May 16, 2009

Salad for a Crowd

I made this Asian Noodle Salad from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, for my family and my quilting friends on Thursday evening. Hubby and Son both liked it and several people asked for the recipe so I think it qualifies as a "keeper". It is colorful, crunchy and packed with healthy ingredients. I followed the recipe exactly (except I didn't add the seeds and membrane from the jalapenos in case my guests didn't like spicy food) and thought it was fabulous as is. When I make it again I'll try the following changes to make it even healthier and to spice it up a bit:
:: Substitute agave nectar for the brown sugar in the dressing
:: Add some of the seeds/membrane from the jalapenos to spice the dressing up a little
:: Try soba or some other healthier noodle instead of linguine
This recipe made a HUGE amount. I used my large roasting pan to mix everything together and ended up with two very large bowls full of salad. The next time, I'll make a full recipe of dressing and then just throw in whatever fresh veggies I have on hand in smaller portions for the salad. In my opinion, the cashews, noodles and cilantro are key ingredients.
Some other recipes I've tried from The Pioneer Woman Cooks are:
:: Scrumptious Apple Pie - to die for, and
:: Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Thingies - men love these and I've made them many, many times
If you have a minute, check out her blog. She shares loads of great recipes with step by step instructions and beautiful photograpy. And, she's super spunky and fun.