The hotter and more humid it gets outside, the cooler you want to be inside. That means chilling down by eating salads for dinner and cooking in your microwave oven so you won't heat up the kitchen.
For this chutney-flavored seafood salad, your microwave softens the colorful peppers and cooks the vegetable-rice mixture.
Shrimp and Pepper Salad
4 medium green, yellow and-or red sweet peppers (about 5 ounces each)
2 tablespoons water
1 medium carrot, cut into thin strips ( 3/4 cup)
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced ( 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup quick-cooking rice
6 ounces cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
1 5 1/2 - or 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed, or 6 ounces frozen, crab-flavored, salad-style surimi, finely chopped
1/3 cup snipped chutney
1/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Bibb lettuce leaves
Lemon slices (optional)
Cut each pepper into four wedges; remove seeds and membrane. Place peppers and water in a 12x7 1/2 x2-inch microwave-safe baking dish. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap; turn back one corner of the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape. Cook on 100 percent power (high) for five to seven minutes or until crisp-tender, rearranging peppers once. Immerse peppers in cold water for a few minutes to cool quickly. Drain; cover and chill.
In a 1 1/2 -quart microwave-safe casserole combine carrot, celery, green onion and chicken broth. Cook, covered, on high for three to four minutes or until boiling. Add rice; cover and let stand for five minutes or until rice has absorbed liquid, stirring once. Cool. Stir in shrimp and crabmeat.
In a small bowl stir together chutney, mayonnaise or salad dressing, and lemon juice. Add to the seafood mixture; toss to coat well. Cover and chill three hours or overnight.
To serve, arrange four pepper wedges and some lettuce leaves on four individual plates. Top with the seafood mixture. If desired, garnish with lemon slices. Makes four main-dish servings.