GRILLED BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD
1⁄3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, divided
1⁄4 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s
2 tablespoons butter
1 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to even 1⁄4-inch thickness
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce, (about 2 romaine hearts)
1⁄2 cup pre-shredded carrot matchsticks
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1. Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat cooking (about 350-400 degrees).
2. Combine the buttermilk, cheese and 2 teaspoons vinegar in a small bowl; mix well, mashing cheese slightly with a fork; set aside.
3. Combine the hot sauce with the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar and butter in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Place the chicken on the grill and cook until the undersides are well marked and readily release from the grill surface, about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees. Brush both sides with the hot sauce and cook another 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly and cut into strips.
5. Toss the dressing with the lettuce, carrots, celery and cucumber. Divide among 4 plates and top each with chicken strips. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 287 calories, 41 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 714 mg sodium
GREEK SALAD WITH SHRIMP
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon dried dill
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 cucumber, cut in half moons
1⁄2 red onion, cut in thin rings (about 1⁄2 cup)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1⁄4 pounds shrimp
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, dill and oregano.
2. Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, olives and feta.
3. Season the shrimp with the salt. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until they lift readily from the pan surface, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until just cooked through, about another 2 minutes. Remove from pan.
4. Combine the dressing and salad, divide among 4 plates and top each with one-fourth of the shrimp. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 361 calories, 31 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 22 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 939 mg sodium
THAI BEEF SALAD
1 1⁄4 pounds flank steak
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces thin “vermicelli” rice noodles
1⁄4 cup mint, chopped
1⁄4 cup basil, chopped
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 scallions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup prepared shredded carrots
2 cups thinly sliced (shredded) cabbage
1. Coat a grill pan or grill rack with cooking spray. Heat for direct heat, medium-high cooking.
2. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.
3. While the steak cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil; add the noodles, turn off the heat, and let them soak in the hot water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
4. Whisk the mint, basil, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, Sriracha and sugar; toss with the noodles. Add the scallions, red pepper, cucumber, carrots, cabbage and sliced meat and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 357 calories, 31 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 992 mg sodium
Tip: All three salads have fewer than 400 calories per serving.