Zesty Fruit Salad

This is a pretty simple but unique recipe for fruit salad, because of the lemon juice and zest, which give it a pleasant zing. Read More »

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Make Ahead Custom Salad Bar

This post will be showing you how to prepare a gourmet salad ahead of time. This is extremely helpful if you have other things to do on the day you make the salad, and don’t want to have to worry about cutting all the vegetables and other little necessities. In this solution, you will be cutting everything up the day before you plan to serve/eat the salad.

make-ahead-salad-main

Another benefit with cutting all the stuff up and putting them in separate containers is that you can let your family pick and choose, and essentially create their own custom salad.

If you don’t like the idea of cutting it up the day before, you can do it on the same day, but it is a good idea to make ahead of time the eggs, potatoes, and bacon.

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 eggs

2 Cups mini potatoes

4 pieces of bacon

3 medium tomatoes

2 bunches of romaine lettuce

2 cups mushrooms

1 cup garbanzo beans

1 bell pepper

1/2 a large cucumber

1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Your favorite vinaigrette or ranch dressing

 

ingredient note:

Mini potatoes are the easier, quicker way to go, but if you want to stick to regular potatoes, they will boil for longer, and you will have to dice each one into small salad-size pieces–which will take longer, but it certainly is another way to go.

 

DIRECTIONS:

To prepare eggs and potatoes, in two separate saucepans, one large, and one medium, put in water about ⅔ up the sides of the saucepans. Bring water to an almost boiling state in both. In the large saucepan, carefully place in all the eggs, and set the timer to 20 minutes. In the other saucepan, dump in the potatoes, and set timer to 20 minutes (or just the same time for both) or until potatoes are very soft. When done, take potatoes and eggs out of pan, discarding the water.

Once cool to touch, cut the potatoes in small bite size pieces, and peel eggs. Cut eggs once peeled into thin slices using a wire egg cutter, if you have one. Store potato pieces and egg pieces in two separate sealed plastic containers in fridge until chilled, and ready to use for salad.

To prepare bacon, heat a skillet over medium heat, and put the four pieces of bacon on. Sizzle on both sides until both sides are perfectly dark brown. Place bacon pieces on a paper towel, and press to remove extra grease. Cut bacon, once cool, into small pieces, as shown.

Store in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use.

Cut tomatoes in half inch chunks with a serrated knife, after washing, and also wash lettuce thoroughly, tear into small salad-size pieces, and place in a leaf-dryer, and turn fast until most of the water is wrung out.

Store tomatoes and lettuce in their own separate sealed containers in the fridge (don’t squish the lettuce), at least, if you are cutting these the day before you make the actual salad.

Wash mushrooms if they haven’t already been pre-washed, and cut lengthwise in thin strips.

Strain the garbanzo beans in a colander. and put in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use. Also put the mushrooms in their own container and place in fridge.

Wash half the cucumber. Chop cucumber width-wise as shown into circles. Cut these circles into quarters, and place in container in fridge until ready to use. Shred cheese using the shred attachment on your food processor, or do it by hand. Also store the cheese in a plastic container in fridge until ready to use.

Chop bell-peppers into small pieces as shown. Store in plastic container in fridge.

And you’re done!…almost. Remember to prepare your favorite ranch dressing or vinaigrette. You can buy them or make them. Here’s a good vinaigrette recipe to use: Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Just before you are ready serve your salad (i.e. before your guest arrive :), Take out all the containers you used to store your stuff in, and lay them out on the serving table, to give everyone an option of what exactly they want in their salad. Or, if you want to, you can just throw it all together in a large bowl before serving, it’s your choice.

See pictures below. See my original post on instructables.

eggs-boiling
Preparing the eggs…
potatoes-boiling
Preparing the Potatoes…
bacon-frying
…frying the bacon.

 

How to Make Egg Salad

Egg salad is the perfect snack, lunch, or breakfast. It can be eaten multiple ways: in sandwiches, with crackers, in wraps, or just by itself. On top of that, it is flavorful, and full of protein. And, it is very easy to make.

egg-salad-main

egg-salad-ingredients
INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS:

(serves 6)

10 eggs (approx. 1 week old)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

First, take your raw eggs, and place them in a large saucepan with water filled up about two inches. Bring quickly to a boil, and then remove pan from heat, and let the eggs finish cooking in the hot water for about another 15 minutes.

For more details see: How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs, which is a recipe I found helpful, or see this helpful instructable: Easy Hard Boiled Eggs.

When eggs are almost done through their rest/cook time, create an ice-bath in a large bowl.

When eggs are done cooking, dunk them immediately into the ice bath.

From the ice bowl, pick them out to peel them.

After the eggs have been peeled, place each into a wire egg-cutter, and cut one way, then flip egg around, and cut perpendicularly to your last cut. This will make your egg nicely diced.

Once your eggs have been nicely diced, throw all of them into a large bowl.

Throw in the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly until combined.

Now you have a nice bowl of flavorful, protein-packed egg salad. This can be put in lettuce wraps, in between two pieces of bread as a sandwich, eaten with crackers, or just consumed completely by itself.

Store in fridge when not consuming.