The frozen chosen chow down

Just some of the salad bounty on our groaning board. Maybe you can see the homemade corn muffins in the foreground.

Have I mentioned how much we like to eat at First Prez in Statesville NC? No more than 30 or 40 times? Well, it’s something we are REALLY good at.

When, for instance, we had an after-church salad luncheon to welcome our minister back from a three-month sabbatical, I was expecting lettuce leaves and not much else. Well, we had too many substantial salads to count, plus an ice cream sundae bar.

Who leaves a salad bar stuffed? Presbyterians, that’s who. One of my favorite people even brought a Snickers salad which sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s real and even contains a wee bit of nutritious stuff.  I took Patricia Cornwell’s (used to work at the Charlotte Observer with her) wild rice salad and my cousin Susan’s wheat berry salad with feta and cucumbers. More importantly, I got the Snickers salad recipe from Pam N.

My salads were good, sturdy and  healthy. (My friend Pat S. said the wild rice dish was her favorite of the day so I had to give credit to the creator of medical examiner Kay Scarpetta). The Snickers salad, naturally, if the one I intend to make for Thanksgiving.

BTW, I have a new system for filing recipes which maybe will work. All you need if a couple of filing cabinet drawers, lots of hanging files and labels. I cut out or reprint the recipes I want to try and file them, which almost always leads to me making yet another folder because I realize I’ve been collecting a new category without realizing it. I try to file two to three times per week. You can pack away a passel of paper in 10 to 15 minutes.

When it’s time to think about menus/recipes for the week ahead, I go into appropriate folders and pull out two or three to try. I’m actually using some of the saved recipes, and we’re eating some new dishes. Win-win.

Just now, for instance, while looking for the Snickers recipes I found an old Southern Living clip — a harvest salad with cider vinaigrette that looks wonderful (red pears, dried apricots and figs and raisins, red onion, jicama, fresh spinach, toasted nuts and blue cheese crumbles). Think we’ll try it in a few days. Meanwhile, what does it say about my eating habits that the fattest folder by far is CAKES?

Patricia Cornwell’s wild rice salad with cashews

1 cup uncooked wild rice

4 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 cups chopped fresh sweet peppers, the more colorful the better

3/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, sliced

Dressing: 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

In colander, rinse wild rice. Drain well. In saucepan, bring rice and broth to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain any excess liquid. 

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil for sauteeing. Add peppers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add cashews and green onions. Keep on heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, or until nuts begin to brown. In salad bowl, combine wild rice with pepper-cashew mixture.

To make dressing, combine vinegar, oils, garlic, salt and pepper in jar with tight-fitting lid. Shade well and pour over salad, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Before you go hog-wild on this good-for-you (8 g protein, 3 g fiber) dish, know that a serving or one-sixth of the recipe contains 350 calories and 22 g fat (no cholesterol, though).  Of course, half of that (or even less) is what you’ll get at our church!

Despite the cost of wild rice, I could eat this every week

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snickers salad

1 8-ounce container whipped topping (use reduced-fat if you want to feel virtuous — hah!)

3 to 4 Granny Smith apples, washed, cored and diced

3 regulation-size Snickers bars, mashed into bits, which means some will fly onto your apron which means you’ll have to taste to make sure they’re OK

Mix the three ingredients and chill, covered, for an hour or two. Not much longer, though, or it can get runny.

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