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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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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.

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This salad is so simple and so delicious! The combination of fresh spinach, basil, chopped pine nuts, turkey and Parmesan create an incredible healthy, fresh, main-dish salad. I served this salad for dinner, and it disappeared faster than I could blink. Serve it with your favorite vinaigrette or just a drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil. It has so many great flavors already, so it doesn’t need a lot of dressing. Welcome in spring with clean eating and this fresh salad.

 

Spinach-Turkey Salad

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

11/2 cups chopped fresh basil

1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 pound sliced deli turkey (I used cracked pepper turkey)

1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Vinegar and oil or vinaigrette

Preparation

1. Combine spinach, basil and pine nuts in a large salad bowl. Add turkey and cheese. Drizzle with dressing, 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.