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Salads and Toppings

Green Salads and toppings

Salads are a favorite around here in the summer. The cool crisp crunch of the salad just hits the spot when it's hot out. Besides being a superb meal they are nutricious and quick and easy to fix.

One of the things I truly love about salads is how many ways you can make a salad. So many toppings and so many different tastes out there. If you want to offer salad as a meal for any event, don't worry.. toppings are easy to make or buy and you can offer a variety to your guests to suit every taste!

If you want to have a party and offer salads consider including a salad tray with several different toppings and don't forget the crunchy add-ons that makes each salad personalized and tasty!

A variety of salad greens is nice along with a wide selection of favorite veggies.
Here are some suggestions for making your salad meal special.

Greens,
Fresh spinach is always a winner.. Iceberg lettuce, rommaine lettuce, butterhead lettuce, arugula are a few of my favorites
A great site for learning about a variety of salad greens is here
http://gardening.about.com/od/vegetablepatch/a/Lettuce_2.htm

Vegetables added to your basic greens can add even more nutrition and texture as well as color and just plain ole good taste! Salad Vegetable add-ins can include great veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower, carrots, radishes, jicama, celery and bok choy, avocado, cucumbers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, peppers, sprouts, tomatos, fresh squash, water chestnuts, endive, fresh peas, asparagus and any other things you've enjoyed on a salad :)

Some of the tasty crunchy toppings I've enjoyed include this great variety...
Ramen soup noodles crushed
chow mein noodles, chopped
nuts of your choice, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, almonds
sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, fried soy nuts
crispy bacon pieces
crushed french fried onions
crushed funyuns
dried onion flakes
dried pepper flakes
dried carrot flakes
dried tomato flakes
toasted sesame seeds
crispy fried wonton strips flavored
crispy fried salted tortilla strips
crispy fried green beans
(flavorings can include, ranch, taco, wasabi, italian, tobasco, barbecue, salt, salt and pepper, lemon, garlic, citrus ect..)

Fruit can also be great on salads,
Craisins, strawberries, grapes, mango, papaya, lemon and limes, pineapple, apple, oranges, raisins, blueberries, pears, just about any fruit you like can be included in different salads.

Great meat toppings are easy to fix or you can buy them ready to go on the salads. These can include meats such as ham, turkey, chicken, crab, shrimp, crunchy fried chicken strips cut up, calamari, crumbled bacon, pepperoni, salami, fish, anchovies, salmon, even fajita strips of beef or chicken are great on some salads!

Don't forget the great variety of cheese you can include. We've used shredded and cubed cheese and there are so many I won't even attempt to name all of them but some of my favorites include Edam, Cheddar, Mozzarella, American, Blue and depending on the salad occasionally Pepper jack cheese. Feta seems to be very popular but I haven't tried that myself (yet)

Now serving salads can also be done in a varied of ways... Try serving them in a vegetable shell such as a scooped out tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, squash, or even a pumpkin (which I love to bake stew in). You can also serve them in tortilla bowls.

However you serve them offering your guests a variety of toppings makes them feel like you appreciate their different tastes and they will enjoy their meal even more.

Soon I'll post several recipes up for pasta salads and also dressings that you can make yourself. Keep an eye out for those topics. As always I hope you have a great week!

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