Fusion Salads

BLT Salad

1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
1 head green leaf lettuce, torn into pieces
5 Roma tomatoes, sliced
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (take this out for a good vegie salad)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Toss all ingredients together. Add enough dressing to wet salad and toss.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

3/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Blend well.
Serves 4

Mexican Salad

4 Servings

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
  • 1/2 pound jicama, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 medium cucumber—peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pale center leaves from 1 large head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) plus 4 sprigs for serving
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

1. In a large bowl, combine the beans, jicama, tomato, cucumber, serrano chile and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, lime zest and cumin. Toss the dressing with the beans and season with salt and pepper.

2. Arrange the romaine leaves on 4 plates. Stir the chopped cilantro and mint into the beans, mound the salad on top of the romaine and garnish with the cilantro sprigs.

One Serving: Calories 113 kcal, Protein 6 gm, Carbohydrate 17 gm, Cholesterol 0, Total Fat 3.1 gm, Saturated Fat .4 gm

Spicy Tomato Raita

3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped, about 3 cups
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

In large bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Use as a condiment to serve with grilled chicken or fish or as a dip with vegetables. Makes about 4 cups.

Nutrition facts per serving: 25 calories, 2 grams protein, 0.5 grams fat, 98 milligrams sodium, 2 milligrams cholesterol.

Grape Salad

Honey-Lime Dressing (recipe below)
1 cup green seedless grapes
1 cup red seedless grapes
1 cup pre-cut green lettuce
1 cup pre-cut iceberg lettuce
1 cup pre-cut shredded carrots

Prepare Honey-Lime Dressing; set aside.

Mix grapes, lettuce and carrots. Add dressing. Toss to mix. Makes six servings.

Honey-Lime Dressing

Combine 1/3 cup lime juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1 teaspoon grated lime peel, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous dash of cayenne pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are blended. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Nutrition facts per serving: 95.7 cal., 1 g pro., .4 g fat (4 percent calories from fat), 24.8 carbo., 0 mg chol., 1.1 g fiber, 365 mg sodium.

Spicy Mashed Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 green onions, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 teaspoons jalapeno sauce
1 teaspoon salt
Boston lettuce leaves
Tomato wedges for garnish

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place potatoes and enough water to cover in a 4-quart saucepan. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.

In a large bowl, coarsely mash potatoes. Stir in mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, carrot, jalapeno sauce and salt. To serve, line plate with lettuce leaves, top with potato salad. Garnish with tomato wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 261 cal., 4 g pro., 31 g carbo., 14 g fat, 14 mg chol., 757 mg sodium.

Chicken & Papaya Salad

Four main-course servings.

Although the idea of this wonderful salad is to use up leftover cooked chicken, you can roast a whole chicken just to make it. It is perfect for a buffet or picnic. The list of ingredients may seem intimidating, but all you have to do is combine them. The complexity of flavors heightens the effect on the palate. Once assembled, the salad must be eaten right away. The pomegranate juice draws moisture out of the ingredients, and the papain in the papaya breaks down the chicken if the salad is left to stand for any length of time.

2 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup walnuts or peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into H-inch dice
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 head radicchio, leaves separated and shredded
1/3 cup fresh tart pomegranate juice or 2 teaspoons
pomegranate molasses mixed
with 3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh chilies, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
Kosher salt (optional)

Just before serving, combine chicken, walnuts or peanuts, papaya, onion, radicchio, pomegranate juice, garlic, ginger root, cilantro, chilies and cumin seeds in a large shallow ceramic bowl and toss. Taste for seasoning, adding salt, if desired, and serve.

Pomegranate molasses is a reduction of pomegranate juice with a long shelf life. It can be reconstituted by mixing 2 teaspoons in 1/2 cup water.

Per serving: 320 calories; 26 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams fat; 59 milligrams cholesterol; 2 grams saturated fat; 81 milligrams sodium.

Chicken & Rice Salad

1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup seedless grapes, cut in half
1 cup sliced celery
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
3 tablespoons lemon juice
leaf lettuce leaves
lemon and orange slices
seedless grapes

Prepare rice according to package directions; drain well and chill. Combine rice with chicken, grapes, celery, cashews, onion, salt, mayonnaise, milk and lemon juice.

Place lettuce leaves on six 16-inch sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Arrange orange and lemon slices in a ring on top of lettuce leaves. Divide salad into 6 portions and mound on center of citrus slices.

Garnish each portion with additional grapes and cashews. Seal each portion by bringing the four corners of foil up together in pyramid shape. Fold the open edges together in a series of locked folds. Fold until foil is tightly molded and sealed against the foods.
Refrigerate each portion for several hours to blend flavors.
Carry each portion to the picnic in an ice chest.
To serve, just turn back the edges of the foil bundles and place them on individual paper plates.
Makes six servings.

Thai Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh red chilies, or to taste (if unavailable, use about 1 tablespoon dried )
1/2 cup sliced shallots
2 cups sliced cucumbers
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
green onion for garnish

Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Combine the vinegar mixture with the chilies, shallots and cucumbers; mix well. Serve immediately or the cucumbers will become soft. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. Garnish with green onion. Makes four servings.

Antipasto Pasta Salad

1 pound penne, rotini or other medium pasta shape, uncooked
12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and cut into thin strips
12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 cup diced muenster, brick or provolone cheese
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup low-fat Caesar or Italian salad dressing
Freshly ground black pepper
Sliced pepperoncini peppers (optional)

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine pepper strips, artichoke hearts, cheese, mushrooms, onion and basil in a large bowl.

When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and add pasta and dressing to bowl; toss well. Cover; refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Makes eight servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 482 cal., 16.9 g pro., 73.3 g carbo., 13.5 g fat, 14.7 mg chol., 778 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25 percent.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

2 large red apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 teaspoons sugar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut up
4 large stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
Greek seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped pecans, toasted

Chop apples, leaving peel on; sprinkle with lemon juice.

Mix mayonnaise and yogurt with sugar.

In a large bowl, combine apple and mayonnaise mixtures with chicken, celery and raisins. Season to taste. Spoon salad on 8 plates. Sprinkle each serving lightly with the chopped pecans. Serves eight at 3 fat grams each.

French Lentil Salad

French lentil salad is a tasty combination of green lentils, colorful fresh vegetables and flavorful seasonings. Vinaigrette adds tang as it is absorbed by the lentils. A handful of goat cheese gives the salad just the right creamy balance.

2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 tablespoons instant minced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
2 cups sliced and quartered yellow squash
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives
1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

In a medium saucepan place lentils, 2 1/2 cups water, the minced onion, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the garlic powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered, until lentils are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Add celery and carrot; cook until lentils are softened, 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Stir in squash and 1/4 cup of the olive oil.

On a large baking sheet, spread lentil mixture to cool, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, chives, tarragon, black pepper and the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Place lentil mixture in serving bowl; toss with dressing; serve at room temperature. Sprinkle with goat cheese and garnish with lettuce leaves, if desired. Makes six servings.