Right off the bat I have to say that this week’s Willing Cook-A-Long challenge was a huge success! We absolutely loved the Autumn Chopped Salad, including the kids. I made a few changes, but I think they were pretty minor compared to many recipes that I tackle.
Changes I made:
- I added diced chicken to the salad to serve it as a main course.
- I made a homemade balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing, but did not use the poppy seed dressing. Most poppy seed dressings are creamy (milk allergy) and I didn’t have the ingredients on hand to make a homemade poppy seed dressing. I wonder what the taste difference is because the balsamic vinaigrette was fantastic and creamy.
- I added diced cucumbers.
- I served the feta cheese on the side for us non-dairy allergy girls. (I love feta!)
Overall, we all thought the flavors of this salad went together beautifully. My 6-year old son had seconds. I think it was a little more time intensive than an ordinary salad, but it was well worth the time. There are some easy ways to cut some of the prep work (they may not be the most cost effective or healthy options though): use pre-made crumbled bacon, use leftover chicken or store-bought roasted chicken, or use bottled salad dressing. Personally, I don’t think I would do any of the time-saving options unless I was really pressed for time. So, Autumn Chopped Salad is definitely going into our recipe box for future use. It would be a great salad to take to a potluck.
Now, on to next week’s challenge. I think I need to clarify some of the “rules” for joining in the Willing Cook-A-Long. You do not have to have food allergies to participate! Make the recipe as is, change it up because of what you have in your pantry stock or because of likes/dislikes. Do whatever you want to the recipe, just try it out! I have really loved trying a new recipe every week, even if the recipe turned out to be a flop. It gets my creative juices flowing. (I may be slightly weird.)
The Willing Cook-A-Long challenge for this week is comfort food at it’s finest (that’s my mood on these cooler fall days). I have almost always had good results with Cooking Light recipes, so I chose one from my recipe
file pile (let’s be honest) called Deep South Shrimp and Sausage.
Are you allergic to shellfish or just don’t like shrimp? No problem. You can leave it out or try diced chicken instead. I don’t know the ingredients in Old Bay seasoning, so I might have to fiddle with that. Also, grits are wheat, so I may use rice or mashed potatoes (oh, the goodness of comfort food) instead. Hope to see you back next Friday with the results from this week’s challenge! Happy Cooking!
The Willing Cook-A-Long Challenge:
- Every Friday, I will link a new recipe that I believe will be enjoyable to the masses.
- Sometime during the next week, you fix the recipe.
- On the following Friday, you come back and leave a comment or link to your blog* about how the recipe turned out.
- Please, please make this recipe yours. ”Recreate” the recipe to any or all of the following issues that may exist in your home: food allergies, family preferences/budget, and/or pantry stock.
- When you come back to comment on how the recipe turned out, please include the changes you made to the recipe. I will be doing the cook-a-long with you, so I will note the changes that I made as well.
The idea behind The Willing Cook-A-Long is to get us out of the weekly dinner rut, although it won’t always be a dinner recipe (salads, sides, desserts, etc. will also be included). In addition, it will help people see how to recreate dishes based on any of the issues noted above: food allergies, preferences, budget and/or pantry stock.
If you will commit to the Willing Cook-A-Long challenge, leave a comment below saying “I’m in.” If you need help with “recreating” your dish to make it work for your family, don’t hesitate to ask for tips!
*If you leave a link to your blog about The Willing Cook-A-Long, please be kind to link only your post, not your home page. In addition, I ask that you link back to this page. Thank you!