Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Classic Salad Duos: Creamy Macaroni and Vinaigrette Coleslaw...

As a child, family visits to my cousins were always a treat because that meant picking up a bucket of KFC or Mary Brown's fried chicken. And of course, it can not be complete without a couple salad containers of macaroni and coleslaw! But why buy when you can easily make them your own with most ingredients you already have on hand-- adding your favourite ingredients and doling up your twists! These are ideal sidekicks for all your BBQ or picnic fares offering one salad that is creamy and the other in a vinaigrette. Delightfully essential this past weekend at my kids' birthday picnic park party, especially the coleslaw that doubled up as a crunchy topping for slow cooker BBQ pulled beef sandwiches.

Creamy Macaroni Salad

Makes 12 servings

1 (454 g) package elbow macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Japanese kewpie mayonnaise (or omit and use 1/3 cup regular mayo)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk, peeled and chopped small dice
dried parsley and paprika for garnish
lemon wedge for splashing

Mix mayos, salt and pepper, cider vinegar and mustard together in a large bowl. Add macaroni, onions and celery; toss to combine well. Sprinkle with parsley and paprika. For an alternative flavour, try tossing cooked macaroni in 1/4 cup of my Lemony-Dill Yogurt Dip mixed with a few Tbsp. of regular mayonnaise.

Can never go wrong with a classic creamy macaroni salad!

Picnic-toting ready! Bring a small container of mayo to refresh upon serving, as it tends to dry out.

Vinaigrette Coleslaw Salad
Makes 12 servings

1 large green cabbage, halved, core removed and finely shredded
1-1/4 tsp. salt, divided
1 large carrot, shredded or thinly peeled with a vegetable peeler
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1 coloured bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, peeled and thinly sliced on an angle
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
ground black pepper to taste

Great Additions: For variety, include sliced radishes, fennel strips, shredded zucchini, sliced crisp apples, pears or jicama.

In large bowl, toss cabbage with 1 tsp. of the salt. In separate bowl, toss together carrots, onion, pepper, celery and remaining salt. Let both stand for one hour. In colander, drain cabbage. By handfuls, squeeze out excess moisture, add to veggies and toss to combine.

In a small saucepan, heat together oil, vinegar, sugar and celery seeds; pour over cabbage mixture, add black pepper and parsley; toss well. Let cool; cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (Make-Ahead TIP: Refrigerate for up to five days.)

Crunchy, colourful, flavourful and tangy with a slight sweetness...

Macaroni and coleslaw salads served alongside other sidekicks of Greek Quinoa Salad, and a Lemony-Dill Yogurt Dip for veggie sticks.

A heap of vinaigrette coleslaw, thinly sliced red onions and dill pickles atop of succulent moist tender slow cooker BBQ pulled beef in a freshly-baked kaiser bun is the bomb!!

Happy summer eats!

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