Support Salad Diversity this 4th of July!

IMG_1959Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Too Hot Mamas are spending the day together at Carolyn’s place with our families and friends.  There will be laughter.  There will be fireworks.  There will be FOOD.

As I avoid animal products 90% of the time (with a carnivorous husband and child, I have learned to flex that other 10%), I will be feasting on a vegan salad with vegan dressing.  My contribution to tonight’s buffet of delights, however, will be my family’s favorite salad with HOT TURKEY BACON AND BASIL DRESSING.

This dressing is low-fat and so dang good that my ten-year-old will eat any vegetable I soak in it.  That she will even sit down long enough to eat is a testimony to the wonderfulness of this recipe.  The dressing is from a homey little cookbook entitled Honest To Goodness Country Cooking by Arletta Lovejoy–who, not incidentally, won a National Chicken Cooking Contest in 1970 (note to Carolyn: I wonder if she ever entered the Pillsbury Bakeoff?).  I am reprinting her recipe here without permission, which probably isn’t legal, but that’s how much I love you people.

(Another Note: I just Googled the book. It’s available used on Amazon for 49.95.  If I can sell my copy for that much, I’ll make more than Carolyn and I are going to earn for the e-book we just spent six months writing, but I digress….)

Without further ado–and in the hope that someone named Lovejoy will not sue me–I offer for your picnic pleasure:

Hot Turkey Bacon and Basil Dressing

10 strips bacon (Arletta uses the real thing, God bless her; I use turkey bacon without nitrites.  Toss a little olive or coconut oil in the pan to get it crisp.) Fried crisp and cut into small pieces.

1 1/2 C granulated sugar

1 T cornstarch (Arrowroot is better.  Sorry, Arletta.)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard

2 T minced fresh basil (Arletta says 1 tsp.  Trust me, use 2 T. )

1 1/4 C water

1/2 C apple cider vinegar

Combine sugar, arrowroot, salt, mustard and basil.  Add water and vinegar.  Pour over bacon in the same pan you used to fry the bacon.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the dressing thickens.

My family–and every kid I’ve ever met– likes this best over a combo of spinach and “regular” (e.g. iceberg) salad.  Yummy with sliced baby portabella mushrooms, red pepper, crispy cucumbers, skinny-sliced red onion rings and sliced hard-boiled eggs.  I assemble the salad, drizzle a little ranch dressing across the top then douse with the bacon dressing.

If you serve this with challah bread, you will be loved and revered forever.

HAVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!

Wendy

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