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Ensalada de Noche Buena

Here’s something light and healthy to start your Noche Buena feast.

The problem with the traditional Noche Buena dinners is that they are so rich. While it is true that hams, lechon (pork or chicken) and embutido are truly yummy and mouthwatering, they are also full of fat and bad cholesterol, which to the hypertensive and diabetic lot, spell danger. For people with dietary problems or even for the plain health conscious, we recommend this healthy Ensalada de noche Buena to start their delicious Christmas meal.

Ensalada comes from the Latin word salata which means salty. Of Spanish origin, ensalada is an appetizer which is actually a medley of vegetables, fruits, nuts, croutons, fish, cheese, etc. served with salad dressing. Through the years, culinary experts have created various versions of ensalada using different ingredients and dressings. We recommend this healthy salad to perk up your traditional Christmas family dinner.

Yield:
8 servings (serving size: about 1 2/3 cups salad and about 1 tablespoon dressing)

Ingredients :
4 large navel oranges
large red grapefruit
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled jicama (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup slivered red radishes (about 6 medium)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 1/ 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of salt
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
cup pomegranate seeds
3 tablespoons unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation
Peel and section oranges and grapefruit over a large bowl, reserving juice; add sections to juice. Add jicama and radishes to orange mixture; toss gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Combine rind and next six ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Arrange lettuce in a large bowl. Using a slotted spoon, place the orange mixture over lettuce; drizzle evenly with yogurt mixture. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seed kernels, and cilantro.

Nutritional information:
Calories 133 (22% from fat)
Fat      3.3 g (sat. 3.3 g mono. 1.6 g poly. 1.2 g)
Protein    2.2 g
Carbohydrate 26.2 g
Fiber    5.7 g
Cholesterol    2.6 mg
Iron    0.9 mg
Sodium    58 mg
Calcium    65 mg