Recipes: Crock Pot Teriyaki Sandwiches and Olive Garden Salad

by Cate on November 14, 2011

Olive Garden Salad
So I promised you a recipe for amazing teriyaki steak sandwiches… what the heck is that picture of the salad doing there? Well, here’s the thing. I haven’t quite gotten my schedule used to the whole losing-light-at-430-pm routine. Winter is so going to suck in that respect. I usually take my food photo shots right before dinner. I can’t always get my act together enough to do it earlier. So no steak picture today, but still the recipe and fancy lead-in. Swear. Luckily I did, however, have a picture of this mighty fine salad, so it’s a two-fer day.One post, two recipes.

And that salad picture? Although not up to my usual standards, I hope you’re suitably impressed that it was taken with absolutely zero light. This was the only part of dinner that we could actually eat on Friday after the power went out for hours. So that’s good, right? Now onto the details.

The salad is a copycat of Olive Garden’s famous house salad.  I thought it was a pretty good copy of it.  Mystic thought it was good, but that it didn’t taste like theirs.  But he also knew the dressing had mayonnaise in it, and he hates mayonnaise so that could have totally colored his opinion of it.  He did eat all of his portion, and by the time we had decided the power wasn’t coming back on, the whole bowl of salad had been scoffed up.  Methinks that’s excellent.  Three adults, two kids.  Crazy simple to make … chop up salad ingredients, whisk the dressing ingredients together, and serve.  (I didn’t make the croutons)  I personally don’t think you’ll scream out “there’s mayonnaise in this dressing!” but mayonnaise doesn’t particularly offend me either.

Now the crockpot teriyaki stead sandwiches.  OMG.  Like seriously oh-m-gee.  I first made it on Thursday, completely proud of myself that as I was at work, dinner was making itself at home in the crock pot.  Until I got home and realized that I had put the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours, instead of high.  Which meant if I wanted it for dinner that night, it would be at around 8 pm.  Oops.  So I went to Plan B for dinner, and decided on the teriyaki steak sandwiches for Friday night.  And that’s, of course, when the power blew.  Awesome, right?  By the time Sunday night rolled around, our dinner guest list had grown, so I made a second batch and combined the two.  The recipe could not be easier to make, and aside from the meat, I bet you have everything you need in your cupboards already.  THIS IS A RECIPE YOU NEED IN YOUR REPERTOIRE.  Yes, I’m emphasizing that.  Because I want to make sure you make it.  The meat is tender, ridiculously moist, and seriously well seasoned.  Since it takes all of five minutes of prep time, it’s a perfect go-to recipe when you just can’t think past “what’s for dinner.”  A great hearty meal for Fall appetites, and perfect in the summer when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen any more than necessary.

I served the steak in small sandwich rolls, and everyone accessorized it the way they liked it… some with cheddar and pickles, some with sliced red onions and tomatoes, some with fresh salsa and ketchup.  The boys at the table plowed through four or five sandwiches each and barely came up for air.  Six out of seven loved the steak.  The seventh doesn’t count because not only did she not taste it, she just wasn’t doing dinner.  Period.  End of story.

Oh, one caveat.  The recipe indicates that it serves 8.  I totally don’t believe that.  Maybe five.  Definitely not 8.  Especially if the 8 includes growing teenagers or men with a normal appetite.

Have I convinced you yet to make it?  Hope so.  You won’t be sorry.

November 14, 2011 – Bonus Photo
Master Bedroom Before
This is the before shot of the master bedroom.  I bought the new paint color, oh, some five or six weeks ago, and even though this week is crazybusy with a vendor show on Saturday, I’m determined to at least get SOME paint up on the wall.  Just need to find my “get up and go,” because for now, it has gotten up and gone.

Olive Garden Salad
Recipe courtesy of The Sisters Cafe blog right here.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Lvs2Cook at

2 -1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
8 French rolls, split
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Topping options
shredded Chinese cabbage
sliced pineapple rings
chopped green onions
plum sauce or sweet and sour sauce

  1. Trim excess fat from steak; cut into thin, bite-sized slices. In a 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow-cooker, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. Stir in meat. Cover; cook on the LOW setting for 7 to 9 hours or on the HIGH setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove meat from juices. Pour juices into a measuring cup; skim fat. Measure 1 1/2 cups juices (add water if necessary); place in a saucepan. Stir together cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons water; add to saucepan. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cooked meat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, brush rolls lightly with margarine. Place, cut side up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.
  4. Top bottom halves of the toasted rolls with meat mixture and desired toppings. Cover with roll tops.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne November 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

Yeah the lack of light is seriously starting to get to me….I might have to go back to eating dinner for lunch. (Or get really friendly with my artificial lights.)

I am definitely passing that teriyaki recipe onto my parents…it’s something they would love and might actually help my mother get dinner on the table before 9pm!


Sarah Caron November 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

The light is killing me. All of a sudden, I can’t photograph dinner at all since even if it’s done at 4 p.m., there isn’t enough light for a good shot. SIGH.


Erin from The Sisters Cafe November 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I’m so glad you enjoyed the Olive Garden Salad! :) The Crockpot Teriyaki Sandwiches sound great too!


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