Monday, September 5, 2016

Jan's Veggie Salad for a Holiday Weekend Barbecue

I'm pretty sure I got the original idea for this salad from Ruthy - the recipe I had printed out had Ruthy's voice all the way through it! But I couldn't find the original in the Yankee-Belle archives, so you get my my voice...without Ruthy chiming in anywhere.

Can that happen at the Cafe? Only if we all keep quiet and don't tell her about it!

It all started with an invitation to the Second Annual Brummer Family Barbecue.

Yes, the same Brummer family that our Seekervillager friend Megan belongs to!

A few people are invited to compete to make the best barbecue (South Dakota style!) around. In my humble opinion, Frank's brisket was the winner.

Of course, he has an unfair advantage, being a rancher and all! But Austin's brisket and Matt's pulled pork were hard to beat.

I should know. I sampled all three of them!

Anyway, the rest of us supplied side dishes like baked beans, mac and cheese, salads, and desserts.

There was a LOT to choose from! And yes, that guy in the hat is a real live cowboy. We have them out here. They aren't only characters in novels!

And isn't Megan's new kitchen beautiful? I love the color of the cabinets. :)

As I was thinking of what to bring, I thought of the number of people who were invited to this shin-dig who need to eat gluten-free. Celiac disease is real, and their need to eat special items is real. And all of us in this group of friends and family are learning how to cook so we can all share in the goodness.

Even the desserts! The cupcakes and brownies in the foreground are both gluten-free.

It's actually pretty easy to cook gluten-free. You just need to be aware of what cross-contamination means and how you can prevent it. For instance, when my daughter, Carrie, made the gluten-free cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, she opened a new jar of peanut butter. Otherwise there would be the danger of cross-contamination of possible bread crumbs (even invisible ones) lurking in the used jar.

I ended up pulling out Ruthy's recipe for No-Pasta Salad, and made my own versions - one with gluten and one without.

Jan's Veggie Salad, with and without Pasta

Start with veggies:

1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

and add 1 1/2 cups crumbled Feta cheese

Make your salad dressing:

In a small bowl, mix together:

1 package Ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cream

Stir the dressing into the veggies until it's all mixed together.

Up until now, we have a fresh gluten-free salad. Put some of this salad in a separate bowl for your gluten-free friends and family.

But we're not done - we still have the pasta salad version!

Cut 1/2 pound hard salami* into 1/2 inch chunks (I got mine from the deli counter and had them slice it into two 1/2 inch slices.)
Cook 3 cups dry pasta until firm, but done (al dente). I used penne, but you can use whatever shape you want.

*I couldn't be sure that the salami from the deli was gluten-free, so I played it safe and only added it to the pasta version of the salad.

Mix the pasta and salami into the remaining veggies, and put it into another bowl for your non-gluten-free friends and family.

After enjoying our meal of barbecue and ALL the fixin's, we spent the rest of the evening on the deck, chatting with old and new friends.

The weather cooperated beautifully for games, visiting and wagon rides to visit the neighbor's horses.

And now we have to wait a whole year until the Third Annual Brummer Family Barbecue! I can hardly wait. :)

Meanwhile, what are your plans for the holiday weekend?

I'm spending today moving into my new office (once known as Carrie's bedroom)!

Here's what it looked like Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned for the final version!

I'm also getting ready for the release of Mattie's Pledge on September 20!!!!

When she feels the pull of both home and the horizon, which will she choose?

Mattie Schrock is no stranger to uprooting her life. Even as her father relocated her family from one Amish community to the next, she always managed to find a footing in their new homes. Now as the Schrock family plans to move west from Somerset County to a fledgling Amish settlement in Indiana, she looks forward to connecting with old friends who will be joining them from another Pennsylvania community—friends like Jacob Yoder, who has always held a special place in her heart.
Since Mattie last saw Jacob, they’ve both grown into different people with different dreams. Jacob yearns to settle down, but Mattie can’t help but dream of what may lie over the western horizon. When a handsome Englisher tempts her to leave the Amish behind to search for adventure in the West, will her pledge to Jacob be the anchor that holds her secure?

Tender, poignant, and gentle, Mattie’s Pledge offers you a glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s—and into the yearning heart of a character you’ll not soon forget.

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. Those annoying Celiac people just make life so complicated, don't they ;) Good thing we didn't let that get in the way of a good time! I'm going to go munch on some leftover GF cupcakes and salad today... heheh

    Congrats on the new office! And the upcoming release! I can't wait to read Mattie's story :)

    1. The party was so much fun!

      Part of that was the great food, but most of it was the wonderful fellowship. :)

      Those Brummers - they know how to put on a barbecue. :)

  2. So the title is all about veggie salad and the first picture is meat -- what's up with that? LOL Neat version of a salad. I've never put cauliflower in a salad -- had it raw with dip, of course, but goodness, I'm a boring salad maker. I need to get out more, I guess.

    I'm dealing with some more gardening stuff now that the weather is a bit cooler. Well, temp is getting nasty in the afternoons this week, but it drops right down at night so I can survive that...I think.

    1. That's how I know fall is coming - the day time temps are still warn/hot, but the overnights are nice and cool. Great sleeping weather!

      And sorry about the meat picture, but it was the star of the party :)

  3. Jan, what a great idea to split the salads! So nice to do for your GF friends.

    1. And so easy to do! The fun part is that this style of gluten-free is often low carb, too, so it's a win/win!

  4. First, Meg Brummer, WHERE THE HECK WAS MY INVITE???? WHAT??????

    Second, I love that idea of splitting the salad, and that dressing sounds so stinkin' good, Drex! I must try this!!!! Ranch-flavored dressing just makes me happy.

    And I love being happy!

    Great shots here and what a wonderful day. Happy Reunion day, Brummers!

  5. And I think you should hear my voice throughout! Of course you should, darlings!!!!

    1. You would be invited IF YOU EVER COME OUT WEST!!!


      It was a great afternoon, but it would have been better with a little Ruthy pizazz!

  6. LOL I'm with Kav. I read the title and saw the meat and thought maybe you were making a steak salad like the one I made for my husband last night.

    Funny you remember this post as Ruthy's because I thought you had done one like this before. Either way, it sounds delicious and the barbeque looks like an amazingly fun time.

  7. Cate, I wonder if you're on to something. I had a couple of pasta salads, but they were the antipasto type, weren't they? But whatever, it's fun to chime in over here!!! :)

  8. I guess the origin of the recipe is a mystery! I have to start making sure I know where recipes are from before I print them out.

    Wherever it came from, it is delicious!

  9. Mystery solved. (I think!)

    Missy did one based on Ruthy's antipasto.