Having grown up in the seventies, I am both nostalgic of and mortified by the foods of that decade. That was the decade of Fondue, Hamburger Helper, Pop Rocks and of course, Crockpots. It was the decade that the microwave came on the market, although most families could not initially afford them at the $1200 price tag.
It was a decade of innovations (Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Yoplait Yogurt, Miller Light, Twix, Stove Top Stuffing) and not-so-gourmet creations (Cup O'Noodles, Chef Boy-ar-dee, Egg McMuffins), and spawned dishes that we both guiltily love and outwardly hate today.
Recently, I had enjoyed reliving a distant memory of picnics from my childhood with large bowls of seven layer salad.
Seven Layer Salad was invented in the 50's although although like many recipes invented decades before, (such as the Bundt cake) it reached its culinary fame in the in the seventies and eighties.
Also of note, it was allegedly invented in the deep south.
Hence it was time for a much needed update.
Recently, Greek yogurt has been all the rage and it struck me that it would be a healthy substitute for the mayonnaise, with a similar texture as an added bonus. And with the quality of turkey bacon these days, I found another acceptable substitute for the pound of bacon included in the recipe.
I layered the salad and mixed about 10 oz. of Fage plain greek yogurt with a packet of Italian salad dressing seasoning from the store. I topped off the salad with this mixture and sprinkled it with oregano and Parmesan cheese.
By chance, our neighbor unexpectedly called us down to join them for supper and upon her call, I had an easily portable ready-to-go side dish, complete with dressing.
It went well with an informal meal of hot dogs and baked chicken.
I have since read of other variations of this dish and they strike me as interesting seasonal alternatives. I plan on trying a variation using sliced mozzarella, fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil, and a Mexican-inspired version with tomatillos chickpeas and black beans.
Layer in a glass bowl from bottom to top:
- Half a head of chopped iceburg lettuce.
- one red onion, chopped
- cherry berry tomatoes and baby carrots, sliced into little medallions
- half pound cooked crumbled turkey bacon
- chopped cauliflower and chopped broccoli
- one cup low fat shredded cheese
Top with dressing
To make dressing, take about 10 oz low fat or regular plan greek yogurt. Add
one packet Italian or ranch seasoning packet from the store. Mix. Spread over salad. Top with fresh herbs or dried oregano and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.