Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

menu ideas ~ not so boring salads

Although main dish salads is my food passion for the summertime, I have been getting that “wanna eat salads” craving. When I mentioned it to a friend she said she didn’t like salads because they were so boring. Not True. Salads simply take imagination and just about anything you can find in your refrigerator or pantry. Be inventive and risky, try different things together and try different meat. I often make sure I save some meat from a previous menu and build from there. And the best part...is they can be full meal for lunch or dinner. So, Sicily, here are three of my favorites as promised for you to try. I hope everyone gives them a taste too.

Mediterranean Beef Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
This low-carb, high-protein salad with refreshing lemon vinaigrette has less than 200 calories.

 1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
 4 cups torn romaine leaves
 1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)
 1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette

 Trim fat from steak. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat until desired doneness, turning once halfway through broiling time. Allow 15 to 17 minutes for medium-rare doneness (145 degrees F) or 20 to 22 minutes for medium doneness (160 degrees F). Thinly slice steak.
 Divide romaine among 4 dinner plates. Top with sliced meat, red onion, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Drizzle with Lemon Vinaigrette.

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
 Salt and black pepper

 In a screw-top jar combine olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, oregano and garlic. Cover and shake well. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Superfoods Salad
Spinach, strawberries, blueberries, and walnuts sometimes are called superfoods because they are loaded with antioxidants, which are often touted as contributing to good health.

 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh mint
 2 tablespoons honey
 1 tablespoon canola oil
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 4 cups packaged fresh baby spinach leaves
 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
 1 ounce semisoft goat cheese, crumbled
 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 For vinaigrette: In a screw-top jar, combine vinegar, mint, honey, oil, and salt. Cover and shake well. In a large bowl, toss together spinach, chicken, strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, and goat cheese. Transfer to salad plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle with pepper.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:303 cal., 13 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 63 mg chol., 249 mg sodium, 22 g carb. (3 g fiber, 14 g sugars), 26 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 2; Fruit (d.e): 0.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 3.5

Asian Pork and Cabbage Salad
A homemade orange-sesame dressing adds an enticing flavor to the stir-fried pork in this low-carb salad. It's fast, fresh, and easy to toss together for a cozy night in.

1/4 cup low-sugar orange marmalade or apricot preserves
 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
 1 clove garlic, minced
 Nonstick cooking spray
 12 ounces boneless pork loin chops, cut into bite-size pieces
 1 medium red or yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin bite-size strips
 6 cups napa cabbage, shredded
 1 cup chopped cucumber
 4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1-inch pieces
 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

 For dressing, in a small bowl stir together orange marmalade, soy sauce, vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and garlic. Set aside.

Lightly coat an unheated wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add pork and cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add sweet pepper to the pan and continue to cook for 3 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and sweet pepper is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add one-fourth of the dressing to pan; stir until well coated. Remove pan from heat.

In a large bowl coat cabbage with remaining dressing. On a serving platter layer cabbage, pork mixture, and cucumber. Sprinkle with green onions and almonds. Serve immediately. Makes 4 (2 cups each) servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 242 cal., 10 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 59 mg chol., 352 mg sodium, 16 g carb. (3 g fiber, 10 g sugars), 23 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Fat (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 3; Vegetables (d.e): 2;

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