Making a salad from scratch is time consuming. The vegetables must be peeled, lettuces washed, cheeses grated and the meat or chicken chopped. Avoid the work and mess but still provide fresh-tasting salads by looking in your pantry for ingredients or adding a homemade touch to prepared salads from the grocery store.
Create a homemade salad from products you already have in your pantry and refrigerator. English pea salad is made from canned young peas, mayonnaise, grated cheese, onions and freshly ground pepper. Ambrosia is made from canned pineapple chunks, canned mandarin orange sections, flaked packaged coconut, mini marshmallows and sour cream. Bean salad requires opening a can each of string beans, garbanzo beans and kidney beans, then adding a bit of sugar, apple cider vinegar and vegetable oil. Use those same beans and add crumbled bacon, the drippings from the bacon pan and thin slices of garlic.
Chicken salad from the deli counter is rather bland. Zip it up by adding elements of different cuisines. For example, for an Asian salad dressing combines chopped ginger, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Toss with spinach, grapes and sliced almonds. Lay a scoop of the chicken salad in the center of the greens and grapes. Drizzle the Asian salad dressing over the chicken salad. Make Greek chicken salad by tossing feta cheese with lemon juice, vegetable oil and baby greens. Serve the chicken salad stuffed in a tomato surrounded by sliced cucumbers and green peppers on the dressed greens.
Precooked bacon crumbles are a one-minute fix for store-bought potato salad. Instead of prepared potato salad, buy the cooked potato chunks offered in the prepared food section. They're sometimes offered as wedges instead of chunks. Dress them with chopped celery, onions, radishes and sliced cooked breakfast sausage links with a bit of vegetable oil and cider vinegar. Other additions for potato salad include chopped celery, onions, parsley, tarragon or hardboiled eggs.
Pesto is an instant flavor addition to a pasta salad. It is a blend of fresh basil leaves, virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Make it yourself or buy it bottled. Amp up your pasta's flavor even further by adding chopped bleu cheese-stuffed olives instead of the pesto. Combine two prepared salads. A vegetable salad of tomatoes and cucumbers adds sweetness and crunch.
- Food Network: English Pea Salad
- "Special Occasions"; John Hadamuscin; 1988
- Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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