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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Festive Spring Salad

Despite serving salads almost daily as part of our lunch and dinner few seem to be featured on this blog. Sometimes the entire meal is a salad. This really is an oversight on my part mainly because most of our salads are of the tossed greens variety that really are so simple to make no further explanation is needed. That being said even tossed salads can be interesting and refreshing. I decided to use a spring theme for dinner when the kids and second grandbaby were home for Easter.

festive spring saladFestive Spring Salad

If you look at most salad bars the offerings tend to be iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, imitation bacon bits, croutons and a limited choice of dressings. Larger salad bars also offer a limited choice of prepared salads, cottage cheese, green peppers and sunflower seeds. Some even offer fruits like melon cubes, grapes and strawberries. If you order a garden salad chances are good it comes with tomato, cucumber and onion on a bed of lettuce with a choice of dressing. Salad greens do form the basis of many salads but think outside of the box!

I love playing with colour when it comes to food presentation. The colours in this beautiful spring salad makes your mouth water in expectation. I used an iceberg and leaf lettuce blend for this salad. The toppings included English cucumber slices, red onion slices, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, fresh raspberries and walnut pieces. I made a raspberry vinaigrette for the dressing. It was a wonderful taste of spring!

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1 tbsp green onion, chopped
¾ c fresh raspberries
¼ c frozen apple juice concentrate
¼ c raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
pinch sea salt
honey to taste

Place all ingredients except honey in blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Shake well.

ham dinnerHam Dinner

Putting a quick yet tasty meal together is always easy with quick starts in the freezer and fresh vegetables. I used a package of spiral ham leftovers from the freezer paired with baked potatoes, steamed asparagus, homemade bread & butter pickles and festive garden salad. The steamed asparagus was lightly buttered then garnished with sesame seeds. I like topping potatoes with sour cream or homemade yogurt but other than that the meal was rather low fat.

Ham is one of those meats that a lot of people don't think to freeze yet it is one I like keeping packets in the freezer for quick meals. Ham freezes nicely in a large piece or as slices and cubes. Since the ham is already cooked it can be used simply by thawing for sandwiches and salads or heated as the meat component for a meal. Ham pieces can also be added into soups, casseroles and egg dishes so do keep a few packages in the freezer.

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