DEAR JEANNE: I like to make this salad as a way to use up the ham that’s left over after a holiday, but I would like to make it a little healthier. Can you help? Thank you! — Bea R., Sun City, Ariz.

HAM AND RICE SALAD

4 cups cooked, cooled, long-grain white rice

21/2 cups ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1 small can corn, drained

1 cup peas

DRESSING:

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper, to taste

Mix rice, ham, onion, green and red peppers, corn and peas in large bowl. Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl. Pour over rice mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

 

DEAR BEA: You really can use whatever vegetables you have left over, too. You also could make this with extra-lean ham that you buy just for this recipe, or with another lean meat, or use lentils to make it vegetarian. Make sure that if you’re using leftover ham, you pick off all the visible fat that you can. I’ve used my favorite brown rice medley that has no seasonings added, just a mix of different kinds of rice. You also could add chopped or grated zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus or whatever you have on hand.

LOW-FAT HAM AND BROWN RICE SALAD

4 cups cooked brown rice medley (about 1 1/4 cups raw), cooled

11/2 cups extra-lean ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or green onions

1/2 red bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 green bell pepper, diced into 1/4-inch pieces

1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed

1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed

DRESSING:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

1. Mix rice, ham, onion, green and red peppers, corn and peas in a large bowl.

2. Whisk lemon juice, chicken broth, oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

3. Pour dressing over rice mixture; toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours, or overnight. Stir before serving, adding more chicken broth if needed to moisten.

Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original recipe: 364 calories; 19 g fat; 24 mg cholesterol; 933 mg sodium; 37 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 2 g fiber. Revised recipe: 191 calories; 4 g fat; 6 mg cholesterol; 412 mg sodium; 31 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 4 g fiber.

 

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently “Cooking From the Cupboard” (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (61 cents), self-addressed envelope.

 

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