July 9, 2013

Layered Green Salad= An Impressive Side Dish

Crisp romaine greens layered with celery, hard boiled eggs, peas, mushrooms, green onions and red pepper. This salad is filling but healthy; a crowd pleasing side dish that's perfect for any summer potluck. If you want to impress friends and family even more, add some cooked crumbled bacon as the final layer just before tossing and serving. 

If you follow me personally on facebook or at our family blog, then you may know in the past year I have lost 50 pounds. I know, I know... it's crazy to think that just one year ago I was SO much bigger. Sometimes it's a little surreal even for me; I look in the mirror and there's a totally different person staring back.

Don't get me wrong! I love seeing this new person, but losing those fifty pounds isn't what makes me the happy person I am today. I was happy then too, I was proud of who I was and what I'd accomplished previously in my life. I'm mostly the same person now as I was then.

Layered Green Salad, the perfect side dish for any potluck! www.the-taste-tester.com | click for recipe

The only thing other than my size that seems different is that I feel a little bit stronger, a little more resilient. I understand that things, goals, take time and patience... and quite frankly a truck load of hard work. Consistent hard work, day in and day out. I'm not totally sure I understood that one year ago.

But I do now, and since I've achieved my weight loss goals I'd like to pour all of the energy and time I put into that goal into the one thing I've been wanting to do full time for a long time: writing this blog.  We have a really busy summer ahead of us, so posts will still be slow for now, especially in August. But come September I hope that you (my readers) and I will be seeing a lot more of each other.

That being said, I really need your help! I have this goal to get to 500 likes on my facebook page by the end of September. Would you help me out? Like my page and share it with your friends on facebook. As soon as I get to 500 likes I will randomly select three fans to send home baked goodies to in the mail!

Layered Green Salad, the perfect side dish for any potluck! www.the-taste-tester.com | click for recipe

Layered Green Salad

Recipe Source: adapted from Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely

For the salad: 

1 head romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups frozen peas *not thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 medium green onions, sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced

For the dressing:

1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons parmesan or romano cheese, grated

Wash the head or romaine lettuce, and pat it dry with paper towels (or spin it in a salad spinner). Tear the leaves into bite size pieces and set aside in a large bowl.

In a large trifle dish, layer some of the romaine lettuce in the bottom. Next make a layer of celery putting it mostly around the edges so that it's visible (we're creating a layered salad look here, though technically it's mostly lettuce through the middle of the trifle dish, if that makes sense). Make another layer of romaine lettuce.

Next put the hard boiled egg slices, standing up, around the insides of the trifle dish. Fill the middle of this layer with lettuce. Top with frozen (not thawed) peas. Petite peas work really well in this salad. The very top layer is a mixture of sliced mushrooms, diced red pepper, and sliced green onion. I like to stand some of the sliced mushrooms up around the inside of the trifle dish, like I did with the egg, so that they are visible too!

To make the dressing, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Spread evenly over the top of the salad. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day before serving. Just before serving, toss the salad together until the dressing is evenly distributed with the lettuce and other veggies. Toss any salad that isn't eaten as it will become "salad soup" in the refrigerator once it is dressed.

Serves: 10
Calories: 140
Carbs: 13g
Additional Notes: Serve as a main dish for six with some hearty whole wheat rolls or as a side dish for 10-12 people.

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