A while back I found this great recipe in Kraft’s Food and Family magazine for an Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad. Full of raw vegetables, it was right up my alley.
I have my version of this salad for lunch, sometimes every day for two weeks straight. I say “my version” because when I went back to look at the original recipe, I realized what I was making wasn’t very close at all to the original. But I think that might just be the beauty of this recipe – it’s easy to change up, adding ingredients you like, removing those you don’t – and it’s still delicious. Here’s the original recipe:
Italian Marinated Vegetable Salad
½ lb. green beans, whole or cut in half 2 cups cauliflower florets 1 cups halved cherry tomatoes or 1 whole tomato, chopped 1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and rinsed 1 cup sliced green olives ¼ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes ½ cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing
Add green beans and cauliflower to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Place in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled.
Ah, look at all that beautiful fiber. The combination of beans and raw vegetables make this a far more filling salad than most. I know the original recipe says to cook the green beans and cauliflower. I don’t do that. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I like raw cauliflower and I didn’t use the green beans.
The Tuscan Sunset dressing, which sounds great and all, was also something I haven’t used. But I probably will at some point, because I guess that's what makes it an Italian salad. For now, though, I make it with a mix of fat-free sour cream and a package of Hidden Valley Ranch powder. As the flavors blend, this version literally tastes better every day. I’m sure there are a lot of other dressings that will work as well.
The green olives, while high in sodium, add a really nice kick to the whole thing so there is no way I am leaving them out.
I always use broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces in place of the green beans and I added diced ham. I don’t know where I got the idea there was ham in a recipe FOR A VEGETABLE SALAD when I first made it, but it’s a mistake that ended up tasting pretty good!
Side note: Did you know that Kraft Food and Family Magazine is no longer free? I’ve been getting (and enjoying) this magazine for years but I see now you must subscribe for $11.98 per year. Mine is still being delivered, but I’m starting to wonder how long that is going to last. And isn’t it funny that even though I love this magazine, I don’t think I would ever pay for it? Seriously, it’s one long Kraft advertisement. Why would I?