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Pat’s Pantry: summer salads

By Pat Mills

Luscious summer salads are just what we need now. Cool dishes for warm-weather meals. There is very little cooking and great taste in these salads. – Pat

Grilled chicken Caesar salad

½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 large bunch Romaine, torn (12 cups)
1½ cups Caesar salad croutons
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2/3 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing

In a large resalable plastic bag, combine the first eight ingredients; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear, turning several times. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the Romaine, croutons and tomatoes; add dressing and toss to coat. Divide among six salad plates. Slice chicken; arrange on salads. Yield: 6 servings.

Waldorf tuna salad

2 cans (6 oz each) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1 large red apple, chopped
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped dates
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
4 lettuce leaves
¼ cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

In a large bowl, combine tuna, apple, celery, raisins, dates and walnuts. Combine yogurt and mayonnaise; add to tuna mixture and toss to coat. Serve on lettuce-lined plates; sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Orange crab salad

2 medium navel oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 medium grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
4 green onions, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped pecans
1 can (6 oz) lump crabmeat, drained and flaked
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 can (3 oz) chow mein noodles
ginger salad dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Divide the salad greens among four salad plates. Sprinkle with the chow mein noodles. Top each with about ¾ cup crab mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Serve with crab salad. Yield: 4 serving.

Campfire taco salad

6 snack-size bags (1 oz each) corn chips
1 can (15 oz) chili with out beans
3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
¾ cup sour cream
1 jar (8 oz) mild salsa
½ medium head iceberg lettuce, shredded

Cut the top off each bag of chips; set aside. Place chili in a saucepan; cook on a grill over medium heat for 10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of chili into each bag of chips. Top with cheese, sour cream, salsa and lettuce. Yield: 6 servings.

FOOD FACTS

• If you are chopping nuts in a blender, add a small amount of sugar and they won’t clump together.
• When storing cake, place half an apple in the container along with the cake. This will help the cake retain freshness.

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