Tag Archives: salad

Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

I love a cold salad for summer supper.  It satisfies but you don’t feel stuffed.  This bright, fresh, seafood salad is one of my favorites.

pasta salad

Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

8 oz uncooked spiral pasta (I used Dreamfields)
1 package (8 oz) imitation crabmeat, chopped
½ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely diced pickles
¼ cup finely diced Vidalia onion
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbps ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Stevia (I used a splash of liquid Stevia)
salt and pepper to taste

photo (4)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice and seasonings. Set aside.

Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Gently combine crabmeat and sauce mixture with pasta. Chill for a couple of hours for the seasonings to blend.

*Optional additions: fresh chopped broccoli or cauliflower,  shredded cheese, cooked salad shrimp.

pasta salad2

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Olive Garden Salad

Did I mention how much I love salads

I really do!  

OG salad

This is another special salad I enjoy and got the recipe from my niece who makes it quite often.  When she serves this, she also serves Zuppa Soup (yum!) and breadsticks.  What a meal!

This is some of what you’ll need:


Doesn’t it look good already?!


1 (12 ounce) bag iceberg garden salad (I used iceberg lettuce)
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
6 -12 pitted black olives
3/4 cup pepperoncini pepper rings
1 -2 small roma tomatoes, sliced bite-size
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned croutons
freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

½ cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup White vinegar
1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Corn syrup (I use 1 Stevia packet)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
1 clove Garlic
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon Parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Sugar (optional -I use Stevia if I add this)

In a large glass or wooden salad serving bowl, toss together the lettuce,
onion slices, olives, pepper rings, tomatoes, and croutons. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste.





Toss with these unique bamboo salad hands.

Serve chilled.


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Yummy Homemade Chunky Chicken Salad

As I was home for lunch, I literally threw together some very delicious homemade chicken salad and served it on toasted bread.

I used about 1 1/2 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken, some diced pickles, chopped green onions (2), and maybe a 1/2 cup of mayo.  I salted and peppered to my taste.  And it was tasty.

To add a little zip to the flavor, I added about a tsp of dill pickle juice and one pack of a Stevia based sweetener.  I think this really brightened up the flavor.

It’s a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken and it was quick and easy, too!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you


Happy Birthday to one of my dearest friends, Laura!

Here’s a Lime Jello Salad I made

just in time for this holiday!

My Quick Lime Jello Salad

1 cup small curd full fat cottage cheese

1 small box of sugar free lime jello

1/2 cup of whipping cream

Dissolve jello in lightly beaten whipped cream, add the cottage cheese and mix well.  Pour into small container and chill until set.

* This is pretty rich and I’m only able to eat about 1/3 of a cup at a time.  It was nice for a quick treat, but nothing like Mom’s Lime Jello Salad with pineapple, marshmallows and nuts!  Her’s was the best.

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Layered Salad

I love a good salad!

And here’s one of my favorite salads…

A dressed layered salad

Here’s what you need…

Layer the salad…

I like to use my glass trifle dish when serving this salad.

Start by layering your greens (I used leafy lettuce and baby spinach), then the sliced veggies, ending with the dressing, bacon, and cheese, and sliced green onions.

Optional:  add sliced boiled eggs, English peas, sunflower seeds


For the dressing…

1 cup of mayo
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons granulated Splenda or sugar

Mix togther well and pour over the salad before topping with bacon, cheese, and sliced green onions.  Cover and chill before serving.

. . .

Smoked Turkey Salad

This is surprisingly yummy!

I say surprisingly because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.   After my hubby smoked the turkey breast,  it was a little on the dry side and not very tasty.


After sitting in the fridge overnight, it was better, but still dry.  I didn’t want to waste it so I got to searching for turkey salad recipes.


First of all, I pulled out my Joy of Cooking.  Sure enough, there was a Turkey Salad recipe in there and I had all the ingredients except curry powder.   I wasn’t sure I wanted curried turkey salad anyway, so being the Queen of Substitutions, I proceeded to make my own version.


I sliced, then chopped the smoked turkey breast into small chunks.


I ran the turkey breast and onions through the food processor, then dumped it into a mixing bowl.

I then added mayo, honey mustard, raisins, chopped pecans, celery seed, salt and pepper.  I even threw in a dash of nutmeg.


If only I had some leafy green lettuce to put it on!  I didn’t, so I proceeded to put it on some honey wheat bread and had some plain Lays potato chips to go with it.  Yum!


My daughter ate it with Ritz crackers and loved it!


(Sorry for the poor picture quality.  Time was short.)

Smoked Turkey Salad
2 cups chopped smoked turkey breast
2 tablespoons diced onion
3/4 cup mayo
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon celery seed (or chopped celery if you have it)
dash of salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
Mix all together in a medium size bowl.  Serve on lettuce with crackers or on a toasted bun or bread.

Note:  This was better the next day, so maybe chilling in the fridge first to let the flavors blend makes a difference.
* To reduce carbs, use regular or spicy mustard, remove the raisins, and if you like it a little sweeter add a small package of Splenda or sweetener of your choice.



Handyman’s Jambalaya

What’s that famous saying...”Make Jambalaya.  They will come.”

Just kidding.  I made that up.

Nevertheless, it’s true!  This is some good stuff.


Sausage and chicken thighs simmering in the dutch oven.


Here we added the peppers, onions, and spices.


Right after adding the chicken broth, tomato paste, and rice.


….and the finished dish…



6 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
1 lb polish or Cajun spiced smoked sausage
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste

oil for cooking meat, maybe 1 tablespoon

spices, 1-2 dashes of each:
salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, cajun spice, chili powder,

3 cups chicken stock or boullion
3 cups instant rice (long grain will work, adjust the liquid)

In a large dutch oven add the oil and over med- high heat, cook the chicken and sausage until done.  You might need to check the chicken to be sure after about 20 minutes.

Add the chopped pepper, onion, and spices.  Continue cooking until the veggies appear to be tender, maybe another 10-15 minutes, watch carefully and stir often to avoid sticking.

Pour in the chicken broth and add the rice.  Cook until the rice is tender.  Let set for about 10 minutes before serving.

COOK’S NOTE:  If you’re watching your carb intake, you may substitute “riced” cauliflower for the white rice.  It’s just as yummy!



Stay tuned for a wonderful Smoked Turkey Salad that is perfect for Spring and a super easy, delicious Jam Bar recipe that makes a wonderful treat for any time of the day!


Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt Dressing

A few nights ago, my girls wanted to to make an easy treat for our dessert.  

We were out of a few ingredients, but managed to put together this tasty fruit salad bowl.   This fruit salad is a great choice for dessert or even breakfast. (oops, pic is before the dressing)


By Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.



Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Yogurt Dressing

2 cups plain yogurt

2 tablespoons good honey

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla bean, optional

1/2 orange, juiced

1 banana, sliced

1/2 pint fresh blueberries

1/2 pint fresh raspberries

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1 bunch seedless green grapes, halved

Combine the yogurt, honey, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean seeds in a bowl and set aside. Combine the orange juice and banana slices in a separate bowl. Add the berries and grapes and gently mix the fruit mixture together. Spoon the fruit into serving bowls and top with the yogurt.


Steak and Onion Salad with Creamy Homemade Dressing


I like to use leftovers and I love salads!

What better way to use up the leftover grilled ribeye steak than on a bed of crispy salad greens and top it with homemade salad dressing, shredded cheddar cheese, and bacon pieces?

We had some leftover steaks  that kinda cooked longer than we like’m to, (it wasn’t quite as “done” as it looks in these pics, really) so I decided to make Steak and Onion Salad.

Usually I stir-fry a cheaper cut of steak for this dish.  Sometimes I sauté the onions or sometimes I used fresh green onions or sliced Vidalias.  Sometimes I even throw both on there!  I’m liking onions, okay?

Sorry, there’s no real recipe for this.   I just throw together a salad using my favorite salad ingredients, top it with the grilled steak, dressing, and peppercinis.

Steak and Onion Salad with Creamy Homemade Dressing (Lower Carb)

Your favorite salad greens: baby lettuces, radicchio, endive, butter…
I used Fresh Express prepackaged.
Shredded cheddar cheese
real bacon pieces
cucumbers, peeled, sliced, quartered (my DD did this 🙂 )
sliced radishes
grape tomatoes, quartered
sliced yellow onion or green onions
sliced peppercinis.
steak, grilled or stir-fried and sliced into strips
To serve: Toss tomatoes, cucumbers and salad greens and other salad ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Place portions in individual salad bowls.  Add steak and onions.  Serve dressing alongside.
Ok, don’t laugh, this is not a fancy-schmancy recipe, I usually just throw together some type of mayo based salad dressing.  I can’t stand the bottled stuff.  Not sure if this is kinda like a homemade Thousand Island, maybe?  Nevertheless, it’s pretty good.  🙂
Creamy Homemade Dressing
1/2 cup mayo
1 T Heinz LC ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1 T peppercini juice
a dash of spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 pkt Splenda, optional (if you prefer a sweeter dressing)
Mix all together in a small bowl.  If you prefer a thinner dressing, add some water or milk.


For a great low carb dessert, what about Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Pie?