Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good Old-Fashioned Midwest Salads

I stopped by my pal, Margaret's wonderful blog and I saw her recipe for Strawberry Salad.  I hope she doesn't mind if I share it here with you!  It got me to thinking about "salads" in the Midwest and the particular kind that we make with Cool Whip and cream cheese and Jell-o.  I think those types of dessert-y  salads could be particularly indigenous to the Midwest.  I have lived in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin my whole life and I think so!

Here is Margaret's recipe:


8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar

20oz can crushed pineapple, very well drained
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup nuts - I used pecans
10oz frozen strawberries, thawed
Cool Whip - about 2 cups

Cream sugar and cream cheese.  Add pineapple, bananas, and berries.  Stir in nuts.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Freeze in a 9x9 pan.  Remove from the freezer 20-30 minutes before servings. 

And then I was also reminded of a salad that I like to make called Snickers Salad or Caramel Apple Salad


For that you will need

One package of instant vanilla pudding
8 ounces of Cool Whip
6 Snickers candy bars
6-8 green apples

Follow the directions to make the vanilla pudding and then add the Cool Whip and blend.  Core (obviously!) and chop up the apples, and also cut the Snickers into bite size pieces and blend into the pudding mixture. 

Voila!  Salad!

Do you have any recipes for your region?  Share with this Midwestern girl!

Read more here and here.


Noodles said...

Hi Lesli
Those kinds of "salads" are so foreign to us in California. Salads are generally mixed lettuces and veggies OR pasta. Occasionally a lentil or bean salad enters the mix. They are almost always savory unless a fruit salad.
Cool whip (or coool Whhhhhip as Stewie says it) is not a big draw.
Love Noodles' Mommy

Lesli said...

That is why people in CA are so healthy!! So I guess you don't want my recipe for Mandarin Cookie Salad with vanilla pudding, Cool Whip, mandarin oranges and fudge striped shortbread--ha ha!

Donna said...

Ha! I've lived in MN for 20 years now and have never heard of such things! But maybe it's different because I didn't grow up here. :)

Lesli said...

I can only quote Margaret!

Here in the Midwest, we have these delicious combinations of fruit, cool whip, cream cheese, nuts, etc and we call them "salads". And with a straight face no less. If you attend a midwestern small town funeral, you'll see all manner of them on the "salad" table. Their only resemblance to anything truly salad-y is that they do contain fruit, and they come in a bowl. But they are mighty powerful in the comfort department.

And I will have to ask Eric too because he is also not from around here aka the East Coast!

Anonymous said...

It must be an Iowa-Wisconsin-Minn thing. I think they have these "salads" down South too.

Another favorite is the one with cream cheese, green jello, nuts, green pepper, pimento, and pineapple. MMmmmmmmm

Lesli said...

Or how about Jell-o, cream cheese and pretzels!

Emily said...

The strawberry salad sounds really good! I have had the Snickers one... It's more like a dessert!

Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies said...

Oh my. We definitely don't have salads like that in California. People here are really healthy. I grew up in the South, and
mayonaise-y salads (potato, coleslaw, macaroni)were very popular, but I don't think I have eaten any of those since I have lived out here. Funny how things are so regional.

On another note, I think I am going to have to try the snickers salad. It sounds really good.