Some Like It Sweet
When we are crunched for calories, it forces us to get more creative with our cooking. Since we love salads, some of the first things that have to go are craisins, raisins, fruit and candied nuts. But we miss the sweetness these foods added to our salads. So, with a little creativity, we came up with a tasty solution. Marinated cucumbers!!
Have you ever had those yummy marinated sweet cucumbers and carrots at asian restaurants? I’m sure they are soaked in sugar – and calories. Well, I decided to make my own.
I diced up the cucumbers in nice small little wedges and soaked them in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, splenda (or stevia, etc), ginger, salt and a dash of pepper. I add this to my salads to give them that sweetness I miss when I’m cutting calories. Here is an example of a few salads I made.
1 Bag Shredded Cabbage or Slaw Mix
1 Large Marinated Cucumbers
3 Chopped Scallions
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds
Cilantro (I did 1 T of fresh prepared cilantro)
Top with Chopped Grilled Chicken
Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda, ginger, salt and pepper.
After you soak the vinegar in the vinegar mix, remove the cucumbers and set the vinegar mix to the side. Add the cucumbers and all the other salad ingredients together in a big bowl. Take the vinegar mix and add a touch of olive oil with a dollop of low-fat mayo to thicken and blend for a yummy low-cal sweet dressing. Make more of the vinegar base if you feel the salad need more dressing. Mix the dressing and salad together and serve. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
6 Cups Finally Chopped of Broccoli
6 Cups Kale
1/4 Cup Bacon Bits
1/4 Cup Raisins
2 Large Marinated & Diced Cucumbers
Vinegar Mix: 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon splenda and a dash of salt.
Just like the Asian mix, you will soak the cucumbers and then separate the cucumbers from the vinegar dressing. Mix all the salad ingredients together. Then mix the remaining vinegar (add more apple cidar and splenda if needed) with 3 tablespoons Panera Low Calorie Poppyseed dressing (only 25 calories per serving), 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of low fat mayo. Blend the dressing and mix in to the salad until everything is well coated.
3 Cups Mixed Greens Mix
1 Marinated Cucumbers
Sesame Seeds (just to sprinkle on top)
Seared Ahi Tuna
This wasn’t a chopped salad like the above salads. I just piled the ingredients and topped with a little mixture I threw together. I had a low-cal asian dressing that I mixed with the apple cider vinegar mix, which fit perfectly with the tuna. It was YUM YUM YUM! I also had a dollop of wasabi sauce I added on the side for dipping.