Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP: Substitute leftover cooked meat, poultry or seafood in any of these salads for an even faster version, or canned beans for a meatless main dish.
ENLIGHTENED "COBB" SALAD
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups diced cooked skinless chicken
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
(about 8 cups)
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups broccoli slaw
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 / 2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
1. For dressing, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, 1 / 4 cup of the blue cheese and the Worcestershire sauce.
2. In large bowl, combine the chicken, lettuce, carrots, broccoli slaw, red pepper, onion and tomatoes. Toss with dressing.
3. Divide among 4 plates and top each with the remaining blue cheese and chopped olives. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 328 calories, 28 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 691 mg sodium
GREEK SALAD WITH SHRIMP
1 pound peeled medium shrimp
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded (about 6 cups)
4 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
3/4 cup crumbled feta
1. Toss shrimp with dill, salt and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the lemon juice. Add parsley, chickpeas, romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and the feta, and toss well.
3. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in nonstick skillet over medium high. Add shrimp in a single uncrowded layer and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. (If pan isn't big enough, cook in 2 batches.) Remove from pan.
4. Divide the salad among 4 plates; top each with shrimp and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 382 calories, 25 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 21 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1325 mg sodium
THAI BEEF SALAD
Rice noodles, Asian fish sauce and Thai chili paste can be found at Asian and specialty markets and in the international-foods sections of many supermarkets.
4 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) Thai chili paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 pound flank steak
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
3 cups shredded cabbage slaw mix
1 cup shredded carrot
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1. Cook rice noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2. Coat a broiler pan rack with cooking spray and heat the broiler.
3. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Remove 2 tablespoons of the mixture and combine it with the chili paste, garlic and ginger; pour over the flank steak, turning once, to marinate.
4. Combine remaining fish sauce mixture with the canola oil, basil and mint. Toss with cooked rice noodles, cabbage, carrot, red pepper and scallions.
5. Place the steak under the broiler, and cook 6 to 7 minutes on each side. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing diagonally across the grain into very thin strips. Toss with noodles and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 374 calories, 27 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 860 mg sodium