Three-Bean Salad

This 1950’s classic should never be forgotten. My family loves it, so will yours. Here’s my version.

1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. celery seed (NOT celery salt)
1/4 cup canola oil

2 ribs celery, chopped
1 green pepper, diced or sliced
1 small red onion, diced or sliced
1 15-oz. can kidney beans – drained & rinsed
1 15-oz. can green beans – drained & rinsed
1 15-oz. wax beans (OR use another can of green) – drained & rinsed

Kosher salt & black pepper to taste

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, dry mustard and celery seed in a medium to larger sized bowl. Drizzle in the oil while you are whisking – this forms a smooth dressing. Add the chopped celery, green pepper and onion.

Get out your colander to drain and rinse contents of all the beans. Add them to the bowl and gently toss around and season with the black pepper and kosher salt. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge for at least 6 hours. The longer the better because you want these flavors to meld.


Deli-Style Potato Salad

This is a simple, straight-forward potato salad, which is how we like it at our house. Feel free to add more or different veggies as you like or a bit of chopped up dill or sweet pickle/relish.

5-lb. bag of potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
1 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (Not olive oil)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1 cup mayonnaise (I only use Hellman’s Regular)
1 tsp. celery salt
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped carrots – (optional, sometimes I just omit)

Place the potato chunks in a large pot and just cover with cold water. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt in. Boil until they’re JUST tender – approximately 12-14 minutes. (You don’t want them mushy). Drain and gently mix and then spread them out on a cookie tray to cool down a bit; if you leave them in the colander they will definitely get mushy.

While the potatoes are cooling off somewhat, whisk the sugar with the vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil, and salt & pepper. Set aside.

Place the potatoes into a large bowl. Pour the vinegar & oil mixture over the warm potatoes and mix very gently. Let them sit like that for about 30 minutes. When 30 minutes are up – whisk together the mayo and celery salt.

Gently stir the carrots and then the mayo dressing into the potatoes. If you like your potato salad semi-room temperature, then serve now; otherwise place plastic wrap over and chill until serving time – chilling makes for a much better taste.

Fresh Onion Salad

red-onions.jpgPrepare this salad to top sandwiches, soups, stews, rice. . . the possibilities!

1 large red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (do not use vegetable oil)
1 Tbsp. white or rice vinegar
Sprinklings of kosher salt & ground black pepper

Slice the onion into rings as thinly as possible. Separate the rings and place in a large non-plastic bowl, then pour very cold water over. Place in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, and change the water every hour for 2 hours. Drain well, wipe out bowl, then place back into bowl or use a smaller one.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and salt & pepper. Pour over the onions and let marinate on the counter, covered, for at least 1 hour. Serve.

Amanda’s Macaroni Salad

Another great macaroni salad whereas the flavor improves if you make it at least four hours ahead of time.  A minimalists macaroni salad.

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 Tbs. vegetable (canola oil)
1/2 a green pepper, seeded & diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/4 a red onion, peeled & diced
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh, ground, black pepper OR 1 tsp. ground

Cook, drain, rinse pasta with cold water until it has cooled off; drain again and place into bowl.  Add the oil, peppers, celery, onion and mix well.  Add the celery salt, garlic powder and chopped parsley and mix well again. Add the mayo, salt & pepper, and mix very, very well to combine.  Cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge until serving.  Mix well again before serving.


A true, delicious classic and something we eat all summer long. I like the shredded cabbage pieces smaller so to achieve this I give it a whirl in the food processor for a few seconds; the choice is yours.

1 bag of coleslaw mix
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s)
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. minced garlic (from the jar)
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Into a medium sized bowl, plop the coleslaw mix, then separately whisk together all other ingredients and stir/fold/mix until well mixed. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill. Serve.

Macaroni Salad

This is straightforward and very adaptable to any other veggies you may wish to add. Reminder: tomatoes & cucumbers don’t adapt well in a salad that is kept stored – they get mushy. Serve them on the side or add them at the last minute before serving.

1 lb. box of elbow or small shell macaroni
1 cup mayonnaise (I only use Hellmann’s)
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard – (don’t use plain mustard)
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain & cool it under cold running water. Drain well. Place in a large bowl.

In separate small bowl, whisk the mayo, mustard, sugar, garlic, salt & pepper. Mix well into pasta; taste and adjust, if needed. Add the celery, carrots and/or any other veggies you want. Refrigerate it now or you can serve it now.

See my “A Few Tid Bits” Category for trying it with wheat pasta.

Creamy Cucumbers

A different take on the run of the mill marinated cucumbers. This is delicious and tastes even better the next day – if you have leftovers.

2-3 cucumbers
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
Kosher salt to taste

Peel the cucumber and slice them as very thin. Spread them out on cookie sheets that have been lined with some paper towels to dry out for about one hour. Mix all the remaining ingredients together, place all the cucumbers in a medium bowl, blend in the dressing and chill for a bit before serving.

Pasta Chicken Salad

Easy, good, quick and you probably won’t have leftovers. Serve some crusty, kicked up bread – such as garlic – on the side, and perhaps some steamed broccoli. A perfect light lunch or dinner.

1 lb. elbow (or other small shape pasta) cooked, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup sliced black olives
3 Heaping Tbsp. grated Parmesan, or Pecorino Romano cheese
3-4 cooked & diced thin chicken cutlets
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. of creamy Italian dressing

Combine everything in a large bowl and mix well. Chill for at least 30 minutes then serve.

Broccoli Slaw

This is what you do with those bags of broccoli slaw found near the bags of lettuce and coleslaw at your grocer. Add a sprinkling of nuts (walnuts, pine nut, pecans) whatever you wish to bump it up another notch.  Oddly, this went quite well with egg salad sandwiches.

1 pkg. broccoli slaw mix
2 pkgs. chicken flavored Raman noodles
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pkgs. of the seasoning pkgs from the Raman noodles

Into a large bowl add:  slaw mix, broken up raw noodles.  Into a separate small bowl:  mix the sugar, oil, vinegar, and chicken flavor pkgs. – whisk this together thoroughly then pour on top of the ingredients in the large bowl.  Mix and toss well.  Keep in fridge overnight or at least 8 hours.

Sweet Potato Salad with Mustard

img_0164.jpgSadly, some folks only eat these potatoes during the holiday season. They’re sure missing out, but you don’t have to. Try this salad and surprise yourself and family!

2 large sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 tsp. white or unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
4 scallions, sliced thin

Peel the potatoes and cut in half lengthwise, then into wedges, then cut the wedges into pieces about 1 inch thick – basically you wanna cut these potatoes into little chunks. In a large pot over boiling water, place the potatoes in a steamer, covered, for about 12 minutes – until just tender.

While potatoes are steaming, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt & pepper the add the oil in a slow stream whisking it well until it is emulsified.

Add the hot potatoes to the dressing and toss gently, but well to combine. Cool for about 15 minutes, add the scallions and more salt & pepper to taste and toss again gently.