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Diet Detective: Enjoy these healthy recipes

Saturday, June 21, 2014 - 9:03 am

Here are a few healthy summer salads by top chefs.

Jamie's Cranberry Spinach Salad

Healthy Recipe provided by Allrecipes.com, submitted by Jamie Hensley. Makes 8 servings.

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup blanched and slivered almonds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir almonds into butter and cook until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar and vegetable oil. In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries. Just before serving, add the seed and oil mixture and toss.

Grilled Shrimp, Romaine and Radicchio Salad

Healthy recipe from Grill To Perfection: Two Champion Pit Masters' Recipes and Techniques for Unforgettable Backyard Grilling (April 2014 / Page Street Publishing) by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart, with Andrea Pyenson. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Juice of 2 lemons

1/3 cup olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

4 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Olive oil, for grilling

8 to 12 shrimp (U-12), peeled and deveined

1 head romaine, outer leaves removed, quartered through the core (no need to cut off the end)

1 small head radicchio, loose leaves removed, quartered through the core (no need to cut off the end)

1 wedge (about 4 ounces) Parmesan or your favorite hard cheese, for garnish

Spread an even layer of unlit charcoal in the bottom of the grill. Fill a chimney with charcoal. Stuff two sheets of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney and light it. When the coals are fully engaged ­ you should see flames peeking over the top ­ pour them over the unlit charcoal. If using a gas grill, light the gas and adjust the temperature on both sides to high.

Make the vinaigrette: In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, shallot, parsley, basil and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When you can hold your hands over the fire for no more than 3 to 5 seconds, clean the grill grate. Lightly oil the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 1 minute, rotate 90 degrees and then flip. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the outer skin is pinkish red with a slight char on it and the split side has just turned from translucent to white. Remove the shrimp from the grill, place in the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss.

Make the salad: Lightly oil the romaine and radicchio and season with salt and pepper. Place the romaine quarters on the grill and cook for 1 minute per side (there are 3 sides), until it is slightly charred and lightly warmed. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop the leaves; discard the cores. Scatter the leaves over a serving platter. Repeat with the radicchio, and scatter the leaves over the romaine. Spoon the shrimp and vinaigrette evenly over the lettuces. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some Parmesan over the salad. Serve immediately.

Roasted Tomato Salad with Mint

Healthy recipe by Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014). Makes 4 servings.

2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 small red onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely ground unrefined sea salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes and red onion in a single layer on the lined baked sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tomato juices thicken to the consistency of maple syrup and the tomatoes wrinkle. Spoon the roasted tomatoes and onion into a bowl, toss in the mint, and serve immediately before the mint wilts in the residual heat of the tomatoes.

Green Rice Salad with Nectarines and Corn

Healthy recipe by Kimberley Hasselbrink, author of Vibrant Food: Celebrating the Ingredients, Recipes, and Colors of Each Season (Ten Speed Press, 2014). Makes 4 to 6 servings.

For the Green Rice

3 4 cup brown basmati rice

11/4 cups water, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons more for sauce

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 small jalapeņo, seeded and chopped

Zest and juice of 1 small lime

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

For the Grilled Corn

2 small ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

Fine sea salt

1/2 lime

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

2 medium-ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco

In a saucepan, combine the rice and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Let the rice stand for a few minutes, then fluff. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat the broiler.

To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place in a small baking dish. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source, turning every few minutes, until golden and blackened in spots, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this amount, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to a bowl; toss with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeņo, lime zest and juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the rice, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the rice is evenly coated.

To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the rice. Toss to combine. Transfer the rice to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and queso fresco over the rice in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro. Best served immediately. Can be made up to a day in advance; bring to room temperature before serving.

Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com.