Salad, Pasta Good Choices For Fall

SHIRLEY'S KITCHEN

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Cooler weather is a delight.

Our recipe for energy and vitality this week: be active! Exercise is very important throughout our lifetime, especially as we get older. It is the main ingredient in a recipe for dishing up a body that is physically and mentally fit, pick a variety of activities you prefer. The most important thing is to must enjoy it. When it gets boring, switch to something else like swimming or exercise in an air-conditioned space during the summer. In other words, keep moving.

Today, let's try a gourmet BLT salad. It makes a perfect picnic lunch or light dinner. How about pasta with shrimp? It is a dish high in protein, low in calories, plus adds elegance to a meal.

Happy eating,

Shirley

This is a healthy take on the classic summertime favorite BLT sandwich. It makes a perfect picnic lunch or light dinner.

Gourmet BLT Salad

Dressing

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Salad Fixings

Romaine lettuce, chopped

spinach leaves

1 tomato (sliced or chopped, or 10 grape tomatoes sliced in half)

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons shredded Swiss cheese

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons bacon (torn into pieces)

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Spray a cookie sheet lightly with olive oil cooking spray and spread the almonds out on the cookie sheet. Bake in oven at 300 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

Dressing

Mix together oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Set aside and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Stir dressing before pouring on salad. Right before serving, pour some dressing over Romaine lettuce and spinach leaves in bowl, toss the lettuce and leaves.

Add the shredded cheeses, bacon, tomato, red pepper, green onions and toasted almonds over lettuce and toss lightly.

Note: The dressing recipe is enough for two large salads. Do not use the entire recipe on one salad. You can store the dressing in the fridge, for up to 3 to 4 days. (When using next day, take out of fridge and let dressing "warm up" a bit on counter for 10 minutes, stir and pour.)

Tip - You may also add chopped chicken to this salad to make it a main entree.

Pasta with Shrimp

Serving shrimp always adds a sense of elegance to a meal, whether it's for family or a dinner party. An added bonus is, shrimp is high in protein, low in calories and is available at grocery stores and neighborhood markets.

1-1/2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

8-ounce can Italian whole plum tomatoes

1 pound cooked shelled shrimp (or substitute boneless chicken breast)

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (optional)

1/2 pound box linguini

salt and pepper to taste

Boil salted water for the linguini, cooked as directed on the package. Sauté chopped garlic and onion in olive oil until tender in a large frying pan 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add cooked shrimp, sauté for 2 minutes and remove from pan. Try to keep as much garlic and onion in the pan when removing the shrimp. Add the entire can of tomatoes with liquid, stir in the pan. Cook until it begins to boil, then reduce heat. Add shrimp, oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour sauce on drained linguini and toss. Add crumbled feta cheese, if desired, at the table.

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