2013 – Gluten Free Living
You haven’t seen layered salads until you’ve seen mine! I don’t stop at the minimalist 7-layers like a lot of the recipes in the 1970s and 1980s were. No, my layered salads are about 20 layers deep! Everything but the kitchen sink is thrown into one of my layered salads. While my salad includes all the traditional stuff from a Seven-Layered Salad, it also has tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, red cabbage, yellow squash, water chestnuts, colorful bell peppers and cucumber. I also include raisins and green grape halves, compliments of Carolyn Allen who I used to cater meals with back in New England years ago. We made layered salads regularly for events because you could make the salad the night before serving. Everyone always loved this great recipe.
Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is yummy, delectable AND, get this–HEALTHY! That’s right, I don’t use mayonnaise or Miracle Whip any more for the salad dressing since I’m trying to stay away from preservatives, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, soy derivatives and the like. Instead, I start with Chobani’s vanilla Greek yogurt. Then I stir in a few tablespoons of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix Copycat Recipe, and Xylitol sweetener. So this recipe is also sugar free! While you can spread the dressing on the top of the salad like I’ve shown in the pictures, I think it’s more effective just making up the salad without the dressing and pouring this recipe over top when you’re ready to serve it. If you prefer, you can actually mix the Good Seasons dry dressing mix into a few tablespoons of white or red wine vinegar for a minute or two, stir it up a little and allow the vinegar to infuse the seasonings. Then add it with the xylitol to the yogurt. Either way works wonderfully.
While it is a little quicker opening a bottle of this or that-type of salad dressing, my healthy, gluten free salad dressing alternative has none of the preservatives, fillers, MSG or other harmful ingredients in most processed products–and it doesn’t take ALL that long to make either. If you’re looking for a creamy Italian-style dressing to serve over top of salads–whether they are layered salads, or not, then consider this very basic, yet healthy option. Our guests raved over this salad when I made it a week and a half ago for dinner. They thought the dressing on top was adequate, but I really liked my portion of Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad better by pouring more dressing over the top. But then, I prefer a little salad with my salad dressings!!!
If you’re stuck in the rut of only making 7 layers for your layered salad recipes, then consider making a 20+ layer like mine the next time you have company or want to take a salad to a potluck gathering. It’s a great way to use up garden produce, and I’ve even used chopped radishes, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and other veggies at times. This recipe calls for freshly grated romano cheese which is a really nice change to the standard cheddar cheese. Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is also gluten free if you make sure that your bacon is gluten free. No matter what veggies you have on hand, everything seems to work in this recipe–everything BUT the kitchen sink, that is!
Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is filled with all kinds of wonderful veggies.
Here’s a view of the top of the salad. You can see the bacon and romano cheese peeking out underneath the hard-boiled eggs and grape tomatoes.
Here’s a serving of Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad.
This amazing salad is filled with everything but the kitchen sink!
I liked serving the Healthy Italian Yogurt Dressing over top of the salad rather than adding it on top of the layers (though I did both).
Here’s what I did.
Place baby spinach spring mix in a LARGE serving bowl.
Add romaine lettuce and combine.
Add grated carrot.
Add shredded red cabbage.
Add diced celery.
Add diced red bell pepper.
Add julienned yellow squash.
Add julienned zucchini.
Add cucumber, peeled, sliced, and quartered.
Add cauliflower broken into really small florets.
Add broccoli, broken into really small florets.
Add raisins or golden raisins.
Add frozen peas.
Add sliced water chestnuts, drained.
Add green grape halves.
Mix 2 tbsp. Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix Copycat Recipe with the yogurt. Layer over top of the grapes.
Sprinkle xylitol sweetener over top. Or, Mix yogurt, Italian dressing mix and xylitol and place in container and pour over individual salad bowls when ready to serve.
Sprinkle with Romano cheese.
Add crumbled crisp-fried bacon.
Layer grape tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs cut in quarters over the top of the salad. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours before serving.
Here’s a side view of the salad bowl so you can see what the layers look like!
This healthy version of Layered Salad is low calorie and gluten free.
Doesn’t Healthy 24-Hour Salad look lovely?
Here’s a close up so you can see a lot of the salad ingredients.
I made an additional batch of the dressing to pour over the top of the salad once we served it.
Here’s the recipe.
HEALTHY 24-HOUR LAYERED SALAD
(Recipe inspired from Joyce Martin and Carolyn Allen, Baptist Convention of New England)
10-oz. baby spinach spring mix
10-oz. romaine lettuce
1/3 cup carrot matchstix
1/3 cup shredded red cabbage
3 ribs celery, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
½ large yellow crookneck squash, julienned
½ large zucchini squash, julienned
1 cucumber, peeled, sliced and quartered
2/3 cup small cauliflower florets
1 cup small broccoli florets
¾ cup frozen peas
8-oz. sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup green grapes, halved
½ cup golden raisins
12-oz. hickory smoked bacon, crisp fried and crumbled into small pieces
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 pt. grape tomatoes
5-oz. finely grated Romano cheese
2 batches Healthy Italian Yogurt Dressing (for this much salad)
Layer spring mix, romaine, carrots, cabbage, celery, red pepper, squashes, cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, water chestnuts, grapes, and raisins in a very large salad bowl. Partially prepare Healthy Italian Yogurt Dressing: Mix dry Italian dressing mix with yogurt. Spread over top of the salad. Sprinkle with Xylitol, then Romano cheese, then bacon pieces. Arrange tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs over top in whatever design you prefer. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Serves 12-15 large servings.
NOTE: This is a great salad to take to a potluck because you can make it the night before you need it. But it needs to be eaten within two days, so if you can’t eat this much in two days, and you’re not having company to help you eat it all, you may want to cut the recipe in half or leave off the salad dressing and portion it out individually.
HEALTHY ITALIAN YOGURT DRESSING:
(My own concoction)
2 cups Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. homemade Good Seasons Italian dressing mix copycat recipe
2 pkts. Xylitol
NOTE: I also recommend serving the salad dressing separately. Mix yogurt, dry Italian seasoning mix and xylitol. Refrigerate. After layering raisins on top of the salad, then sprinkle with Romano cheese, bacon, and arrange tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs over top. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, dish out individual portions of salad and pour the Healthy Italian Yogurt Dressing over top.
Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is great to make for company because it provides so many servings.
This salad is a fabulous way to use up garden produce or lots of veggies from your CSA.
Here’s another close up.
Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is also a fun way to get your kids to eat their veggies. Adding the grapes and raisins provide just a little bit of sweetness to make the salad interesting.
This salad is yummy!
Ready to serve. Come and get it!