Bring Summer salad to holiday celebrations in honor of the fallen

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, May 23, 2015

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This weekend, our nation celebrates Memorial Day, a holiday to honor the men and women who have died in service to their country to protect the freedoms we all enjoy.
Originally known as “Decoration Day,” the holiday originated following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
When the tradition first began, family members and even entire communities would turn out to hold memorial services and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers in tribute to their sacrifice.
While some still carry on the tradition of visiting cemeteries to participate in clean ups and decorations, many Americans now celebrate the holiday with family gatherings and cookouts. In recent years, the holiday has come to symbolize the beginning of summer.
While it is important not to forget the reasoning behind the holiday, I also think family gatherings can be a fitting tribute to the sacrifices of the fallen. They died protecting the right of all Americans to live their lives with their families in peace.
Many family gatherings for the holiday include picnics and cookouts, and what get together is complete without a salad of some sort? This week I am sharing with you some salad recipes to try out at your next get together.

Poppy Seed Fruit Salad
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup limeade concentrate
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 cup fresh strawberries, capped and quartered
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cubed seedless watermelon
1/4 cup slivered almonds
In a bowl, combine the honey, limeade concentrate and poppy seeds. In a serving bowl, combine the fruits. Drizzle with honey mixture and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with almonds.

Pepperoni Pizza Salad
You can play around with this recipe to add your favorite pizza toppings if you like.
10 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 medium green peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (3 1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup seasoned croutons
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, green peppers, cheese, pepperoni and onions.
In a small bowl, combine the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, basil and pepper; mix well. Pour over tomato mixture and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours. Top with croutons just before serving.

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BLT Macaroni Salad
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 1/4 cups diced celery
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
5 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
several lettuce leaves
Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, green onions, tomato and celery. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over macaroni mixture and toss to coat.
Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, add bacon and toss to mix. Serve in a lettuce lined bowl.

Deli Delight Pasta Salad
1 package (16 ounces) tricolor spiral pasta
2 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and julienned
8 ounces sliced salami, julienned
8 ounces provolone cheese, julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bottle (8 ounces) zesty Italian salad dressing
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes, salami, provolone cheese, onion, olives and Parmesan cheese. Add dressing and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.