Light and Refreshing Mandarin Coconut Salad

 Mandarin Coconut Salad

Mandarin Coconut Salad is a refreshing, light salad that’s can be prepared any time of year, thanks to the availability of canned mandarin oranges. The original recipe calls for fresh mandarin oranges which are the best choice when they are available. I always keep canned mandarin oranges on hand for another salad that I really like called Orange Romaine Salad. Now I have two delicious salad recipes for which I need to stock canned mandarin oranges!

As I mentioned in a previous post, 3 Simple Steps to Prepare Strawberry Salad, I really like homemade salad dressings. The salad dressing for Mandarin Coconut Salad really complements the salad in a very flavorful way. The ingredients include rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and either liquid coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil.


Other ingredients in Mandarin Coconut Salad include lettuce, crumbled bacon (optional), toasted coconut flakes, and toasted nuts. Toasting the coconut and nuts really brings out their flavors in this salad.

The Recipe

Here’s the printable recipe for Mandarin Coconut Salad:

Mandarin Coconut Salad
Serves 4
A light, refreshing salad of lettuce, mandarin oranges, coconut, bacon crumbles and toasted nuts with a homemade flavorful dressing.
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Dressing
  1. 2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar or Mirin
  2. 3 Tablespoons Liquid Coconut Oil or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
  4. 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  5. Salt & Pepper to taste
Salad
  1. 1 head Bibb Lettuce (or 6-8 cups shredded lettuce of your choice)
  2. 6 Mandarin Oranges, peeled & sectioned or 1 small can mandarin oranges
  3. 4 Bacon Slices, cooked & crumbled
  4. 1/2 cup Coconut Flakes, lightly toasted, cooled
  5. 1/3 cup Pecans or other nuts, chopped, toasted and cooled
Instructions
  1. Dressing: Whisk together all ingredients. (Or place in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously) Set aside.
  2. Salad: Mix together all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with dressing and serve on individual plates or bowls.
Adapted from King's River Packing
Adapted from King's River Packing
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Mandarin Oranges

Mandarin oranges are smaller and less spherical than common oranges, with a taste that is considered sweeter and stronger. A ripe Mandarin orange is firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned. Thin peel makes mandarin oranges easier to peel and split into segments. Grown in tropical and sub-tropical areas, mandarin oranges are high in Vitamin C, as is other citrus fruits. The top producer of mandarin oranges is China, with the USA being number 11 on the list of top mandarin orange producers.

Dried Mandarin orange peel is used as a seasoning in baking, cooking and making candy. Generally, mandarin oranges are used in salads, desserts and main dishes. Low in calories, 3.5 ounces or 100 grams of mandarin oranges provides only 53 calories.

Mandarin is a term referring to the bright orange robes worn by the mandarins, public officials of the ancient Chinese court. These sweet fruits were often reserved strictly for the privileged class in the Far East. China has cultivated mandarin oranges for more than 3000 years whereas mandarin oranges were only introduced to Europe and North America in the 19th Century. Mandarin oranges are also used in the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Isn’t it wonderful that we common folk can enjoy a treat that once only the privileged class could enjoy?

A Recap of Salad Recipes

In case you missed these earlier posts and/or are interested in other salad recipes, the following links will take you to other salad recipes on Silver Foodie. Just click on the link to go to the recipe!

Strawberry Salad with Pecans and Feta

Fresh Asparagus Salad with Pecans

Cashew Blueberry Salad

Orange Romaine Salad

Janet’s Broccoli Salad

Holiday Ambrosia

All these salads are making me hungry! I think I’ll go make a salad! Try one of these salad recipes soon!

Remember to Savor the Flavor of Fresh Salads with Homemade Salad Dressings!

Janet

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A Company Worthy Meal

When family or special friends are coming to my home to share a meal I always want to serve some of my “most favored” recipes – what I refer to as “company worthy” food!  We all have tried and trusted recipes that we fall back on when we want visitors to have a pleasant, delicious eating experience.  I want to share a few of my favored recipes for entertaining friends and family with you in this post.

The first recipe is my favorite chicken recipe, hands down.  My mother gave me this recipe years ago.  She found it in a Southern Living magazine (February 1983) and thought is was so good she passed it on to me.  By the way,  she kept Southern Living magazines and Southern Living Annual Cookbooks for years, which was unusual for her because all the other magazines in her house had a much shorter shelf life!  The recipe we’ve all enjoyed over the years is for Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts
Serves 4
A company worthy recipe! Serve with a vegetable or salad and cranberry sauce and you have a wonderful meal!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
  2. 4 Slices Swiss Cheese
  3. 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Cream of Chicken Soup
  4. 1/4 cup dry White Wine
  5. 1 cup herb-seasoned Stuffing Mix, crushed (Pepperidge Farm is good)
  6. 1/4 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Arrange chicken in a lightly greased 9" baking dish.
  2. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and wine; stir well. Spoon evenly over chicken.
  3. Mix stuffing mix with melted butter and sprinkle over soup.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is done.
Notes
  1. Variations: Nuts can be added to the stuffing mix to make it crunchy. Cooking sherry can be used instead of white wine to change the flavor. Other cheeses may be used instead of Swiss. Curry powder (1 teaspoon or so) can be added to the soup mixture for a flavor enhancer.
Adapted from Southern Living
Adapted from Southern Living
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Variations may be made to this recipe by adding nuts (to add a crunchy texture), by using cooking sherry instead of white wine, and by adding curry powder to the soup/wine mixture.  Different cheeses may be used instead of Swiss cheese.  Experiment to learn which combination of ingredients you like best in this company worthy meal!

I usually serve cranberry sauce and steamed broccoli with Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts.  The way the soup and wine combine with the stuffing mix is reminiscent of a Thanksgiving meal.  

One of my favorite salad recipes is Orange Romaine Salad.  This company worthy salad is enhanced by many different flavors – romaine lettuce, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, crumbled bacon and its own salad dressing.  This recipe has also stood the test of time!

Orange Romaine Salad
Serves 4
A salad with many layers of flavor with mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, green onions and bacon.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  2. 5 cups torn iceberg lettuce
  3. 1 1/2 cups mandarin oranges
  4. 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  5. 2 green onions, sliced
  6. 1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
Dressing
  1. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. Dash hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  2. Combine oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt and hot sauce in a jar.
  3. Cover tightly and shake vigorously until well-blended.
  4. Pour dressing over salad mixture immediately before serving and toss well to coat ingredients with dressing.
Notes
  1. Variations: Use baby spinach or spring mix lettuce in place of romaine and iceberg. Add craisins if desired. In place of green onions, use thin slices of red onion.
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

Just as I like “homemade” salad dressing I also like croutons made from bread that I have on hand.  

Tasty Tip:  Make your own croutons by cubing bread and tossing it with extra-virgin olive oil, dried herbs, salt and pepper.  (Hmmm….Montreal Steak Seasoning?)  Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake in a 300º F. oven for about an hour.  Turn the oven off and leave the croutons inside to dry.

Our garden is just about finished for the summer as I breathe a sigh of relief over zucchini and squash that had me outnumbered for a while there!  I do have one more squash recipe – this recipe is from 3 recipes that I combined to make one good one!  I call it 5-A-Day Squash Casserole because it has squash, celery, carrots, onions and bell pepper.  What a way to meet your requirements for 5 vegetables a day!

5-A-Day Squash Casserole
Serves 6
A great way to get in your 5 vegetables a day as recommended by nutritionists. Lemon thyme adds great flavor to this dish!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups squash, chopped
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  5. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  6. 1 cup sour cream
  7. 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  8. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme (if using dried use 1 teaspoon)
  9. 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  10. 8 oz. herb-seasoned stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm is good)
  11. 1/2 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients.
  2. Cook the vegetables in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Set aside.
  3. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish. Combine melted butter with herb-seasoned stuffing mix.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of the stuffing mix on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Mix together sour cream, cream of chicken soup and the cooked squash mixture.
  6. Add lemon thyme to mixture and stir.
  7. Sprinkle with grated cheese and add another layer of stuffing mix.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
SILVER FOODIE http://www.silverfoodie.com/

In this post I shared with you several of my favorite “company worthy” recipes.  I hope you’ll find them “company worthy” too!

In future posts I plan to include more of my “company worthy” recipes as well as more ideas for Breakfast and Brunch.  Stay tuned!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet