Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tasty and Healthy Salads

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Double this fresh and colorful salad and top each portion with 3 ounces grilled chicken breast for a quick main dish salad.

Makes 4 servings, generous 1 cup each

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes


1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup diced radishes
1/2 cup Orange-Oregano Dressing or Creamy Dill Ranch Dressing (recipes follow)
1 tablespoon minced red onion

Place bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, radishes, dressing and onion in a medium bowl. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Orange-Oregano Dressing

What this dressing lacks in calories and fat it makes up for in big, bold orange flavor and herbal oregano notes.

Makes about 1 cup

ACTIVE TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes


1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a jar. Cover and shake to combine.

Creamy Dill Ranch Dressing

Cottage cheese blended in a food processor to a creamy texture, while not traditional in Ranch dressing, delivers unbelievable richness with minimal calories and fat.

Makes 1 1/4 cups

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes


1 small shallot, peeled
3/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder (see Note)
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

With the food processor running, add shallot through the feed tube and process until finely chopped. Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, buttermilk powder and vinegar. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary, about 3 minutes. Pour in milk while the processor is running. Scrape down the sides, add dill, salt and pepper and process until combined.

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad

Though it tastes rich and creamy, this potato salad is made with nonfat yogurt and reduced-fat mayonnaise, making it much lower in fat than a traditional potato salad. Roasted garlic adds a rich dimension.

Makes 10 servings, 1 cup each

ACTIVE TIME: 1 1/4 hours

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours


2 large heads garlic
3 pounds medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled (see Tip)
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped California Ripe Olives
1 4-ounce jar sliced pimientos, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallion greens, plus more for garnish
Paprika for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Rub off excess papery skin from the garlic heads without separating cloves. Slice the tips off each head, exposing the cloves. Place garlic heads on a square of aluminum foil, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon water and pinch edges of foil together to make a package. Roast until garlic flesh is very soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Unwrap garlic and let cool slightly.
3. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cook, covered, over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain well; transfer to a large bowl. Toss gently with the vinegar and let cool.
4. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp into a food processor or blender. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; blend until smooth.
5. Add the dressing to the potatoes and toss to coat. Finely chop 3 eggs and add to the potatoes along with the celery, olives, pimientos, parsley and chopped chives (or scallion greens). Stir gently to mix. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the paprika. Slice the remaining egg and arrange the slices decoratively on top. Garnish with more chives and/or parsley sprigs.

TIP: Tip: To hard-boil eggs: Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour out hot water and run a constant stream of cold water over the eggs until completely cooled.

Shrimp Cobb Salad

Cooked peeled shrimp is perfect for quick and healthy meals--here we use it in place of chicken in our simplified Cobb Salad.

Makes 1 serving

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes


3 cups chopped hearts of romaine
5 grape or cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup sliced cucumber
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced (see Tip)
5 cooked peeled shrimp (31-40 per pound)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons light blue cheese dressing

Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, egg and shrimp in a bowl. Season with pepper. Toss with dressing and serve.

Greek Tofu Salad

This quick tofu salad is flavored with feta, onion, olives and lemon. Make it a meal: Spoon the salad into toasted whole-wheat pitas and add lettuce leaves.

Makes 4 servings, 1 cup each

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes


1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onion or scallion
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
8 ounces firm tofu, drained and crumbled (1 cup)
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Stir together feta, onion (or scallion), olives, lemon juice, oil and oregano in a medium bowl. Add tofu and mash together with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Add tomato, cucumber and parsley to tofu mixture. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Lemony Carrot Salad

Tangy lemon and fresh dill make a bright dressing for shredded carrots.

Makes 2 servings

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes


1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped scallion

Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Add carrots, dill and scallion; toss to coat.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days


Gina Alajar said...

Great recipe and healthy too! Thanks for sharing!

Heart's Desire Jewelry said...

I love salads and these all look delicious! I can't wait to try them. Thanks for sharing :)