The Retro Mom

Bringing your grandmother's comfort food out of her recipe box and into your gluten-free kitchen

Spectacular Spanish Beef Salad. Ole!

An apology: The Retro Mom has had shoulder trouble for the past three months, so posting has been sparse, at best. Hopefully, 2015 will bring many lovely posts and some other surprises!

Now, onto the good stuff, I don’t know where you live, but the lettuce around these parts is just horrible this time of year.

I know this now because after all of the Christmas food I ate, I needed to make a salad. I miss clean eating! And my new 1950’s booklet of “500 Delicious Salad Recipes” was just begging to be perused.


I know, verrrrry tempting! And yes, the salad in the far left corner is made from aspic, tomato juice and whatnot. I may give it a whirl some day when I feel extra courageous, as I have never had any sort of jelled salad that didn’t involve pistachios and cool whip, or lime, cottage cheese and carrots. Aspics were all the rage from the 20’s to the 60’s. They have to be good, right?

Where was I?

Salad booklet.

This book seemed to require lettuce for nearly every recipe. Go figure. I decided on Spanish Beef Salad. It looked simple, and had meat in it. I needed something salty/meaty/full of taste.

So, off to the store I went.

The produce section at Whole Foods greeted me cheerfully at the door! Goodbye sugar cookies, hello health! I headed for the lettuce section.


Pass. Pass. Pass. Ok, Romaine seemed to look passable. Two heads later, and a lot of other stuff, I was ready to cook – er – cut – um – marinate a salad, and then do the rest.

Now, if you are like me, the term “marinate” conjures up images of multiple Ziploc bags, and a lot of prep work and 24 hours to actually marinate to soften the toughest meat known to mankind. But, no. One hour. That’s it! One hour! Yay! A little meat, a little dressing, a little chopping and then……….


Well, you have a salad made at night when there is no way to ever take a good picture. My bad. Good salad though. Yours will be much prettier, I just know it.

Here’s how:


french dressing


Here’s what I did:

1. I used a steak instead of sliced roast beef. Steak was quick and easy, and I could cook it medium rare. I sliced it in very pretty, thick bites and let it cool. But if you have a roast of beef at home, by all means, use it!

I know, right? I could have just stopped there and eaten. Really.

2. I prepared my French Dressing as the recipe directed, then got ready to add in the tomato juice. Wait. What? Tomato juice? I used tomato sauce, because it gave the dressing a richer taste. It was also less expensive and something I would finish using versus tomato juice. I skipped the sugar as well.

3. I did marinate my meat for 3 hours, because I for got about it. After all, it was Christmas break and I was on vacation!

4. I do not like green peppers, so I used red. I’m not sure what is so Spanish about this salad, but, when in Spain……Whole Paycheck I mean Foods, had some lovely Heirloom tomatos that looked pretty. I’m such an easy sell.

5. Because of the lettuce fiasco that unfolded before my eyes, literally, I threw out my lettuce and opted for the other ingredients arranged on a plate. I had some artichoke hearts in my pantry, so in they went!

6. That’s about it – nothing fancy, but it was delightful! I’m already dreaming of other fantabulous recipes from this booklet!

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