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How to Make Your Salad Sizzle

Image: grilled chicken salad (ARA) - Fruits and vegetables are critical components in maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. In fact, the recently revamped Food Pyramid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) includes a significant increase in the recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables.

The good news is that eating healthy is as easy as walking down the fresh produce aisle of your local grocery store. Just grab your favorite salad greens, some tomatoes and a jar of your favorite refrigerated dressing, and pair them up with some protein for a main dish that really sizzles.

"The latest trend in healthy eating is to bring salads to the forefront. Instead of serving them as sides, people are turning them into main dishes, and they're using premium dressings to enhance the flavor," says Randy Bartter, vice president of marketing at Ventura Foods.

Refrigerated dressings like Marie's offer restaurant-quality and fresh taste without the fuss of making your dressing from scratch, creating impressive entrée salads for entertaining or for everyday. Try this new twist on everyone's favorite Caesar salad. All the ingredients are prepared on the grill.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 entree salads

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Marie's Caesar Dressing, divided
1 large head romaine lettuce or 2 romaine hearts
4 thinly cut slices French baguette, cut on the diagonal
1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinate chicken in 1/4 cup dressing for 30 minutes (refrigerated). Grill chicken and keep warm.

Cut romaine in half lengthwise. Brush romaine and bread slices with 1/4 cup fresh dressing. Grill bread slices. Grill romaine 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.

Chop romaine into chunks. Toss with remaining 1/4 cup fresh dressing. Thinly slice chicken. Top salad with chicken, bread slices, Parmesan; season with salt and pepper to taste.


Lemon Caesar Salad: Follow above recipe and toss salad with Marie's Caesar Dressing, adding the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste).

Black & Blue "Caesar": Follow above recipe and substitute Marie's Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing for the Caesar Dressing.

The Grilled Chicken Caesar salad also goes great with dinner. If you don't want to get that fancy, you can serve a simple salad -- a few leaves of lettuce topped with tomatoes and cheese along with your main dish, or in lieu of salad, prepare at least one vegetable as a side dish. Then for desert, rather than serving ice cream or cake, have some fruit cup.

For more tasty salad recipes, you can log on to

Courtesy of ARA Content

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