Friday, November 9, 2012

Millionaire Salad

You may know this recipe better as "five cup salad," since it traditionally featured 5 cups of ingredients (the ratios don't quite add up in this version).  Chances are, if you're from the South or Midwest, this recipe is familiar to you, but if you're a New England girl like me, you've probably never heard of it. It's technically a fruit salad, although between the marshmallow and coconut, I'm more tempted to call it dessert.  Still, it's a great retro dish to bring to your Thanksgiving celebration this year, and feeds a crowd.

  • 2 cups vegan mini marshmallows (such as Sweet & Sara)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 (11-ounce) drained cans mandarin oranges in juice
  • 1 (20-ounce) drained can crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and chill before serving.

Note: There's no specific instruction on how long to chill the salad, but many online versions recommend overnight. I made the salad 8 hours in advance.

Yes, you can find vegan-certified versions of all of the above ingredients. Start, of course, with Sweet & Sara's adorable mini marshmallows, which are just the right size for this recipe.

Here's my line-up of brands for the rest of the vegan goodies: coconut from Woodstock Farms, mandarin oranges from Native Forest, and crushed pineapple from Whole Foods 365. For the sour cream, I used We Can't Say It's Sour Cream to keep the salad lighter, but try Vegan Gourmet if you want it a little richer.

To continue with the traditional theme of the menu, serve this with your favorite vegan turkey roast, whether Gardein, Tofurky, or Match.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1/2 cup), Calories 151 

Tasting Notes:
Well my goodness, this was like eating the topping off an ice cream sundae without the ice cream underneath. The marshmallow, sour cream, and yogurt, once blended together, taste like marshmallow fluff.  Add crushed pineapple and coconut, and I felt like I was a kid again eating a sundae at Friendly's restaurant. Great juicy mandarin oranges. This "salad" is decadent and meant to be a once-a-year treat for sure; very sweet but very good.


Vegan extra:
A small aside tonight, on edamame. I eat tofu and tempeh far more often than the fresh, green version of these miraculous little beans, but I was reminded recently how fantastic edamame is in original form.  You can eat edamame shelled of course, but whole edamame in pods makes an excellent appetizer.

Blanch the whole pods in boiling water for just about 5 minutes.

Toss with sea salt.

And serve. Slip the whole velvety pod into your mouth, and the tender beans will pop right out.

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