3 sizzling salads

Fire up the grill for these spring dishes

3 sizzling salads

Practically anything can sizzle over a flame, yet many unconventional foods remain hidden in chicken breast’s shadow. So why not think outside the bun? Grab your tongs, put on that apron, and start with these recipes that will make you fall in love with salads!

 

Tofu Noodle Salad

Close your eyes, take in a forkful of this Asian-inspired salad, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re feasting at an Asian street market.

8 oz (225 g) dry soba noodles

2 – 12 oz (350 g) blocks extra-firm tofu

3 tsp (15 mL) sesame oil, divided

Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

12 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp (5 mL) fish sauce (optional)

2 tsp (10 mL) Sriracha chili sauce

2 tsp (10 mL) raw cane sugar

1 shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 medium carrots, diagonally cut

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro

1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced mint

1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted roasted peanuts

Cook soba noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water. Drain.

Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium-high and grease grill grates.

Line cutting board with a couple of sheets of paper towel. Top with tofu and a couple more sheets of towel. Place another cutting board or other flat object on top and press gently to extract excess liquid from tofu. Turn tofu blocks on their sides and slice in half lengthwise. Lightly brush tofu with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil and season with salt and black pepper, if using.

Grill tofu squares until golden and grill marks appear, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and, when cool enough to handle, slice tofu into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes.

Lightly brush bok choy with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Place on grill grates and heat until stalks are tender and leaves begin to darken and turn crispy.

In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil, fish sauce (if using), Sriracha, sugar, shallot, and garlic.

Divide soba noodles among 4 serving plates and top with carrot, tofu, bok choy, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Drizzle dressing overtop.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 611 calories; 41 g protein; 27 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 55 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 6 g fiber); 638 mg sodium

Cheeseburger Salad

Hold the bun. This deconstructed version of a drive-thru staple replete with a “special sauce” ups the nutritional ante with more veggies and assures your summer burger habit never tasted so fresh.

1 cup (250 mL) sliced red onion

1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

1/2 tsp (2 mL) raw cane sugar

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt (divided)

1 lb (450 g) ground beef

1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

8 cups (2 L) salad greens

4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges

1 cup (250 mL) sliced dill pickles

1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise

2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp (22 mL) tomato paste

1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced

1 tsp (5 mL) paprika

In small bowl, place onion slices, lemon juice, sugar, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. With your hands, massage onions until tender and pink, about 2 minutes. Chill until ready to use.

In large bowl, gently combine beef, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, cumin, and black pepper. Shape into 4 patties.

Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium-high and grease grill grates.

Place burgers on grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature taken with an instant-read thermometer registers 165 F (75 C). Remove burgers from grill, let rest for 5 minutes, and then slice into quarters.

Divide salad greens among 4 serving plates and top with burger chunks, tomato, onion, pickles, and cheese.

Stir together mayonnaise, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, and paprika. Drizzle dressing evenly over salads.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 440 calories; 30 g protein; 27 g total fat (9 g sat. fat, 1 g trans fat); 20 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 619 mg sodium

Quinoa Trout Salad with Spicy Mango Dressing

Harissa paste is a North African spicy red sauce that’s perfect for adding smokiness and heat to dressings, sauces, and dips. If harissa is unavailable, you can spike the dressing with a bit of cayenne instead.

1 cup (250 mL) red quinoa

Pinch of salt

2 red bell peppers, sliced into quarters

2 tsp + 2 Tbsp (10 mL + 30 mL) grapeseed or sunflower oil (divided)

1 lb (450 g) rainbow trout fillets

1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cubed fresh or frozen (thawed) mango

2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL) harissa paste

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

4 cups (1 L) arugula

1 unpeeled English cucumber, chopped

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced

1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced fresh basil

1/4 cup (60 mL) dried coconut chips

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds

In medium-sized saucepan, place quinoa, 1 3/4 cups (435 mL) water, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid has absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes and then fluff quinoa with fork.

Build a medium-hot fire in charcoal grill, or heat gas grill to medium-high.

Lightly brush bell peppers with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and season lightly with salt. Grill until charred in a few spots and tender, flipping once, about 10 minutes total. Remove peppers from grill and, once cool enough to handle, slice into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces.

Brush skin side of trout with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and season flesh with salt and black pepper. Place trout on grill grates, skin side down, close grill cover, and heat until fish is just barely cooked through in the center, about 8 minutes. Remove trout from grill, let rest for 5 minutes, and then gently break apart flesh into 1 in (2.5 cm) chunks.

In blender container, place mango, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil, vinegar, harissa paste, garlic, and salt, and blend until smooth.

Divide arugula among 4 serving plates and top with quinoa, roasted red pepper, cucumber, avocado, and basil. Drizzle on Spicy Mango Dressing and garnish with coconut chips and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4.

Each serving contains: 647 calories; 37 g protein; 34 g total fat (8 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 52 g total carbohydrates (14 g sugars, 11 g fiber); 252 mg sodium