Low Fat Salad Recipes

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Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

Beet Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

07.25.11 by Jackie

Orzo salad is an easy one-dish, summertime meal. You could add anything you like, so you can adapt the recipe to fit whatever you find at the market. The most labor intensive work involved in preparing the salad is chopping all the ingredients. For this version, I added cherry tomatoes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pickled carrots and canned black beans. The main event though, was the addition of the roasted beets. I prepped them in the morning and let them cool to room temperature.

We spent a very low-key, relaxing weekend and I didn't feel like cooking a ton, raising the temperature in the kitchen with the stove and oven during the afternoon, as the temperature got higher. This cold pasta dish was light, complete but still flavorful, and we got to enjoy it by the scoopful in our garden.


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Cold Rice Salad with Papaya Recipe

Cold Rice Salad with Papaya

06.13.11 by Jackie

We finally have beautiful sunshine in the Bay Area. We've been waiting for the sun for so long that today, in honor of our quite overdue patron of summer, I prepared a dish that is refreshing, healthy and flavorful.

Specifically, I made a cold rice and papaya salad. I boiled brown rice, and mixed in vegetables, steamed lentils, lime juice, ginger and fresh papaya. The key to good rice salad is to have a homogeneous mixture. All the ingredients should be cut the same size. The other factor for a good salad in general is a flavorful dressing. I met that requirement with a sweet and spicy papaya ginger dressing.

This version is vegetarian, but you could also finish the salad with grilled jumbo shrimp in shells or grilled chicken breasts. Also, I served it in tea cups. For an original presentation, you could serve it in papaya halves. Here comes the sun!


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Beet Salad Dressing Recipe Recipe

Beet Salad Dressing Recipe

03.01.11 by Jackie

Beet salad dressing is a unique way to flavor your salad. The dressing contains puréed beets, a sweetener (sugar, honey or syrup), vinegar and flavorful oils. The vivid color makes for a stunning start to any meal. I learned this new trick from my best friend Alexia's fiancé during our recent trip to Paris. Olivier served diced beets with pieces of goat cheese to give the salad a richer mouth feel. The salad was very simple but insanely delicious.

I've been best friends with Alexia for almost 15 years, and even though I've known Olivier for only a few years, he’s incredibly sweet so we’ve all gotten very close. Last December, they got "P.A.C.Sed" (PActe Civil de Solidarité), which is a form of civil union in France, but they’re planning on getting married next year. They haven’t set a date though, so Alexia asked my husband Lulu to bug Olivier about it a bit. So every time we saw them, Lulu and I would find a "subtle" way to sneak the question in the conversation. Alexia thought it was ingenious! We'll keep trying to nudge him until we have another good excuse to go back to France. If you’d like to get in on the fun, leave a comment for Olivier on this post. I’m sure he’ll appreciate the encouragement.

Olivier, je sais que tu lis! (I know that you're reading!). We love you two!   

Alexia et Olivier
Olivier and Alexia, a.k.a "Darling" and "Pouette".


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Grilled Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad Recipe Recipe

After the pool party we recently hosted, we had lots of leftover grilled vegetables. Pasta salads are a great way to make use of leftover veggies, so today I prepared some for the family. It was really easy; all I needed to do was boil some pasta and add some salad dressing to it.

This time around I made a spicy salad dressing that I drizzled over fusilli pasta, roasted bell peppers, grilled eggplant, grilled Portobello mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. This meal met everyone's diet, except for my father-in-law who's allergic to mushrooms (no meat, not nuts, no eggs), so I placed the grilled mushrooms on the side.


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Healthy Grapefruit and Bok Choy Salad Recipe Recipe

I felt like making a low-fat salad today because my husband Lulu and I have been diligently working out every day. I bought beautiful pink grapefruits at our local market, so I used the sweet and slightly acidic fruit in the salad. Bok choy and roasted bell peppers rounded out the flavors and textures of the dish. I finished it with a tahini and miso salad dressing that really bound the flavors together.

Even though the meal was low in calories, it was so flavorful. The salad  nicely complemented the grilled cod and soy gluten I prepared for Lulu and me. The best part is that even though he is a vegetarian and I eat meat, we were able to share a meal together.


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