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FAMILY FEATURES- Simply Delicious Ways to Inspire Meals PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 04:29

Eating well doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself and your family of delicious meals that everyone will enjoy. There are plenty of well-balanced options that won't compromise flavor. It starts with foods that are made with a minimal number of allnatural, simple ingredients - like these satisfying salads.

If you think of salads as just meal starters with a few greens and a handful of veggies, it's time to think again. When done right, salads can be full of satisfying flavor - and greens aren't always required.

Salad Greens 101

When you want to create a great-tasting salad with greens, go beyond the usual Iceberg lettuce. Here's what you need to know about some tasty greens and what types of dressings pair well with them:

• Arugula - Delicately textured leaves with a sharp, peppery bite. Goes well with balsamic and fruit flavored dressings.

• Bibb - Delicate leaves with a creamy texture. Mild flavor goes well with poppyseed and champagne dressings.

• Frisee - Coarsely textured with lacy, curly leaves. A mildly flavored green with a slightly bitter bite. Goes well with fruit flavored, balsamic, ranch and blue cheese dressings.

• Mesclun - A blend of multitextured greens that range from delicate to crispy. Leaf colors range from pale to dark green, and deep reds. Mixtures range from sweet to sharply flavored lettuces. Goes well with Greek dressings, as well as classic ranch and light balsamic dressings.

• Romaine - Crisp leaves with a firm texture. A mildly flavored green with a crunchy texture. Goes well with blue cheese, thousand island and ranch dressings. Salads Without Greens Salads can be based on pasta, grains, meats, seafood or a variety of delicious vegetables. Here are some combinations to try for your next family dinner:

Salads Without Greens

Salads can be based on pasta, grains, meats, seafood or a variety of delicious vegetables. Here are some combinations to try for your next family dinner:

• Chickpea Salad - Roasted cauliflower, beets, cucumber, chickpeas and olives combine with red onion, feta cheese, cumin and Greek feta salad dressing for an exciting addition to the menu.

• Chilled Asiago Rice Salad - This colorful salad is filled with brown rice, red peppers, garbanzo beans, peas, red onions and balsamic dressing.

• Asparagus Salad - Grilled asparagus is topped with hard boiled eggs, lemon zest, spicy radishes, savory Parmesan cheese and creamy Caesar salad dressing. When choosing dressings, look in the produce section for products made with all-natural ingredients such as extra virgin olive oil, canola oil (source of omega-3 ALA), sea salt and refrigerated salad dressings. T

Asparagus Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

• 1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 1/2 cup Marzetti Simply Dressed

• Caesar Salad Dressing

• 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

• Zest of 1 lemon

• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings

• 8 radishes, cut into matchsticks

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat, or preheat an oven to 400°F.

Toss asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus 2 to 4 minutes, turning spears frequently, until the spears are bright green and lightly charred. If roasting, arrange spears on a sheet pan, place on top rack of oven and roast for 4 to 5 minutes (shake pan once or twice during cooking time).

Transfer asparagus to a platter, drizzle with dressing, sprinkle with eggs, lemon zest, cheese and radishes. Serve.

Tips: For a lighter alternative, try Marzetti Simply Dressed & Light Caesar.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 July 2012 04:32