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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.

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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.

Greek Salad with Shrimp from Cooking Light

If you’re like me, you have had your fill of heavy holiday foods. So, why not a healthy salad for dinner? This salad is one of my favorites! It’s inviting, flavorful, colorful, crisp and the ingredients add huge amounts of flavor without adding all of the heavy fat and salt. It’s perfect for anytime of the year, but especially now, when you want something light, but don’t want to sacrifice quality or taste. 


Shrimp Greek Salad

Prep: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 1/2  pounds  large shrimp, peeled and deveined and cooked

6  cups  torn romaine lettuce

1 1/2  cups  halved cherry tomatoes

1  cup  (1/4-inch-thick) slices red onion, separated into rings

1  cup  cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1  tablespoon  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3  tablespoons  red wine vinegar

2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard

1  teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil

3/4  teaspoon  dried oregano

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1/4  teaspoon  black pepper

2  garlic cloves, minced

1/2  cup  (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

8  kalamata olives, pitted and halved

4  pepperoncini peppers

Preparation

1. Place lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cucumber in a large bowl; toss to combine. Combine parsley and next 7 ingredients (parsley through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Spoon 1 tablespoon dressing over shrimp; toss to combine. Add shrimp mixture and remaining dressing to lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Spoon about 2 3/4 cups salad onto each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 4 olive halves, and 1 pepperoncini pepper.

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Here is a healthy, simple salad recipe which has a few of my favorite ingredients: basil, mint, dried cranberries, almonds and Israeli couscous. Israeli couscous is a small, round semolina pasta which is very versatile, and kids love it. It works great in this combination served over romaine lettuce leaves drizzled with balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Feel free to substitute dried cherries for the cranberries, pine nuts or walnuts for the almonds and any of your favorite lettuces or spinach for the romaine. Here’s to a healthy fresh start to the New Year!


Prep: 10 minutes 

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

11/2 cups Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preparation

1. Bring broth and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to a boil; pour over couscous; bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes until still firm to the bite.

2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, zest and pepper; let cool.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil.

4. Toss romaine lettuce with fresh herbs, dried cherries, and almonds, tossing gently to combine. Top with couscous and drizzle with balsamic dressing.