Thursday, August 17, 2006

Last night my friends and I got into a discussion about salad dressings, and what our favorites were. My favorite dressing of all time is Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger. Unfortunately, while it is exceedingly tasty, it is also monumentaly stinky. If I use even a tablespoon of it on my lunch-salad at work then my whole wing of the office smells like it for hours afterwards. It's the salad dressing equivalent of when someone microwaves seafood at work. Definietly a no no. So instead at work I hang with my Kraft Free Honey Mustard and that suits me just fine.

Anyway this whole salad dressing discussion, paired with the delicious entree salad that Jeanne made for dinner last night, had me trolling CookingLight.com today for some delicious salad recipes I could try out. The following are my faves. In fact I am making the first one listed tonight, to serve with veggie burgers & avocado mayonnaise

Artichoke & Pasta Salad

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups cooked radiatore (about 5 ounces uncooked short coiled pasta)
2 cups thinly sliced spinach
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese

Combine 2 artichoke hearts, olive oil, and the next 6 ingredients (olive oil through garlic) in a blender or food processor, and process until mixture is smooth.

Chop the remaining artichoke hearts. Combine the chopped artichokes, pasta, spinach, and chopped tomato in a large bowl. Pour pureed artichoke mixture over pasta mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
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Black Bean Taco Salad

Salad:
8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast (about 2 breasts)
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add your fave/dressing/vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.
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Arugula, White Bean, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad

Salad:
3 cups torn arugula leaves
1/2 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 (16-ounce) can navy beans, rinsed and drained

Dressing:
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

To prepare salad, combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Pour over salad, tossing to coat.
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