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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Chinese Garden Salad a crunchy side dish

Thursday, February 03, 2000

Tested by Betsy Kline

The roll of Countdown repeaters continues this week with Pat Roach of Bridgeville, who sent us this recipe for Chinese Garden Salad. And seeing how this Saturday marks the Chinese New Year (Year of the Dragon 4698), we rush this one to print just in case you want to add an Asian flair to your weekend meals.

Roach, a retired psychiatric nurse instructor for the state, came across this recipe many years ago in a La Choy cookbook. It's a simple concoction of bean sprouts and chopped onion and sweet pepper steeped in a heated dressing of vinegar and sugar. It can be eaten by itself, or better yet, tossed with lettuce. Roach prefers mixed greens; spinach would also be tasty.

Also in Pat's repertory of Asian dishes is a shrimp egg foo young, pork chop suey and pork chow mein. But she finds she cooks them less and less because she and her husband, Tom, put more emphasis these days on healthful dishes low in fat and calories.

Because the salad is drained before eating, only a trace of the marinade and oil cling to the sprouts, so you can definitely put this in the healthful recipes file.

This recipe logs in at just one ingredient over our allotted six (not including salt, pepper and water), but because one of the ingredients is sugar - in everybody's pantry - we will allow it.

Chinese Garden Salad

1/3 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or less, according to taste
2 tablespoons chopped green or red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 16-ounce can bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons salad oil

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper in saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Pour over mixture of green pepper, onion and bean sprouts. Mix lightly and cool. Stir in oil and drain. Can be served tossed with favorite salad greens or spinach. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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