Summer salads

Stay cool with these nutrient-rich, no-cook meals.

fitp2086121921_0.jpg

Terms such as boiling and roasting are generally used to describe how you cook food. However, when you’re pregnant in the dead of summer, you may find yourself using them to describe how you’re feeling — hot. At this point, the last thing you want to do is battle the heat of the kitchen.

So how do you get a quick, nutritious, homemade meal without cooking? You make a salad, of course. But not just an ordinary salad; you need one loaded with all the nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy.

Using dark leafy greens, vegetables, legumes, fruits, lean meats (bought precooked from the deli), canned fish and low-fat cheeses, we’ve created a variety of salads that will keep you cool this summer. They’re also rich in nutrients — perfect for pregnant women — according to Kim Galeaz, R.D., a dietitian and nutrition consultant in Indianapolis. “The seafood, chicken and turkey are lean and packed with protein and iron, as are the canned beans, which are also high in fiber and folic acid,” she says. “Likewise, the fresh dark greens, such as spinach and arugula, are also a good source of fiber and iron, and even vitamin A.”

You can use these salads as a meal unto themselves, or pair them with a hearty grain (see “Go With the Grain”) for the whole family to enjoy. Not only are they satisfying, but they’re also topped with low-fat dressings that won’t compromise your already expanding waistline.

With a few kitchen staples and a quick trip to your local grocery store or farmers market, you can throw these refreshing salads together in 35 minutes, without turning on the oven or stove. That way, terms such as roasting and boiling can be left to describe food, not yourself.

Smoked Turkey, Orange and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 4The juicy oranges, creamy goat cheese and sweet raisins in this salad complement the turkey’s smoky flavor.

12 cups (about 1/2 pound) mesclun (mixed baby greens)

2 cups fennel, diced

1 cup jicama, diced

2 oranges, peeled, sectioned and sliced into chunks

1 pound smoked turkey, diced

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 ounces goat cheese

Dressing

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

11/2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black

pepper, to taste

Evenly divide all ingredients among 4 dinner plates. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over each salad.

To Make Dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups, including dressing): 365 calories, 17 percent fat (7 grams), 50 percent carbohydrate, 33 percent protein, 174 milligrams calcium, 2.5 milligrams iron, 162 micrograms folic acid.

Greek Salad With Chickpeas and Tofu

Serves 4This Mediterranean salad is resplendent with ripe tomatoes, crisp peppers and hearty chickpeas and tofu.

8 cups romaine leaves, chopped

30 fresh mint leaves, divided

2 cups (about 1 medium) cucumber, diced

2 cups chickpeas

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 green pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

8 ounces firm tofu, diced

Dressing

1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk

1 ounce feta cheese

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced

Salt and freshly ground black

pepper, to taste

Evenly divide the romaine, 20 of the mint leaves, and the cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, peppers and tofu among 4 dinner plates. Drizzle 1/4 cup of dressing over each salad.

To Make Dressing:

Combine the buttermilk, feta, garlic, remaining mint leaves and oregano in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until creamy and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups, including dressing): 380 calories, 30 percent fat (12.5 grams), 48 percent carbohydrate, 22 percent protein, 302 milligrams calcium, 6.5 milligrams iron, 293 micrograms folic acid.

Spinach and Salmon Salad

Serves 4

This Oriental salad combines sweet salmon with crunchy vegetables.

8 cups spinach leaves

2 cups bean sprouts

2 cups small, fresh sugar snap peas

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

1 143/4-ounce can fancy pink or red salmon, drained

Dressing

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Evenly divide the first 6 ingredients among 4 dinner plates. Place salmon in a small bowl. Remove skin and mash with a fork to create a flaky mixture. Evenly distribute salmon mixture over each plate, followed by 2 tablespoons of dressing.

To Make Dressing:

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups, including dressing): 360 calories, 21 percent fat (8.5 grams), 38 percent carbohydrate, 41 percent protein, 236 milligrams calcium, 7 milligrams iron, 266 micrograms folic acid.

Tuscan White Bean and Vegetable Salad

Serves 4This Italianesque salad is packed with meaty white kidney beans and seasoned with sprigs of peppery arugula.

8 cups arugula leaves

3 cups canned white kidney beans, drained

1 13 3/4-ounce can (about 7 whole) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup canned corn kernels, drained

1 6 1/2-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

2 cups fat-free croutons

Dressing

1/4 cup chicken broth

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons grainy mustard

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black

pepper, to taste

Evenly divide all ingredients among 4 dinner plates. Drizzle each salad with 21/2 tablespoons of dressing.

To Make Dressing:

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups, including dressing): 453 calories, 14 percent fat (7 grams), 67 percent carbohydrate, 19 percent protein, 275 milligrams calcium, 8 milligrams iron, 338 micrograms folic acid.

Crunchy Thai Chicken Salad

Serves 4High-fiber cabbage, carrots and peppers are the foundation of this salad.

2 cups purple cabbage, shredded

2 cups green cabbage, shredded

2 cups carrot, shredded

11/2 cups cucumber, diced

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 cups watermelon, seeded and balled

2 cups cooked chicken, diced

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

Dressing

1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon garlic chili paste

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss the mixture and then evenly divide it and the watermelon, chicken and peanuts among 4 plates. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing over each salad.

To Make Dressing:

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

Nutritional information per serving (31/2 cups, including dressing): 300 calories, 18 percent fat (6 grams), 49 percent carbohydrate, 33 percent protein, 122 milligrams calcium, 3.5 milligrams iron, 86 micrograms folic acid.

Easy Summer Antipasto Plate

Serves 4Folic acid-rich figs and sweet fruits, combined with savory prosciutto and creamy ricotta cheese, complete this salad.

4 wedges (about 12 ounces) ripe honeydew melon

16 slices (about 1/2 pound) prosciutto

4 fresh figs, halved

1 cucumber, sliced

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced into crescents

4 small bunches (about 4 ounces each) red grapes

12 ripe strawberries

2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese

4 tablespoons honey

Lay out 4 dinner plates. Starting from the outside of the plate and working toward the center, place a wedge of melon on each. Drape 2 slices of prosciutto over each slice of melon. Roll 8 prosciutto slices and place 2 on each plate. Place 2 fig halves on each plate next to the 2 rolled prosciutto slices. Evenly divide and arrange the cucumber, mangoes, grapes, strawberries and peaches among the plates. Sprinkle each plate with nutmeg to taste. Place a 1/4-cup scoop of ricotta cheese in the center of each plate. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of honey over each salad.

Nutritional information per serving (4 cups, including dressing): 480 calories, 13 percent fat (7 grams), 68 percent carbohydrate, 19 percent protein, 344 milligrams calcium, 2 milligrams iron, 47 micrograms folic acid.

close