BRAISED ROMAINE HEARTS

Serves 4.

• 3 tbsp. butter, divided

• 4 romaine hearts, damaged leaves removed, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise

• 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock

• 1 carrot, chopped

• Salt and ground black pepper

• 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

Put 2 tablespoons butter in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. When butter has melted and foam subsided, add romaine hearts, cut side down, and cook, turning once or twice, until they begin to brown on the edges, about 5 minutes.

Add stock, carrot and some salt and pepper. Cover and cook over lowest possible heat, turning occasionally, until lettuce and carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and turn heat up a bit to reduce any remaining liquid; add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and gently turn vegetables to coat. Drizzle with lemon juice.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 120 Fat 9 g Sodium 97 mg

Carbohydrates 8 g Saturated fat 6 g Calcium 74 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 23 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 2 fat.

 

CHILLED LETTUCE SOUP

Serves 4.

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 1 large onion, sliced

• Salt and ground pepper

• 2 to 3 heads romaine lettuce, cut into thin ribbons

• 2 c. chicken stock

• 1/2 to 1 c. cream or half-and-half

• Small croutons or crumbled bacon for garnish

Directions

Put butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; when it melts, add onion and sweat for about 2 minutes or until it begins to soften; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add all but a couple of handfuls of the lettuce to the pan, reserving the rest for garnish, and cook until it wilts. Add stock, turn the heat to medium-high and bring liquid to a boil; lower heat to medium and cook until lettuce is very soft, about 5 minutes.

Put cooked lettuce in a blender and add 2 cups ice water. Purée mixture until smooth, then put in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once soup is chilled, add cream or half-and-half to taste and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Finely chop reserved lettuce and put about 1/4 cup in each bowl and ladle soup on top. Garnish with croutons or bacon.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 240 Fat 17 g Sodium 140 mg

Carbohydrates 19 g Saturated fat 10 g Calcium 142 mg

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 48 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 3 1/2 fat.

 

ICEBERG LETTUCE WITH BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

Serves 8.

• 1 c. yogurt, preferably whole milk

• 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese

• 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more as needed

• Salt and ground black pepper

• 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 8 wedges

• 1/2 c. toasted and chopped hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts, optional

Directions

Mash yogurt with blue cheese, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a grinding or two of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary.

Place each wedge of iceberg lettuce on a plate, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with nuts if using.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 58 Fat 4 g Sodium 174 mg

Carbohydrates 4 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 94 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

 

STIR-FRIED ICEBERG LETTUCE WITH SHRIMP

Serves 4.

• 2 tbsp. soy sauce

• 1 tbsp. sesame oil

• 1 tbsp. rice wine

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 1 tbsp. cornstarch

• 2 tbsp. peanut oil, divided

• 2 tbsp. minced garlic

• 1 tbsp. grated or minced fresh ginger root

• 1/4 c. chopped green onion, plus more for garnish

• 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded

• 1/2 to 3/4 lb. medium shrimp, shelled, cleaned and deveined

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.

Put a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, swirl it around and immediately add garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add green onion and lettuce. Raise heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until lettuce just softens, about 2 to 3 minutes; transfer everything to a plate and set aside.

Turn the heat down to medium, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, let it get hot, add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper; raise heat to high, continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Turn heat down to medium, return lettuce to pan, and toss once or twice. Stir sauce to make sure cornstarch and sugar are well blended and add to pan. Cook until everything is warmed through and sauce thickens. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 166 Fat 11 g Sodium 530 mg

Carbohydrates 11 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 50 mg

Protein 8 g Cholesterol 53 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat.

 

CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD

Serves 4.

• About 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided

• 1 c. rustic bread, cut into 1-in. cubes

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1 clove garlic, halved

• 2 eggs

• 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 2 to 3 tbsp. minced anchovies, or to taste

• Dash Worcestershire sauce

• 1 large head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces

• 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Put 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet large enough to hold the bread in a single layer and turn heat to medium. When oil shimmers, add bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper; brown lightly on all sides, adding a little more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside.

Rub the inside of a salad bowl with the garlic clove; discard it. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Pierce a tiny hole in the broad end of each egg with a pin or needle and boil them for 60 to 90 seconds; they will just begin to firm up. Crack them into the salad bowl, being sure to scoop out the white that clings to the shell.

Beat eggs with a fork. Gradually add lemon juice and 6 tablespoons oil, beating all the while. Stir in anchovies and Worcestershire. Taste and add salt if needed, and lots of pepper. Toss well with lettuce; top with Parmesan and croutons; toss again at table. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 405 Fat 35 g Sodium 595 mg

Carbohydrates 12 g Saturated fat 7 g Calcium 260 mg

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 122 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 11/2 medium-fat meat, 51/2 fat.