Leaf Lettuce Salad with Pioneer Dressing


3 cups leaf lettuce, rinsed and torn

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

Leaf lettuce is my mother’s favorite variety of lettuce, and this salad with pioneer dressing is her favorite way to eat it. She’s been making this style of salad for years. Once, we found a similar recipe in a cookbook, and this style of dressing was called “Pioneer dressing.” It isn’t what she grew up calling it, but it seemed to fit, because, in spite of the fact that Mom has lived in New Jersey for 61 years, she has midwestern roots from Nebraska.

This salad is delicious and easy to make. It’s really a salad side dish. It doesn’t have enough protein or filling ingredients to make it a main dish salad.

First, rinse your leaf lettuce. We like to use a lettuce spinner for this. Then, tear your lettuce into a bowl.

In a smaller bowl, measure out your dressing ingredients: 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp. sugar. You can use a light mayonnaise to lower the fat content.

Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth.

Scrape dressing into the lettuce bowl and toss to mix.

That’s it. Serve and enjoy.

Download printable version below.

Southwest Turkey Taco Salad


(Servings: 3 large lunch salads)

small head of leafy lettuce (I used red Cherokee lettuce from our CSA)

1 lb. ground turkey

I package taco seasoning

black beans, about 3/4 of a 15.5 oz. can, drained and rinsed

8.5 oz. can of Niblets corn (or the equivalent in frozen corn)

1 Roma tomato, chopped

3/4 avocado or 3/4 of 7.5 oz. package of chunky guacamole

about a cup of shredded Mexican blend cheese

a handful of tortilla chips, crunched in pieces, per salad

bottled chipotle ranch dressing (I used Marie’s brand)

First, cook the ground turkey with the taco seasoning until the turkey is browned and no longer pink. I happened to use taco seasoning this time that was made for pork, but it still worked well.

Lately, I like to assemble salads into individual bowls instead of one large bowl. It’s easier to see that each person gets equal portions of the different salad components. After washing and spinning the lettuce, tear it into individual bowls.

Drain the corn. Drain and rinse the black beans in a collander. Rinse and dice the Roma tomato.

Lately, I can not find ripe avocadoes that are ready on the day that I shop, if I’m doing last minute shopping. So, on this day, I chose a chunky guacamole instead which worked well. You can use either.

Now, assemble the salad, spooning the toppings in rows over top of the lettuce beds: the turkey, black beans, corn, guacamole (or avocado chunks,) diced tomato and shredded cheese.

Crunch a few tortilla chips on top of each salad. I ran out of room for stripes, so I did a stripe of crunchy chip pieces in the opposite direction. Spoon the dressing in stripes, going the opposite direction.

Assembling the ingredients in rows is nice for presentation. Additionally, although it might not be absolutely necessary, this type of assembly does help to visualize equal portions in each salad, and spooning on the dressing in rows does make it a little easier to mix in evenly later when you stir everything up.

Red, White and Blue (And Green) Salad

5 oz. baby spinach

half pint blueberries

1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/8 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)

Makes about three big salads. Serve with a raspberry vinaigrette. I used bottled Marie’s brand raspberry vinaigrette.

This is one of my favorite combinations in a salad. It happens to have all the right colors for the Fourth of July (with the addition of a lot of green) and would also work well as a side dish for a Fourth of July picnic or barbecue.

This salad is full of nutrition. Spinach is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K1, folic acid, iron and calcium. Blueberries are a great source of Vitamin K1, Vitamin C and manganese and these antioxidants: anthocyanins, quercetin and myricetin.