Tag Archives: Salad Week

Salad Week: Creole Potato Salad


This is Creole Potato Salad. She may look all smooth and creamy and unassuming, but don’t let her beguiling looks fool you. This salad is a spicy little wench. It’s that Creole mustard she’s sporting. It brings the heat, and that leaves her fanning herself so she doesn’t get ‘dewy’ because we all know Southern women don’t sweat – they mist. And she’s going to need a handkerchief.

Now that we’ve got the bodice-ripping intro out of the way, let’s make some potato salad! I first threw this together for a family barbecue after I fell in love with Zatarain’s Creole mustard. It has a spicy blast of heat from those coarsely ground mustard seeds and a bracing twang of vinegar for balance. It’s a party in a mustard bottle, that’s what it is. And that is what makes this recipe special. It brings tremendous flavor to a few simple ingredients.

To start, grab 6-8 medium size white potatoes (the kind with thin skin) or 10-12 red new potatoes (about golf-ball size). I usually cover them with water in a saucepan and let them simmer until fork tender, but this week I had leftover roasted potatoes from Easter so I chopped those up. Either way works, so use whichever works best for you. Once your potatoes are fully cooked, let them cool then chop them into bite-size pieces and toss them into a mixing bowl.


Next, you’ll need two ribs (stalks) of celery. Cut off the tops and bottoms, wash them thoroughly, then cut them into thin sticks and chop into small pieces. We all know celery brings no real nutritional value, but what it does bring is crunch.

Grab 4-6 green onions (also called scallions) and lop off the tops & roots, then thinly slice them and toss them into the potatoes with the celery.

That’s it for chunks – just potatoes, celery and scallions. And now, we add the first secret ingredient – the Creole mustard. Really, people. You have to find a bottle of this stuff. When you’re not making this potato salad, it totally rocks on sausages grilled over an open flame. Really and truly.


Measure out 1/4 cup of mustard and dump it into the bowl with your veg. Then measure 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and throw it in with the mustard. {And now a word from NanaBread: do not substitute Miracle Whip in this recipe. I know some of you are mayonnaise adverse, but Miracle Whip is not acceptable here. It’s far too sweet. Just trust me and grab a small jar of mayo. Please. Pretty please. I’m begging you. I’ll buy you a pony. I’m just kidding about the pony.}

Next up, secret ingredient #2 – Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Salt. I’ve mentioned this stuff on the blog before. It’s my go-to season salt of choice. My right arm. My left foot. My everything. I can’t cook without it. I wish I was kidding.

Measure 1/2 teaspoon of this magical stuff and throw it on top of your salad stuff, then throw in 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper just for giggles.

Toss it all together until well blended then pop it into the fridge for at least one hour to give the potatoes time to soak up all the flavor of the mustard and seasonings. Before serving, taste it and tweak the seasonings, adding more season salt or pepper as needed. And now you’ve got a big beautiful bowl of creamy, crunchy, zesty Creole Potato Salad. She’s lovely, isn’t she?

If this isn’t your new favorite potato salad, I’ll be stunned. It is a crowd pleaser. A show stopper. An attention grabber. And it plays well in Austin. The kids made a batch of this for a cook-out with friends, and now it’s on their ‘must haves’ list. Whip it up for your next picnic and just wait for the ‘wows’ to roll in. As for me, I’m plating it up with pulled pork sandwiches and my favorite spicy Wickles pickles. Because that’s how I roll.

Get it? Roll. Sandwich on a roll. Okay, I’ll let you go now.

NanaBread’s Creole Potato Salad:
6-8 medium white potatoes OR 10-12 small red potatoes
6 scallions
2 ribs of celery
1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/2 teaspoon Morton’s Nature’s Seasons Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Scrub the potatoes and place them in a saucepan; cover with water and simmer until fork tender. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool completely, then drain and chop into bite-size pieces. Place the chopped potatoes in a mixing bowl. Cut the scallions and celery into small pieces and throw them in with the potatoes. Add the mustard & mayonnaise, salt & pepper. Toss to combine and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Taste before serving and tweak the salt and pepper, if needed. Serves 6-8.

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Hey! Don’t forget to visit my Salad Week co-conspirators to see what salads they posted this week. Today is our big Salad Week Extravaganza – much like the grand finale of a fireworks display, we’re all posting a barrage of salads. There’s also a linky party over at Allison’s place so you can not only see all of our salads from the week, but you can add your own favorites, as well.

Special thanks to these Salad Week bloggers:
Allison – Decadent Philistines Save the World
Jeanne – Inside NanaBread’s Head (hey, that’s me!)
Lauren – Climbing Grier Mountain
Kat – Tenaciously Yours
Kirsten – Comfortably Domestic
Megan – Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Madelyn – La Petite Pancake
Monica – The Grommom
Carrie – Bakeaholic Mama

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Salad Week: Quite Possibly the Strangest Salad You May Never Eat

I’ll be honest. The reaction I usually get when I talk about this salad is “ewww!” I get it. It’s weird. But oddly enough, it’s really delicious. Especially if you love cauliflower. Now, I’m not going to beat you over the head and tell you how you just HAVE to try this one. But if you’re adventurous, and if you love cauliflower, then at least promise me that you’ll consider giving it a try. I would hope that you would trust me by now. It’s not like I’m asking you to eat a bug, after all.

Raw Cauliflower Salad:
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 small can of chopped black olives
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
a pinch each of salt & pepper

Remove the leaves and stems from the cauliflower, leaving just the florets. Chop the florets into 1/2″ pieces and toss them into a mixing bowl. Add the olives, scallions, mayonnaise, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Place into an air-tight container with a tight-fitting lid and place in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. This dish is best if eaten within 48 hours since the raw cauliflower will start to discolor and soften over time.

Note: I first tried this recipe almost 30 years ago, when The Complete Package and I were first married. It’s another one of my mother-in-law’s retro classics. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It’s a fresh, crunchy side for any picnic and pairs perfectly with grilled meats and a bottle of Beano. Yes, Beano; not vino. And I think you all know where I’m going with that. Although, now that I think about it, I’m sure it would also be lovely with a cold, crisp white like a Riesling. Cheers, adventurous salad lovers!

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Speaking of adventurous salad lovers, check out these lovely salads already posted for Salad Week and be sure to tell these ladies I said hello!

Chicken Mole Salad – by Megan at Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Simple Caesar Salad – by Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic
Party Salad – by Kat at Tenaciously Yours
Parmesan Salad Cups – by Lauren at Climbing Grier Mountain
Tabbouleh Salad That Made Me Cry – by Allison at Decadent Philistines

Check in Saturday when all of our Salad Week bloggers post additional salads in a big Salad Week Grand Finale. There will also be a linky party at Allison’s place starting Saturday morning. You’ll not only see all of our salads from the past week, but you’ll also be able to link up your own favorites.

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Salad Week: My knock-off version of Whole Foods Market’s Rice Salad

Let’s start this post with an apology. I’m sorry for using such a crummy photo of this dish. This was a pre-blog salad; one that I posted on the Tasty Kitchen portion of The Pioneer Woman website. Before I got my big girl camera. And while I apologize for the photo, I make no apologies for the recipe. It rocks.

We first tried this salad when My Baby was in the hospital, having just given birth to Lilly Bug. Finally able to consume real food and starving to death, she sent The Complete Package out to pick up lunch. He went to a nearby Whole Foods Market and stocked up on sandwiches and salads from their fabulous deli.

One of those salads was a wild rice, citrus, and dried fruit concoction that knocked our socks off. So much so, that I kept the label from the container with the ingredients, conveniently listed from most prevalent to least. And that’s where I started when I got home and decided to recreate it.

Now before you freak out… yes, there is a long list of ingredients, but there’s a good chance you already have most of them in your pantry. And yes, you’ll have to cook rice (unless you decide to buy the kind in a pouch that you can microwave). But don’t let that cause you grief. I promise once you try this, you’ll understand that it’s totally worth the effort. And, as a bonus, it keeps well in the fridge and is easily transportable for lunches on the go. And it’s so delicious, you’ll find yourself sneaking back to the fridge over and over again to sneak another bite. Pinky swear.

NanaBread’s Knock-Off Whole Foods Market Rice Salad:
1 cup wild/brown rice mix
1 cup white basmati rice
1 cup soft wheatberries
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries (I use Craisins)
1/2 cup dates, pitted & chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 small lemons, zested & juiced
1 orange, zested & juiced
4 ozs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
honey or agave nectar, as needed (optional)

Cook each type of rice according to package directions; cool to room temperature or slightly warm to the touch. Note: wheatberries can be added to the basmati rice so they cook together. While the rice cooks, toast the almonds in a skillet. Toss the dried cranberries, dates, raisins, toasted almonds and zest of the lemons and orange into a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

In a large mixing bowl, toss all of the cooled rice together; add the melted butter and toss again. Dump the small bowl of fruits and almonds into the rice and toss.

In another small bowl, combine the canola and olive oils, lemon and orange juice, rice wine vinegar, salt and peppers. Whisk until well blended; pour over the rice mixture. Toss until well blended and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt, vinegar, etc. If it’s too tart, add a little honey or agave nectar to balance it out. Keep in mind that this tastes better after it sits for a while, so don’t tweak your seasonings too soon!

For maximum flavor, refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Set it out for 20 minutes before serving; it’s best at room temperature. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator; it should keep for about 5 days. It also helps to give the container a good shake before serving to help redistribute the dressing.

NOTE: if you want to go dairy-free, omit the butter. If you want to go nut-free, omit the almonds. If you live for adventure, try adding chopped dried apricots or even toasted pistachios. Crazy, right?

Click here to see the original post on the Tasty Kitchen website.

Also posted today for Salad Week:
Party Salad by Kat at Tenaciously Yours. It’s a party. In a bowl. You heard me.

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Salad Week Tribute: Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing from The Pioneer Woman

In honor of Salad Week, I’m re-running my review of “Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing” from The Pioneer Woman website. It’s my favorite, and when paired with a crisp salad and grilled halloumi cheese, it is simply divine. Enjoy!

Aunt Trish's salad dressing over a green salad & grilled halloumi cheese - YUM!

It’s not often that I make my own salad dressing, as evidenced by the row of salad dressing bottles on the top shelf of my fridge. Just last week, The Complete Package found a bottle of French that expired in 2008. Oopsie. And there is ALWAYS a jar of Marzetti’s Ultimate Blue Cheese Dressing in our fridge. Always. Someone whose name I shall not mention would lose his ever-loving mind if he didn’t have his favorite creamy blue cheese dressing to put on his wedge salads or fried potatoes (hint: not Ziggy). But this past week, I was craving something new. Something light. Something lemony. And The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing looked perfect. It’s light, it’s lemony, and it also has garlic and parmesan cheese. Duh, winning!

Here’s the cast of characters:
3/4 cup of olive oil or canola oil
the juice of 2 lemons
1 clove of garlic, peeled (leave it whole)
4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. sugar
a dash of paprika
salt & pepper to taste

It couldn’t be easier. You put everything in a jar, shake it up, and let it stew in the fridge for 24 hours, then shake it again before using. I made a tossed green salad of romaine, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, cucumber, quartered Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced purple onion, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers and feta cheese. Then we shook up our jar of Aunt Trish’s and poured it over the top. To say that we both loved this salad dressing would be an understatement. It was so good, we were tempted to put our faces into our bowls and lick them clean. Or grab a straw and suck up all the remnants. But instead, we used some toasted garlic bread to sop it all up. No drop was wasted. We enjoyed it so whole heartedly that we could have put our salad bowls back into the cupboard without washing them first. We didn’t, of course, but we probably could have.

Besides being knocked out by how great this was on a salad, my mind was racing through all the other things I could use it on. It would be a great marinade for grilled meats. It would be fantastic drizzled over a sandwich in place of boring old mayonnaise or mustard. This would knock your socks off as a dressing for a pasta salad. You could cube up salami, mozzarella cheese, olives and Italian peppers and make a fabulous antipasto tray for parties. Don’t get me started on using it on a cold seafood salad. This is not a salad dressing, it’s an obsession.

As always, I’m going to refer you to the source so you can see the recipe the way Ree intended – with fabulous photos and an engaging back story. Click here to be transported to salad dressing heaven at The Pioneer Woman.

Also posted for Salad Week today:
Lauren’s Parmesan Salad Cups at Climbing Grier Mountain. Click the link to see how she crafted melted parmesan cheese into crispy edible salad bowls. No more licking your salad bowl clean. This time, you can actually eat the bowl!

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Salad Week: Toughie’s Apple Salad

It’s Salad Week! What a glorious way to celebrate Spring. Once again, my blogging partners in crime and I are co-oping a food themed week and this time salads are the stars. And honestly after a big sugar-filled holiday weekend, who couldn’t use a few new salad recipes, am I right?

In our salad week discussions, the topic of retro salads came up as well as salads made with unconventional ingredients. Examples: Twinkie Salad and aspic. Does anyone even know what aspic is anymore? The retro salads of potlucks past struck a chord with me, so today I’m featuring one of my mother-in-law’s fruit salads from the 1950’s. It has a few unexpected ingredients, but they all come together beautifully to make an old-fashioned potluck favorite.

For the record, my mother-in-law is a gem. She’s spunky and funny and I love her very much. Her nickname is Toughie, and this is Toughie’s Apple Salad.

Toughie’s Apple Salad:
4 crisp apples, peeled & chopped
1 small can of crushed pineapple
1 small can of pineapple tidbits
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
the juice of one fresh lemon
the juice from both cans of pineapple
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

To start, peel and dice the apples and toss them into a large mixing bowl. Open the cans of pineapple and drain the juice, reserving it for the custard dressing; toss the drained pineapple into the bowl with the apples.

In a saucepan, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, mustard, lemon juice and the juice from both cans of pineapple. Cook over medium heat, whisking often to prevent lumps, until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. If you’re in a hurry, pour the custard into a bowl and pop it into the fridge to chill.

Once the custard is cool, pour it over the fruit and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into your serving dish, then sprinkle the coconut and cheese over the top. Serve cold as a dessert salad.

My thoughts: Yes, it’s weird to put a little yellow mustard in a fruit custard, but the surprising thing is you don’t taste mustard in the finished product. It gives it a bright little tang like lemon zest would. So while it sounds weird, don’t leave it out. It really adds a zing. Cheese also throws some people off when they see this fruit salad. Is it necessary? Probably not. There’s really not enough of it to have a strong impact. What it does do is give you a nice contrast between the sweet of the fruit and the sharp cheddar when you take a bite. And speaking of sweet, this custard is very sweet. I was a good girl this time and stuck to the recipe as Toughie intended it, but the next time I make it I’ll be cutting the sugar down to a 1/2 cup or maybe even a 1/4 cup. If you prefer less sugar and more natural sweetness in your fruit salad, I recommend you do the same.

Now, on to the rest of Salad Week. Don’t forget to visit my lovely friends throughout the week as they share a few introductory salads to whet your appetite. Then on Saturday April 14th, we’ll all be posting salads in a big Salad Week Extravaganza – much like the grand finale of a fireworks display. In addition, there will be a linky party over at Allison’s place so you can not only see all of our salads from the week, but you can add your own favorites, as well.

Salad Week bloggers include:
Allison – Decadent Philistines Save the World
Jeanne – Inside NanaBread’s Head (hey, that’s me!)
Lauren – Climbing Grier Mountain
Kat – Tenaciously Yours
Kirsten – Comfortably Domestic
Megan – Wanna Be A Country Cleaver
Madelyn – La Petite Pancake
Monica – The Grommom
Carrie – Bakeaholic Mama

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