Tag Archives: lunch

Summer Salad with Vinaigrette

This salad…is amazing!  I had a version of it while on vacation in Indy earlier this month.  Artisan lettuce (no iceberg) with fresh strawberries, mandarin oranges, pecans, crumbled/cubed cheese, and grilled chicken.  Delicious!

Salads are wonderful for a variety of things…you can get seriously creative with them.  Fruits, nuts, cheeses, meats, etc.  Nothing is really “wrong” on a salad…with the exception of dressing.  Some people go crazy with dressing, and drown the flavor (and health value) out of a perfectly good salad.

I have been experimenting with creating everyday food items from scratch.  First up…vinaigrette.  Specifically the vinaigrette that accompanied this salad in Indy.  A poppyseed vinaigrette.  The waitress was nice enough to tell me it had these things included:

-poppyseeds (of course)
-oil
-wine vinegar
-sugar*
-red onion

She followed it up with, “It’s really quite simple to mix up.”  So, I did.  I did; however, switch up the sugar for honey (as noted by the *).  I used two different kinds of oil, olive and canola.  The dressing had a pink hue to it, so I figured she probably meant red wine vinegar.  Putting this dressing together took me all of five minutes…and it is delicious!  Best of all, I know *exactly* what is in it, and I know it is fresh!

What kinds of salads do you enjoy?  Have you ever made your own dressing?

-Erica

Curry Salad

This looks amazing, too.  Another recipe courtesy of my Facebook friend, Amy, that is on my “must try soon” list.

CURRY SALAD

2 limes
1 c dry quinoa
1 1/4 c water
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp curry seasoning (such as Spice Islands)
3/4 tsp salt
1 package (10 oz) shredded carrots
1 c no-salt-added canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c thinly sliced scallions
1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c dried currants or golden raisins
3/8 tsp pepper

1. Zest or finely grate one lime to produce 1 1/2 teaspoons zest, then juice both limes.
2. In a saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice, quinoa, water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa turns transparent and liquid is absorbed. Cool and place in a large bowl.
3. Add carrots, chickpeas, scallions, almonds, and currants. Toss.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/8 teaspoon pepper; whisk until well blended. Pour over quinoa mixture and toss. Divide evenly into four salad bowls.

Makes four servings

Here’s the dirt:
431 calories
14 g fat (1.9 g saturated)
511 mg sodium
60 g carbs
10 g fiber
17 g protein

TIP If you can’t find curry seasoning, make your own using 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon.

-Erica

Tuna Artichoke Melts

Ingredients:

1 can (6 oz) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1/3 c. coarsely chopped water-packed artichoke hearts
2 Tbsp fat-free mayo
1/2 c. shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/4 tsp salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1/8 tsp dried oregano
2 English muffins, split and toasted

1. In a small bowl, combine tuna, artichokes, mayo, 1/4 c. cheese, lemon-pepper and oregano.  Spread over English muffin halves.

2. Place on a baking sheet.  Broil 4-6 inches from heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese; broil 1 to 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

****I would decrease the lemon-pepper seasoning if I made this again.  It was a little too much for my taste.  Other than that, this was fantastic.  Also I used 100% whole grain bagels instead of English muffins and it was just as yummy.

Here’s the dirt:
2 servings (a serving equals 2 open-faced sandwiches)

335 calories
8 g fat (4 g saturated)
47 mg cholesterol
989 mg sodium
31 g carbs
2 g fiber
34 g protein

-Erica

Cucumber Chicken Salad

I prefer to have quick lunches because our days are usually busy.  In the past this led to me eating something very unhealthy just because it was quick.  Now, I am starting to make tomorrow’s lunch today, which takes away that excuse.  This is a recipe I have tried, and I truly enjoy.

CUCUMBER CHICKEN SALAD

1 c. cubed cooked chicked breast
1/3 c. chopped seeded peeled cucumber (I did not de-seed mine and it was fine – for me)
1/4 c. fat-free mayo
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. dill weed

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and chill.

*Try this on a bun with lettuce and tomato (and I usually add a piece of swiss cheese because I just love it).

Here’s the dirt on this recipe (these facts include lettuce, tomato, and bun without cheese):
2 servings

350 calories
8 g. fat (3 g saturated)
57 mg. cholesterol
930 mg. sodium
42 g. carbs
3 g. fiber
28 g. protein

-Erica