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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

Talking Turkey With An Italian Accent

Christie Najita, a sales associate at Nordstrom Ala Moana, enjoys her job and meeting new people every day. She loves to interact with visitors from other countries and spread the aloha spirit.

Christie attends UHManoa and is currently studying human services. She relaxes in her free time by cooking and baking, and possibly will pursue culinary arts studies in the future. One of her passions is taking her dog Tadi to the beach and on outings whenever she can.

This recipe is dedicated to Christie for keeping our aloha spirit alive.

This salad uses nonfat mayonnaise, but you can substitute low-fat or regular mayonnaise if you’re not watching your cholesterol and fat intake. Some crisp, freshly baked Italian bread or garlic bread completes the meal.

For dessert, I like to serve a low-fat spumoni ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup, with a thin wafer cookie on the side.

The salad also travels well for potlucks if kept cold; pack the dressing in a separate container and pour over the salad just before serving.

Roma tomatoes, also called Italian plum tomatoes, are egg-shaped. They have few seeds and a firm, meaty texture.

Ripe tomatoes should be stored at room temperature and used within a few days. When purchasing, choose firm tomatoes that have no spots or wrinkled skin.

The tomato has virtually no fat and no cholesterol, and is low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.

ITALIAN TURKEY SALAD

* 6 Roma tomatoes, sliced
* 1 head romaine lettuce, torn
* 12 black olives
* 6 Italian pickled peppers (optional)
* 3 carrots, sliced thinly
* 1 pound turkey breast (buy a thick piece at the deli counter and cut into cubes)
* nonfat grated Parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

For Dressing:

* 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon apple juice or water
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 cloves garlic, minced

In large bowl, toss lettuce, tomatoes and salad ingredients until combined. Add turkey cubes and mix until combined. Place all dressing ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Makes six servings.

Clarification for last week’s column: Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalaniana’ole founded Hawaiian Civic Club of Honolulu in 1918.

heartychef@hotmail.com

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