With the long hot days of summer comes the desire for lighter, cooler foods for family meals. These two recipes will help fill this need in your life. I especially like to do as much of my dinner preparation in the cool of the morning as possible. My husband and I have to get going very early, sometimes as early as 3:45 a.m., so there is not much energy left for doing anything by dinnertime. Having things prepared, or at least started, is very helpful in getting dinner on the table.
The recipe for this Caesar salad is wonderfully different with the addition of fresh, sweet grapes and a bit of Swiss cheese. The pie is made easy with a purchased chocolate cookie, or graham cracker, crust.
Grape Caesar Salad
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
3 cups seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
Assembly: Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl with grapes, Swiss cheese, chicken and croutons. Pour dressing over and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, toss and serve.
Parmesan Cheese Croutons:
1 cup small bread cubes
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Toss bread cubes with the butter and Parmesan cheese in a small skillet. Toast over moderate heat until golden brown; stir frequently, watching closely so the croutons do not burn.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small clove garlic, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Place lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until completely combined.
Tips: For calorie saving use a lite Caesar dressing. Of coarse, if time is really tight, the croutons, lettuces and chicken can be purchased already prepared.
Serves 8 as a side dish, omitting meat
Serves 4-6 as a main dish, depending on appetites
Cocoa Mousse Pie
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust (9 inch size)
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and cocoa until well combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Using spatula or wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping; pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Lower fat version: use low-fat cream cheese and milk and fat-free whipped topping.