Chinese Chicken Salad with Cranberries and Oranges

Chinese Chicken Salad with cabbage and cranberries!

I’ve had this salad many different ways but this is my favorite way to have it. I use cabbage, Ramen Oriental Noodles, sliced almonds and mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. I make the dressing with oil and rice vinegar and sugar and the noodle seasoning packet. It always turns out delicious, crispy and fresh looking. And the best part is… will feed a huge crowd!

I love this crunchy Chinese Chicken salad! You can add green onion to each serving if you like it. 

I like that it is super easy and quick too. When I’m not in a cooking mood I usually pick up a cabbage and have some chicken breasts in the freezer, and those ramen noodles last for like 10 years in your pantry so I buy them in bulk…. a whole box at a time. We usually use them up in a year.  I also buy all my nuts  from Costco in bulk, so I know I’ve got my ingredients on hand.

Mandarin oranges, Ramen noodles raw, sliced almonds and dried cherries go into my Chinese Chicken Salad. I got dried fruits at the downtown Farmer’s Market.. …Yum! 
Don’t ya LOVE this cutting board I just picked up at Hobby Lobby for 50% off?  I diced up the chicken on it…

Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe
1 medium cabbage chopped coarsely
2 packages ramen noodles broken up (oriental style) reserve the 2 packets of sauce mix
1 larger or 2 small cans mandarin oranges (add them just before tossing salad)
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
3 chicken breasts cooked and diced into chunks
green onion for garnish.

This dressing is really flavorful and tart….

Delicious Dressing

2/3 cup canola oil (I’ve used olive oil and I don’t like it as much)
1/3 to 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider or red wine vinegar but I prefer the rice vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
2 seasoning packets from the Ramen
1 Teaspoon of lemon or lime juice (optional) for a zingy flavor
A shake of Lawry’s season salt if needed (or Johnny’s season salt – get at Costco)

Break up the Ramen Noodles in the chopped cabbage and fruit and sliced almonds…
Then add the dressing  and chicken for the Chinese Chicken Salad, and toss a few times! 
That’s it!

Whisk the dressing  up in a small bowl till sugar is dissolved. Taste it.. if it is not flavorful enough add a dash of rice vinegar…not sweet enough add a shake of sugar, not seasoned enough add a shake of Lawry’s Season Salt.  I can’t remember a time I have not messed a little with homemade dressing of any kind. You get better at it the more you make it.

These plates are so cute for a summer Chinese Chicken Salad, aren’t they?

Here is my finished salad. It’s delicious on a warm, fall day when you don’t want to cook!  Great with homemade muffins or some rustic, crusty bread and butter.And how do you like my new stoneware? It’s from Smiths Marketplace! It was a buck a plate! I think it’s so pretty! Boo yah!  I bought a set of 12 with bowls too. I think they will look cute in the Spring and Summer for dinner parties.

Rosa Marina Salad or Orzo Fruit Salad

Rosa Marina Salad or Orzo Fruit Salad 

This recipe was one of the first given to me by my old friend, Olive Grant, when I was a newlywed. She taught me so many tricks of the kitchen trade I will always be grateful. She was a little old lady about 30 years older than me at the time….. She told me once, “I won’t be around forever to cook the suppers at church, so you need to learn how to do it for when I’m gone.” She was a master of all kitchen gadgets (some I’d never seen before!)  and she was a wonderful, wondrous cook. 

Ingredients for Orzo Fruit Salad 
The Rosa Marina macaroni is very hard to find. It looks like fat pieces of rice in pasta form. But Orzo pasta is a good substitute and easier to find in most markets. But I like Rosa Marina better. It plumps up to a nice oval shape and it feels fun in your mouth. So if you find it, buy up bags of them up!  Anyway, I used orzo for this recipe, so you can too. 

Custard mix for Rosa Marina Fruit Salad
You are basically making a sweet custard to mix with cool whip and the macaroni is a base for this sweet, fruit salad. It makes a huge bowl so I love bringing it to a family supper or a church pot luck. The Maraschino cherries make it so pretty and it will feed an army, like 12 to 14 as a side dish. 

  • 1 box (1 pound box or bag) Rosa Marina pasta, OR orzo pasta
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits
  • 1 jar (8 ounces) maraschino cherries
  • 2 cans (11 ounces) mandarin oranges
  • 3  eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 container (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
Heat a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the salt, then add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool. 

cooked Orzo pasta….for Rosa Marina Fruit Salad
Meanwhile, drain all of the fruit, reserving the juices,  (except cherry juice).  Add the eggs, flour, sugar, lemon juice and the mixed fruit juices in a heavy pan and cook over medium heat until custard mixture thickens like gravy. Pour into a bowl and cool mixture in fridge.

Here is the thickened, cooked Orzo Fruit Salad custard…..only takes 5 minutes…..
Drain the pasta when cooked, then let cool. Place the cooled pasta into a bowl and add the cooled fruit sauce custard mixture and the crushed pineapple. Mix. 

 Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Refrigerate the fruit separately in a bowl.

This was before I mixed in the fruit…. how beautiful it looks after the  pineapple, oranges and cherries are added. It is so colorful and pretty in a glass or crockery bowl.

When mixture sets up, add the mandarin oranges and tidbit pineapple and cool whip to the pasta and custard mixture. Pull the stems off Maraschino cherries and add a handful into the salad, reserve 8 for the top of salad. Set in fridge until ready to serve. 

 Here is the finished Rosa Marina Fruit Salad….it looks good….and it IS YUMMY!  

Place them in a circle on top of the salad just for looks. I like to use a pretty glass bowl so the pineapple, oranges and cherries show through the sides. But this was a new orange crockery bowl I just bought and wanted to try out. 

I ALWAYS get compliments on Rosa Marina fruit salad. 

                      You will too!  I promise!  

Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

I made this salad the other night for my husband’s birthday. But I did not really add the recipe. So here it is!
My daughter used her Cricut Machine to do the letters “PARTY” for my Party drink tub….
Here she is with her cute girls…
Party tub for our canned drinks….Isn’t it so cute?

Thanks Tiff!  

Dressing ingredients
  • 1/3 cup  red wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/6 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil (or canola oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • Lawry’s Season Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix up slowly in the blender then blend on high for one minute. Taste test it. If it needs a bit more sweet add a bit more sugar. If it is bland, add a dash more of the vinegar. It should be sweet and tart with a dark pink hue. 

If you are not into making your own dressing, which is VERY economical, I do love the Lighthouse dressings or many of the Kraft vinaigrette dressings are good, especially House Italian (hard to find sometimes) and Catalina. But making your own just simply tastes better. Especially making your own buttermilk ranch.

Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans  Recipe
Salad Ingredients

  • 1 package of  baby spinach, add mixed greens if desired 
  • 1 10.5-ounce can mandarin orange drained OR
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries or fresh sliced strawberries (choose your fruit)
Once I was out of all fruit so I added dried apricots and got tons of compliments on that salad.  I made the dressing with apricot jam in place of the raspberries but everything else was the same. It was also a real yummy salad!
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds or pecans, lightly toasted with regular sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh diced avocado
  • thin slices of red onion if desired (I don’t love onions but my family does)
  • sometimes I toss in some dried cherries or cranberries too. I just got some real nice fat dried cherries from the farmers market so I would add those.
  • occasionally if I have fresh mushrooms I will add 4 thinly sliced and halved.
Toast the almonds or pecans in a fry pan with a few tablespoons of regular sugar. Cut up all the veggies and add into the baby spinach mix. Toss with dressing just before serving. Top with the candied nuts passed around in a separate bowl at the table.
Spinach Salad.and Candied Pecans..sometimes I add mushrooms, sometimes I add dried cranberries or cherries…
But I really prefer fresh strawberries in season….and a little bit of sliced avacado….and of course the purple onion….
I usually make up a cup of CANDIED PECANS at a time and then keep them in
a zip lock baggie for later spinach salad attacks. Just toast up 1 cup pecans with 1/4 cup white sugar and
wait until it melts and “coats” the pecans….then cool on a plate or cookie sheet….Easy! 

A good dressing if you are in a time crunch is Kraft light raspberry vinaigrette. It is sweet and yummy and only 50 calories a serving. Spinach salad is always a light and healthy summer salad that everybody loves eating.