Mid-westerners love layered salads

Whether it is a 7-layered one or jello, Mid-westerners love to layer a salad. I don't know what it is but go to any potluck or family dinner and there is bound to be some sort of striated salad. Growing up we had said 7-layer salad every summer, and, every Thanksgiving, a lime jello with cottage cheese and pineapple version. Cooking on my own, I have followed in the same Mid-western footsteps and make my own version.

There's an Asian version that my mom would make sometimes with broccoli slaw (out of the package) and Ramen (can't beat it!). So I put my own twist on it (of course) and tried it with cabbage - both Napa and red - bean sprouts, cucumber, carrots, green onions, cashews & Thai basil.

I started with the Napa cabbage first as a had a large head of it and chopped it finely. Next was the red cabbage chopped in the same manner. On top of that I put freshly washed bean sprouts. Side note: I want to like these but that earthiness is hard to overcome sometimes. It is just too funky, and not in the James Brown acceptable kind of way.

The next layer were cucumbers seeded and halved, then matchbox carrots, cashews and chopped green onions. I cheated a bit on the dressing using a bottle of store-bought ginger lime but jazzed it up a bit by throwing it in with some peanut butter in the food processor. That added to the Thai feel I was going for. The end result was a colorful and flavorful dinner companion, great for summer-time.

As I put it together, layer by layer, I became more in touch with my Mid-western roots. It must be the easiness of the preparation that draws us to dishes like this. Mid-westerners are somewhat known for being no fuss, no nonsense types of people. So embrace your inner Mid-westerner and layer up a salad for your next potluck or family gathering. 

Serve up this salad with some barbecue ribz. Check out my blog about it here.

Tell me what you think.  Share your ideas too.
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