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Nutritionally Speaking

Side Dishes Take Center Stage

July 07, 1988|TONI TIPTON

When a major part of a meal's calories will be invested in the meat or entree portion, it's important to serve side dishes that will satisfy yet be reasonably low in fat. The following side dishes are some suggestions that sport a variety of taste as well as texture combinations.

Long grain rice contributes good taste as well as helping to meet the body's carbohydrate and protein needs. The dish is naturally low in sodium, and it gets its good taste from a flavorful mixture of lime juice, cumin and cantaloupe.

Linguine Salad With Clam Sauce is another example of a successful confetti of colors, shapes and tastes. Here, brilliant red tomato contrasts with sliced black olives. Clam liquid, mint and basil contribute flavor.

Other sides include a couple of slender varieties of coleslaw and some trimmed-down versions of potato salad. An entire menu can be had with little more than a whole grain or a crusty loaf of French bread, grilled lean meat, poultry or fish and one of the carbohydrate-rich sides here.

RICE SALAD OLE

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups long grain rice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 egg, beaten

6 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons oil

3 cups diced cantaloupe

1 cup sliced celery

1 cup sliced green onions

1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained

Bring water to boil. Stir in rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Cool. While rice is cooling, combine egg, lime juice, sugar, cumin and pepper with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

Gradually beat in oil until smooth. Stir into cooled, cooked rice. Fold in cantaloupe, celery, green onions and chiles. Chill. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

LINGUINE SALAD WITH CLAM SAUCE

4 ounces linguine

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup torn basil leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 (10-ounce) can clams

3 tablespoons torn mint leaves

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 cups pitted black olives, sliced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Prepare linguine according to package directions and drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and saute until tender, but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, basil and salt. Saute 2 minutes longer. Drain clams, reserving juice. Add juice and mint to skillet and cook 3 minutes. Stir in clams and tomatoes. Cook 1 minute.

Toss with hot pasta, then add olives, lemon juice and parsley and toss again to coat. Makes 4 servings.

LOW-CALORIE COLESLAW

8 cups finely shredded cabbage

1 cup finely sliced celery

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup wine vinegar, vinegar or lemon juice or combination

Combine cabbage, celery, carrot, green onions and parsley. Pour on oil and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, celery salt and pepper. Toss in wine vinegar and mix well. Makes 8 cups.

SCANDINAVIAN SLAW

1 quart shredded cabbage

2/3 cup wheat germ

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup minced parsley

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 cup plain yogurt

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

Parsley sprigs

Combine cabbage, wheat germ, green onions, minced parsley and almonds. Mix yogurt, dill, mustard and salt and pour over cabbage mixture. Toss well. Pack into 1-quart mold, bowl or other container and chill thoroughly. Unmold onto serving plate. Garnish with cherry tomato halves and parsley sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

SLIM AND TRIM COLESLAW

1 small head cabbage, trimmed and finely shredded

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/3 cup oil

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 clove garlic, minced

Combine cabbage, carrots, onion and red and green peppers in large bowl. Toss well. Combine grapefruit juice, oil, mustard, caraway seeds and garlic in jar with tight-fitting lid. Cover and shake until well blended. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss gently. Makes 8 servings.

SWEET POTATO SALAD

3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 green pepper, cut into thin strips

1 cucumber, sliced

Parmesan Dressing

Wash sweet potatoes. Heat enough water to cover potatoes to boiling. Add potatoes to water, return to boil and simmer, covered, 20 to 30 minutes or until fork tender. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes, halve lengthwise and slice 1/4-inch thick.

Toss potatoes, onion slices, pepper strips and cucumber in large bowl. Pour on Parmesan Dressing and toss carefully to coat vegetables completely. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Toss before serving. Makes 8 servings.

Parmesan Dressing

1 cup tarragon vinegar

1/2 cup oil

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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