One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
The sweet-and-sour dressing in this recipe is a nice change of pace from more traditional varieties. My nursing supervisor shared the recipe with me...and I'm glad she did!—Sue Dorrance, West Bend, Wisconsin
Dining alone? Try this colorful salad from Mary Lewis of Norman, Oklahoma. Refreshing mandarin oranges and a creamy citrus dressing complement tender cubes of chicken, pasta spirals, veggies and sliced red grapes. Truly, it's an entree in itself!
"A variation of this recipe was originally served as a side dish at a popular French restaurant," says Eileen Herr from Indianapolis, Indiana. "I added a few more ingredients to make it a cool and hearty meal. The recipe is very adaptable—it's also delicious with chicken and snow peas."
I'm always making up recipes, and this refreshing salad came about when I wanted something cool yet spicy to eat during hot summers. Serve it as a meatless main course or as a side dish at barbecues. --Donna Williams of Las Vegas, Nevada
Just mention the word "beet" and most kids turn up their noses. Our two children never rushed to the table for beets...but now, when I mention that I'm serving this salad, the response is just the opposite. My mother would prepare dish for me when I was a little girl. It was the only way I'd eat this ruby vegetable.—Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Full of buffalo flavors, this is one of my favorite side dishes at potlucks and tailgate parties, but you could also serve it as a main. It can be eaten warm or cold so it's easy to make ahead of time. Sometimes I even use precooked small shrimp instead of the chicken or leave out the meat if I need a vegetarian dish. —Lisa Huff, Wilton, Connecticut