Tonight was our “meatless Thanksgiving-type dinner” that I’ve been planning. We will temporarily set aside our vegetarianism on Thanksgiving and purchase an organic, humanely-raised turkey but in the meantime, I wanted to have a dinner with the usual Thanksgiving side dishes. One of my favorites is a layered salad. My dear friend Nancy gave me the recipe and it’s been a family favorite ever since. Here is the original recipe as she gave it to me:
1 head of lettuce, in bite sized pieces
1 cup of diced bell peppers
1 cup of diced celery
1 bunch of green onions, diced
4 hard boiled eggs (optional)
1 (6-10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas (not defrosted)
6 to 10 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
Layer in above order.
2 heaping tablespoons sugar, mixed into
2 cups mayonnaise, spread over salad.
2 cups grated cheese spread on top.
During my low-carb days I made this without the peas and substituted Splenda for the sugar. As vegetarians, I made it without the bacon. It was still really good but I must admit that bacon adds a nice touch. 😉 The only other changes I make are that I add Creole seasoning to the dressing (yeah, I know that comes as a surprise) and I use a little less onion. Today I used organic baby spinach in addition to the lettuce, mainly because I didn’t have a full head of lettuce and I needed to use up the spinach. You could also add other vegetables such as broccoli and shredded carrots.
I put the salad together this morning, covered it and put it in the refrigerator. It’s best made at least a few hours before serving so the flavors have a chance to meld.
And here is our dinner – mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, green bean casserole, corn on the cob and the layered salad. It was wonderful and we barely missed the turkey. Okay, the potatoes would have been even better with some turkey gravy, but all in all it was a good dinner and a nice change of pace. I thought I was serving pumpkin bread from the freezer for dessert but it turned out to be banana bread. Oh, well. It was still good. I had originally planned to make homemade rolls but the afternoon got away from me and as it was, we really didn’t need them.