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I used to only prepare Caesar Salads when I was having a large Italian or steak dinner. Now, I make them all of the time since my three kids (who are 8, 10 and 11) love them so much. This version is only five ingredients which is perfect this time of year when you want to eat light but also are in a hurry. Purchase already-peeled and deveined shrimp to save time or substitute chicken or salmon for the shrimp. If I don’t have time to prepare a homemade dressing, I buy Ken’s Reduced-Fat Caesar dressing, which is really yummy.

 

Shrimp Caesar Salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

6 cups romaine lettuce leaves

11/4 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup croutons

Reduced-fat Caesar salad dressing (I like Ken’s)

Preparation

1. Toss romaine and remaining ingredients in a large salad bowl or serving platter.

Walnut-Chicken Salad from Southern Living

I love to make salads for dinner, and this southern-style salad makes a great main-dish dinner or weekend lunch. The walnut coating on the chicken cutlets is delicious paired with buttermilk, honey and basil. Feel free to use almonds or pecans instead of the walnuts, and if you’re short on time, use your favorite jarred salad dressing.

 

Walnut Chicken Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4  chicken cutlets

3  tablespoons nonfat buttermilk

3/4 cup  finely ground walnuts

1/2  cup  fine, dry breadcrumbs

1/2  teaspoon salt

2  tablespoons olive oil

6  cups  torn mixed salad greens

4  cups  torn fresh spinach

1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend

16  cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Buttermilk-Honey Dressing

Preparation

1. Brush buttermilk evenly over chicken.

2. Combine walnuts, breadcrumbs, and salt in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in mixture.

3. Pour oil into a large skillet; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Cut chicken crosswise into thin slices.

4. Combine salad greens and spinach, and arrange on each of 4 individual plates. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with tomato halves and chicken. Serve with Buttermilk-Honey Dressing on the side.

Buttermilk-Honey Dressing

Prep: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

1/3  cup  honey

1/3  cup  nonfat buttermilk

1/4  cup  chopped fresh basil

2  tablespoons lemon juice

1/2  teaspoon pepper

Preparation

1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a wire whisk.

Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette from Cooking Light

The combination of soba noodles, edamame, ginger, carrots and fresh citrus juices creates this healthy and flavorful shrimp salad. If you don’t eat shrimp, feel free to add cooked, sliced chicken to this recipe. Don’t let the lengthy-looking ingredient list fool you, this recipe can be on the table in less than 30 minutes.

 

Healthy Shrimp Noodle Salad

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)

Ingredients

1  (8-ounce) package soba noodles

1 1/4  cups frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)

3/4  cup  matchstick-cut carrots

1/3  cup  sliced green onions

2  tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2  teaspoons chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)

1  pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

1/4  teaspoon kosher salt

1/4  teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cooking spray

2  tablespoons fresh orange juice

2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice

1  tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1  tablespoon dark sesame oil

1  tablespoon  olive oil

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Preparation

1. Cook noodles in boiling water 7 minutes or until almost al dente. Add soybeans to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Drain. Place noodle mixture in a large bowl. Add carrots, onions, cilantro, and pepper, if desired; toss.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and red pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Add shrimp to noodle mixture.

3. Combine orange juice and remaining ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over noodle mixture; toss well.

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

February 25, 2009

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Since spring is around the corner, I was getting so excited that I decided to make my favorite spring/summer salad. And since I have tomato and basil on my mind from yesterday’s blog, I thought I would give you this recipe that is so easy and a true favorite at my house. Serve it with practically any main dish. Even my kids eat this salad, and they especially like it when I serve it with some warm crusty bread. Don’t forget to serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar so they can dip.

 

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad

For an extra sprinkling of color, use multi-colored peppercorns and grind them over the salad just before serving.

Prep: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

1/2  pound  fresh mozzarella cheese*

2  large red tomatoes, sliced

1  large yellow tomato, sliced

3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

1/2  cup  shredded or chopped fresh basil

Balsamic vinegar

Preparation

1. Remove cheese from brine, and cut into 12 slices; sprinkle tomato slices. Alternate tomato and cheese slices on a platter; drizzle with olive oil. Cover and chill 4 hours if desired. Just before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Note:*Fresh mozzarella is a soft white cheese available in the gourmet cheese section of any local grocery stores.

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Iceberg wedge salads are so fresh, delicious and best of all, simple. This one is a low-fat main-dish salad topped with shrimp and turkey bacon. I developed a low-fat blue cheese dressing to go with it, but if you’re short on time, use a bottled blue cheese or even vinaigrette dressing instead. This recipe is so simple: 21 minutes and dinner’s on the table.

 

Shrimp Iceberg Wedge

If you’re short on time, cook turkey bacon in microwave on HIGH 21/2 to 3 minutes or until crispy.

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon bottled hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled Blue cheese

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into 6 wedges, with core attached

2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled into pieces

1 cup chopped tomato

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

Pita wedges (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, hot sauce and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in  a small bowl. Add blue cheese, stirring until well blended. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. Preheat grill saute pan or grill pan to medium-high heat.

3. Drizzle shrimp with remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place shrimp on grill rack or grill pan coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done.

4. Arrange lettuce wedges on serving plates. Top with bacon, tomato, onion and shrimp. Spoon dressing evenly over each wedge.

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I am amazed how many subscribers and fans on facebook I have that are college students, and I thank all of you and am so excited that ya’ll are cooking while in college! Carlie, a college senior at the University of Georgia, has particularly enjoyed when I post salad recipes, and she told me she has tried all of them. She asked me to “keep them coming” so Carlie, this one’s for you. This salad is a cinch! The ingredients are very simple and easy to find. Feel free to substitute salmon for the chicken or even add thin cooked vermicelli or rice noodles to this salad. I kept the dressing very light, but it is a little tangy so if you want to add more oil, feel free. 

 

Asian Chicken Salad

Prep: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

5 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 large seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded carrots

1 tomato, thinly sliced

11/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, toasted

2/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon canola or sesame oil

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation

1. Combine lettuce and next 8 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk together rice wine vinegar and remaining ingredients and pour over salad, tossing gently.

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This is one of my favorite salads that I raced to the kitchen and developed after I saw a similar salad at a really cool and eclectic restaurant new to downtown Birmingham, AL called Urban Standard. The combination of walnuts, strawberries, blueberries and goat cheese with a vinaigrette made from pomegranate juice and flaxeed oil create the ultimate healthy salad. If you’re really short on time, omit the dressing and use your favorite bottled light balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette. And, if you want to make this a main-dish dinner salad, add 2 cups grilled or cooked chopped chicken or salmon. 


By the way, I heard from six different people yesterday from California, two in Nashville, two in Birmingham, Atlanta and even New Jersey who were making my Rigatoni for dinner last night. Thanks for all the awesome support! Best, Alison


Super-Healthy Salad

Prep: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

21/2 teaspoons flaxseed oil

4 cups fresh mixed greens

2 cups sliced strawberries

1 (4.4-ounce) package fresh blueberries

1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (if you don’t like goat cheese, you can use feta)

Preparation

1. Whisk together raspberry vinegar, pomegranate juice, honey, mint, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly add flaxseed oil, whisking to combine; set aside.

2. Combine mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and goat cheese in a large serving bowl. Add vinaigrette, tossing well.