1 head red leaf lettuce
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups snow peas, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large cucumber, peeled (if desired) and sliced into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup low-fat bottled salad dressing of your choice (such as sesame shiitake, lemon-tahini, or cilantro lime; optional)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp Thai chili paste or other chili sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned white beans, rinsed and drained
Wash the lettuce and tear it into bite-size pieces. Dry it thoroughly in a salad spinner and transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the bean sprouts, snow peas, and cucumber.
Cut the bell pepper into thin slices. Then cut the slices diagonally into thirds and add to the salad bowl.
If desired, blanch the carrots in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes to soften. Immediately rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well. Add the carrots to the salad bowl. Toss well. If using the optional salad dressing, add it just before serving and toss again. Make an indentation in the center of the salad.
Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, and chili paste in a medium bowl. Add the beans and toss until they are evenly coated. Spoon the bean mixture into the center of the salad just before serving.
PER SERVING: 94 calories; 1.8 g fat; 0.3 g saturated fat; 17.1% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 6.4 g protein; 14.8 g carbohydrate; 2.8 g sugar; 3.9 g fiber; 117 mg sodium; 64 mg calcium; 2.3 mg iron; 37.7 mg vitamin C; 2251 mcg beta-carotene; 0.8 mg vitamin E
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