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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Using a rotisserie chicken is a life-saver for so many wonderful quick dinner recipes. I created this recipe since my 3 kids love Caesar Salads, and sometimes a delicious sandwich and a salad or side is all they want for dinner. The simple mixture of low-fat mayonnaise, garlic, fresh parsley, lemon juice and Parmesan create an incredibly flavorful spread for these sandwiches. In twenty minutes, dinner can be done, but this recipe is also great to serve for lunch on the weekends.

 

Caesar Salad Sandwiches

Prep: 20 minutes

 Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

11/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups thinly sliced, cooked chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)

1 (16-ounce) loaf Ciabatta bread (or French or Italian bread)

Romaine lettuce leaves

Tomatoes, purple onion (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over cut sides of bread. Top evenly with chicken and lettuce; serve immediately. Top with tomatoes and purple onion, if desired.

Love This Lasagna Soup

March 2, 2009

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If you love lasagna, you will love this soup. All of my favorite ingredients, spinach, sausage and tomatoes and cheese, fill this soup, and it is so quick and easy. Using the mini farfalle noodles works perfect in this recipe as they truly look like mini lasagna noodles. My family was wowed by the soup. Serve with a salad and some fresh crusty bread, and dinner is on the table in no time.

 

Lasagna Soup

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 cup diced onion

1 cup diced carrots

1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth

1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1 cup mini farfalle pasta (piccolini) “Barilla” makes it

2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups freshly grated Asiago cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, (optional)

Preparation

1. Brown sausage in a large Dutch over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; saute 3 minutes more.

2. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. 

3. Place 1/4 cup Asiago cheese into each bowl; pour soup on top garnish with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.

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A friend of mine requested more side dish options, so here’s one that’s hard to beat. If you love spinach dip, spinach casserole, or spinach period, you will love this low-fat, simple side dish prepared in muffin cups. The most difficult part of this recipe is draining the spinach, and anyone can do that. And, if you’re trying to eat low-carb or are on Weight Watchers, this recipe is really great for you. Serve these for a breakfast, brunch or with steak, pork, chicken or fish for a comforting side dish that tastes as good as it looks.

 

Crustless Spinach Tarts

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

1 (16-ounce) package frozen spinach

3 egg whites

11/2 cups (12-ounce) 2% cottage cheese

1 cup low-fat finely shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup shredded or freshly grated Parmesan 

Preparation

1. Cook spinach in microwave; drain well. 

2. In a separate bowl, combine egg whites and next 2 ingredients; stir in spinach. Pour mixture into lightly greased muffin pans. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over tops. Bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Spinach-Artichoke Dip from Real Simple

Whether it’s a huge football game like tonight’s National Championship game, the Super Bowl, weekend entertaining or just for the fun of it, I love to make a hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip. Probably because my kids love to eat it! This is a lightened version that works great with light cheese, low-fat sour cream and reduced-fat mayonnaise. Processing it in the food processor contributes to its awesome texture. So, if you’re watching your weight right now and trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions, you can still enjoy this hot dip.

 

Low-Fat Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cloves garlic

1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded 2% milk cheddar cheese

1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Pita wedges or crudites, for serving

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light-golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.

3. In the bowl of a food processor combine the artichoke hearts, spinach and next 7 ingredients. Process until smooth. Fold vegetable puree into sauteed onions, then spread into an 8-inch glass square baking dish or 9-inch glass pie plate which has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve with pita wedges or crudites.

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While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!

 

Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese

Prep and cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach

Kosher salt to taste

2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)

2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.