From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...For the next few days, I'll be featuring main course salads for folks who are watching their weight. I'm not a fan of the word dieting because I find it too restricting. I've had to watch my weight for most of my adult life, but have only consciously had to diet twice. The first was following the birth on my first child, the second was following eye surgery that affected movement and my ability to read. Both times, I piled on weight and ended up weighing more than my husband. To lose that weight following the birth of my daughter, I followed the original Weight Watcher's diet. To lose it following eye surgery, I tried Mike Moreno's The 17 Day Diet. I had great results with both diets, and while I didn't lose weight as quickly as I anticipated, I eventually lost the pounds I wanted to shed. I have since my last go round with dieting, followed an eating plan that is similar to the maintenance phase of the 17 Day Diet. I am quite comfortable with Moreno's approach to weight maintenance because it allows me to eat as I please on weekends. That does, however, mean I keep my eye on the scale and the size and makeup of my weekday meals. I eat a lot of salads because they are filling, and, if carefully thought out, provide the protein, carbs and nutrients I need to remain healthy. The first salad I want to share with you is based on the classic Nicoise salad. While my version uses less oil and no olives or anchovies, it does contain the potatoes, green beans and tuna that are found in the classic salad. It is really very tasty, and, more importantly, it is very filling. I actually prefer its flavor to the real thing. It is important to dress the potatoes and green beans while they are still warm. I make things simple for myself by cooking the potatoes, green beans and boiled egg at the same time, in the same pot. The beans, obviously, go in at the last minute and are the first to be extracted from the pot, but if I keep my eye on the clock this shortcut works well for me. I think you will like this salad. Here is how its made.
Dieter's Mediterranean Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 (4-oz. each) potatoes
4 oz. fresh green beans
1 large hard boiled egg, cut lengthwise in quarters
4 large handfuls mixed greens (I use half baby spinach and half chopped head lettuce)
1 medium tomato, cut in small chunks
1 or 2 (5-oz.) cans water packed solid white albacore tuna, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar in bottom of a large bowl.
2) Boil potatoes until tender. Peel and cut into cubes. Toss while still warm in oil and vinegar mixture.
3) Boil green beans until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Add to potatoes and lightly toss to coat beans with oil and vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Divide salad greens into two portions. Place in bottom of two large, shallow salad bowls or rimmed salad plates.
5) Top each salad with an equal portion of potato and green bean mixture, tomatoes, tuna and hard boiled egg quarters. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 salads.
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