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Author: Sandra Woodruff, M.S., R.D.
Source: The Good Carb Cookbook


Salads For All Seasons


Salads play an important role in any healthful cuisine, and low-GI cooking is no exception. Besides being packed with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, salad ingredients such as leafy greens and nonstarchy vegetables do not have a significant impact on blood sugar and should be thought of as “free foods.” Other salad ingredients like pasta, legumes, and many fruits rank low on the glycemic index as well.


Besides being super-nutritious and GH-friendly, salads are among the most versatile of dishes. Depending on their ingredients, they can be a protein-packed entree or refreshing side dish. Because most salads can be made ahead of time, they are great for entertaining. And because they are portable, they are as much at home at picnics and potluck suppers as they are on your own dining room table.


If you are watching your weight, though, beware. Despite the salad’s reputation as being “diet” food, many are anything but. Salads made with high-fat meats and cheeses and drenched in oliy or full-fat mayonnaise dressings are definitely not what the doctor ordered. Rest assured that the recipes in this chapter will keep you eating low on the glycemic index without busting your fat or calorie budgets. Ingredients like lean meats, low-fat cheeses, and light mayonnaise, sour cream and dressings are combined with crisp vegetables, ripe fruits, satisfying pastas, and nutritious whole grains and legumes to create a variety of sensational salads that are sure to make any meal special.


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Fabulous Fruit Salad


Ingredients:


3 large navel oranges
1 c seedless red grapes
1 medium Red Delicious or Gala apple, unpeeled and diced
1 large banana, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut


Directions:


Peel the oranges, cutting down to the flesh. Cut the orange segments away from the membranes. Place the orange segments and the juices that have accumulated in a large bowl. Squeeze any juice from the pieces of orange rind and add it to the bowl. Add the grapes and apples to the oranges and toss to mix well. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until well chilled. Add the bananas and refrigerate for an additional hour before serving. To serve, divide the mixture among six 8-ounce bowls or goblets, and top each serving with a sprinkling of the coconut.


Makes 6 (7/8 Cup) Servings.


GI Rating: Low


Nutrients Per Serving:
223 Calories
1.8 g Fat
26 g Carbohydrate
1.4 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
10 mg Sodium
43 mg Calcium
3.4 g Fiber


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Two-Layer Fruit Salad


Ingredients:


Fruit Layer


1 can (1 lb) peaches in juice
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice
1 pkg (4-serving size) sugar-free orange or lime gelatin mix


Cheese Layer


1 pkg (4-serving size) sugar-free orange or lime gelatin mix
1/2 c boiling water
1 c orange juice
1 block (8 oz) nonfat or reduced-fat cream cheese


Directions:


To make the fruit layer, drain the peaches and pineapple, reserving the juice. Coarsely chop the peaches, and set aside with the drained pineapple. Place the juices in a 2-cup measure, and add enough water to bring the volume to 2 cups. Set aside. Pour gelatin in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Pour 1 cup of the juice mixture in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling juice over the gelatin and stir to dissolve it. Add the remaining juice to the gelatin mixture and stir to mix well. Chill the gelatin mixture for about 1 1/4 hours or until it is the consistency of raw egg whites. Stir in the drained fruits and pour the mixture into a square 2-quart glass dish. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, or until the gelatin is almost set.


To make the cheese layer, pour the gelatin mix in a blender and add the boiling water. Blend the mixture at low speed with the lid slightly ajar for 1 minute or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the orange juice and blend to mix well. Add the cream cheese and blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the cheese mixture over the fruit mixture in the dish. Chill for at least 4 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve.


Makes 9 Servings.


GI Rating: Low


Nutrients Per Serving:
88 Calories
0.1 g Fat
16 g Carbohydrate
6.3 g Protein
2 mg Cholesterol
194 mg Sodium
97 mg Calcium
1 g Fiber


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Cherry-Apple Salad


Ingredients:


1 pkg (4-serving size) sugar-free cherry gelatin
1 c boiling water
1 c frozen pitted dark, sweet cherries, halved
3/4 c apple juice
1 c finely chopped peeled apples
1/3 c finely chopped celery
1/4 c chopped walnuts or pecans


Directions:


Pour the gelatin in a large bowl, add the boiling water, and stir for 2 minutes, or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the frozen cherries and the apple juice and stir for a minute or two or until the cherries thaw. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and chill for about 45 minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of raw egg whites. Fold in the apples, celery, and nuts and pour the mixture into a 1-quart mold or bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the gelatin is firm. Unmold the salad onto a lettuce-lined plate if desired, or simply serve from the bowl.


Makes 5 Servings.


GI Rating: Very Low


Nutrients Per Serving:
100 Calories
3.6 g Fat
14 g Carbohydrate
3 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
51 mg Sodium
16 mg Calcium
1.9 g Fiber


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Simple Pear Salad


Ingredients:


2 cans (15 oz each) pear halves packed in juice
6 leaves Boston or Bibb Lettuce
1/2 c nonfat or light sour cream
2 tbsp shredded nonfat or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped toasted pecans


Directions:


Refrigerate the cans of pears for at least 2 hours before assembling the salad. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each of 6 small salad plates. Drain the pears and arrange 2 small pear halves on the lettuce leaf on each plate. Fill the hollow of each pear half with 2 teaspoons of the sour cream, then sprinkle each pear half with 1 teaspoon of cheese and a sprinkling of pecans. Serve immediately.


Makes 6 Servings.


GI Rating: Low


Nutrients Per Serving:
84 Calories
1.8 g Fat
15 g Carbohydrate
2.5 g Protein
0 mg Cholesterol
47 mg Sodium
57 mg Calcium
1.7 g Fiber