Day 40: Easy Refrigerator Salad ♥

Easy Refrigerator Salad
Today's easy make-ahead vegetable salad: A 'concept' recipe for a refrigerator salad that keeps, made from frozen vegetables and chopped onion, celery and pepper. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point or no points. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe updated & reposted 2008, updated 2012 ~
~more recently updated recipes~

2005: Another make-ahead recipe, another keeps-awhile recipe - this time from my mother who kept a jar in her fridge year-round. Her favored frozen vegetable mix was that classic round peas, square carrots and oval corn combinations. But it was good! Tonight I used what was in the freezer, broccoli and cauliflower. But another time I would use the stir-fry mixes that the supermarkets carry. But I'd experiment, too: lima beans, anyone?

2008: My friend Mary recently shared a favorite recipe, one she calls "Weight Watchers Festive Vegetable Salad". The ingredient list was so familiar: sure enough, it was nearly the same as a recipe of my mother's already on A Veggie Venture. So I combined the two for a perfect "concept recipe" for a make-ahead refrigerator salad.

2012: This is such a good salad, just combine frozen and fresh vegetables with canned or frozen beans. It keeps for several weeks! It has enough liquid that I use a spoonful as "dressing" with my nearly-every-day salad, Quick 'n' Easy Raw Salad.


For Instance

Asian Vegetables with Kidney & Edamame Beans

Hands-on time: 15-25 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes about 12 cups

2 tablespoons wet mustard (my mother used dry mustard)
1 tablespoon flour (my mother's recipe didn't use this but it helps thicken the dressing)
2/3 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (1/4 cup is half what Mom's and Mary's recipes called for, it suited my taste perfectly)

32 ounces frozen vegetables, cooked - I used half Asian vegetables, half edamame beans
15 ounces kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
8 ribs celery, diced
Optional: Canned artichokes, canned hearts of palm, etc. (I loved these added in)

SAUCE In a saucepan, whisk mustard and flour. Slowly whisk in water, whisking to keep smooth. Whisk in vinegar and sugar, stirring well til sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and let simmer a minute or two.

VEGETABLES While the sauce cooks, cook the frozen vegetables, then drain. Chop the remaining vegetables. Combine the cooked vegetables, the chopped vegetables and the beans. Toss well with the cooked sauce. Transfer to storage container and refrigerate at least 24 hours before serving.

2005: Standard yellow or white onions would work fine. A red onion on hand made for nice color contrast tonight, I suspect a sweet Vidalia-type onion would work as well.
2005: (When I made a broccoli & cauliflower version.) For the first time in memory, I was disappointed with frozen vegetables, packages of Birds Eye broccoli and cauliflower, on sale recently for a buck a pound - cheap! I should have read the labels, however, rather than making the purchase based on price and the gorgeous picture of fat heads of broccoli and cauliflower. "Specially selected cut broccoli stems & florets" the broccoli bag read; that's exactly what was inside -- 80% stems, 20% florets. Buyer beware.
2005: Choose frozen vegetables that are bite-size. Big chunks just don't work, stick to small bites.
2008: This recipe was first published in 2005, it tasted so good when remade recently that I'm highlighting it again. Plus, 'refrigerator salads' that keep for a week or more -- especially ones that start with frozen vegetables -- are especially convenient for busy cooks. It's why my Tips for Eating More Vegetables includes Tip#12, Cook once, eat for a week. (FYI, I add a new tip each week.)

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Still Hungry?

~ Swedish Beets ~
~ Marinated Vegetable Salad ~
~ No-Cook Tabbouleh ~
~ more refrigerator salad recipes ~
~ more concept recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Favorite Summer Salad Recipes ~
~ Greek Pasta Salad ~
~ New-Fashioned Sauerkraut Salad ~
~ Quinoa & Black Bean Salad ~
~ more salad recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I think this salad looks great! I love the idea. Thanks!

  2. Leave out the kidney beans, and you've got yourself a pretty good salad! LOL

  3. AnonymousJune 08, 2008

    I purchased some frozen veggies today just to make this salad. I added zucchini, celery, yellow bell pepper and purple cabbage (hopefully this latter will not stain overmuch!). And I used only edamame. I'm looking forward to my lunch!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna