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Dinner in Minutes: Jazzed-up dressing gives salad zing

Mon., Aug. 22, 2011

This no-cook, 15-minute summer supper is perfect for a hot night. Plump shrimp layered with vegetables and dressed with a light vinaigrette dressing makes a cool, colorful main dish.

To make this meal fast with a homemade touch, I doctor a low-fat bottled vinaigrette with chopped onion and tarragon.

For a quick side dish, sprinkle slices of whole-grain baguette with grated Parmesan cheese to make crisp crostini.

Layered Shrimp Salad

3 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

1 tablespoon diced or chopped onion

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

3/4 pound cooked, peeled, medium-size shrimp

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 bag washed, ready-to-eat mixed baby greens (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1 medium tomato, sliced

Mix dressing, onion and tarragon.

Place shrimp in a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange greens in the bottom of a salad bowl. Layer cucumbers on top. Sprinkle corn over cucumber slices. Drizzle 1 tablespoon dressing over vegetables. Place a layer of shrimp on top and drizzle remaining dressing over the salad.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes around the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 358 calories (17 percent from fat), 6.8 grams fat (1.2 grams saturated, 1.6 grams monounsaturated), 260 milligrams cholesterol, 41.3 grams protein, 37.1 grams carbohydrates, 5.7 grams fiber, 291 milligrams sodium.

Parmesan Crostini

Olive oil spray

1/2 whole-grain French baguette, sliced on the diagonal into 6 rounds

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat broiler or toaster oven. Spray olive oil over bread rounds. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Place under broiler about 6 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese starts to melt.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 214 calories (30 percent from fat), 7.2 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated, 4 grams monounsaturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 6.9 grams protein, 30.3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 352 milligrams sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks. Visit her webpage at or email her at

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