And so the holiday hangover has begun.

All that turkey. All that ham. All those cookies. All those pies.

Now we face a new year, and our scales aren’t very happy with a lot of us — and vice versa. It’s time to do something good for ourselves. Something healthful.

And yet, still something delicious.

Something like, for instance, a salad. And not a wimpy side salad, either. A real salad, one you can eat for dinner.

Marinated Shrimp Salad

3 scallions, white part only, trimmed, peeled and cut into thin slices

3 tablespoons capers, drained

2 plump, moist garlic cloves, peeled, halved, green germ removed, and minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons coarse sea salt

2 pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon fine salt

4 slices multigrain bread, toasted, for serving

2 to 4 large leaves lettuce

In large, shallow bowl, combine scallions, capers, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.

Fill large pot with 3 quarts of water and bring to rolling boil over high heat. Add coarse salt and shrimp, and cook just until the shrimp are pink, about 30 seconds. Drain and immediately transfer to marinade. At this point, you can serve or refrigerate overnight.

Mix together lemon zest and fine salt in a spice blender or use mortar and pestle.

Cover each piece of toast with lettuce. Drain shrimp and portion out over each lettuce-covered piece of toast. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon lemon zest salt — store lemon zest salt leftovers. Serves 4.

Per serving: 476 calories; 31 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 283 mg cholesterol; 34 g protein; 16 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 2 g fiber; 2,610 mg sodium; 161 mg calcium

Adapted from “Salad as a Meal,” by Patricia Wells

Colombian Shredded Chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped

4 rocotillo chile peppers, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of all visible fat

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups water

Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil and paprika in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, scallions and chile or bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes or until onions are soft, not brown. Increase heat to high;stir in tomatoes and vinegar. Cook for 3 minutes, or until most tomato juices have evaporated.

Add chicken and water to cover. Season with salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium, cover pan, and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender when tested with a knife. Transfer chicken breasts to cutting board and let cool. Increase heat to high and boil cooking liquid until only 1 cup remains.

Using 2 forks, shred chicken. Place in medium saucepan and strain cooking liquid on top. Simmer 5 minutes, or until chicken has absorbed most of the cooking liquid. Season with more salt and black pepper, if desired. Serves 4.

Per serving: 182 calories; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 26 g protein; 3 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 103 mg sodium; 21 mg calcium

Recipe from “Healthy Latin Cooking,” by Steven Raichlen


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