Creamy Cauliflower Salad—Lots of Flavor, Few Calories

CreamyCauliflowerI have to admit I was skeptical when I first tried this recipe. I could not imagine cauliflower, apples, and lettuce together. Now I am a believer. The fresh, mild taste of the crunchy cauliflower, the sweet, tart flavor of the apple, and the ranch dressing are great together.

If you haven’t  chopped up a cauliflower before, you’ll be surprised how easy it is.

This salad is great for an everyday meal, a picnic, or for company. You can make it several hours ahead of time and the leftovers are good, although the lettuce is a little wilted the next day.

To make the salad more special sometimes I add sunflower seeds or raisins, use red onions for color, as well as romaine lettuce for color and more nutrition.

Creamy Cauliflower Salad

Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Serves: 6

Cost Per Serving: $.61

  • 2 cups cauliflower broken into florets (about 1/2 head)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce (romaine works well)
  • 1 chopped red or green apple (Braeburn, Granny Smith)
  • 1/4 cup light ranch dressing

  1. Prepare the cauliflower by rinsing well in cold water just before using it. Snap off the outer leaves and discard.
  2. Use a sharp knife and cutting board to slice off stem and hollow out and remove core.
  3. Cut or break cauliflower into small pieces called florets.
  4. Toss cauliflower, onion, lettuce, and apples in a medium bowl.
  5. Stir in dressing.
  6. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Change this recipe by adding other foods such as sunflower seeds or raisins.
  • Use red onion to add more color.
  • Can be made several hours in advance.
  • Great for a picnic. Keep it in the cooler until time to eat.


Peggy Signature

Summer Vegetables Ready for Delicious Eating

While I don’t like temperatures in the 90’s and high humidity, the vegetable plants in our garden seem very content especially if they get enough water.

Our garden is producing green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, peppers – green, banana and hot peppers plus basil, dill, and cilantro.  My sister Rhonda’s tomato crop looks the best it has in years.  We have already picked cherry and grape tomatoes.  Next week the large tomatoes and the heirloom varieties will be in full production.

Even with several families picking out of the garden I always find something I can serve for dinner.   Our feature recipe Summer Bounty Salad is super easy and you can use whatever vegetables you pick from your garden, buy at a farmers market or are on special at the grocery store.

I suspect that soon we will not be able to eat everything we pick.  Then we will be able to give friends, family, and seniors, who live in the same independent living apartment as my parents, our extra harvest.

If you have extra vegetables in your garden, consider donating them to a local food shelter where it will benefit members of the community.  If the local food pantry does not accept fresh produce, contact area churches to see if any have an established food donation program.

Summer Bounty Salad


  • 7 cups cut-up vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, carrots, radishes, green onions)
  • 1 pepper (green, red, or yellow), sliced (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tomatoes (red or yellow or mixed)
  • 2/3 cup light or fat-free dressing


  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables (cut the carrots and zucchini in slices, slice or chop tomatoes make the broccoli and cauliflower in florets.) If you plan to make this ahead or keep for several days, seed the tomatoes or they get too juicy.
  2. Combine all vegetables and salad dressing in a bowl, stirring to coat vegetables with dressing. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours to blend favors. Store any leftovers in refrigerator and use within 3 days.

~ pointers from Peggy

It’s Too Hot To Cook!

Who wants to cook when it is this hot?  Not me. But, I still want to eat! Here are some ideas for quick, easy, inexpensive meals with links to my favorite SpendSmart.EatSmart. recipes.

Make Fruit A Meal

Vegetable Ideas

  • Summer Bounty Salad
  • Pasta Salad
  • Grill vegetables like onions, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, mushrooms and potatoes. Here’s how …
    • Just slice them 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick and marinate in whatever Italian salad dressing or vinaigrette you have on hand. (If you use potatoes you need to microwave them for a few minutes before you put them on the grill.)
    • Preheat the grill, then either use a grill basket or lay right on the oiled grate.
    • Grill over medium heat for 5-20 minutes depending on the vegetable. Sometimes I make skewers with chunks of beef or chicken, but I can make a meal of just vegetables.

Top Of The Stove Dishes – These dishes don’t take long to make, and when I am cooking, I make extra so I can just reheat them in the microwave.

No Cook Or Skillet Sandwiches

Dips To Eat With Baked Tortilla Chips

Salads  that are big enough for a meal

Finally, don’t forget your slow-cooker. You can plug it in anywhere and cook a roast or chicken and vegetables while you are at work.
jicama black bean diptuna melt sandwichsummer bounty salad

— pointers from Peggy

Waldorf Summer Salad

WOW, what an easy salad and one that kids love (it’s the marshmallows).

Because you can use almost any fruit, Waldorf Summer Salad is a great one to use with seasonal fruit. Right now, in Iowa, we have lots of luscious peaches, plums, cherries, berries and melons in the markets, so I probably wouldn’t make it with the apples and bananas shown in the picture.

Don’t make this salad too far ahead, but do let the kids help. If you need a few more servings, just add another fruit or two and a little more juice.

Waldorf Summer Salad


  • 1 medium apple, diced*
  • 1 banana, cut up
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup fruit juice (any kind)
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • Optional: ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or peanuts


  1. Place apple, banana, and raisins in a bowl. Pour juice over and stir to coat.
  2. Stir in marshmallows and, if desired, chopped nuts. Serve.
    *Invite your family to experiment with flavor combinations, such as pears, peaches, kiwi, canned pineapple, and other dried fruits.

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