Originally created 11/26/03

Greek salad can shake up autumn



A menu centered on a low-fat Greek salad with shrimp offers a change of pace, with a refreshing difference from typical autumn fare.

The recipe is from Cooking Light magazine's November issue, which includes the suggestion that, if you prefer, you may use shredded rotisserie chicken in place of the shrimp. The salad could be accompanied by oregano pita chips. For dessert, a nice complement would be vanilla low-fat yogurt topped with honey and sliced almonds.

Quick tip: For speedy suppers, keep a bag of cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp in the freezer. Set the shrimp in a colander and rinse with cool water to thaw quickly.

GREEK SALAD WITH SHRIMP

(Preparation and cooking time 25 minutes)

4 quarts water

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 cups torn romaine lettuce leaves

1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup ( 1/4 -inch-thick) slices red onion, separated into rings

1 cup cucumber, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 -inch slices

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

4 pepperoncini peppers

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add shrimp; cook for 2 minutes or until done. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place shrimp in a bowl, cover and chill.

Place lettuce, tomatoes, onion and cucumber in a large bowl; toss to combine. To make dressing, combine parsley, vinegar, mustard, oil, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic, stirring with a whisk. Spoon 1 tablespoon dressing over shrimp; toss to combine. Add shrimp mixture and remaining dressing to lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat. Spoon about 2 3/4 cups salad onto each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese, 4 olive halves, and 1 pepperoncini pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 296 calories, 9.8 grams fat (3.2 grams saturated), 39.4 grams protein, 12.1 grams carbohydrates, 3.2 grams fiber, 271 milligrams cholesterol, 849 milligrams sodium.

OREGANO PITA CRISPS

Two 6-inch pitas

Cooking spray

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 400 F.

Cut each pita into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat pita wedges with cooking spray. Combine oregano, salt, garlic powder and pepper; sprinkle evenly over pita wedges. Lightly coat pita wedges again with cooking spray. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes or until golden.