The Road Home

The Road Home
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Simple Layered Salad

This is another very simple side dish that is easy to fix. The ingredient list for this dish can be endless and easily tailored to what you like and what you don't like. Even my carnivore, Frank, likes it, which is a miracle in itself. He even requests it on occasion. 

As I was making this salad and thinking of how I would describe it on here I thought, "I really feel sorry for anyone that is a new wife or cook and trying to follow my recipes." See, when I first got married I could burn water. Really. Well, maybe not burn exactly, but I sure couldn't cook very many things and it was just about impossible to get things to come out ready to eat at the same time. We had to spend some time eating one thing at a time so it didn't get cold while we were waiting for everything else to be ready. So, for any newly married young folks out there, I'm sorry. I know my measurements are usually nonexistent, which can be really difficult. At least for someone like me. There are still times when I ask someone how they made something and they kind of describe it like I do - add a little of this and a little of that until it tastes like you want it to. Unless I have tried something and kind of know how it will taste, I need a recipe to follow, at least once. Then I've been known to change things around, sometimes rather drastically, to suit our tastes. This is one of those dishes.

Layer 1: This salad will be good with whatever greens you like to eat. I prefer a leaf lettuce. So first I cut it to bite size, well kinda. Put the greens in a bowl that is big enough for the quantity you want to fix. This will depend on how many people you are feeding. That is the nice thing about this salad. You can make it as large or as small as you need or want. It will be good for several days in the frig, so for us, leftovers are intended.

Layer 2:  Celery, 1 or 2 stalks, chopped

Layer 3: Green onions, to taste, chopped (I used 5)


Layer 4: Frozen green peas (we have also used frozen mixed vegetables) I take these out and rinse them in cold water in a strainer to separate them before I start cutting up the lettuce.


Layer 5: Add any other vegetables you want. Sometimes we add bell pepper. I thought about rehydrating some of my dried peppers and putting them on here, but I forgot. Maybe next time.

Layer 6: The dressing. I had a recipe for this once, but it has morphed into this. In a 2 cup measuring cup I put in about 1 cup of mayonnaise. I don't use Miracle Whip or anything like it, so I'm not sure how that flavor would work with this. 

To the mayo I add about this much Ranch Dressing. If I had to guess, I would say about 2 or 3 tablespoons.

Next, I add some lemon juice. Again, if I were guessing, I'd say about 3 tablespoons. Mix well until smooth.

Pour this dressing out onto the salad.


Then spread it out evenly and kind of seal off the salad. 


 Layer 7: Shredded cheese, any kind you like. I used some of our cheddar.

Layer 8: Bacon bits. We like the 'real' ones that come in a bag from the warehouse market. Who knows what's been done to them for preservation, but they sure are convenient.


I have also been known to add a layer of boiled eggs and sunflower seeds. It also looks pretty in a glass bowl where you can see the layers. As you can see, it is a very versatile recipe. Yummy. Easy to fix. Great to eat.

This is especially good in the summer when it can be made with fresh ingredients from the garden. In the winter, we are blessed to have all of these ingredients at our finger tips at the store. It's easy to see why people just a few years ago were so hungry for the first fresh greens of spring after having gone without during the winter. One thing I would really like to be able to do is grow some fresh greens like spinach and lettuce during the winter. It's a goal I have that has not come to fruition yet. But it will. I will soon show you the beginning of my garden this year - I planted some seeds on December 29th. About this time of year I am ready for spring and gardening again. I'll let you see how it's going. 

Really ponder what you can do to provide fresh food for your family year round without going to the store. We have grown alfalfa sprouts in a quart jar by the kitchen sink many times. They are easy and only take a few days before they are edible. It isn't our favorite thing to eat, but they are very healthy and easy to grow. This knowledge and supplies gives us one more layer of protection in the coming need for self-reliant food production. Try something new today that you haven't before and see how successful you can be. You're going to need it.

Until next time - Fern


  1. My Mom made this salad about 50 or so years ago, maybe from a Kraft recipe. Anyway hers also morphed into a recipe that suited our family - like no peas. The last time I made it I used cut up sugar snap peas from the garden, really good.

    Try some other types of sprouts - a mix with mung beans, alfalfa and radish is quite tasty. Sunflower seed sprouts are grown in soil, just a pie pan of soil with seeds on top is fine and the sprouts are ready when they are an inch tall, just snip off at soil level.

    Cut and come again sowing of mixed lettuces do well in a south facing window, or under grow lights, for winter indoor harvest. Cut when about 2 inches tall. Combined with sprout you get a nice salad tasting of spring.

    1. Hi Bellen,

      Thanks for all of the good ideas. This recipe can include so many different things. It all sounds good.


  2. Ralph is a Carnivore like Frank, I send him real food for his lunches at work. Meals I cook and then portion into good sealed containers. The one thing that does not travel is salad so we have salads on his day off. I love the look and ease of your salad and am planning it for our Sunday dinner with the addition of cubed ham from a ham I baked at Christmas. I am already planning versions for the fresh vegetables from our garden! Kohlrabi would add nice crunch, and of course peppers and cherry tomatoes..YUM! Your basic and creative with what you have approach is a huge help to anyone who cooks!

    1. I hope your salad turned out good. They are so easy and very versatile.


  3. I love layered salads and I love your humor! So glad you shared your post on the HomeAcre Hop, do hope you come back this week to share anything post!
    The HomeAcre Hop

    1. Like Frank always says, "Humor is the essence of survival."
      Thanks, Nancy.