Monday, October 25, 2010

Super Salads

Nutritious and delicious salads can be created from a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, sorghum and gluten-free oats. These healthy gluten-free ingredients can improve the nutritional quality of the gluten-free diet which is often lacking in fiber, iron and B vitamins.

Salad dressings using balsamic or red wine vinegar or fruit juices such as lemon, orange or pineapple, combined with olive or canola oil and various herbs can add unique flavor combinations. If purchasing store bought dressings remember to read labels carefully. Make sure they do not contain wheat flour, wheat starch, hydrolyzed wheat protein, soy sauce (made with wheat), seasonings (often contain wheat flour or wheat starch as a carrier agent) or malt vinegar (contains barley).

-Shelley Case, RD
Shelley's article highlights some very important concerns for all of us living gluten-free: being wary of everyday ingredients which can pose a health risk, as well as the importance of proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet.

Greek Lentil Salad

1- 19 fl oz can of lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup calamata olives
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley and/or cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp dried oregano

IN a large bowl, combine lentils, olives, vegetables, and feta cheese.
WHISK dressing ingredients together.
ADD parsley and/or cilantro to salad and toss with dressing to coat.
CAN be eaten right away or covered and left in fridge to marinate for 2 hours before serving. Salad can be made a day in advance.

Green Bean Salad with Apples & Bell Peppers

1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
2 ears of corn
1 small red onion, cut in half through the root (root trimmed), and cut lengthwise into thin slices
1/3 cup English cucumber, diced
1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, larger ones cut in half
1/4 cup basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the green beans from the water and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Add the corn to the boiling water and cook for about 1 minute. Drain through a fine sieve and place sieve containing the corn in the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process; let sit for 2 minutes. Drain the corn and the beans and transfer them to a large salad bowl.

Meanwhile, place the onion in a small bowl filled with ice water (this will crisp it and mellow the flavor).

Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Place the garlic paste in a small bowl and add the vinegar and oil and whisk until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Just before serving, drain the onions. Add the onions to the beans and corn along with the cucumber, apples, cherry tomatoes, and basil. Add the vinaigrette and toss. Adust seasonings, if necessary, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with crumbled feta and serve.

Quinoa Salad

2 cups gluten free quinoa
3 cups water
6 tomatillos
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
7 Tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups corn, cut from cob and micro-waved for 1 minute
4 ounces soft mozzarella cheese
1 Tablespoon lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place quinoa on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil; adding quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Let cool.

In a large saucepan blanch tomatillos, drain and place in cold water.

Using a blender combine tomatillos, onion, cilantro, lime juice, parsley, oil, vinegar, chile and garlic; puree. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix in quinoa. Season with salt and pepper.

Place a large spoonful of quinoa mixture in individual bowls or salad plates and top with cucumber, radishes, red onion, bell pepper, corn, mozzarella and lime zest. Serve immediately.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1/2 lb. sugar snap peas
2 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3 carrots, shredded
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped

3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Juice from 1 lime
4 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten free Chinese chili sauce

Place the water in a wok and heat to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the sugar snap peas; cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the peas are just tender. Drain peas in a colander and rinse under cold water; set aside. Return the wok to the heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken to the wok, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir fry until chicken is browned and just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; let cool.

Place the peanut butter and sesame oil in a large salad bowl. Whisk in the lime juice. Add the soy sauce, ginger, sugar and chili sauce. Whisk until dressing is thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasonings to taste with sugar more chili sauce. Add the chicken, snap peas, cabbage, peppers, scallions, carrots and cilantro. Toss until all ingredients are coated with dressing. Serve immediately.

Shelley Case, RD is a consulting dietitian, speaker and author of the national best seller Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. See


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