Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Salad

For a quick, warm salad, try carrot and sweet potato salad. This recipe is from “Best Ever Indian Cookbook,” which I’ve also talked about here.

The dish calls for a can of chickpeas, but I used pintos because I had them on hand. I also left out the fresh cut tomatoes, which would also be awesome.

This is really quick and simple. Cook the sweet potatoes and carrots until soft, but still crisp. Then you mix them with the beans/peas and tomatoes and garnish with walnuts, raisins and/or onions. You can also pour the mixture over salad for a decorative effect, but I decided that would be a waste of salad.

I preferred the dish with warmed beans, too, and then topping it with raisins. I’m not sure if I’d warm the cut tomatoes or use them as a cool garnish. I’m certainly willing to try this again, so I’ll have plenty of chances to try this out in the future.

The dressing is yogurt, a bit of honey and pepper.

I served this with spicy meatloaf, also from the “Best Ever Indian Cookbook.” I didn’t really like the meatloaf at first, but it grew on me. I used turkey instead of beef and I think the tumeric would complement beef much better than turkey.

The meatloaf is baked with eggs on the top and bottom, so it’s like an egg-covered meatloaf, which was quite interesting.


Poppy Seed Dressings

Update: Whoops! The second recipe is actually a yummy Sweet and Sour Dressing. I’ve added the real Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing below. Sorry!

After posting about my ranch dressing here, a friend asked about the poppy seed dressing.

I actually have two that I use — one a vinaigrette and the other creamy. I use the vinaigrette most often, but mostly because I don’t always have the ingredients on hand to make the creamier dressing.

Here’s both. Enjoy!

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. grated onion
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup salad oil
1 tbsp. poppy seed
red food coloring (optional — I leave this out)

Throw everything in a bowl and whisk together. Or, mix ingredients in a blender. Makes close to 2 cups.

Sweet and Sour Dressing Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip/salad dressing)
2 tbsp. mustard
1/2 cup oil
1 tbsp. onion, minced

Mix together in a bowl or blender. Makes a quart.

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 small onion
1 1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip/salad dressing)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. poppy seed

Whisk together or mix in a blender. Enjoy!
An Amazon product related to this post:

I am an Amazon Associate. I will post products from time-to-time that I think you may be interested in. Enjoy!

Ranch Dressing

I’ve taken to making salad dressings from scratch. Our favorites so far are honey mustard (me), blue cheese (Chris) and poppy seed (both).

I hadn’t, until recently, been able to find a ranch dressing recipe. I tasted a friend’s dressing last summer and liked it, but she used a pre-mixed spice mix from Penzey’s. Not what I was looking for, but I kept that open as an option since I was already aware of Hidden Valley’s mix and liked it. (Penzey’s is a great source for spices, by the way.)

Then in the June 9 feature section of News & Record, the newspaper I work for, I found a ranch recipe! And it is so easy! I can’t believe I couldn’t find a recipe before now.

Basically, you take whatever fresh herbs you have on hand and throw it in a bowl with buttermilk (or substitutes), mayo (or salad dressing/Miracle Whip), lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

Since we’re participating in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program this year, we already have a bunch of herbs on hand. I added dill, loveage, parsley and oregano.

Here’s the recipe:

Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. finely chopper mixed fresh herbs
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove

Mix all the ingredients together and serve! That easy.

* Some buttermilk substitutes are yogurt or 1 tbsp. lemon juice with enough milk to make one cup. Let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes before using.

I used vanilla yogurt, which turned out to be too overpowering. The vanilla competes with the herbs so next time I’ll use plain yogurt or the milk/lemon juice trick.

I also never use mayonnaise since I don’t like it that much. I grew up on Miracle Whip (salad dressing) and prefer it. Plus, it’s lower in fat. 🙂


Here are some products from Amazon:

Note: I am an Amazon Associate and select products that are related to blog posts or that I personally recommend. For this post, I do recommend Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix if you don’t want to make your own dressing from scratch. My grandma has used it for years and it’s delicious.

Though I haven’t tried the Williams-Sonoma cook book above, I do have the Williams-Sonoma Mexican cook book and it’s easy to use and has good recipes. So, it might be worth checking out the one above too.