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Preparing for July 4th with a different salad

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It's time to prepare for the July 4th celebration! Many are preparing by having barbecues, picnics and get-togethers this weekend and some are taking vacations this week. If you're planning a special gathering this Friday, I'll be sharing recipes this week that will be great for using for this weekend, or anytime this summer that you're doing some entertaining.

First, let's talk about a good vegetable recipe! The recipe I'm sharing in today's column uses fresh tomatoes and it's very interesting, according to its title: "Fire and Ice Tomatoes". The recipe is called this because you make a dressing that's heated, poured over tomatoes and other vegetables, then refrigerated. Therefore, it's heated and chilled and this is how it's named this!

This recipe is incredibly easy to make and is very low in calories. Anyone who is dieting can definitely enjoy this dish. It's healthful and full of good nutrition, too. If you're growing tomatoes and green pepper, you have the basics of making this recipe. The other ingredients are those that you may already have on hand, so it's economical, as well!

You begin by peeling the tomatoes and layering them in a shallow dish with green peppers and onions. The dressing ingredients are combined in a saucepan and brought to boiling. Then, this hot dressing is poured over the vegetables. It's now covered and it goes straight to the refrigerator. When it's completely chilled, it's all set for serving.

When making the dressing, this can be made even easier by placing the ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl and heating on high power until it's boiling. This would cut down on dishwashing and make the preparation even faster. This is also a good recipe to make in advance. It's actually better made this ahead since the flavors will blend better as it chills. It's a healthy and unique way to make and serve a salad!

A while back, I shared a potato salad recipe that would also be great for the 4th. This recipe is one that tastes much like what my mother makes, except that this recipe has measurements! To get this recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/potato-salad-with-documentation

Let's get ready for the 4th festivities by beginning with this good and easy recipe:

FIRE AND ICE TOMATOES

  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Put tomatoes, green pepper, and onion in a shallow dish. Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Pour over the vegetables. Cover tightly and chill. Serve chilled. Yield: about 6-8 servings.

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