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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 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.

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.

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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.

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Yesterday, I did a cooking segment on my favorite station Fox 6 News in Birmingham, Alabama which was so much fun! Television work has been an added dimension to my business as I taped eight television cooking segments last month in Massachusetts. Back to yesterday, I have had enormous reponse to the recipes I made on the show, so I thought I would run the recipes one more time. For all of you loyal subscribers, I hope you will forgive me for seeing them again. Hopefully, you will be able to use them this time of year as they are so healthy, flavorful and delicious.


Here’s the link if you want to see my video: http://www.myfoxal.com/myfox/pages/InsideFox/Detail?contentId=8230072&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=5.2.1


Spinach Apple Salad

Prep: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

2  (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach

4  small Granny Smith apples, chopped

3/4  cup  cashews, toasted (pecan halves may also be used)

1/2  cup  golden raisins

1/3  cup  sugar

1/2  cup  apple cider vinegar

1/3  cup  vegetable oil

1/4  teaspoon  garlic salt

1/4  teaspoon  celery salt

Preparation

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large salad bowl.

2. Whisk together sugar and next 4 ingredients until blended. Serve dressing with salad.

Note: You can chill dressing up to 1 day; whisk well before serving.

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Lemon Herbed Chicken

This recipe is also fabulous when grilled.

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to use chicken cutlets)

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Directions

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl, mixing well. Pour lemon marinade over the chicken in a zip-top resealable bag; marinate 1 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.

2. Place chicken on a lightly greased grill or saute pan over medium-high heat; cook 2 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. Garnish with with the lemon slices.

Note: You can also cook these the oven by placing them on a baking sheet (or cover baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray for easy cleanup). Broil 51/2 inches from heat (with electric oven door partially open) 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until tender; 

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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.