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3 Simple Recipes For Your Labor Day Weekend

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Posted by:  Abby Branham

Ah!  The long Labor Day Weekend.  It’s one of my favorites.  It’s also a great time to get together with family and friends for one more  cookout.  Here are three quick and delicious recipe ideas for you to bring to your Labor Day party.  Have fun!

REcipe #1: WALDORF SALAD-ISH

My Mom often made Waldorf Salad when we were kids, and over the years I’ve discovered that its quite a popular dish.  I really loved my mom’s version of Waldorf Salad, but I remember thinking, “I’m not sure this looks appetizing, but it sure tastes good!”  So, this summer  I found a salad called Sliced Apple Salad in Parenting Magazine. It is essentially a modernized, healthier version of the Waldorf Salad.  I didn’t use all of the ingredients from the recipe I found in Parenting Magazine, but what I did  copy was their Waldorf Salad dressing.  It replaced Mayonnaise (which always seemed a little unappetizing to me) with Greek Yogurt.  A perfect substitute that is so much better for you.   Without further ado, here is how I married my Mom’s version of Waldorf Salad with the recipe I found in Parenting Magazine.

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INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 4 tart apples (I used organic, granny smith apples)
  • 1 cup or more of grapes (I bought organic black grapes, which made for a nice color contrast)
  • 4 ounces cubed cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup diced, sugared dates (I always get these from the bulk food section)
  • 1 lemon, juiced (3 tablespoons) Some of the juice will be used for the dressing too.

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (I used 5% Greek yogurt because that’s what I had on hand for my girls – they need the fat, I don’t!  I have to say I think the fat is what made the dressing so tasty, and still better than using mayonnaise.)
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1/8 t. freshly ground pepper

LET’S GET MIXIN’

Core, and thinly slice the apples and place in a large serving bowl.  Pour about half of the juice from the lemon over the apples. Cut all the grapes in half, and then add the grapes along with the remaining ingredients for the salad into the serving bowl.

In a smaller bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing along with the remaining lemon juice.

Toss the dressing in with the ingredients and enjoy!

Recipe #2: GREEK ORZO SALAD

To make this Greek Orzo Salad gluten free, you can use Quinoa instead of Orzo Pasta.  Check out the new Quinoa cooking method I found on the blog Cookie and Kate here in my Quinoa Avocado BLT salad recipe.

INGREDIENTS

For the salad

  • 2 sliced mini cucumbers (I use organic)
  • ½ cup cubed tomato, seeded (Find a locally grown beefsteak or heirloom, your taste buds will thank you.)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ box cooked orzo pasta

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For the Dressing

  • 1/2 t. lemon zest
  • Lemon juice from one lemon
  • 1 T. honey mustard
  • 3 to 4  T.  olive oil
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

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LET’S GET FIXIN…

Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a medium sized serving bowl.  Then mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a mason jar, and shake, shake, shake!   I add a little dressing at a time to the salad, until I get the flavor I’m looking for.

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Remember if you want to make this gluten free, and/or you want to add protein, use Quinoa instead of Orzo Pasta.

Recipe #3: AND FINALLY ….DESSERT! SOPAPILLA CHEESECAKE

I made this dessert for a Mexican Theme Night with friends, and it was a big hit!  I found this recipe on the sweet {tooth} life blog.

Ingredients

  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese ( I used a cream cheese made from Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon and sugar

Let’s Get Baking…

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Press one package of the crescent rolls into a 9 x 13 pan.  Beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crescent rolls.  On a working surface, take the second package of crescent rolls, roll them out and press them together before placing the rolled out dough on top of the cream cheese mixture. Melt the butter, and pour it over that second layer of crescent roll dough.  Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of cinnamon and sugar over the butter.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Enjoy warm or chilled. As you will see from the picture, I enjoyed it warm, and later I enjoyed it chilled!

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That’s it!  Have a Happy Labor Day!  I hope that one (or maybe all) of these recipes serves you well.

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One thought on “3 Simple Recipes For Your Labor Day Weekend

  1. Sarah Gallup says:

    So happy to see the lightening up of the Waldorf Salad. I used to love it, but I agree that the mayonaise was heavy and at some level unappetizing. I used to cut it with vanilla yogurt and it was always better.
    I cannot wait to try the cheesecake recipe, and the greek orzo salad. They both sound great. I am soooo sick of cooking the same ole same ole!

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