Layered Taco Salad

Layered Taco Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Layered Taco Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Most layered salads recipes are aimed at groups and served in large glass bowls.  Yet layered salads are an easy make ahead for the evening meal  — in a smaller quantity.  This one makes four servings of about 1 and ¼ cups for a meal.  Or if you serve it with a meat dish it will serve 6 with ¾ cup sized portions.  For this size salad, a glass 8×8 pan is the perfect size.  I have a vintage covered refrigerator dish that works great! 

Use any sturdy lettuce or lettuce mix as the base – iceberg, romaine,etc. A 12 ounce package seems to be the norm, but a 16 ounce package will also work with the proportions above.  Feel free to up the amount of taco seasoning for more kick.  1 teaspoon is very mild, 2 teaspoons is medium and 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) makes the flavor pop!   Wait till the last minute to add the tortilla chips so they stay crunchy.  Wheels and Bytes like to have extra chips to moosh on their plates as a foundation to top with the salad.  Avacado is optional, but if you choose to use it, add it at the last minute as well so it doesn’t turn brown.  My personal feeling is that anything that smooth and silky should have a superb chocolate flavor so why bother just to end up with  the disappointing avocado non-flavor.  :-)

Layered Taco Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup

Layered Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounce package lettuce
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup broken tortilla chips
  • Optional: avocado

Instructions

  1. Mix mayo, sour cream and taco seasoning mix and set aside
  2. Layer lettuce, onion, beans, tomatoes and cheese in 8x8 glass container
  3. Spread dressing mixture over salad.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
  5. Crush tortilla chips and sprinkle over the top of the salad just before serving.
  6. Optional, dice avocado and add to top of salad before serving.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/07/layered-taco-salad/

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Bacon Ranch Garden Patch Salad

Bacon Ranch Garden Patch Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Bacon Ranch Garden Patch Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

We love a main dish salad for dinner in the summer. Bacon Ranch Garden Salad has it all – meat, pasta, veggies and bacon!  It’s perfect for a  summer day – make ahead in the morning when the kitchen is cool and it’s ready to serve on the shady deck for the evening meal! 

Use your favorite pasta, mini or regular.  Hidden Valley has a bacon ranch dressing with their signature creamy ranch flavor, Kraft’s version is more zippy with a hint of vinegar in the base. Add bacon cooked crisp and crumbled or packaged real bacon crumbles to up the bacon flavor.  To make Bacon Garden Ranch Pasta salad even quicker and easier, I buy the packaged fresh broccoli that has already been trimmed and cut into pieces.  They are usually the same price at my store as the heads of broccoli with less work and less waste for me.  One and a half cups is about one third of a ten ounce package. (You’ll have enough left to make Sunny Broccoli Salad another day. :-) )  I also don’t measure the other vegetables.  I use half a red bell pepper (or whatever color pepper I happen to have in the refrigerator).  Half of a medium cucumber is about half a cup diced.  You can leave the seeds in if they are small.  I always buy a large (marked way down!) ham after Easter so we have plenty of ham on hand in early summer for all kinds of dishes.  We like this salad with ham, but chicken is also good.  I can also vouch for  it being tasty without either meat! 


 

Bacon Ranch Garden Patch Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Bacon Ranch Garden Patch Salad

A super main dish salad with meat, vegetables and pasta.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups pasta such as rotini, shell or farfalle
  • ½ cup bacon ranch dressing
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 Tablespoons bacon crumbles
  • 1 ½ cups broccoli florets, cut small
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 ½ cups ham or chicken, into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Fill 3 quart saucepan 2/3 full of salted water and bring to boil.
  2. Add pasta and return to boil.
  3. Cook until al dente according to package directions. Do not overcook!
  4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water.
  5. In meantime, mix dressing, dill weed and bacon crumbles in large bowl.
  6. Prepare broccoli, pepper, cucumber and onions and pour into that same bowl.
  7. Cut ham or chicken into bite sized pieces and add to bowl.
  8. Add cooled pasta and mix well.
  9. Chill 2-3 hours or overnight before serving. If salad seems dry before serving, add another tablespoon of bacon ranch dressing.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/06/bacon-ranch-garden-patch-salad/

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Linking up to these awesome parties here and, ,Nifty Thrifty Sunday  /   Share Your Creativity  /    Sunday Showcase  / Let’s Get SocialBewitch Me and Titi  /  Monday Funday / Sunday Pinterest /  . . . / Inspiration MondayMotivate Me Block Party   / /  Marvelous Mondays / CraftoManiac Monday / Sew Darn Crafty / / Sweet Sharing Monday / Melt in Your Mouth MondayMore The Merrier /Made By You Monday / PincentiveTime to Sparkle / Give Me the Goods / The DIY’ers / Manic Monday  / Tuesday at Our Home  / . .Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesdays Treasures  / /  Create Link Inspire  / Tutorials and Tips  / You’re Gonna Love It / Mommy club Linky / /  Titus 2 Tuesday  / Totally Tasty Tuesday  /  Tuesday Talent Show, / Wake Up Wednesday / Wow Me Wednesday. . . Hit Me with Your Best Shot  / Homework Wednesday / The Inspiration Exchange /  Cast Party Wednesday  /What’s It WednesdayPretty Wednesday /  Wow Me Wednesday   /Wine’d Down Wednesday  /Wednesday Project Stash /  Wonderful WednesdaysWe Did It!/   It’s A Party  / Whimsy Wednesday / Wildly Original  / Brag About It Linky  / Delish Desserts /Project Pin It /  . .  . Full Plate Thursday  / Showcase Your Talent / Krafty Inspiriation  / All Things PrettyThrowback Thursday / Crafty Blog Stalker/ Fantastic Thursday /   Tasty Thursday  /      / Catch a Glimpse ,   Grace at Home,  Kitchen Fun,   Thrifty Thursday. .  Feathered Nest Friday  /  I’m Lovin’ ItFlaunt It Friday /  What’s ShakinLink Party Palooza  / Foodie Friday / Anything Goes./ Freedom Friday / Remodelaholic AnonymousSimple and Sweet Fridays  / Craft Frenzy Friday  / Be Inspired Friday / Friday Link Party  / Best of the Weekend / Weekend Winddown  /  . . . .   /A Bouquet of Talent   / Party Junk Saturday Dishes / Saturday Show and Tell / Strut Your Stuff Saturday /  Favorite Things Saturday /   Serenity Saturday, / Pin It SaturdaySaturday SpotlightSaturday Showilicious     / Show Stopper Saturday /   Saturday Night Fever  /

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Citrus and Cream Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Many families expect a certain dish to be on the table at every gathering.  Citrus and Cream Salad  started as a favorite of a particular relative who could be counted on to show up to the family potluck with a big dish of it in hand.  Fruit, cottage cheese,  and your favorite Jell0 all wrapped in whipped topping – everyone loved it!    When the original contributor moved on to new and different foods, others began filling the gap by making the dish THEIR signature.  It is simple, foolproof even!  Easy to transport already made or quick to make on the spot.   Looks good and tastes even better. 

If you live in the middle  USA, this dish is known as “Fluff” something.  At our table it is  “that Fluff Stuff”.  Fluff  refers to the bowl of whipped topping on the ingredient list and referenced by “cream” in the real name.  All the other ingredients could vary, but fluff is the mainstay.  The dish can be eaten as dessert or salad –or  a main dish.  Or as a meal in itself.   Started by grandmas long ago and contributed forever after to family gatherings by beginning and uncertain cooks and those of considerable skill who know what counts as a no-fail potluck dish.   Citrus and Cream Salad is a classic.

Precise measurements don’t matter for this recipe.  Use what you have.  Cottage cheese carton missing a spoonful or two – doesn’t matter. Neither does large curd or small curd (I prefer the large curd for cottage cheese any time.  That’s just me).   Whipped topping on hand is a full carton plus a half cup in another container – use it all.  Pineapple doesn’t match the size can given – use two smaller ones or even just one if that is all that is on the shelf.   My favorite flavor of gelatin with this dish is orange, but lemon or lime works just as well.  The color will be orange, light yellow or green – your choice.  I like the crunchy walnuts and usually put in a  handful more than the recipe says.  This is also a perfect dish for kids to make (or younger kids to help make).  Just be sure the mixing bowl is large enough to handle the ingredients and stirring needed.  Curb enthusiastic stirring as whipped topping needs “folding” motion or a gentle stir to mix ingredients not a “whupping” that removes the air. 

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Citrus and Cream Salad aka Fluff

A family potluck classic -- the secret is out!

Ingredients

  • 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2/3 cup English walnut pieces
  • 24 ounce container cottage cheese
  • 8 ounce container whipped topping
  • 1.5 ounce package of sugar free gelatin (orange, lemon or lime)

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in large bowl in order given, sprinkling gelatin over the top.
  2. Fold together gently until well mixed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Can be made the night before.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/04/citrus-and-cream-salad-aka-fluff/

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!



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