Salads – Green Salads & Some with Fruit, Mostly Vegan
Lebanese Tossed Green Salad
Norma Hodge is a Lebanese American whose family developed Edinburg’s prestigious Lake James Subdivision. She was one of the founders of St. George’s Church, and always brings this salad – is always Asked to bring this salad – to our St. George’s potluck events. There is never any leftover! It is delightfully simple and exquisitely good. All ingredients are mere estimates, so adapt them to your personal tastes.
Lettuce – Head, Leaf, Romaine or a mixture
3 Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped
1 Cucumber, Peeled and Chopped
1 Carrot, Peeled & Grated
1 Ripe Avocado, Peeled and Sliced
Dress at Table with the following:
Juice of 2 Lemons
Fresh Garlic, Minced or Pressed or Garlic Powder
Dry Mint or Fresh Mint, Finely Minced
Greek or Italian Dry Herbs, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Fattush (Lebanese Bread Salad)
The recipe was published in the first St. George’s cookbook and was shared with the now departed Lebanese-American and Parish founder, Alice Shwery. Alice is both Norma Hodge and Janet Waisner’s sister, and departed this life on ______.
1 Lg. Pita Bread, Toasted to a Light Brown
1 Small Onion, Chopped Finely
2 Green Onions (Scallions), Chopped
1 Med. Cucumber, Peeled and Chopped
2 Med. Ripe Tomatoes, Chopped
½ C. Fresh Parsley, Chopped
½ C. Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped (or, 2 Tbsp. Dry Mint)
½ C. Olive Oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 Tbsp. Simmaq (Sumac), Ground - Purchase from Middle Eastern suppliers
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Using a large serving bowl, break dry pita bread into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped onions, cucumbers and tomatoes to the bread. Add chopped parsley and mint. Toss well. Mix together the simmaq, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad. Toss thoroughly. Chill until served.
Ensalada de Aguacate y Frutas Frescas (Puerto Rican Avocado & Fruit Salad)
The combination may sound strange, but this recipe has been a family favorite for years. It can be adapted in many ways, depending on what citrus fruit is in season or what you have on hand. The Monks from St. Michael’s Skete in New Mexico loved this when we served it to them. Of course, Fr. Andrew had lived in Puerto Rico and still enjoys the Caribbean sabor! This recipe serves 6, and can easily be increased or decreased, depending on the number to be served.
3 Avocados, Ripe & Carefully Cut in ½
1 C. Fresh Pineapple, Finely Chopped (Canned Chunks can be substituted)
2 Oranges, Peeled & Sectioned (Tangerines can be substituted)
1 Ruby Red Grapefruit, Peeled & Sectioned, Optional but Good!
Maraschino Cherries or Acerolas, Optional
Cut avocados in half, lengthwise. Remove seed and carefully scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Be careful not to break the shells. Cut avocado into ½” cubes. Combine with pineapple. Section the citrus fruit. Make sure to remove membranes and all white peel. Cut into ½” pieces. Mix with other fruit. Chill until time to serve. At that time, fill avocado shells with fruit and avocado mixture. Place each shell on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves. Add dressing (see recipe below) and top with maraschino cherries, cut in half. Makes a nice first course for a fancy meal.
Dressing: Mix together the following: ½ C. Olive Oil, ¼ C. Wine Vinegar, 1 Tbsp. Lime Juice, ½ Tsp. Salt, 1/8 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper & 1 Tbsp. Sugar. Shake well and allow flavors to blend until time to serve the salad.
Palm Heart Salad
While visiting my aunt and uncle in the Tucson, Arizona area one summer, my cousin, Julia Andres prepared this delicious salad. Both Julia and her husband, David, are local artists. Besides being an excellent cook, Julia creates some incredible original bronze pieces. David is a wonderful painter and teaches art at a local University.
1 Large Head of Leaf, Romaine or Mixed Spring Green Lettuces
1 – 16 Oz. Can Heart of Palm, Drained
2 Ripe Avocados, Peeled, Seeded & Cubed
2 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
6 Tbsps. Olive Oil
2 Tbsps. White or Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Fresh Minced Mixed Herbs, such as Thyme, Cilantro, Oregano & Chives
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
In individual serving bowls, prepare a bed of salad greens. Top this with the palm, avocado and scallions. Mix together the remaining ingredients and whisk well. Pour over the top of each salad just prior to serving.
Ensalada de Nochebuena (Mexican Christmas Eve Salad)
Translated literally from Spanish, this recipe is for the “salad of the good night.” – meant for the Eve of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior! It is a very tropical and festive fasting dish which in parts of Mexico is eaten only once a year, on this holy night. Serves 10.
2 Beets, Cooked & Thinly Sliced
2 Apples, Cored & Thinly Sliced
2 Oranges, Peeled, Seeded, Sectioned & Thinly Sliced
2 Bananas, Thinly Sliced
1 Jicama, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
2 Limes, Thinly Sliced
1 C. Fresh Pineapple, Cut into Thin Slices
½ C. Radishes, Thinly Sliced
2 Carrots, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
Sugar, to taste
¼ C. Fresh Orange Juice
½ C. Peanuts, For Garnish
1 Pomegranate, Seeds Removed, For Garnish
On a large platter or glass bowl, arrange all of the ingredients in a lovely fashion. Sprinkle each layer with a bit of sugar and orange juice (not too much!). On the very top, add the peanuts and pomegranate seeds as a special garnish.
Cucumber and Fruit Salad
The ingredients in this salad are readily available here in the Rio Grande Valley.
2 C. Cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 C. Sweet Oranges, Peeled, Seeded, Sectioned & Chopped
1 Ruby Red Grapefruit, Peeled, Seeded, Sectioned & Chopped
2 C. Honeydew Melon Pieces
1 C. Purple or Red Seedless Grapes, Halved
Prepare fruit and cucumbers. Mix together in a bowl and chill for 20 minutes.
Make Dressing by blending together in a food processor or a blender the following:
1/2 C. Sour Cream
1 Tbsp. Lemon or Lime Juice
1/4 C. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Fresh Dill, Chopped
Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste
Blend Dressing with Chilled Fruit and Cucumbers. Serve immediately. Serves 4 – 5.
Spinach & Strawberry Salad
This delicious salad was served at a lovely meal prepared for us during a visit to the home of our dear, long-time friends, Verl and Reba Holmes of Colorado Springs. Since then, we have served this salad at Church dinners and for many special occasions. It is always a big hit.
Clean 2 bunches of Fresh Spinach Leaves & place in large salad bowl.
Top Spinach with lots of fresh, sliced Strawberries
Sprinkle top with Pecan halves (med. size pkg.) to taste.
Totally Decadent Option: 2 – 3 Pieces Crisp Fried Bacon, Crumbled
Toss well with plenty of Poppy Seed Salad Dressing. See recipe below:
Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
Mix together in a blender or food processor:
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 tsp. Dry Mustard
2 tsp. Salt
2/3 Cup Vinegar (such as Red Wine Vinegar, or w/a bit of Balsamic added)
1 RED Onion, chopped
2 Cups Oil (Olive, Peanut, or any combination)
Blend well, then add 3 Tbsp. Poppy Seeds and blend again. Mix together salad ingredients and toss with Poppy Seed Dressing just prior to serving.
Tangerine Winter Green Salad
We are blessed to have two tangerine trees in our yard here. Nothing beats going outside in the morning and picking a few ripe ones right off the tree in winter, while they are in season. However, this is a wonderful cool-season variation on the theme.
Salad Greens – Romaine, Leaf, Bibb, Spinach or Mixed Spring Greens
2 Tangerines, Peeled, Seeded & Sectioned (or, 1 Can Tangerines)
1 Small Red Onion, Thinly Sliced in circlets
1/3 C. Toasted Almonds, Halved or Whole
Divide mixed greens between individual serving plates, or in a large serving bowl. Top with an arrangement of tangerine sections, onion slices and toasted almonds. Drizzle the Tangerine Salad Dressing on top of the greens (see recipe below). Serve immediately.
Tangerine Salad Dressing:
1/2 C. Olive Oil
2 Fresh Tangerines, Peeled, Seeded & Sectioned
Tbsp. Fresh Basil, Washed & Stemmed
1 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, Washed & Stemmed
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar or Sour Orange Juice
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tsp. Yellow Mustard
1 Tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
1 Tsp. Salt, or to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend briefly. Allow to sit briefly so flavors can blend. Serve on tangerine salad (above) or refrigerate for other use.
Fresh Peach or Mango Tossed Salad
Cook until crisp, crumble and then set aside:
3 - 4 Bacon Strips, Very Optional – Bac’Uns Soy Substitute during Fasts
Mix all below ingredients together in a blender or a food processor:
1/4 C. Orange Juice (concentrated frozen, undiluted)
3 Tbs. Cider or Red Wine Vinegar
3 Tbs. Plain Yogurt
1 Tbsp. Grated Orange Peel (zest)
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Peeled
1/2 Tsp. Salt, or to taste
1/4 Tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper, or to taste
While processor is still on, gradually add, in a steady stream:
3/4 C. Olive Oil
In a salad bowl, combine the following:
8 C. Fresh Spinach, Washed & Torn
8 C. Bibb, Boston or Leaf Lettuce, Washed & Torn
4 Med. Fresh Ripe Peaches, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
Or, 3 Ripe Mangos, Peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
Top salad with a sprinkling of:
3 – 4 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
1 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, Minced
3 - 4 Pieces of Crisply Fried & Crumbled Bacon
Drizzle salad greens & peaches with dressing made (above). Serve immediately. Approximately 15 Servings.
Moroccan Salad with Cabbage & Oranges
Another good match for the Rio Valley, where both cabbage and oranges thrive in the less-hot “winter” months.
1 Small, Young Cabbage, Shredded
6-8 Sweet Oranges, Peeled & Segmented (Remove Membranes)
¼ C. Italian or Curley Parsley, Chopped
1/3-1/2 C. Golden or Reg. Raisins
½ C. Sweet Orange Juice
¼ C. Sour Orange Juice, or Lemon Juice
2 Tbsps Sugar, Honey or Splenda
2 Tsp. Salt
½ Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Stir together all dressing ingredients and allow flavors to blend while preparing the vegetables. Gently combine shredded cabbage with segmented oranges and parsley. Stir the dressing over the vegetables and fruit, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Before serving, slightly drain off extra liquid.
Spanish Sweet Orange Salad (Ensalada Valenciana)
1/4 C. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Sweet or Sour Fresh Orange Juice (not concentrate)
½ Tsp. Dried Mexican Oregano
½ Tsp. Salt
Freshly-ground Pepper, to taste
1 Med. Sweet Spanish Onion, thinly sliced
2 Sweet Valencia Oranges, peeled & thinly sliced
Lettuce, Spinach & other Mixed Salad Greens, washed & broken into pieces
Black (Ripe) Olives, halved or chopped
1/3 C. Sliced, Blanched Almonds, Optional
Mix together Olive Oil, Vinegar, Juice and Seasonings. Add Onion and Oranges. Chill together for 1 – 2 Hours. Arrange lettuce and/or salad greens in a large bowl. Place orange mixture on top. Top with Black Olives and/or Almonds. Serve immediately.
Southwestern Cole Slaw (No Mayo)
We needed a good slaw to accompany a vegan main dish after Pre-Sanctified liturgy during the fast one time. I didn’t really have a recipe which suited my purposes, so came up with this one. For best results, make the dressing at least an hour before one must put the salad together, say, an hour before leaving for Pre-Sanctified.
Juice of 1 Lemon or 2 Limes
1 Sour or Sweet Orange, Both Juice & Peel Zest
¼ C. Olive or Other Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp. Dried Oregano or 1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, Minced
6 -8 Dried Apricots, Finely Minced
2-3 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced or Squeezed
1 Green or Red Hot Pepper of Choice, Finely Minced
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tsp. Salt
½ Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Whip all ingredients together. Allow the dressing to meld and marinate at room temperature for about an hour, before mixing in with other ingredients.
1 Lg. Bag (Sam’s Sized) Cabbage Slaw Mix, or
1 Cabbage, 1 Carrot, Purple Cabbage, etc. Finely Shredded
1 -2 Sweet Bell Peppers – Green, Red, Yellow or a Combination, Chopped Small
½ C. Scallions or Sweet Onion, Finely Diced
¼ C. Fresh Cilantro or Parsley, Finely Minced
Mix all vegetable ingredients together. Stir in dressing which has been allowed to sit. Adjust seasonings. Cover, refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.