Saturday I made a variation of a salad I’ve enjoyed for years. It’s a sweet pea salad with beets.

Pea Salad
Pink 7 Layer Pea Salad

I’ll never forget the first time I made the pea salad. Hubby and I were helping out a church during the summer of 1981. An elderly lady in the church was out of town that summer and worked it out with the pastor for us to apartment-sit for her. I had made the pretty beet/pea salad that we had eaten for lunch. We were leisurely enjoying the Sunday afternoon when suddenly the door was unlocked and opened by the lady of the apartment and her friend. Surprise, surprise! There was no warning ahead of time. It was an awkward afternoon. No wonder I don’t house sit anymore.

If you’ve ever read my blog posts, you’ve learned that I love eggs. Part of the beet salad ingredients are slices of boiled eggs. The original recipe called for mayonnaise. Yesterday I used a Greek honey yogurt in place of the mayo. It tastes delicious. I don’t miss the mayo in it at all.

There is a reason for the switch from mayo to yogurt in my new recipe. A couple of weeks ago I ended a detox diet which helped to change some of my eating habits. One of the things I had noticed previous to this was that I felt some discomfort when I ate mayo.

I also noticed during the three-week detoxification that, though I love and eat vegetables, I wasn’t eating enough vegetables or fruit. I ate a lot of salads those three weeks, especially in the evenings when I wanted something to eat but wasn’t extremely hungry. Mixed green and vegetable salads with olive oil and coconut vinegar was satisfying and encouraged me not to eat a heavy dinner.

The detox plan I tried included a support group and an occasional call during the middle of the week. Organic foods were advised so I went to a local health food store that sells organic produce. Their prices are as good or even better than those at the local market.

If you like sweet pea salad (or English peas as we called them when I grew up) and you don’t like mayonnaise, salad dressing, or Miracle Whip, try my version with the yogurt.

Seven Layer Sweet Pea & Beet Salad
Recipe Type: Vegetables
Cuisine: American
Author: Angie with
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
A vegetable salad with Greek yogurt instead of mayo
  • 1 can pickled sliced beets
  • 1 can Le Sueur Very Young Small Sweet Peas
  • 8 oz Voskos Greek Yogurt-honey flavor
  • Organic & GMO Free Happy Living Butter Lettuce
  • 1 small onion
  • Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • 2 sliced hardboiled eggs
  1. Layer the ingredients in this order: peas, lettuce, onion, egg slices, cheese, and beets.
  2. Mix the yogurt and approximately seven tablespoons of the beet juice. Drizzle this dressing (the 7th layer) over salad.
  3. Let salad set for an hour or overnight.

I sent my husband to the store awhile back with a list which included English peas. Like he said, the grocery store doesn’t have canned English peas. They do, however, carry canned sweet peas. “English peas” is one of those deep south things I picked up back in my growing-up years.

My paternal grandmother and her youngest sister, Aunt Ruth, taught me a trick to cooking English peas as they called them. You cook them with real butter and add a tablespoon of sugar. Aunt Ruth said her granddaughter said she didn’t like peas until she ate hers.

Aunt Ruth was quite a character. My daughter and I went by to visit her one day. I got my cell phone out and called my dad so Aunt Ruth could talk to him a minute. We about doubled over laughing. Aunt Ruth had the cell phone upside down trying to talk to him. She, in her East Texas country way, said, “Well, I never talked on one of these before.” Aunt Ruth made history that day.

I must tell you one last tale about Aunt Ruth and peas. One Christmas she remembered a funny thing that happened when she was a young girl. Laughing as she told it, she said there was a boy in the neighborhood that stopped by one afternoon when her mother had dinner on the table. Aunt Ruth didn’t like it that her parents invited him in to have dinner with them. They passed each dish around the table. The boy was sitting beside her. When the bowl of peas came to her, she didn’t take any because she didn’t like them. The boy put a spoonful of the peas in her plate. When the mashed potatoes came around, she took a spoonful of potatoes and threw them in his face. Her father sent her to her room.

If you have a spunky young girl in your family like Aunt Ruth, you might want to use the old trick of adding a tablespoon of sugar to the “English” peas.


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  1. Your aunt sounds like she was a character. I was expecting you to say she ended up marrying the boy she threw the potatoes at. I loved your salad. The dressing was delicious.

    1. Author

      Patty, she was. I loved hearing her tell her stories like the mashed potato story. Glad you loved the salad – and the dressing!!

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