Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Look Familiar? Restaurant Recipes made healthier.

I read this morning that the FDA officially withdrew its federal requirement to make national restaurant chains add nutritional information to their menus.  As a Weight Watcher I was looking forward to this as dining out is always a challenge, and the more I know, the more I succeed. 

Since I do dine out a lot, I love to recreate recipes at home, only make them more healthy, and points friendly.  Maybe you recognized my first posted recipe for BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad from California Pizza Kitchen?  I know their version has a lot more calories and fat, but now I have a healthy version that lets me enjoy it more often.

Here are two other salads that I've recreated after having them at restaurants.

Tuscan Kale Salad from True Food Kitchen.

For one serving:
2 cups organic kale leaves
1-2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
hot red pepper flakes to taste
1 tbsp. panko bread crumbs (whole wheat preferred)
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Start by preparing your kale.  Wash and pat dry, then remove the midribs (the big stalk down the length of the leaf).  Julienne your leaves into bite size lengths and place into a medium mixing bowl.  For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Pour over kale leaves and toss.  Place in serving bowl and sprinkle panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.  (I personally love an extra bit of lemon juice- makes it so bright!) 

Don't be scared to make this because it has raw kale in it.  I'm sure you've tried it before and didn't like it, but I am telling you, this recipe is so good- and SO GOOD FOR YOU!  Kale is one of the best ingredients for you, and you know you're not eating enough of. This serving delivers two servings of vegetables, and two servings of healthy oil.  3 points for the whole bowl!

This next salad is the one I took to the Superbowl party on Sunday, but had the leftovers for dinner last night.  It was actually better the next night.

Chopped Italian Salad from California Pizza Kitchen

1 cup iceberg lettuce leaves, julienned
1 cup romaine lettuce leaves, julienned
2 tbsp. basil leaves, julienned
2 oz. fat free smoked turkey breast (I use lunch meat), chopped (2 pts)
4 slices Gallo low fat Italian salami, chopped (1 point)
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup garbanzo beans (liquid reserved), chopped (1 point)
2 tbsp low fat shredded mozzarella cheese (1 point)

Assemble chopped salad ingredients as listed.

For Herb Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing:

1 tbsp. garbanzo bean liquid
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk all ingredients really well, adding cheese last.  Count 2 points for all of the dressing. 7 points for the whole salad. 

Have a great day!
pinches of salt and pepper

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