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Filed under: Family Camping, Menu Planning & Cooking, Preparation & Readiness

All About Food–Favorite Summer Sides!

July 3, 2011 by · 4 Comments 


Along with the marinated chicken recipe that I shared in my last post (see June 26th blog), two crowd-pleasing additions to our favorite summer meals are potato salad and pasta salad. The potato salad is made with the Hellman’s Lite Mayonnaise I wrote about in my blog on cutting calories without losing taste and is a wonderful complement to any main course, be it chicken, burgers, fish or steak. In addition, it is a nice alternative to traditional hot cooked potatoes on hot summer evenings. I must confess, I received this recipe from my late mother-in-law, Evelyn Berry, so it truly is the Berry Potato Salad. As an aside, her son will not eat or touch a pickle, but devours this potato salad in spite of the fact there is pickle juice in the sauce!

Berry Potato Salad

potatos and eggsIngredients:

  • Approximately 5 lbs potatoes, sliced but unpeeled—whatever you have on hand, but I prefer to use small red potatoes for salad. I do not peel my potatoes because I believe that eliminates many of the nutrients in the vegetable.
  • About 6 eggs, hard boiled
  • Approximately 1.5 cups Hellman’s Lite Mayonnaise
  • ¼ to ½ cup juice from a jar of pickles (I use Kosher Midget Dills as they are my favorite); to taste
  • About ½ teaspoon mustard. You can use any mustard; I tend to use Dijon as it is what I usually have on hand.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika

potato salad dressingCook potatoes in preferred manner to desired consistency. I prefer to cook mine in a pressure cooker as it is fast and I believe it preserves more nutrients than boiling. I apply 15 lbs of pressure and remove them from heat just when the pressure cooker starts “jiggling.” Remove potatoes to a bowl and let them cool.

When eggs are cooked and cooled, peel and slice them. Add slices to bowl of potatoes, saving about five slices to decorate the top of salad. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining ingredients, adding liquid (pickle juice) to achieve desired consistency. When well mixed, add to potatoes and mix well, taking care not to break up or mash potatoes. Top with remaining egg slices, salt and pepper, then paprika.

The pasta salad can either be a side dish to complement a main entrée or an entire meal in itself. I traditionally make it with canned shrimp, but you could also used cubes of cooked chicken or no meat at all for a vegetarian entrée. It is nice and cool, as well as plenty to eat, on a hot summer evening.

Summer Pasta Salad

Pasta salad ingredientsIngredients:

  • 1 pckg rotini pasta, cooked al dente and cooled
  • 2 cans small or broken shrimp, drained
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Sliced black olives, if desired
  • Reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed as desired
  • Sweet frozen peas, thawed and rinsed
  • 1 cup Hellman’s Lite Mayonnaise
  • 1.5 cups No or Low Fat Plain Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon beau monde (spice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

pasta salad dressingDirections:

Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl in order given. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to pasta mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Check out Woodall’s main site and bookstore for more camping information and camping meals.


4 Responses to “All About Food–Favorite Summer Sides!”
  1. Pat Malone says:

    Hi, Diane,

    Do you chop the potatoes or keep them whole? Also, it would be helpful if you indicated approximate servings. I love your recipes. Keep them coming!


  2. Pat Malone says:

    Hey, Diane – I just reread your directions for the potato salad and saw that i had missed where you said SLICE but do not peel the taters. I guess I got too much sun at the lake this wk-end. We don’t get much of it here in Seattle and it must have affected my brain – lol (Sorry about that)


  3. Diane Berry says:

    Hi Pat–Glad you enjoy the recipes! I have a few more in the works! No problem about the questions–I love them. Sorry for the slow response–we were up at the lake ourselves this weekend, sans internet! As far as servings go, this recipe usually feeds a group of about 10 (family gathering) with leftovers for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

  4. Amanda says:

    Hi Diane,
    Great food posts! I just started a website for members to share camping/grilling recipes, and adventures…please join and post some of your recipes! Here is the site:

    Hope to see you on there!

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