2013 – Gluten Free Living
Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad is awesome! 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! But if you prefer another sweetener like honey, Truvia, or even sugar, then those can also be stirred into the dressing when you make it.
If you’re not overly concerned with health and prefer a great taste instead, then I recommend using Miracle Whip instead of the yogurt and eliminate the Good Seasons dry mix entirely. Then sprinkle 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar over top. That’s the original recipe and it can’t be beat, even though I keep trying healthier options.
I usually spread the dressing on the top of the salad like I’ve shown in the pictures, but you can also make up the salad without the dressing and pour it over top of the salad 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. If you don’t care for Xylitol, Splenda, Truvia, honey or sugar can be substituted.
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!
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. If you’re using honey then combine it with the dressing mix and then spread over top. You will need TWO batches of dressing for a salad of this size. I ended up adding more dressing on my salad once I had served it on my plate. If you don’t care for Xylitol, you can use Truvia, Sugar or honey.
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!
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, (or sweetener of your choice) then Romano cheese, then bacon pieces.
- Arrange tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs over top in whatever design you prefer.
- Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
- 2 cups Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp. homemade [url href=”http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2013/09/22/good-seasons-italian-dressing-mix-copycat-recipe/” target=”_blank” title=”good seasons italian dressing mix copycat recipe”]Good Seasons Italian dressing mix[/url]
- 2 pkts. Xylitol or sweetener of your choice, or ¼-1/3 cup honey
- Mix ingredients together and spread over Healthy 24-Hour Layered Salad recipe during the layering process. Or set aside and spoon over servings of layered salad as you desire.
This salad is a fabulous way to use up garden produce or lots of veggies from your CSA.
Here’s another close up. If you don’t like sweeteners like xylitol, splenda or truvia, then mix honey or real maple syrup into the dressing instead.
This salad is yummy! The grapes and raisins add a little sweetness to this salad. 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).
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