Category Archives: salad dressing

Couscous Salad, Real Mediterranean Style

It’s springtime so I am thinking of lighter food, and of course salads come to my mind. I make this recipe with couscous or quinoa. I have another recipe for quinoa on my website so I figured that I would make one with couscous this time, but feel free to use either one. The dressing has a definite Greek flavor. This dish is perfectly tasty and served with grilled fish or chicken you have a perfect meal. As far as salads go, this one is perfection. This is not an exact science; if you like a lot of tomatoes, add more. If there is another item here that you don’t like, feel free to substitute, and I’d love to hear what you did. I love to hear variations on my recipes. This is so quick and easy to assemble. Can definitely be made ahead of time.

Ingredients: 

Vinaigrette:

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 /2 teaspoon dried oregano (if you like to use fresh, use 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste – I started with a 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt and a few grinds of the peppermill.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use a good one)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk in the olive oil slowly. Adjust the salt and pepper and set aside.

Ingredients for Couscous:

Prepare 1  box (usually 10 – 12 ounces) couscous (or quinoa) according to the directions but use 1/4 less water than it calls for. For example, the Near East Couscous calls for 2 cups of water or broth so I would reduce by 1/2 cup. After cooking, allow to cool for a bit then stick in the fridge for about an hour. I usually cook my couscous in either chicken broth or vegetable broth for extra added flavor.

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (I like a lot of tomatoes, so use more if you do too) I tend to like my tomatoes cut into smaller pieces but cut however you like just don’t leave whole

1 cup pitted black or Kalamata olives (I prefer Kalamata because they are saltier)

1 roasted red or orange pepper (you can use from jar) I just eyeballed from the jar, use as much as you’d like

1 cup garbanzo beans (drained from the can are fine)

6 ounces cubed feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions or chopped red onion would work quite well here as well

* chopped cucumbers would be a nice addition as well, I didn’t use this time

In a large bowl, gently toss the couscous, tomato, pepper, olives, beans and feta. Add the dressing, transfer to a lovely serving bowl and there you go. This is so delicious and light, it’s a perfect side dish and a beautiful salad .

Cinco de Mayo Salad and Green Goddess Dressing

photo (2)photo (5)photo (2) photo May is here and it brings warm weather and beautiful flowers and springtime has finally arrived here in New York.  This is a perfect way to bring a little Cinco de Mayo into your home in a pretty healthy way.

Any excuse to celebrate a holiday with a new recipe! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone and here is a new salad and salad dressing to help celebrate with. While I am not a vegan and don’t always cook that way,  I tried this salad dressing which I found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s All Good”, and I have to say it is all good! All good ingredients. I am not talking diet food–just good, healthy food, that when eaten in moderation, yields very good results. I used * Vegenaise in making this and highly recommend it in the place of mayonnaise. You can also use yogurt in its place. This is low salt and low sugar. Delicious, fresh ingredients. I made it with the delicious salad listed below. I love love cilantro, and I have to say that if you don’t love cilantro, this one’s not for you. I used half of a jalapeno and it was not hot at all, next time I will use a little more.  I scraped the seeds out. Be very careful handling jalapenos and their seeds–make sure to wash your hands well afterwards and maybe wear gloves to prevent any problems.

*This dressing will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

*a little story about Vegenaise, which is lighter than mayonnaise and contains no eggs, milk or animal products. No GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). Mix it with Dijon for great flavor in the place of real mayo. Extra added bonus is a great jar to store future salad dressings in.

Ingredients:

*this will be vegan if you use Vegenaise

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup of Vegenaise, yogurt, or mayonnaise

2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)

1/2 green jalapeno, roughly chopped (you can use more or less, whatever level of heat you like)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon honey

DRESSING DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients in a blender except for olive oil (I open the top and pour oil in after all other ingredients are combined.) It is a beautiful light green color with specks of dark green. Joel was definitely suspicious of the color but he really loved it! Gave it a big thumbs up!

This should serve 4 nicely as a salad but adjust quantities based on how many people you are feeding.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

About two hearts of romaine Lettuce, shredded

1/2 can of yellow corn (or 2 fresh ears of corn, shucked)

1/2 can black beans (I use organic canned beans and rinse and drain them)

4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks

approx. 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used delicious cherry tomatoes, halved)

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Green Goddess Dressing (see above)

If you’re using fresh corn, you’ll have to cook it first. I used the canned version this time. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and dress it with about 1/4 cup of the dressing, just so it’s nicely coated. I then added beans, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, cilantro and corn. Add a little more salad dressing, and serve immediately. Joel likes a lot more dressing on his salad so I served with dressing on the side. And no he didn’t eat all that stuff in the salad; he just ate lettuce and tomatoes…he really doesn’t know what he’s missing!

Roast Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Dressing – Weeknight Salad

DSCN0069photoI was in the mood for something light for dinner and wanted to make a dressing with buttermilk and mustard. I picked up a roast chicken because I was very pressed for time, but didn’t want to eat a plain roast chicken from the market. I grabbed some beautiful romaine, but I know this would be perfectly awesome with kale,  Joel is not big on kale and prefers romaine. Next time I make this I am using chopped kale, preferably baby kale. In any event I used romaine, took the skin off the chicken and shredded it with my hands. Just used romaine, tomatoes, chicken and dressing. Next time out I add avocado for sure, doubt Joel will eat it but I am putting in avocado. This is an awesome lunchtime salad and so easy to pull together for a light dinner meal and mix in whatever other veggies you’d like.  Dressing is killer and only 3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk! This is also awesome if you have leftover chicken and don’t know what to do with it. The inspiration for this salad and dressing comes from a blog I follow,  124 Park. Part of being a part of the blog culture I am exposed to some really wonderful blogs , I just wish I had the time to read all of them.

This dressing should be good for at least 4 servings. Feel free to double it.

Ingredients:

Buttermilk Dressing:

1 clove garlic

1 egg yolk ( let egg sit out at room temperature) just not really cold

3 tablespoons of buttermilk ( lowfat is fine)

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1/4  teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill (you can always add more salt if you would like)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

*feel free to double

Combine all ingredients except for olive oil in the blender including salt and pepper . Keeping blender on , add olive oil from the top in a slow stream until well incorporated.

Put salad greens, avocado , chicken and any other vegetables you’d like in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix salad adding dressing as needed.

Cauliflower, Orzo and Feta Salad

 

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Completed Salad

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Before I added the spinach

 

 

This is one of my most favorite salads of all time. The flavors meld together beautifully to make a most delicious salad. I highly recommend this salad if you’re just looking for something new to make for brunch, lunch or even dinner! I got this recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cookbook Cravings a few years back and it has gone into constant rotation ever since. Perfect for Meatless Monday!

I made cauliflower and orzo in the morning and put together ingredients as they cooled down. The cooling off of orzo and cauliflower was the only time-consuming event in making this recipe. You can refrigerate salad once cooled down, but I would bring it to room temperature prior to serving.

This salad was a side dish amongst many, it would serve 4-6 just as a salad. I had 11 people and it was one of many side dishes for a luncheon I was making. This one gets a  big thumbs up! If you were making this as a salad I would say it would serve 4-6 very nicely.

If you want to add a protein like chicken this would make a most perfect dinner salad. Or just eat it veggie style! Nothing bad here!

Ingredients:

Cauliflower and Orzo Prep

1 head cauliflower broken into small florets, any color cauliflower will do and purple would be beautiful if you can find it

4 Tablespoons olive oil

3 minced cloves of fresh garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup orzo pasta

Dressing and the rest of the salad

3 Tablespoons olive oil

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

2/3 cup dried cherries

4 cups baby spinach

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl toss the cauliflower with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the fresh garlic, the salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened and the edges of cauliflower start to brown up. ( not burned) I did it for 25 minutes. Set cauliflower aside and let it completely cool down.

Cook orzo according to box directions, I cooked for a minute less so it would be more al dente ( just a bit undercooked ) Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, drain well and while draining toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil right in the colander.

In a big bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.

I allowed about an hour for complete cool down of cauliflower and orzo and added to bowl with dressing along with onion , feta, and cherries . Toss well until completely coated with dressing. Throw in the spinach and toss again till spinach is incorporated. Taste for Salt and Pepper and adjust seasonings to your liking. I added a sprinkle of black  pepper but no more salt.

Enjoy — this was totally delicious.

 

Kale and Romaine Salad with Tahini Dressing

It’s still only March but out here in the Rockies and the temperatures are in the 50’s , it’s spring skiing and feeling a lot like Spring has sprung. I wanted to make a new fresh “spring” salad and I had seen a few dressings made with Tahini and I wanted to make my own. This is what I did last night and I have to say it was very tasty. I absolutely love Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and put it on eggs, avo toast, cheese and anything I think it will work on. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s go on Amazon and buy it! Buy 2 because they are that good. I put it in this salad and it added that extra layer of pizazz!

Here’s what I did: Obviously this is my salad but you can make it your salad by adding or subtracting any ingredients you’d like. The avocado adds creaminess and we love avocados — who doesn’t?????

Ingredients:

Salad:

a bunch of Kale chopped up

1 Package Romaine Hearts chopped up

2 Teaspoons Everything but the Bagel Seasoning — the real secret ingredient

1-2 Avocados , cut into chunks– I used 1 because it was just the two of us but for 4 people use 2

*if you like add croutons

Tahini Dressing:

I mixed my dressing in the blender: (see directions)

1/4 cup Tahini

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. Water –I added a little more through the top (see directions)

Kosher Salt –just a little bit to taste

Instructions:

Using your blender put all ingredients –Tahini, lemon, oil and garlic. I added the 2 Tbsp. of Water through the top and blended it all together. After you blend I whisked until smooth and added a little water to get the consistency of dressing that I wanted . You’ll have to play it by ear but add a little water at a time.

Transfer the lettuce and kale to a large bowl and add the dressing and toss well to coat. Add croutons if you’re using them ( I didn’t)  Add the avocados and sprinkle the salad with the Everything but the Bage seasoning. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! We did!

This would be delicious with an added protein of your choosing.

 

 

Couscous and Butternut Squash Salad with Kale or Arugula –Perfect Autumn Salad

This salad always makes me think of the Fall, I suppose it’s due to the butternut squash . This salad would really be delicious anytime of the year and if you added a protein it would make a delicious dinner salad. I made this salad the other evening and it was just perfection on a plate. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Fairly Healthy and you can keep it vegan without any dairy or add cheese for a delicious vegetarian salad .  It takes a bit of prep work but you can prep a few hours ahead and be done with it prior to the meal which is always a good thing in my book.

I prepped butternut squash and couscous and used baby arugula this time. I dressed the salad and let it sit , Kale is better when it’s soft and broken down so if you’re using Kale I suggest chopping it.  I love Kale but don’t want to feel like I’m eating my front lawn. It is delicious with kale or arugula or really any greens you prefer.

If you like a heavier dressed salad I would definitely double up the salad dressing. Or just pour a little over it and leave extra for individual dressing.

This is what I did. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 lb . butternut squash – 1 package of pre-cut squash and then I cut into small 1/2 inch cubes

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – to taste

1 cup dry Pearl Couscous , cook in water according to package directions

app. 2 cups chopped Kale Leaves or Arugula is also a great choice if you’re not a kale fan or really 2 cups of any kind of greens you like.

1/3 cup dried cherries–you can use craisins, raisins, cranberries whatever dried fruit you like

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

*app. 2 oz. crumbled goat or feta cheese if you’d like

Orange Vinaigrette Dressing:

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice –this is a must

pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

To make the salad:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and cut butternut squash into 1/2 inch cubes.

Spread the butternut squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray add 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to squash to coat, sprinkle a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to the squash .  Bake for 15 minutes then flip squash over (as best you can) Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the squash is tender and slightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and transfer back to the large mixing bowl. Depending on your oven the squash could take a little longer to cook, you just want it soft enough that it’s cooked through and a little browned up.

To make the vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients, (orange juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I used all of the vinaigrette and it was very lightly dressed and rather tasty. If you prefer more dressing on the side , double the recipe.

Add cooked couscous, kale, cherries, walnuts, goat cheese* and vinaigrette,  toss to combine. Taste for Salt and Pepper after all combined.img_2936img_2933img_2929img_2928

Serve Warm, or refrigerate and this will keep for app. 3 days in fridge.

It’s a very light salad dressing so the kale absorbs it and it will keep nicely in fridge.

 

 

 

 

Champagne Vinaigrete and Kale/Brussels Salad

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Colorado Kitchen

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Dressed Salad

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Ingredients

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View from Deck

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Joel’s Salad with lots of Parmesan Cheese–hey he ate it!

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This Champagne Vinaigrette appeared on my blog back in 2012. It’s really perfect on any kind of greens and this is the salad that I made along with it. I love Kale but I don’t like feeling like I’m eating the front lawn. I like my kale very finely chopped and massaged with dressing. I use my food processor to chop the kale and I dress the salad ahead of eating it and let it sit for a while so that the kale can absorb as much of the dressing as possible. This salad was really delicious and I know this is almost impossible to believe but I got Joel to eat some of it! The way I did that was to add a lot of parmesan cheese to his plate and he ate it. I also threw in a picture of my kitchen and a picture of the view from one of our decks . Enjoy this dressing it is perfection in a bottle and good on almost anything you put it on. I will be making this salad again and again.

Champagne Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard (Maille makes a wonderful mustard)

1/3 cup Champagne Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon Honey

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt to taste app. 1/4 teaspoon to start

freshly ground black pepper , a few grinds of the mill to taste

Ingredients for the Salad:

1 bunch of Kale or a bag of washed and chopped kale , baby kale is great as well — if you can buy washed and chopped it saves lots of time

1/2 lb. of Brussels Sprouts, washed and cut thinly–now you can buy brussels already sliced which makes prep super fast and easy!!!

*this is optional but it adds pretty color and some more crunch. 1/2 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan or Shaved Parmesan

1/2 cup of dried fruit, I used dried craisins, but raisins, cherries, any of them will do

1/2 cup pignoli nuts, I roast them in the oven for about 4 minutes till they get toasty. ( in oven at 350 degrees for about 4 mins.)

*add any seasonal fruits or vegetables or protein you may like,  this is just a basic salad idea.

Directions:

Using my blender I threw all vinaigrette ingredients  except for the olive oil which I slowly streamed in through the top of blender until dressing emulsified. Taste for Salt and Pepper and you’re good to go.

Wash and Dry the Kale, remove the stems and ribs and just use the leaves. Even better you can buy triple washed kale already chopped. I still put that through my processor because it’s not chopped enough for me.

In the food processor I chopped up kale slowly, you don’t want to over chop the kale either. As soon as it starts to break down I stopped and removed it and added more.  I do it in sections till it’s all chopped.

Slice Brussels very thinly into slices , they will fall apart as you slice and mix them into salad.  Add Brussels to Kale with all other salad ingredients except for Parmesan Cheese. I added cheese when I was ready to serve to individual plates.

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Raw Chopped Salad pre dressing

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Broccoli Salad–no cooking involved here

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Brocccoli Slaw with same dressing

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Original Broccoli Recipe made with whole florets

I had this broccoli salad recently at a friend’s house and completely fell in love with it. It was so delicious.  Mind you I don’t even love raw broccoli , I usually prefer it cooked. This was really good and I even broke my own rule and made a new recipe for company. It is so simple to make and ingredients are easily obtainable.  So give this a try and Thanks to Huddy for this wonderful recipe which I will use again and again . No fuss and no muss here.

I put it together in the morning but you can definitely put together the night before. I would suggest making it at least 8 hours ahead of time so broccoli softens and soaks up some of the delicious marinade. Mix bowl throughout the day .  I left it out for 2 hours before serving to bring it to room temperature. It’s a great summer salad that you can make ahead of time and doesn’t require any cooking!

I also made it with broccoli slaw ( you can shred yourself or buy bags already made) Pre-made broccoli slaw is available almost everywhere now. If using the slaw I would use 3- 12 oz. bags . Just keep mixing it and make ahead so it can absorb, it was equally as yummy. I put photos of both salads on here.

Great recipe for those of you who don’t want to turn on the oven!!!!

Ingredients:

1 Large Bunch of Broccoli, broken up into florets

1/2 cup Red Grapes, I sliced them in half

1 cup chopped celery

1 bunch of scallions greens and whites only , sliced thinly

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat-free please)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice , I used the juice of one small lemon.

Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the salad.

In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar and lemon juice.

When dressing comes together and has a nice consistency pour over the broccoli give it a good mix and refrigerate. Give it a few mixes during the day and that’s it!

 

Chopped Vegetable Salad

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRenderI was having a dinner party and thought this would be a perfect addition to my menu. It contained fresh  vegetables and a salad all in one! Perfect side dish served right along with dinner. Of course you can add a protein and make this the meal which would be ever so perfect. Perfection in a bowl. This is what I did and what veggies I used, feel free to use the vegetables you would love. These were the quantities that worked perfectly though. I won’t lie it took some prep for this and a good idea would be to chop a lot of the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. Avocado and lettuce must be added right before serving though. Dressing and veggies can be made ahead of time .

*I served as a side dish and it was generous for about 6 -8 servings , if you’re using for a main probably 4-6.

*Original Recipe from O Magazine–I made a few changes

Ingredients:

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove–minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus a little more to taste at the end

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste at the end

1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces — about 1/2″

2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

3 ears of corn, cut kernels off cobs

1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 ribs celery, cut into small pieces , about 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small pieces , also about 1/2″ size

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 head romaine , chopped

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Lastly, whisk in the oil slowly. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add cut up green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn and cook a couple of minutes more. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, let veggies completely cool down. I let them sit till they were completely cool. Give vinaigrette a quick whisk, and add veggies to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes, celery , bell pepper and onion and toss well. Set aside and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. I probably let it sit in marinade for about an hour.

Right before serving, add chopped romaine, avocado and parmesan . Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Michele’s Ramon Noodle Salad – Perfect Summer Salad

photoI have already posted my version of a Napa Noodle Salad, which we all love and totally enjoy all summer long. Here is a new spin on it which my friend Michele passed to me.  So whether you love the other one or never even tried it this one is definitely worth trying and will be a part of my Summer Salad Repertoire.  Thanks again Michele! And by the way Joel loved it, and it contains Broccoli Slaw!!!! this was a major shock for sure. Maybe the tide is turning? This is not vegetarian but my Napa Noodle Salad is so just substitute that dressing. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup of olive oil ( you can use a little less)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 – 3 packages slaw of any style or mix. Michele used 2 12 oz. bags broccoli slaw and one bag regular cole slaw (these bags of slaw are available in almost every supermarket now in the lettuce section) 3 bags will serve 12 nicely and there is enough dressing for 3 .

2 packages beef flavored Ramon noodle soup mix ( I know this is a bummer for the vegetarians out there)

1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 tbsp. soy sauce

Directions:

Prepare dressing by combining oil, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and two flavor packets from soup mix. Whisk well and chill. Make the dressing early in the day and whisk it a few times throughout the day.

Before you’re ready to serve , crush the ramen noodles. Then combine slaws, seeds, almonds, and noodles.

Dress salad 10 minutes before serving. Put together the salad right before serving so everything stays crunchy.   Enjoy!