. You’ll find the chickpeas and kidney beans with the chili, northern beans and navy beans – in the bean aisle. But the wax beans and green beans will be together hanging out with their friends in the canned vegetable aisle. I don’t want to admit how long I spent scouring for yellow wax beans among the jalapeno pinto beans. Sigh. Does anyone else think “beans” no longer looks like a word?
Fabulous Four Bean Salad
adapted from Food.com
1 can chickpeas
1 can green beans
1 can wax beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 red bell pepper (any colour can be used)
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Drain a can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinse well, then drain again; place in a large mixing bowl.
Drain a can of green beans and a can of wax beans well and then add to bowl.
Drain a can of red kidney beans, rinse well then drain again; add to bowl.
Dice up a colored bell pepper and add to beans.
Peel a small red onion and slice into very thin strips and add to bowl.
Lastly, add about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
Now make dressing: in a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegars, oil, sugar (I use a scant 1/3 cup), minced fresh garlic, worcestershire, and salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, stirring occasionally (before serving, taste, as it may need more salt or pepper to taste).
When ready, spoon bean salad into a serving bowl using a slotted spoon, to drain off most of the dressing before serving.
I got this recipe out of a BHG magazine and I absolutely love it. Kick up your standard boring coleslaw with the addition of sweet apples, tender chicken and a great dressing. It all comes together in a flash, perfect for the 4th of July and summer BBQ’s!
This is also an incredibly light meal with less than 300 calories in about two cups of salad! Enjoy!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Slaw
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
4 cups packaged shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw mix)
1 cup fresh pea pods, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup raspberry or strawberry spreadable fruit (the all fruit jam)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 red apple, cored and chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cabbage, pea pods, apple and onions; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together spreadable fruit, oil and cider vinegar.
3. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
4. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.
One of my all time favorite light meals is Chinese Chicken Salad. I always thought it was hard to make, until my friend Emily shared her recipe with me. Wow. So easy and scrumptious. I love it! Crunchy almonds mixed with a slightly sweet, slightly tangy sauce take a plain old bag of coleslaw mix to a whole new level. Rip apart a rotisserie chicken and toss it all together for an incredibly quick and easy delicious meal! I love to make this salad to take camping as well. We take a big batch of this, throw it in the cooler and munch on it for lunch and dinner. Fantastic. Continue reading
Everyone should have a favorite go-to chicken salad recipe. If you don’t, use this one. It’s the greatest in the world. I thought I’d posted this ages ago, but when my sister went looking for it there was nary a chicken salad recipe to be found. So here it is. Depending on how I’m feeling, I sometimes add a dollop of Dijon to this recipe as well. When making it for a large crowd, I do the whole thing and add the almonds last. Then I separate half of the recipe out and don’t put nuts in it. You know, to be kind to the anti-nut or allergy oppressed people. This stuff is great served on sandwiches, crackers, open-faced as a crostini or just piled on a big bed of spinach or lettuce. You can use it for appetizers at a party, a nice tea sandwich or for a light summer dinner! Enjoy! Continue reading
It is practically a requirement to eat egg salad sandwiches the day after Easter. Or for an entire week after Easter if you have lots of kids who collected gads of eggs. Funny story actually, at my parents yesterday there were LOADS of kids scurrying about collecting eggs (we have a big family). Candy filled, some with money in them, bubble eggs, confetti eggs – we had the whole spectrum of oval-shaped delights. As I was watching kids eagerly scooping them up and into their baskets, I saw one little girl pick up a “real” egg. When she realized it wasn’t chocolate coated, sugary or filled with a treat/toy – she turned up her nose in disgust and put it right back where she found it. It was cause for great amusement among the adults who witnessed it, but made me a little sad that our kids don’t realize the simple joy of an egg anymore. Eggs are like the perfect food. In addition to being a great source of protein, the hard-boiled ones are easily transportable and delicious. I’m glad my munchkins brought home a bunch of them for me yesterday so I could make this salad for our sandwiches today. Continue reading
Normally, I’m a meat, meat and more meat kind of gal. I have zero interest in becoming a vegetarian. However, in an effort not to become completely bored to death with turkey sandwiches (my standard lunch fare when trying to drop a few pounds) – I went searching for something new. I stumbled upon this recipe and thought to myself “Why not?”. I like garbanzo beans (chickpeas), but have never thought of them as a main ingredient for lunch. Hummus? Yes please! But a sandwich of garbanzos? I had to check it out.
The dressing on this salad is out of this world. I wanted to eat it with a spoon. It is a little sweet and a little tangy and mixes perfectly with the richness of the feta and crisp sweetness of the pears. Fabulous!
I messed with the original recipe a bit because of family food issues, personal preferences and inability to find ingredients. The resulting salad was amazingly good. A perfect way to start off my dad’s special birthday dinner. Continue reading