Grow salad ingredients year round

Investing in commercial grow lights makes it possible to enjoy fresh radishes, lettuce and onions for almost the entire year

As long as I can remember, I wanted to grow things year round. Three years ago, I finally invested in commercial grow lights and my family and I now enjoy fresh radishes, lettuce and onions almost all year.

At first, I grew the lettuce in long planters. This year, I’m growing it in individual pots and plant 10 heads every two weeks.

When our daughter was attending university one summer we came up with a taco salad by trial and error.

Taco salad

Meat: Brown a pound (.45 kilogram) of hamburger until well cooked and add taco seasoning.

Salad ingredients:

  • 4-6 c. romaine or iceberg lettuce (220-330 g)
  • 3 c. package mozzarella and cheddar cheese (350 g)
  • 1 large bag of Taco chips (your favourite flavour)
  • 1 c. Catalina dressing (250 mL)
  • 1 c. salsa (250 mL)

Shred lettuce by hand. Mix together in a large bowl all dry ingredients.

Mix together salsa and Catalina dressing and stir gently into salad. Make sure hamburger is well cooked before adding to salad. Tex Mex shredded cheese works great in this salad too.

My daughter-in- law, Tanya, suggested putting the salad dressing on the lettuce before adding the rest of the ingredients; it works well because the rest of the ingredients don’t clump when you assemble it that way.

You can make your own taco seasoning mix.

Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 1/4 c. dried minced onion 63 mL
  • 1/4 c. chili powder 63 mL
  • 3 tbsp. salt 45 mL
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch 20mL
  • 1 tbsp. dried minced garlic 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes 15 mL
  • 2 tsp. beef bouillon granules 10 mL
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oregano 15 mL

Combine all the ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to one year. Yields 3/4 cup, (190 mL).

Greek salad

  • 1 c. romaine lettuce 55 g
  • 1/4 c. diced red pepper 30 g
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion 30 g
  • 1/2 c. diced cucumber 60 g
  • 1/2 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half 65 g
  • 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese 30 g
  • Small handful black olives
  • 2 tbsp. Greek dressing with feta and oregano 30 g

Wash and dry lettuce. Combine all ingredients (except dressing) in bowl. Toss with salad dressing. Serve.

Poppy seed dressing

  • 1 1/4 c. white sugar 280 mL
  • 3/4 c. vinegar 240 mL
  • 2 tbsp. prepared mustard (do not use dry mustard) 25 mL
  • 2 tbsp. poppy seeds 25 mL
  • 2 tsp. salt 10 mL
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 c. canola oil 500 mL

Mix well except oil. Mini whisk can be used or you can use a blender.

Slowly add canola oil in thin stream, beating constantly throughout process.

Make a day before serving. Makes 1 quart (1 litre) of dressing.

The first time I tasted this dressing was on fresh garden lettuce at the lake. Deb Moffat shared the recipe and I’ve made it ever since. She uses a whisk to make it and I always use my blender.

Orange cranberry romaine salad

  • 1 medium head of Romaine lettuce, torn
  • 2 c. drained orange segments 500 mL
  • 1 c. sliced celery 250 mL
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 c. dried cranberries 130 g
  • 3/4 tsp. poppy seeds 15 mL
  • 1/4 c. canola oil 50g
  • 1/4 c. vinegar 50 g
  • 1/4 c. sugar 55 g
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 5 g

In a large salad bowl, mix lettuce with the oranges, celery, onions, cranberries and poppy seeds.

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour over salad, toss and serve immediately.

If you have a sunny south-facing window you could grow a couple of multiplier onions, and a small container of fresh lettuce.

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