KITCHEN WIT AND WISDOM: Summer salads lighten up dinner

In the hot days of summer it’s nice to turn to salads for a light meal or for the main entree to a family supper.

In the hot days of summer it’s nice to turn to salads for a light meal or for the main entree to a family supper.

Finding light, no cook recipes that satisfy the palate and offer a delicious fresh taste is always a bonus. Adding a little meat or protein to any salad makes for a complete meal.

Use up leftover barbecued chicken or steak in a salad. Any kind of lunch meat is good as well: smoked turkey, ham, tuna, salami, corned beef, or prosciutto, they’re all great on salads.

Today’s pasta dish satisfies all criteria; it’s fresh and tasty.

The second salad is a Thai salad where a spicy and sour lime dressing complements cool cucumbers and Boston lettuce. It’s a real nice change.

No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce with Pasta

1 lb. (450 g) whole grain spaghetti, uncooked

8 plum tomatoes (2 lb./900 g), chopped

1/2 cup Kraft Calorie-Wise Zesty Italian Dressing

1/4 cup Kraft 100% Parmesan Light Grated Cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp. chopped red onions

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Drain pasta. Add to tomato mixture; toss to coat.

How to serve as a cold pasta dish: Prepare as directed. Add cut up cold Italian sausage to add if desired and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.  Serve with a fresh spinach salad tossed with your favourite calorie-wise dressing.

Thai Cucumber Salad

Dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1-1/2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce

1-1/2 tbsp. sugar

1-1/2 tbsp. minced seeded jalapeño chili (about 1 large)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

Salad

1-1/2 English cucumbers, halved, seeded, thinly sliced

1 carrot, grated

3/4 cup sliced red onion

1 head Boston lettuce, washed and torn

3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp. coarsely chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts (for garnish)

Instructions:

Step 1: Whisk dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Step 2: Place cucumbers, carrot, onion, lettuce and mint in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.