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7 Simple Salads- 7 days a week!!

Volume #022


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Feature Article: 7 Simple Salads
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The new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbooks are here!

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If you love or hate okra, read this


Feature Article-
7 Simple Salads - 7 Days a Week

By Cassandra Harrell

Nothing captures the true essence of summer like making a healthy salad. In the pass, salads were often served as a appetizer before a large meal, but not any more.

You can make just about any type of salad imaginable with numerous ingredients including meats, chesses, pasta, and vegetables-- the possibilities are endless. You can also add ingredients to your taste, and salads can easily be turned into an entire meal just by adding some protein.

Salads are also the perfect opportunity to use up leftover ham, turkey, beef, tuna, and vegetables. Beat the summer heat with a cool and refreshing salad. This time of year, you can purchase wonderful, ripe produce which are always plentiful from the farmer’s market and road side stands.

And don’t forget to try new salad dressings for your salads. This prevents getting into a salad slump by using the same old dressing. You can also spice up your salads with a dash of seasoning from your pantry.

Below are seven (7) simple summer salad recipes to get you started and these salads can be made into an entire meal just by adding your favorite protein. Try one today!


Monday Salad -
BLT Salad with Basil Dressing

1/2 pound bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 slices French bread, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound romaine lettuce -
rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved bacon drippings, mayonnaise, vinegar and basil and let dressing stand, covered, at room temperature.

In a large skillet over medium heat, toss the bread pieces with the salt and pepper. Drizzle with the oil, continue tossing and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown.

In a large bowl mix together the romaine, tomatoes, bacon and croutons. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

- Tuesday Salad -
Green Bean & Feta Salad

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
1 sweet onion, peeled
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 dash hot sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Thinly slice the onion and place into a colander over the sink. Add the cleaned green beans to a large pot of boiling water and boil until crisp tender (about 4 minutes). When the beans are done, drain the water into the colander to slightly cook the onions. Immediately rinse all in cold water to stop the cooking process.

For the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, rice wine vinegar, cider vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add beans, onions and cheese and stir until combined. Place in a nonreactive container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

- Wednesday Salad -
Tri-Pepper Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 orange bell pepper, julienned
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, orange pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper and cheese. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.

- Thursday Salad -
Blackberry Spinach Salad

3 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1 pint fresh blackberries
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup edible flowers (optional)

In a large bowl, toss together baby spinach, blackberries, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and walnuts. Garnish with edible flowers.

- Friday Salad -
Spinach & Strawberry Salad

2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

-- Saturday Salad -
Pasta Chick Pea Salad

1 (16 ounce) package rotelle pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped oil-cured olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside to chill.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium low heat. Add the olives, oregano, parsley, scallions and chick peas. Cook over low for about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl toss the pasta with the chick pea mixture. Add the vinegar, grated cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit in refrigerator overnight. When ready to serve taste for seasoning and add more vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.

- Sunday Salad -
Curry Pasta Salad

1 (8 ounce) package uncooked tri-color spiral pasta
1 teaspoon curry powder
salt to taste
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 apple - peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup firm tofu, crumbled
3 tablespoons pine nuts

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain.

In a large bowl, combine the curry powder, salt, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat. Then add the apple, sultanas or raisins, green onion, carrots, tofu and nuts. Mix well. Serve and enjoy!

Salad Recipes are from

Largest salad
On September 29, 2007, Pulpí, in Almería (province), Spain tossed the world's largest salad, with 14,740 pounds of lettuce, tomato, onion, pepper and olives, supervised by 20 cooks over 3 hours. A Guinness World Records judge was present to confirm the new record. The salad was prepared in a container 59 feet long and 15.7 feet wide. Can you imagine that!


SOUL FOOD COLUMN - Salad Dressings - A Real Boost for Salads

Green salad can be served with many kinds of dressing and adds a real boost for salads. Some examples include:

Balsamic vinegar
Caesar dressing
Creamy mayonnaise or yoghurt-based dressings
Bleu cheese or blue cheddar dressing
Louis dressing
Ranch dressing
Russian dressing
Honey Dijon
Thousand Island dressing

Oil and vinegar, lemon, or soy sauce based dressings:
French dressing
Italian dressing
Wafu dressing

The concept of salad dressing varies across cultures. There are many commonly used salad dressings in North America. Traditional dressings in southern Europe are vinaigrettes, while mayonnaise is predominant in eastern European countries and Russia.

Many light edible oils are used as salad dressings, including olive oil, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, etc.



· To avoid flare-ups, trim excess fat from meats.

· Food should be brought to room temperature before placing on the grill. If food is cold, it could burn on the outside before the interior is done.

· Always use tongs to turn meat instead of a fork to avoid piercing and losing juices.

· After cooking meat on the grill, salting will help retain juices in your meat.

· If your marinade is used as a basting or dipping sauce, reserve a portion before adding the uncooked foods and bring it to a rolling boil.

· Make sure your grill is kept clean all season by using a wire brush. Maintain your grill by brushing it with a light coating of cooking oil before grilling. This makes it easier to keep clean.

Watch for more exciting cooking tips!



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Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.

Cassandra Harrell
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
(c) copyright 2007 Soul Food Advisor