Cooking often feels like a chore on the 100-plus- degree days we’ve been having lately.

To ensure I still eat healthy meals when it’s hot, I often turn to salads.

The first salad ties in the Southwest flavors of chili powder and cumin I love and uses a ready-to-eat Romaine salad bag and premade dressing. I use a light balsamic dressing with red peppers to add even more flavor.

The second is infused with Mediterranean flavors and works as a main dish or a side.


¼ cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

4 cups washed Romaine salad

¼ cup reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler. Mix onion, garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper together. Remove visible fat from chicken and spread with onion mixture on both sides. Press it into the chicken.

Cover a baking tray with foil. Place chicken on the tray and broil 5 inches from the heat for 5 minutes. Turn and broil 5 minutes. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees.

Mix the dressing with the scallion and spoon over the salad. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 271 calories (25 percent from fat), 7.5 g fat (1.3 g saturated, 2.1 g monounsaturated), 128 mg cholesterol, 40.8 g protein, 10.0 g carbohydrates, 4.1 g fiber, 551 mg sodium.



Orange-Oregano Dressing

½ teaspoon orange zest

½ cup orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or ¾ teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1 orange

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup sliced radishes

1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed

1 scallion, sliced

¼ cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

¼ cup Orange-Oregano Dressing

To prepare dressing: Place orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, oil, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar. Cover and shake to combine.

To prepare salad: Slice both ends off orange. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a large bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membrane. Squeeze the juice into the bowl before discarding the membrane, if desired. Add lettuce, radishes, beans, scallion, feta and dressing; toss to coat. (Refrigerate the extra dressing for up to 1 week.)

Per serving: 235 calories; 5 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 14 g fiber; 708 mg sodium; 992 mg potassium.


M. Clare Haefner enjoys cooking for family and friends. Contact her at or 254-501-7551.

Contact M. Clare Haefner at or (254) 501-7551.

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