Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This is a wonderful main dish pasta salad to serve on those hot summer nights!
- 4 cups dry, thin penne pasta (choose whole wheat pasta if you prefer)
- 12 ounces frozen sugar snap peas (if using fresh, trim ends and stems)
- 3 links Tofurky® Sweet Italian Soy Sausage by Turtle Island Foods (or 11 ounces similar sausage)
- 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes (if packed in oil, drain; if dry, soak in warm water, then drain)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced or chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup fat-free half-and-half (or substitute soy milk)
- 2 tablespoons bottled marinara or tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon nonfat sour cream (or use soy alternative sour cream)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper (optional)
1. Bring 5 quarts water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in large saucepan. Pour in pasta. Stirring occasionally, cook about 12 minutes. Pour in sugar snap peas and continue to boil one to two minutes (noodles should just be tender). Drain noodles well and place in large serving bowl.
2. While noodles are boiling, brown thinly sliced or coarsely chopped soy sausage in large nonstick frying pan coated with canola cooking spray. Let cool. Once cool; add to pasta in serving bowl. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.
3. Place remaining ingredients in small food processor, or use a medium-sized bowl and a wire whisk. Puree briefly just to blend. Pour dressing over noodle mixture and stir to blend. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt if desired. Refrigerate until needed.
Per serving: 380 calories, 19 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 10.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat information not available for the sausage), 0.3 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 280 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25%.
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup fat-free or light sour cream
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup shredded, cooked crabmeat or imitation crabmeat (about 1/3 pound)
- 1 cup bay shrimp, cooked (about 1/3 pound)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add more to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 6 cups chopped Romaine or green leaf lettuce or spinach
1. Combine light mayonnaise with sour cream and lemon juice in medium bowl.
2. Stir in crab, shrimp, celery, salt, pepper, olives, and green onions. Chill at least 1 hour.
3. Serve each serving of seafood salad on a bed of 2 cups of lettuce greens.
Per serving: 180 calories, 22 g protein, 9.3 g carbohydrate, 5.8 g fat (0.9 g saturated fat, 1.7 g monounsaturated fat, 2.7 g polyunsaturated fat), 139 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 343 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- 1/2 cup dried orzo (rice-shaped pasta), about 3 ounces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons water or condensed chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons vinegar of your choice (rice, tarragon, balsamic, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Pepper to taste (add salt to taste if you wish)
- 3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast (about 4 breasts, or the meat shredded from a rotisserie chicken
- 1 1/3 cup cherry tomato halves
- 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, well-drained, rinsed, and chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup dried currants (optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers
- 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts* (optional
- 4 tablespoons toasted pine nuts* (optional)
1. Cook orzo in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite (about 8 minutes). Rinse under cold water, drain well, and let cool. Put in a medium bowl.
2. Add olive oil, tomato paste, water, vinegar, fresh tarragon, lemon juice, and mustard to a small bowl or food processor, and pulse or whisk to blend well. Season dressing to taste with pepper and salt, if desired.
3. Add chicken to cooked orzo along with tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, currants, and capers. Drizzle dressing over the top, and toss.
4. Serve each large scoop of chicken salad on a bed of romaine or spinach leaves, and sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the top.
* Toast the pine nuts in a toaster oven until golden brown, or put in a nonstick frying pan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown.
Per serving: 365 calories, 38 g protein, 23 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (2.3 g saturated fat, 8 g monounsaturated fat, 1.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 4.3 g fiber, 700 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 33%.
Super Simple Salad Nicoise
Have your eggs boiled and cooled and your red potatoes cooked tender in the microwave before you start this recipe!
- 1/2 cup light favorite bottled balsamic vinaigrette (or Italian dressing)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 12 ounces green or yellow beans, trimmed
- 2 cans (6 1/2 ounces each) tuna canned in water (chunk light or Albacore), drained
- 8 anchovy fillets, drained (packed in oil) and pat them dry
- 1 pound tiny new potatoes, cleaned, pierced with fork, and microwaved until tender
- 1/2 whole red or yellow bell pepper, cut in thin (1/4-inch strips)
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half if large sized)
- About 18 pitted black olives, drained well
- 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- salt to taste (optional)
- 3 large eggs (omega-3 if available) hard-cooked and peeled and cut into quarters
- Add bottled vinaigrette to small bowl and whisk in the Dijon mustard; set aside.
- Add green beans to microwave-safe dish with 1/4 cup water. Cook on HIGH for about 3 minutes or until just barely tender. Drain immediately and cover with cold ice water to stop the cooking process.
- To assemble the salad, combine the beans, tuna, anchovies, potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, fresh parsley and tarragon. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss gently to cover all the salad ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Garnish serving bowl with hard boiled eggs.
6 servings (for 12 servings, double recipe)
Per serving: 420 calories, 35 g protein, 54 g carbohydrate, 6.6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 147 mg cholesterol, 11 grams fiber, 776 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 14 percent.