Imagine a fresh spinach salad created with colorful rings of
red onion; crunchy water chestnuts and sweet, juicy orange sections balanced
with the brisk, tart flavor of lime in the dressing. Franciscan Sister Mary Amy
Schreiner’s Citrus Spinach Salad with Mazatlan Lime Salad Dressing reminds me
of a little “fiesta in your mouth.”
Sister Mary Amy didn’t like spinach when she was growing up
but her taste buds changed over time. When she discovered this inviting recipe in
“Cooking á la Heart” she was delighted that the combination was not only
healthy but also delicious. It’s the one she shared for the “Franciscan
Heritage Recipes” cookbook that her community published in 2000. (I disfrute —
Citrus Spinach Salad with Mazatlan Lime Dressing
(Franciscan Sister Mary Amy Schreiner)
Mazatlan Lime Salad Dressing
1/4 cup vegetable oil*
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (optional)
Combine ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and
shake well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Yields 2/3 cup.)
Citrus Spinach Salad
5 cups fresh spinach (remove big veins of large leaves)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned**
1/2 large red onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/3 cup Mazatlan Lime Salad Dressing
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss with
dressing just before serving.
Yield: 6 servings
A note from Sister Mary Amy: *I like to use pure olive oil instead of vegetable oil for the salad
dressing but tend to use less than 1/4 cup. **A 15 oz. can of mandarin oranges
(drained) may be substituted for the fresh oranges.
A note from Carol:
Franciscan Sister Mary Amy (Mary Katherine) Schreiner, 91, is well known as an
elementary teacher in the St. Cloud Diocese. She taught for nearly 30 years at
schools in Morris, Waite Park, Fergus Falls, Elk River and St. Cloud as well as
for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana.
She moved into parish work and
hospital chaplaincy after receiving additional educational degrees and later
still, began a ministry with Hispanics in Texas and Arizona. On August 12 she
will mark 71 years as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls.
“This spicy salad goes over big with the younger crowd,”
Diane Jacobson said, “because its ingredients bring to mind the flavors of
She’s been making this attractive, zippy salad for almost 10
years since one of her daughters, Tessa, brought the recipe home from a Family
and Consumer Science class at Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School.
Diane shared the recipe in Brooten’s parish centennial cookbook, “Fruit of the Spirit.”
What a perfectly delicious idea — “pizza toppings” served up
with crunchy, fresh, nutritious greens! CJK
Italian Pepperoni Salad
2 small tomatoes
1/2 cup Italian dressing, divided
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups cubed cheese
1 (5-7 oz.) bag pepperoni slices
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 head iceberg lettuce or 2 heads romaine, torn into
Dice tomatoes and place in large bowl and add 1/4 cup
Italian dressing and basil. Let set for five minutes. Add green pepper, cheese,
pepperoni, black olives, Parmesan cheese and lettuce greens. Mix well. Add 1/4
cup more Italian dressing right before serving.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
A note from Diane:
This recipe is so versatile. It calls for green pepper but you could use any
color pepper. I usually use cubed sharp cheddar cheese but have made it with
shredded cheese as well — any kind would be good. Cucumbers would be delicious
in it. I’ve tried the salad with various kinds of lettuce including iceberg,
romaine and garden varieties as well as with spinach. In a pinch, I’ve also
used around one and a half bags of prepared lettuce.
A note from Carol:
Diane Jacobson, a co-owner of the Brooten Home Bakery, and her husband, Scott,
have been members of St. Donatus Parish in Brooten for more than 30 years. They
are parents of five adult children and grandparents to 10 — ranging in age from
10 years to two weeks.
Tessa and her husband, Eric Schoenberg, and their sons, Lane
(two-weeks) and Hayden (5) are members of St. Francis de Sales Parish in
Contact the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-346-2431 to order
copies of “Fruit of the Spirit” — $10 each plus $5 for shipping.
“Perky and refreshing” aptly describes this easy
Thai-inspired salad that pairs perfectly with other Asian-style foods. It’s a
recipe that my friend, Sheila Ballweg-Pulju, has prepared again and again since
she discovered it online a couple of years ago. Her family loves the dressing —
she’s found that it complements other vegetable salads equally well. She’s also
experimented by adding shredded carrots, finely chopped cabbage or diced celery
to the cucumbers, peppers and green onions. Sheila suggests turning it into a
main course with the addition of cooked, peeled jumbo shrimp. Enjoy! CJK
Thai Cucumber Salad
1 English cucumber, peeled or unpeeled
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
1/2 cup basil, lightly chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, lightly chopped or left whole
Juice of one lime
2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Hot and Sour Tom Yum Paste
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. chili sauce (or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 to 2 tsp. sugar (or more, if desired)
Cut cucumber in half lengthwise; continue slicing those
pieces lengthwise, making eight long strips. Then slice the strips the other
way to create bite-sized rectangular chunks. Place in a salad bowl. Add the red
pepper, green onions, fresh herbs and peanuts to the bowl.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a measuring cup,
stirring to mix. Taste for a sweet-sour balance, adding more sugar if desired.
(The dressing may seem salty and pungent at this point, but it will be just
right when it is combined with the salad.)
To serve, transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl.
Right before serving, add the dressing and toss. Top it with more chopped
cilantro, basil and peanuts.
Yield: 4 servings
A note from Sheila: Be
careful with the amount of *chili sauce or cayenne pepper that you add — you
don’t want the dressing to be too hot.
It’s important to add the dressing at the last minute —
right before serving the salad. I’ve learned that the longer it sits with the
dressing on it, the more liquid (released from the cucumbers) gathers on the
bottom of the salad bowl.
This Asian-style dressing is good on any vegetable salad
combination. Recently, I lightly cooked green beans and added sliced colored
bell peppers, red onion, and small pieces of cauliflower and roasted pine nuts
to them. It was absolutely delicious mixed with the dressing! (Slivered almonds
would also be tasty in place of the pine nuts.) I doubled the amount of
dressing for this creation and added it to the veggies right away, as it didn’t
have the “water content issues” created by the cucumber.
A note from Carol:
Fish sauce is one of the most common ingredients used in Thai cooking. This
kitchen staple in numerous Asian cultures is a dark caramel-colored liquid
extracted from the fermentation of fish with sea salt. In Thailand it goes by
the name nam pla and is known as nuoc mam in Vietnam, it’s shottsuru in Japan,
yu lu in China and prahoc in Cambodia. There is no real substitute for it — the
flavor it imparts to a dish is truly distinct. It’s easy to find in the Asian
food section of most supermarkets.
Hot and sour tom yum paste, available in Asian food stores,
is a Thai spice paste that is essential in traditional hot-and-sour soups. It’s
a mixture of herbs and spices that are crushed and stir-fried in oil before
being preserved. Lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander, garlic, chilies,
galangal and shallots are typical ingredients.
Whether served as a side or an entrée, I consider salads the
mainstay of most meals this sultry season of the year.
Over the next few weeks
“Food, Faith and Fellowship” will feature a number of enticing salad recipes
that I’m sure you will enjoy. (And, in between, I hope the gardening insights
add a moment of mirth to your day.)
So, plan to “visit” often and, if you haven’t already done
so, consider signing up by email to receive new posts. CJK
The simple act of sharing food can be powerful. A little of
ourselves is entwined within each morsel that we give to others — demonstrating
not only that we care about them but that we seek a level of synergy when we
partake of the same fare.
When Emily (Lidbeck) Harrington, a young missionary, recently shared
loaves of banana bread with a neighbor, visitors and an elderly street vendor
in the Peruvian village she and her husband live in, she not only broadened
their perspectives but also her own. With the three loaves she created, she
forged new friendships, fostered goodwill and launched an unanticipated series
of baking workshops that she will offer to the community.
She reminisces about the unforeseen outcome of her amiable
generosity in a blog post titled “A Bunch of Bananas: An Unexpected Bridge to Friendship, Fun, and Ministry.” It’s a delightfully sweet story that I think
you will enjoy reading. Additionally, she sends out a request for other recipes
that she might prepare with the women and children in her neighborhood.
In Peru, Emily works in the social work/psychology
department at a small school for children and teens with disabilities as well
as teaching baking classes for all age groups in the community and parents of
the children at the school. Rafael teaches physical education classes at the
school and English at another parish school in the area and has organized a
soccer team for youth. The Harringtons also work in collaboration with local Peruvian
lay missionaries to provide tutoring and activities for children in the
Prior to leaving for the mission, Emily, a native of Bird
Island, Minnesota, had been working as a bilingual family advocate for Casa de
Esperanza, a domestic violence organization in the Twin Cities. Rafael,
originally from Venezuela, was working for Children’s Hospital and Clinics of
Minnesota as a financial resources counselor. He previously volunteered at the
Farm of the Child, an orphanage in Honduras, for two years.
Emily (middle) poses with members of a recent baking class.
“For us each moment is an opportunity to not only be
witnesses to but also experience and accept God’s love in the people of El
Porvenir,” Emily told Food, Faith and Fellowship. “We are both teachers and
students of the people, sharing in life with them, accompanying and empowering
one another. We are not giving up our lives or putting them on hold but rather
receiving richly, as we serve and share of ourselves here.”
Banana bread — pastel de plátano — a comfort food bursting
with the sweet flavor of an ambrosial fruit. The banana, botanically known as
“Musa sapientum” which means “fruit of the wise men,” has lived up to it’s
name in Trujillo — gently uniting a community of curious cooks and
friendly folks with two gifted missioners from Minnesota. CJK
Vera Barrows’ Crunchy Pea Salad would be terrific at your
Fourth of July picnic outing this Wednesday. But don’t stop there — once you try it,
you’ll likely add the recipe to your salad “standbys.” I prepared it for guests
last weekend and it was a hit!
I used fresh dill, which always make a dish “sparkle” but
Vera mentioned that she usually uses dried dill weed because she has it on hand.
She’s been making it for years and years and says that everyone seems to love
it. I do! It’s refreshing, nutritious and colorful. I think you’ll like it, too. CJK
Crunchy Pea Salad
1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup diced sweet yellow pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
In large serving bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Mix
dressing ingredients in small bowl, pour over vegetables and toss gently to
Yield: 8 servings
A note from Vera: I
find that I’m usually making this salad at the last moment so I’ve got a tip
for thawing out frozen peas quickly. I bring a pan of water to a boil and drop
the peas into the boiling water. I immediately turn off the heat and let them
sit for three to five minutes. Then I drain them and plunge them into ice
water. They taste just like fresh peas.
A note from Carol:
Vera and her husband, Dave, have been members of St. Mary Parish since they
moved to Mora in 1976. They are parents of an adult son and daughter and have
two grandsons, a 3-year-old and an infant.
Vera’s Crunchy Pea Salad recipe is one of more than 200
recipes in the St. Mary’s “Loaves & Fishes and Other Great Dishes!”
cookbook. Call the parish office at 320-679-1593 to order a copy of the book
for $10 plus shipping and handling.
Yesterday I mentioned that potato salad is generally on the
“must-have” list for many of us at picnic-type outings this time of year.
Coleslaw is frequently part of that traditional lineup as well. With the
addition of a number of crisp, fresh veggies and bacon, Marian Stark’s Layered Cabbage
Salad puts a new slant on the conventional shredded cabbage and dressing
This recipe is especially precious to Marian as she first
tasted it several years ago when her sister, Pat Boggs, brought it to a family
event. Pat has since passed away but Marian and her siblings and other family
members continue to enjoy it often when they gather together. CJK
Layered Cabbage Salad
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups cauliflower
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup sliced radishes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup ripe olives, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. bacon, diced and fried crisp
Layer the vegetables in a large serving bowl.
Mix dressing ingredients together and spread over the top of
the vegetables. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for several hours or
overnight. Before serving, stir the dressing mixture into the vegetables. Taste
and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Top with the crisply fried bacon
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
A note from Marian:
This salad is especially easy to make for gatherings because it’s prepared the
day before serving.
A note from Carol:
Marian has been a member of St. Mary’s in Mora for 80 years. She’s served in
almost every capacity possible in the parish including being an original member
of the Mission Circle Group, which has recently celebrated its 60th
anniversary. She’s been married to her husband, Ronald, for 62 years. The Starks
have five children, 11 grandchildren and seven “greats.”
The late Patricia Boggs was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s also.
Marian shared the Layered Cabbage Salad recipe in the
parish’s “Loaves & Fishes and Other Great Dishes!” cookbook. Call the
parish office at 320-679-1593 to order a copy of the book for $10 plus shipping