Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Salads for the Brown Bag

With my husband commuting to work, and working out of town every week, we make lots of cold lunches.  On days when he is in his office, I can send leftover foods, as he has access to a microwave oven.  On the days when he is in the oilfields, he has to have foods that are good cold.  There are no cafe`s or mini marts in the remote areas where he goes.  I have to have salads and deli type foods on hand to send with him. 
Being Polish, my husband loves kraut, so I am making this salad to send with him.  It is a very old fashioned one, and often served at branding or picnic meals as it stands the heat well, and has no mayo. 

Kraut Salad

2 C sugar
1 t caraway seed
1 t salt
1  quart/jar sauerkraut drained and rinsed
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped or grated

In a saucepan, heat sugar celery seed and salt over medium high heat until it boils.  Boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat.  The sugar will melt, and make it's own liquid.  Cool before adding it to remaining ingredients.  Best if refridgerated overnight, or at least a couple hours. (Can't be made with splenda, it gets bitter when you cook it too long)

This carrot salad is an old time favorite also.  You can keep this in the refridgerator for up to two or three weeks.  I haven't made it in a long time, so it will be a welcome substitute for the same old same old.

Copper Penny Salad

2 # peeled and sliced carrots
1 large green pepper seeded and chopped
1 onion grated
1 small can Campbells Tomato Soup
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C sugar or splenda
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1 t Worchestershire
1 t stone ground mustard
1/2 t dried thyme
salt and white pepper to taste

Cook carrots in water to cover and a pinch of salt until tender crisp.  Drain and rinse.  In a large bowl combine cooked carrots with green pepper and onion.  In the same saucepan now empty, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Pour soup over vegetables and refridgerate for at least 24 hours. 

Don likes potato salad, so I often make my mother's salad

Mother's Potato Salad

6-8 potatoes, peeled and diced
4 eggs
1/2 onion grated
2 whole dill pickles diced finely
3 T yellow mustard
3/4 C mayonnaise
salt and white pepper to taste
dust top of finished salad with sweet paprika

Cover peeled and diced potatoes with cold water, and nestle in eggs in the top of the pan.  They will get hard boiled while the potatoes cook. Cover and bring to a boil.  Potatoes are done when the fall easily when stabbed with a fork.  Drain and remove boiled eggs to a bowl of cold water. 
In a large bowl mix cooled, peeled and crumbled eggs with drained potatoes and remaining ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with a dusting of paprika. 
My mother always uses white pepper in cold salads.  It makes a prettier dish without the black flakes of pepper. 

I don't make jello often, but this old fashioned jello is so tasty,  I remember eating this when I was little.  It was originally made with red hot candies, but I am not able to find them anymore.  I use hot tamale candies instead.
Red Hot Apple Salad

1 C hot tamale candies chopped
1 C boiling water
1 3 oz package of sugar free cherry jello
1 C unsweetened applesauce
pinch of cayenne pepper

Add candies to boiling water and stir until they dissolve.  You may need to nuke them for a minute to get all to melt.  Strain out any unmelted bits if you like. Stir in gelatin until it dissolves, and then add applesauce.  Pour into a square baking dish, and chill until set. 

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