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Spring into salad recipes

Spring is finally here! It’s high time to store your casserole dishes and soup bowls until next winter and lighten up your food choices. Delicious spring salads with plenty of fresh vegetables are one of the best and tasty ways to eat without guilt (and get that bikini-ready body)! Here are a few fabulous spring salad recipes to fill you up without filling you out.

woman eating salad


All recipes and photos courtesy of Florida Tomatoes
Moroccan-Style Tomato, Shrimp and Couscous Salad
Makes 4 servings

1 cup couscous
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces shelled, cooked shrimp
2 large fully-ripened fresh tomatoes, cut in wedges
1 sweet yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing, divided
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup sliced green onions (scallions)

1. Prepare couscous with 1 cup water according to package directions. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine shrimp, tomatoes, yellow pepper and 1/4 cup of the dressing.
3. To couscous, add feta, green onions and the remaining 1/4 cup dressing and mix gently.
4. Mound couscous mixture on 4 plates, dividing evenly. Top with marinated tomato and shrimp mixture.

Asian-Inspired Chicken, Tomato and Noodle Salad
Makes 4 servings

1 pound somen, soba or vermicelli noodles
Sesame-Ginger Dressing (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 ounces snow peas
6 large Boston lettuce leaves
2 large, fully ripened tomatoes, cut in thin wedges

1. Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. Transfer noodles to a bowl and toss with half of the Sesame-Ginger Dressing.
2. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil until hot. Add chicken and cook, turning often, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas and cook and stir until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Tear chicken in bite-sized pieces and return to skillet. Stir remaining dressing into mixture.
3. To serve, arrange lettuce on a large platter. Top with noodles, fresh tomato wedges and chicken mixture. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Sesame-Ginger Dressing: In a small jar, combine 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup peanut oil, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil and 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce. Add 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Cover tightly and shake well. Yields about 3/4 cup.

Grilled Chicken With Greek Flavored Fresh Tomato Salad
Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano or dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound fully-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.
2. In a medium-sized bowl combine tomatoes, bell pepper and cucumber with half of the olive oil mixture.
3. Place chicken breast halves and the remaining half of the marinade in a large resealable plastic bag and seal bag. Turn to coat chicken completely with marinade. Marinate the tomato mixture and the chicken for 15 minutes or, refrigerated, up to 24 hours.
4. Just before serving, preheat grill or broiler. Grill chicken breast halves, brushing occasionally with the marinade until golden on both sides and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut into thick slices.
5. Spoon fresh tomato salad onto serving plates and arrange chicken slices on top. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice, if desired.

Note: For the best tasting tomatoes, keep tomatoes at room temperature away from sunlight. Do not refrigerate tomatoes because the cold will inhibit the flavor. April and May are the best times to purchase tomatoes.

For more springtime fruit and vegetable recipes, visit these links:

Recipes featuring fruits and vegetables

Cooking with asparagus

Year-round recipes for avocados

How to make a superb salsa

Sweet homemade fruit syrups

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