Southwest Salad

I’m calling this recipe Southwest Salad, but in my house it’s just known as “Melissa’s Salad.” I could go on and on about how much I love this salad- it’s bursting with flavor and is filled with healthy veggies. Many of the ingredients shown are canned, but it tastes even better with fresh produce from a farmer’s market (I had already depleted my weekly local supply when I decided to take this photo!) The recipe below serves three. I eat this salad almost every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night for dinner- and no, I never get tired of it! It’s evolved over the years, as I’ve based it off of a variety of salads that I’ve seen in restaurants but could not order because of my food allergies. It’s my go-to weekend meal, and I hope it will become yours as well!

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Southwest Salad

6 c salad greens

½ cucumber, sliced

1 carrot, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

Green onions, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1½ c corn

1 can beets, drained and chopped

1 avocado, diced

Fresh Gourmet Santa Fe Style tortilla strips

Kraft Catalina dressing

 

Combine above ingredients in large bowl. Sprinkle with tortilla strips and toss with Catalina dressing.

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Since my family couldn’t get over last week’s ice cream cake goodness, we decided to try a mint Oreo version! Instead of crushed candy canes, I added a cup of chopped mint Oreos to the vanilla ice cream, along with some peppermint extract. We can’t decide which version we like better- you should try them both!

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Peppermint Oreo Ice Cream Cake

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I’ve always wanted to try ice cream cake. I remember going to countless birthday parties growing up where ice cream cake was served, but my mom and I never tried to make a safe version for me ourselves. Now that I am addicted to Dunkin Donuts unsweetened ice tea, I am tempted by their ice cream cakes everyday on my lunch break at work. This weekend, I decided it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself for not being able to have this treat and start creating my own dream ice cream cake.

This recipe is simple and foolproof yet absolutely delectable. It’s only four ingredients, yet I promise your taste buds will be thanking you! Best of all, it’s dairy, egg, peanut, and tree nut free, and vegan as well. Can’t have soy? Substitute with coconut milk. Can’t have gluten? Use your own favorite sandwich cookie. The possibilities are endless- you could try a crushed graham cracker crust, a different flavor ice cream, or mixing in your own favorite candy or fruit. Let me know what combinations you come up with!

You will need…

2 quarts Creamy Vanilla So Delicious Dairy Free Soymilk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert

1 package Oreo cookies

6 crushed candy canes

¼ cup melted Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine

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Oreo Crust

Place 24 Oreos in a food processor and blend until desired crumb texture. Add melted margarine and pulse until well combined. Place the ground crumb mixture into a 10” springform pan and press evenly onto bottom. Refrigerate this crust for at least one hour.

 

Peppermint Ice Cream

Take ice cream out of freezer and let soften for 20 minutes. Put ice cream into a large mixing bowl. Add 4 crushed candy canes. Mix with hand mixer until smooth. Add more crushed candy canes if desired before pouring mixture into springform pan. Place in freezer for at least 2-3 hours.

Topping

Remove cake from freezer and top with chopped remaining Oreos and crushed candy canes. Place back in freezer until ready to serve.

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