The people's voice of reason

Southern Cuisine - October

What to do this weekend. Having a hard time deciding what to have for your next meal?

Don't cook! This is the season when it is sometimes too warm to cook and too cold not to cook. So when it is just a lazy time and you can't make up your mind what to do, just don't cook. Instead of cooking, prepare a dinner or lunch that can be prepared without cooking. I am sure there are ingredients in your refrigerator that are cooked and can put together to create a meal. Be creative preparing a salad. And since salads are never the same each time you make them, I am not including directions on their preparations.


METHOD: Have ready as many crisp leaves of lettuce as may be required to make a dainty little nest for each person. Curl them into shape and in each one place tiny speckled eggs made by rolling cream cheese into shape, then sprinkle with fine chopped parsley. Serve with French dressing hidden under the leaves of the nest.



1 cup mixed greens or lettuce of choice

3 oz shredded rotisserie chicken (large, sealed bag of rotisserie chicken can be purchased at COSTCO)

1 hard-boiled egg (pre-cooked)

1/4 avocado, diced (COSTCO also sells a box of individual packaged avocado mash, 2 oz each)

1/4 beefsteak tomato, cut into chunks

2 Tablespoons red onion, diced

1 Tablespoon crumbled bacon (pre-cooked)

1 Tablespoon bleu cheese dressing


Pour dressing into a small container with a lid. Combine the remaining ingredients* in a meal prep container and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Notes: Do not add avocado to the meal prep container until the day you are going to eat the salad. It will brown and form a crust on the fruit if stored too long unless you buy the avocado mash.)



1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 cup minced shallots (1 large)

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry

1/8th seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes

12 ounces good feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced

1 cup (4 ounces) whole fresh mint leaves, julienne


Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, to form an emulsion. If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator.

Place the arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.

For more amazing images of delicious meals, including a boxed smorgasbord, from Chef Spooner’s the last few months, please pick up a copy of the Gazette or download it from this site!


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