Category Archives: Salad

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Pizza Salad

The flavors you love on a pizza over a bed of lettuce.

Well, we had a bit of a heat wave before the cooler temperatures are here, to stay I hope, and we had Pizza Salad.

Pizza Salad is super simple. You put whatever toppings you like on a pizza on top of a salad! Yep, I know, not really much of a recipe but it was good.

I took some chicken sausage links, removed the casings, and pinched it off into smaller pieces and browned them.

Browned Chicken Sausage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also sautéed some onions and mushrooms because I love those on both pizza and a salad. :)

Make your base salad as plain or as jazzed up as you like. We just had some lettuce, a few sliced radishes, some diced yellow pepper, a little shredded carrot, and CHEESE the other night. I had some really good mozzarella from Aldi that we added to this with a little shredded cheddar. The mozzarella was really good and creamy.

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cut up a roma tomato because I had one that needed to be used. I put it in a side dish because not everyone likes tomato.

The first time I made this, we used some Parmesan cheese instead of the other cheeses. We also add pepperoni, either turkey or regular.

Pizza Salad 1 ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh! Tiffany likes sun-dried tomatoes, so we have those available too. Seriously, this is all about whatever flavors you like on your pizza. :) We love meaty pizzas, so we even add bacon bits sometimes. Ham is not out of the question either.

Some times I cut the pepperoni into quarters and sprinkle throughout the salad.

I served it with a homemade catalina that used tomato paste in it. I cannot remember which one now but I think it was a mix of these two here  (eliminated the honey) and here (and I used an on-plan sweetener, not splenda).

Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meEach person’s plate of salad looks a bit different. To each his own. :)

Tiff's Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSean's Pizza Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.mePizza Salad ~ lifeofjoy.meIt is almost silly to add a recipe but here goes anyway. :D

Pizza Salad

Ingredients

  • Lettuce or bagged salad (we like green leaf or butter leaf lettuce in a bag)
  • pizza toppings of choice:
  • pepperoni
  • sausage
  • bacon bits
  • ham
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • cheese
  • shredded carrot
  • sliced radishes
  • dressing of choice, we use homemade Catalina or just plain olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the sausage.
  2. Assemble the lettuce and any toppings liked by all diners.
  3. Place optional items in side bowls to allow each individual to have the amounts of each thing they desire.
http://lifeofjoy.me/pizza-salad/

I hope you enjoy this.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Taco Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Taco Salad

Versatile hearty salad made with meat, cheese, lettuce and whatever else you like.

It is the middle of March and ridiculously hot already here in Oklahoma. Okay, maybe it isn’t quite that hot but our air conditioner is in need of help, a.k.a. it isn’t cooling. At any rate, it is too hot to make something in the oven for dinner tonight, so I’m changing up my menu and having Taco Salad instead. It’s good to be flexible.

This salad can be fixed in a variety of ways to meet your dietary needs. I’ll be making it TWO ways today! Yep, two ways. Since Sean, Tiffany, and I are doing keto we need high fat, so I’ll be using 73% ground beef. Currently Michael cannot eat beef or he breaks out in a rash and has difficulty breathing, so I’ll fix his with ground turkey. The only other difference will be in what ‘chips’ we use. Michael will use plain tortilla chips and the rest of us will use pork rinds. :)

So, let’s get started.

Brown the ground meat.

Browning Hamburger ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen it is about half done, I like to season it with salt and pepper.

Seasoned Hamburger ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Now add remaining seasonings. This depends on your tastes. You can simply add a package of taco seasoning or a mix of seasonings like I do. Tiffany doesn’t like purchased taco seasoning, so I’ll use some onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and chili powder.

Taco Seasonings ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Prepare your lettuce. Wash it if it is dirty. We like green leaf lettuce; it has nutrition unlike iceberg.

Wash & Dry Lettuce ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I put each ingredient in a separate bowl so that each individual can put on the toppings of their choosing. Since this meal was not on my menu when I shopped last week, I don’t have an avocado; thus, we’ll use some sour cream (which I don’t need if we have avocado).

We have tomato, refried beans (for Michael),  sour cream, and CHEESE tonight.

Taco Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Tiffany put a little carrot, green pepper, broccoli, and zucchini in the salad. Seriously, a little of each, like a tablespoon or two. Most times it is just plain lettuce. ;)At dinner, everyone will build their salad to their liking. This is mine. :) Mmmm, mmmm!

Taco Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Serve with nacho tortilla chips, plain tortilla chips, or to keep it keto use pork rinds.

Taco Salad and Pork Rinds ~ Lifejoy.me

I crushed up a few in my salad.

Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 1-1½ pounds ground meat
  • ¼ teaspoon each cumin and garlic powder
  • heaping ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon each paprika and onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • lettuce
  • cheese, your preferred variety
  • various veggies on hand, like tomato, onion, green pepper, zucchini, broccoli, carrot, avocado, etc.
  • sour cream, optional

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground meat.
  2. Season with the listed seasonings.
  3. Tear washed lettuce leaves into bowl and add in variety of veggies or none at all.
  4. Serve salad with meat, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips or pork rinds, as desired.
http://lifeofjoy.me/taco-salad/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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The Key to a Good Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Dressing and The Key to a Good Salad

 

Ramp up the flavor of your regular salad with this secret ingredient.

The Key to a Good Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meUntil recently, I have not been a fan of salads. You know, the normal kind with mostly vegetables. I thought the reason I really liked salad wraps was because of the bread but then one day I realized that I add salt and pepper to the veggies on my wraps. So I tried an experiment: on my next salad I added salt and pepper. I was amazed at the difference it made! Honestly.

I have rarely seen anyone add salt and pepper to their salads before. It really ramps up the flavor, making it taste so much better. If you don’t already do this, you really must give it a try. That is my BIG key to a good salad.

The other key to a good salad is lots of veggies, as in variety. It doesn’t matter if you really care for that veggie by itself, a little bit of it in amongst all that greenery and other varied veggies and such will hardly be noticed. ;)

IMG_3600For this salad I had about 2 cups of green leaf lettuce and spinach combined. Then I added a small tomato diced, about an inch of a cucumber sliced, about an eighth of a cup of diced green pepper, half of an avocado diced, about an ounce of cheddar cheese cubed, some bits of zucchini I had left over from the other night’s dinner, a few sprinkles of feta cheese, and some sunflower seeds.

I seasoned it with some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and some homemade dressing. Several years ago I got this dressing bottle that has several dressing recipes on it. We chose the one made with balsamic vinegar, but we changed it from what it said because it called for 6 ounces of balsamic vinegar! Yep! Six ounces. We are not that big of fans of any vinegar. It only called for three tablespoons of olive oil. Well, that will never do.

It also called for ground thyme which is not a flavor we like, so we simply omitted it. It also required ground oregano but we did not have that, so we used the dried instead.

The funny thing about this dressing is that even though I shake it a lot, there still ends up being a lot of herbs and vinegar at the bottom. So I just add more olive oil and shake, shake, shake. :)

The Key to a Good Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I’ll include the recipe in the ziplist form for future easy reference. :)

Balsamic Vinegar/Italian Herb Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons basil
  • 3 teaspoons ground oregano (we used dried instead)
  • salt and pepper
  • about 6 ounces olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put it all in a bottle or jar and shake, shake, shake.
  2. Do NOT store this in the refrigerator or it will solidify.
http://lifeofjoy.me/the-key-to-a-good-salad/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Coleslaw

Creamy coleslaw with just the right amount of liquid and tang but won’t make you pucker.

Coleslaw ~lifeofjoy.meColeslaw is one of those things that I didn’t make much of in the past. In the last few months, I have learned that this is one of Mike’s favorite side dishes, especially when paired with hamburgers or hot dogs and baked beans.

I have bought more cabbage in the last few years, since learning to make egg rolls than I had in many of the previous years added together. But that means that I frequently have cabbage in my refrigerator. Making egg rolls takes a bit of time, so I procrastinate making them. One day I needed a quick side dish and decided to make coleslaw. I didn’t use any measurements, just did like I saw my mom do.

The other day when made this, I measured ingredients before adding them to the bowl so I could share it here.

I started by weighing the piece of cabbage that I had left from other uses. I shredded the 1-pound cabbage on the large grater. I used to slice it on my mandolin but found I preferred a more chopped texture. (Don’t grate the core.)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meGrate a medium carrot.

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd 1/2 cup mayo. (I’d prefer to use Miracle Whip because then I probably wouldn’t need the vinegar and sugar but Michael prefers mayonnaise, so that is what I used.)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext include 4 teaspoons – 2 tablespoons white vinegar (not apple cider vinegar), 1 -2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute), and 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated canned milk and combine. I almost forgot to take a picture of the finished dish. We ate half of it. :)

Coleslaw ~ Lifeofjoy.meThis is the first time I have made this and it didn’t turn out soupy. :)

Coleslaw

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons - 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream or evaporated canned milk

Instructions

  1. Shred cabbage and carrot on large holes of box grater.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine well.
http://lifeofjoy.me/coleslaw/

Enjoy!

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Tasty Tuna Tossup

Cool pasta salad with a blend of cucumber, green pepper, tomato, and green onions that I enjoy every summer. It could be eaten year round but, it’s really nice when it’s hot to have this chilled salad.

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meMany, many, many years ago, I was invited to a ladies luncheon. This is one of the items she served and was gracious enough to share the recipe with me. I loved her luncheons. She’d have about 30 ladies there with various tables set up for lunch, which was buffet style. I remember one year in particular, she had about 8 or so different kinds of salads. I’m not a very adventurous eater, so this particular lunch as a bit of a stretch for me. ;)

I was surprised to find that I liked several of the salads and most everything was good. I asked for two or three of her salad recipe that day and this is one of them. I don’t make it very often but when I do, I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner. :D

Start by boiling 8 ounces of wide egg noodles. When they are al dente, drain them into a colander and rinse with cold water. When drained, place in a large bowl. (FYI: This bowl is NOT big enough.)

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext peel and slice cucumber. I use my mandolin with the #2 size slicer on it.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meDice some green pepper. Again, I like mine diced rather small. You’ll need a half cup.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meNext slice a green onion. And dice a large tomato. Add these all to the bowl.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Drain and add 10-12 ounces of canned tuna.

Now it’s time to mix up the dressing. The original recipe called for twice as much but it just seemed way too soupy for us. Also, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of vinegary or tart foods, so I tend to reduce the amounts of those items to make it more palatable for me.

Combine 1/2 cup Italian dressing, (I like it best when I make the Italian from a packet because I can control the amount of vinegar) 1/2 cup mayo (I prefer Miracle Whip but Mike thinks he prefers mayo, so if you prefer MW, use it and you probably won’t need the added sugar) 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard, 1/2-3/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several shakes of pepper.

Tasty Tuna Toss-Up ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhisk it all together and pour over pasta and veggies.

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meSee . . . I couldn’t combine it all in that medium size pyrex bowl. :D

The original directions said to cover and chill but we usually eat it right away. I like to make this because Sean and Tiffany are too picky and won’t even try it, so Mike and I have it for two or more meals. :)

I have found that it is hard to take pictures of food that is in the white spectrum. The flash seems to wash it out but it looks dingy without it. I’m going to have to work on how to take the best pictures of white food soon. (I’m thinking I should use my telephoto lens, stand way off, and use the flash, that way I’m far enough away that it doesn’t wash out the food but still looks clear and bright. We’ll see.) In the meantime, here are several pictures that do NOT do this yummy salad justice!!!

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meOh! I’ve also realized I need to get some colored plates again for photographing white spectrum food. ;)

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meThat one just hurts my eyes. :D

Tasty Tuna Toss-up ~ Lifeofjoy.meI should’ve pulled some of those tomatoes to the top. :D

Tasty Tuna Tossup

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of wide egg noodles
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • 1 large seeded and chopped tomato
  • 10-12 ounces tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • several dashes of pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. Combine noodles, tuna, and veggies in medium-large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine dressing, mayo, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper with whisk.
  4. Pour over salad and toss well.
  5. (Cover and chill or just go ahead and eat it. 😉 )
http://lifeofjoy.me/tasty-tuna-tossup/

Seriously though, my pictures do NOT do this salad justice. Make it and try it. You’ll like it.

Until next time, God bless,
Michele ºÜº

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Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad

A different kind of salad, good in the summer when corn and tomatoes are fresh. Nice not to have lettuce for a change.

I tried this one a few weeks ago for the first time. I love fresh corn! Thus this salad looked pretty good to me. It is super simple to make as well.

The key here is fresh corn. The first two times I made it with really good sweet corn. This time, unfortunately, it wasn’t as good because the corn wasn’t as good. Oh well. ;)

It only takes a few simple ingredients: corn, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

IMG_3397I only made one-fourth of the original recipe today but I’ll give the measurements for the entire batch in the recipe.

First shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. You can cook it first if you like. I recommend you cut a bit off and taste it to see how sweet it is. If it is bland, boil it in some water with some sweetener. I learned this the hard way!

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI cut the kernels directly into the bowl I’m going to use to serve the salad.

Next cut the tomatoes. I like small bite-size pieces, so I do more than cut them in half, which is what the original recipe directed.

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meCut up the mozzarella cheese and then add the rest of the ingredients. I usually cheat and just use a sprinkling of garlic powder instead of the minced garlic. I sometimes use lemon juice from the bottle I keep in the refrigerator for emergencies. ;) (I have yet to make this with fresh basil though.)

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meStir and serve!

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

This really is a nice refreshing salad and a nice change from the regular lettuce salads.

Corn, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked, cleaned, and washed
  • 1 10.5 oz package of grape tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 10 leaves of fresh basil, sliced thinly or use a sprinkling of dried
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the corn kernels from the cob with a nice sharp knife.
  2. Place corn, cut tomatoes, and mozzarella pieces into serving bowl.
  3. Add the basil.
  4. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. (or if you are lazy like me, simply add them to the bowl but it would probably taste better combined in the jar first 😉 )
  5. Pour over ingredients in the bowl, toss and serve.
http://lifeofjoy.me/corn-tomato-and-mozzarella-salad/

I hope you enjoy this one as much as Mike and I have. (Sean and Tiffany won’t even try it. ;) )

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

Taco Mac Salad

I don’t know why we call this Taco Mac Salad when there is no macaroni in the salad. It should be called Taco Pasta Salad but then I’d mess myself up when I’m looking for the recipe. :D I think I got it from Menus4moms way back when it was free. It is one salad recipe that my family really enjoys and I’m getting some veggies into them.

This recipe is easily adaptable to whatever you have, there are just some items that are musts: pasta, raw greens, meat, and cheese.

Let’s get started. When we made this yesterday, I cheated and had purchased a bag salad. :) So we just emptied that into a bowl.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.me

I chopped up about a half cup of green pepper.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meBrown the ground meat and put a pot of water on to boil for the tri-color spiral pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meShred the cheese. This night we used Pepper Jack Cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen the meat is browned and broken up into small bits, add the taco seasoning. So far I’ve used pre-packaged seasoning because it is easiest but in the future we may use a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika, cumin, and chili powder OR we may just forego the taco seasoning altogether since it seems to bother some members of the family.

Combine the lettuce, green pepper, cheese, meat, and drained pasta.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI let each person put the nacho chips on their plate rather than mixing it in the whole bowl; that way, if we don’t eat it all in one sitting, the chips don’t get all soggy and thus nasty.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd salad and combine.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI also do not put dressing on this in the bowl, but let each person put on how much they want. Some of my kids don’t use any dressing at all. I also have diced tomato and either diced onion or green onion available for those that want them. As you may guess, some of my kids don’t like these items either. This night I had some avocado available as well.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI like a little Catalina (as the recipe calls for) and a little Ranch on mine. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meMike chose to use plain tortilla chips in his because he said there was enough spiciness with the taco meat and pepper jack cheese.

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meSo you can see this is a very versatile recipe and lends itself to whatever you happen to have on hand. :)

Taco Mac Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI hope you’ll give this a try. It really is quite good.

Taco Mac Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 box (8 oz) tri-color spiral pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, broken into bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz. cheese, shredded (We've used cheddar, colby-jack, and pepper jack cheeses.)
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 bag (16 oz) Nacho chips (like Doritos)
  • other items as desired: tomato, onion or green pepper, avocado, et cetera
  • 1/2 cup Catalina dressing (or dressing of your choosing)

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta and drain.
  2. Brown the ground meat, drain if greasy, and add taco seasoning.
  3. Combine all ingredients except chips and taco seasoning.
  4. Serve with chips crushed in bowl with salad and add dressing as desired.
http://lifeofjoy.me/taco-mac-salad/

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

PS. The original recipe said to combine the cooked pasta, lettuce, green pepper, and 1/2 cup diced onion with some salt and pepper and chill. Then when you are ready to serve it, add the warm meat, chips, and 1/2 cup French dressing; toss gently and sprinkle with the cheese just before serving.