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Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, shares simple meatless salad recipes inspired by old family favorites.

A few weeks ago I wrote about tomatoes and a gaudy red necklace: The Color of Love. It was about a day several years back when I felt my grandmother’s presence peeking in from her eternity.

I have a few of her favorite recipes, written in her own hand, at the back of my own small 5 x 8” 3-ring cookbook — the same size and style as hers. When we lived together, every Friday was meatless (I was born in 1954), and so salads were a big part of our weekly abstinence. Her favorites were three-bean or broccoli salads, and it seemed every family had those, especially at potlucks! Our little family was no different.

Here are just a couple of alternatives to those two favorites:

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 ½ c (1 can) black beans, rinsed and drained
¾ c frozen corn, rinsed under hot water to break freeze
1 to 1 ½ c mild salsa (or if you prefer, hot)
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained and loosely chopped
1 c chopped sweet onion, Vidalia is best
½ c chopped celery
1 tbl fresh diced cilantro (optional), if you MUST use dried, add 1 tsp flakes

Combine all ingredients, toss, and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 5 days.

Jicama (HEE-ka-ma) Salad

1 c mixed brown rice cooked in 2 c water, fluff and let cool (white rice is perfectly fine)
1 c walnuts coarsely chopped
¼ c Vidalia onion
1 c. golden raisins
1 small jicama, julienned
1 lemon rind curled or grated
3 tbl fresh lemon juice (this is approximately one whole lemon)
3 tbl sugar
2 garlic cloves minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1/3 c. vegetable or olive oil
¼ c water

Combine first five ingredients with cooled rice. Mix together remaining ingredients, blending well, and pour over rice mixture. Best flavor when served at room temperature. Keeps for up to 5 days.

BONUS: Grandma’s Sweet and Sour Chopped Salad Dressing

A chopped salad is any combination of vegetables you have on hand, equaling 3-4 cups when diced. My favorite combination is a cucumber, a ripe home grown full of flavor tomato (or a handful of tiny ones cut up), a red bell pepper, half a Vidalia onion, and a few stalks of fresh parsley. You could use a combination of frozen green beans, kidney beans, corn, and celery. Really, most anything works — except radishes. Definitely not radishes.

1/3-1/2 c apple cider vinegar (some are stronger than others so go with the lesser amount if you’re unsure of the flavor)
1/3 c vegetable oil (NOT olive oil)
½ c sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper or ¼ tsp pepper flakes

Mix really well and pour over chopped veggies. Chill and serve. A chopped salad usually only keeps for about 3 days.


Maybe you have a favorite family recipe you could share here at CatholicMom!

And let us pray:

Lord, you have given us the gifts of family and food. Your own Mother Mary prepared foods in a way handed down to her from her mother; you three sat together and shared in the goodness of those meals. We too share our food together to nourish both body and soul, all from your bountiful earth. You have blessed us Our Lord, and we thank you. Amen.

For #MeatlessFriday, simple salad recipes inspired by old family favorites. #catholicmom

Copyright 2020 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB
Image: Pixabay (2019)