Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Summer Salad Extravaganza - Featuring Macaroni and Asian Noodle Salad

I almost feel guilty writing about this with our late spring weather being so warm.

Here's a shot of our tomatoes and newly planted vegetable and herb beds soaking up the early morning sun.

If you look closely, you can see tender shoots of swiss chard, purple beets, and succulent spinach emerging from the ground to bask in the warmth of the sun.

The things I will be cooking this summer! My mouth waters in anticipation...

Life in all its glory is truly magical.

But even if the weather's been cool in your neck of the woods, as spring turns to summer that chill will eventually leave the air - and when it does, you're gonna want what I have to share:

Two KILLER recipes for salads - one for macaroni and the other for an Asian Inspired Noodle salad. Both are tried and true crowd pleasers, guaranteed to have people ooohing and ahhing over your kitchen witchery and begging for the recipes.

Both get better with time so feel free to make them in the mornig or even the day before, pack them into an air tight container and let the magic begin!

So without further ado...

Onward to the recipes!

The Best Damn Macaroni Salad - EVAH!


People, I swear to you, I've made a lot of macaroni salad over the years and this recipe wins "Best In Class."

Don't believe me?

Well, try it out and prove me wrong.


I double dog dare ya.

To make this wonderful salad you will need...

* 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
* 3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
* 3 green onions, chopped
* 3 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
* 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
* 1/2 tbsp sweet relish
* 2 cups creamy salad dressing (e.g. Miracle Whip)
* 3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 2 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar
* 3/4 teaspoon celery salt

Now make some magic...

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, onion, celery, red pepper, pickles and relish.

In a small bowl, stir together the salad dressing, mustard, white sugar, vinegar, and celery salt. Pour over the vegetables, and stir in macaroni until well blended.

Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. The longer you chill this one, the better it gets!


Okay, so promise you'll give it a try and take that salad along to your next barbecue, potluck, or picnic - but just don't hate me now because I'm going to totally confuse you...

How? You ask.

Well, it's like this.

As promised, I have another salad to share that is sooooo good you're gonna want ta lick the bowl after you're finished eating.

Once you have this recipe in your arsenal you won't know what salad to bring!

But at the risk of making enemies, I'm gonna share it anyways...

Open Sesame Pasta Salad


The nutty and fragrance of sesame blends beautifully with soy sauce, sugars, and oil to create a velvety dressing bursting with Asian flavour. Poured over your favourite pasta, chicken and veggies, the combination of flavours and textures will cast a spell on all who try it...

To conjure, you will need:

* 1/4 cup sesame seeds
* 1 (16 ounce) package of your favourite pasta
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
* 1/3 cup light soy sauce
* 1/3 cup rice vinegar
* 1 teaspoon sesame oil
* 3 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/3 cup chopped celery
* 1/3 cup chopped green onion
*1 cup craisins
*1 cup toasted almonds
*1 can madarin slices

Now say Abracadabra, celebrate the Fabulosity and...

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds, and cook stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain pasta, and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger, and pepper. Shake well.

Pour sesame dressing over pasta, and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, celery, craisins, mandarin slices, toasdted almonds and green onions.

Let this one sit for a few hours prior to serving, have a glass of wine and toast the God's for creating world so richly filled with texture, smells, and taste.

It's all about everyday magic friends...

Until next time



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  1. Both look yummy and easy! I am going to try them both. Thanks Mavelicious!

  2. What do you have the mesh over your garden? Critters?

  3. Oh, I envy your garden!!!

    Question: sesame oil....I use "roasted". Do you?

    Thanks for the delicious recipes. Alec is into ANYTHING with the word "ginger" in it!

  4. I think hubby would love the Asian one! Still waiting for things in my garden to sprout!

  5. I am so excited to see your raised garden beds! I am in love with gardening--I can't believe all the food we are able to get out of the ground on our own. I think I went a bit too lettuce crazy this year, but my chickens will appreciate it :)
    Even mom did veggie gardens this year. She made a very cool raised bed on legs!--no bending over. I want one next to my driveway.

  6. Hey all :-)

    I am proud of my beds, and like Angelnina, I'm crazy about gardening!

    Jinx, yes, use toasted sesame oil.

    Happy eating!

  7. For the asian salad: you said celery SALT, do you mean celery seed???? I don't think I ahve ever seen celery salt???? Thanks!!!

  8. Celery salt - but you could use celery seed. If you do, just add a 1/2 tsp salt.

    You can buy celery salt in the spice aisle, though, It's pretty inexpensive.

  9. Don't mean to forgo giving props to those salads (my mouth is watering just looking at them) but what I'm really impressed with is your garden. It rocks! I'm such a garden admirer. It's giving me stored inspiration to one day have one of my own. Can't wait to see your creations as you add a pinch of this and a dash of that to the fruits (veggies) of your labor:)