Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two new takes on a boring word: salad

It's the new year and a lot of people have made the decision to eat healthier or work out more. But, for some people the idea of eating better means plain ol' salad. That can be really boring. I've got a couple salads that can be a whole meal and they don't taste like rabbit food.

The first is a Waldorf salad, but with a healthier twist. We're adding more flavor and taking away the mayonnaise. Then, we'll make a great pasta salad that can be a whole meal or a great side dish any time of the year. These two salads are really fast and really easy for a quick dinner or pack it up in your lunch for school or work.

Waldorf Salad (makes 2 servings)
1 chicken breast (baked, broiled, braised, etc.)
1 medium to large apple - any kind, but red delicious works really well
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup halved seedless grapes
1/8 cup chopped green onion
1 to 2 cups lettuce
1/8 to 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work the best)
6 oz yogurt (plain or for more flavor use strawberry or raspberry)
1T ranch dressing
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
1T vinegar

  1. Mix together cooked chicken, apple, mushrooms, cucumber, onion, lettuce, grapes, and nuts in a salad bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix yogurt, salt, pepper, ranch dressing, and vinegar.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and combine. Add more lettuce if you prefer a less dressed salad.

Italian Pasta Salad
2 cups cooked spiral pasta
1 cooked chicken breast (can be omitted)
1 cup cubed cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/8 cup chopped green onion
Italian dressing
  1. Mix all ingredients together, coating the mixture with as much Italian dressing as you'd like.
  2. Can be eaten immediately, but it's best if chilled for at least an hour.

A few other ideas to spice up a regular salad:
  • Add diced chicken, ham, or turkey
  • Add a hard boiled egg
  • Change up the dressing and make a vinaigrette by adding fruit/berries or fruit preserves (strawberry, raspberry, marmalade, etc) with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a little bit of vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
  • Add nuts
  • Add fresh fruit (apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, etc.) or dried fruit (cranberries, strawberries, raisins, etc.)

2 comments:

Katy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katy said...

I love salads! I'll have to try these out. I'm sure they're very yummy! Nice post!